Don't Like Eating Vegetables

Podcast Episode #031: I Don’t Like Vegetables! What Can I Do About It?

Vegetables are good for you (yeah, you know that already). But what happens when you just don't like eating them? How can you maintain a healthy diet?

If you love eating a wide range of vegetables then consider yourself lucky. This isn't the case for many people, whose anti-veggie palette make healthy eating tough.

But, there is hope for even the pickiest eaters. A few simple tricks in the kitchen can easily make veggies satisfy your taste buds. Here's what you can do...

Episode Resources:

I Don't Like Vegetables! What Can I Do About It?

Dave: Hey. Thanks so much for joining me in this episode of Make Your Body Work podcast. This show is all about answering your questions about healthy living. Today I have a question that is near and dear to my heart. Let me start off by sharing with you what Karen wrote. She said,

"Hey, Dave. I'm really trying to eat a healthier diet, but I'm just not a big fan of vegetables. All I like is salads. I don't enjoy cooked vegetables at all. I find I get bored of eating salad every day, so I end up passing on veggies all together. What can I eat in place of veggies?"

Karen, thanks for writing in. When I say it's near and dear to my heart, for the vast majority of my life, I didn't like vegetables either. I actually can remember as a kid and as a teenager, even as a young adult, my mom talking about, saying to me, "Dave, you need to eat more than just corn and potatoes". Literally those are the only vegetables I would ever eat.

I just want to encourage you in saying that, you can change your taste buds. There is potential to find vegetables and prepare them in ways that will taste good for you. That's why I'm really excited to have a special guest today. She's a celebrity chef, she's a nutritionist, and she is a wiz in the kitchen. I'm excited to introduce to you, Amie Valpone. Amie, thanks so much for joining us today.

Meet Amie Valpone

Amie: Thank you. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Dave: When we were just chatting before the show I was saying to you that the more I learn about you, the more excited I get to have you on this show. You have a really interesting story about how you've come to sort of be where you're at in terms of all your knowledge about nutrition. I was wondering if you could kind of share a little bit of your personal background.

Amie: Of course, definitely. Let's see. I am 33 years old, live in Manhattan. For the last 10 years, starting at like 22-23, I started getting awful, awful symptoms. Long story short, it literally ended up being 10 years of chronic illness. Everything from Lyme disease to polycystic ovarian syndrome to hypothyroidism, leaky gut, candida, was given 24 hours to live with C. Diff. Colitis.

It literally was one thing after the next after the next. At one point, I had gone out to Mayo Clinic, I had worked with a million doctors and they did bone marrow biopsies on me. They couldn't figure out what was going on. I was on steroids, pain killers, and water pills and I said to myself, "This is not how I'm going to live my life."

Functional Integrative Medicine

Amie: I turned it around. I discovered functional and integrative medicine, which is what I went back to school for. Then decided to start my website and start healing my body and showing people how I'm doing it.

Dave: Yeah, it's so exciting because quite often that's overlooked. The food that we eat has such a direct impact on the health of our body. We always turn to medicine, or a lot of times we do. I loved reading your story and hearing you kind of did it the natural way.

Amie: Oh, thank you. It's interesting we're trained as kids. Mom's sick, dad's sick, you're sick, you go to the doctor and he tells you what's going on, but we put all our trust in someone else where we really have all the answers.

As amazing as western medicine is for if you're having a heart attack or you break a bone or you need something, like something traumatic happens, trauma experiences, car accidents. They're wonderful for that. When it comes to the underlying imbalances in your body, there's a huge gap. They don't understand, they can't connect the dots because they're just taught covering it up with a drug.

It is so much easier to turn to a doctor when we're sick, but is this the right way to live?

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That was my wake up call. Anytime I was sick as a child, like with a cold, it was like giving me an antibiotic. By the time you're 32, you've been on antibiotics probably 30 times every year for a cold or something. You know what I mean? I was a healthy child, so it's just interesting how our bodies are all so different. That was really fascinating to me.

Medicine Vs. Nature - Which Way Works Best?

Dave: Quite often I find that medical professionals, doctors in particular, they get kind of this bad reputation of not understanding exercise and not understanding healthy eating. I assume from their perspective, they deal with a lot of clients who just want to feