small victories.

Back in August 2011, I confessed a deep, dark secret with all of you. I am about the pickiest eater out there. When I wrote that post nearly 18 months ago, I had never really eaten a real salad. I am happy to report that I'm working on those new beginnings I mentioned yesterday: I have had a salad for a meal four times in 2013. This may not seem like much, but they are certainly small victories for me. These salads may have some cheese and dressing, but it's a start. 

Though it hasn't been easy, I know that challenging myself is worth it. In the last year, I added spinach and arugula to my repertoire. I would have never been able to imagine it years ago. My best friends and family still look at me in shock when I order "normal" things--outside of macaroni + cheese and a big juicy burger. I simply had to make the decision to take these greens from a side to a main course. 

For people who've eaten salads their whole lives, I'm sure you're laughing at this post. Go ahead and laugh. Here's the reality: it is incredibly difficult for me to share this side of myself with all of you. Why? I'm flat-out embarrassed. I hate being the one at a restaurant who asks questions about broccoli and onions--and everything else. With time though, things have become easier--and I have high hopes that I will continue to make strides in a healthy direction.

I've always said that one of the best things about blogging is the accountability. When I share big decisions with people outside my "inner" circle, I know I have to deliver--even if it takes time. I don't do things halfway. Do I think that I'll be able to eat broccoli tomorrow? Not quite. I do have hope that I'll tackle it one day at a time.

If you're a fellow picky eater, what have you done to change your habits? How have you done it?
If you're a "good" eater, do you have any suggestions for starting small? 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love + support!
xoxo {av}



  1. i have a coworker who is exactly like this. good for you in trying new things! i have always been adventurous but i am sure it is difficult if you are picky.

  2. When the hubby and I were dating, he was a really picky eater but wanted to branch out to keep up with me {I'm adventurous in tasting and prepping food - I want quality but I'll go broad on ideas}. It helps for me to keep track of WHY he doesn't like foods(texture, bitterness, appearance, etc.) so that I can prepare it differently from how he's had it previously and try to cut out whatever was keeping him from liking the food - so far it's working!

    :) KC

  3. It's awesome that you're finally giving it a try and being able to stick to it. I'm not really a picky eater, in fact I eat almost anything and I'll try anything at least once. xo, Maria

  4. Girl, my sister is the same way! Congrats to you--this is a big step in your life! Mel has said the biggest thing for her is forcing herself to try something new every time she goes out. That doesn't mean that every time we go to Chili's she has to get something new--it means if she got a cobb salad last time, she is going to make herself get something else this time!

    Good luck!

  5. I am a very picky eater as well. Eating a bite of salad is basically torture for me. In 2013 I made a goal to try at least one new food a month (in hopes that my taste buds might just like it!) and so I can say I have actually tried it... instead of disliking food for no reason, which I do now.

    Here's to us blogging about our challenges and holding each other accountable!

  6. In my 20's I said things like "I never eat anything green" in terms of vegetables and salad. I am still a very picky eater. I will get combination pizza for the aroma and pick off all the toppings except mushrooms.

    I don't eat onions or many other things other people use all the time. Still I have come to incorporate at least more fruit and water in my diet. I am not a huge meat eater.

    I have a sweet tooth and I like bread. YUM! lol

  7. I used to be extremely picky but my parents, particularly my mom, really pushed me to try things and I ended up liking most of it, so much so that I don't consider myself picky at all these days.

    I recommend trying different spices on foods you've previously disliked. Salt and or pepper introduced me to a lot along with a splash of lemon juice.

  8. I used to be super picky too, but once I started incorporating more vegetables into my diet I never looked back. The best way I've found to add new things to my diet is to eat it with something I love like a favorite food or salad dressing. Hope that helps! :]

  9. I was once a picky eater, too. The best advice I can give is try new things, and give everything you think you don't like a second chance. It's totally worth it! xx

  10. I have many friends who are like this, but unlike you they are not plunging into making a change. I'm proud of you for sharing this and for taking steps to change your eating habits! You go girl!

  11. My fiance is probably a pickier eater than you! I always have him try something of mine, so that if he likes it we know for next time and we're not wasting massive amounts of food that he just throws away.
    So far in 2013 he's tried and enjoyed edamame soya beans and sweet corn! It seems hilarious, but those really are massive strides!

  12. I am a picky eater ... seriously like I don't eat pizza because I don't like tomatoes and when I ever tell ANYONE that I don't eat pizza I am just waiting for the gasps and the shocked responses. I've opened up to a lot of things that I never used to eat but there is still TONS of stuff that I won't. Trying it is one thing but if you don't like it - don't force yourself to eat it just because everyone else does - at least that's how I roll.


    P.S. Congrats on the salad!!

  13. My boyfriend isn’t a picky eater, but he used to HATE salad. Then he started eating it more often to be healthy and he ended up loving it. I think it makes a huge difference what you get on it or put on it yourself. I can be a bit of a picky eater but that’s mainly due to food allergies

  14. I love your honesty, Alison! I've been a vegetarian for about 12 years now, but the funny thing is that I only started liking vegetables beyond carrots and cucumbers about 5 years ago! I'm a lot more open minded now -- but it definitely helps to start small! You can try adding broccoli, etc. into other dishes that will help mask the taste, like a pasta sauce or panini. Baby steps!


  15. omg, hahaha, i did laugh... as i ate my salad, that i have eaten every single lunch for like 30 years. ;) today i put cheddar gold fish in my salad, it was yummy! im not a picky eater or a "good" eater... so i am not help there!

  16. I have a couple friends who are very picky eaters too. You're in good company. ;)

    Growing up I was a very picky eater, and would have never touched a tomato had my life depended on it. Today, though, I wouldn't really call myself a picky eater. I think the kill is starting small like with any big goal. If you're terrified of artichokes, don't order a meal where that is the main ingredient. Pick a meal that has the scary ingredient but in small quantities in the meal. Start cooking with those ingredients at home, and you'll slowly learn to like them. Then tackle the meal that features that ingredient that used to make you gross out.

    Oh... and I never ever, ever ate onions for quite a while. I found out they irritated my stomach when they're raw, but I really enjoy cooked onions. Just learn to figure out how the foods need to be cooked for your liking, and make sure you don't eat things that bother your system.

    Happy New Year!

  17. Haaaa! I am an extremely picky eater too!!!! I'll only eat salad if its romaine or spinach and it cannot have tomatoes or onions or peppers..oh and it must have cheese!! I'm proud of you!! xoxo

  18. I was a very picky eater until about 18 years old (I am 28 now) and the tables started to turn for me when I realized that I needed better fuel for the athletics I was involved in. My solution was actually not to drown everything in sauces but to keep my salads and greens very plain. Just a bit of lemon juice and olive oil since for me a sauce was another flavor and texture to get used to. Still to this day I eat a lot of raw veggies not in salad form, but carrot sticks, cucumber slices etc. You're not alone! And I am always looking for sneaky smoothies and juices that have veggies in them haha.

  19. I was just drafting a post on my picky eating. I learned a lot from that book I told you about. I am lucky that most of my friends are very understanding and realize that pressuring, teasing, etc is NOT the way to get me to try new foods. I have found that I am more likely to try new foods when I am cooking them at home or work or I am alone and can spit something out if I hate it.

    Last night I had scrambled eggs for dinner. First time in probably 20 years that I have eaten eggs!!!

    I still haven't eaten a full salad but I'm working on it this year! Last year I worked on trying meat and now I eat chicken and beef.

  20. I read the best thing today and then your post and it was the perfect example: "Blogging should should be about sharing what you're going through, both good and bad, and finding others who have been there"

    from a comment on

  21. I'm super picky eater as well but have gotten better. I use to not eat any pasta at all. I went to Italy and refused to eat pasta. Took a long time but now I will eat pasta (but never with red sauce, don't like it). It takes time but you can do it!

  22. i'm a picky eater as well. i'm getting better at trying things, but that definitely doesn't mean i like it. i do like spinach and the dark leafy greens. (seriously, who wants iceberg lettuce. watery vegetables. bleh.) i also love green smoothies! i've been using spinach for those, but i definitely need to try kale. :)

  23. I used to be a crazy picky eater and then after college I started working as a waitress to make extra money and I kept seeing people eating all this "normal" food that I hated like broccoli and onions that they swore was delicious and I just started trying it piece by piece. Now I will pretty much eat anything and everything you would never imagine that I was ever a picky eater.

  24. YAHH! so proud of you! this IS a big deal and im glad youre trying new things :) xoox

  25. I too am a very pick eater, but sometimes challenge myself to try new things. I think it is great that you are challenging yourself to try new things! Baby steps :)

  26. I understand your pickiness! I used to be a very picky eater. There are still some things that I will not eat.

    But, I dare you to try a broccoli and havarti cheese omelette. Best thing ever. Broccoli is so my favorite.

    And, for a little happiness when you're munching on that bunny food (salads) add in some dried cranberries. You'll thank me later. It's the best when you're having a chicken salad.

    I used to only eat boxed foods, it's just.. what I grew up on. *shrug*.
    Honestly, I tried cauliflower for the first time last year. And I love it.

    I also noticed that if you take out unhealthy foods, and replace them with "good foods", you start craving those good foods more than those unhealthy foods that you loved!

    Best of luck!

  27. I try to eat as healthy as possible, but lets face it... you can't be ultra healthy all the time. I love salad's but they get boring over time. Sometimes I grill chicken and make a lettuce wrap with low fat ceasar dressing.
    I also found a blog that was super helpful with different ideas and twists on healthy food that get's you excited to try new recipes.

    here's the link!

    That College Girl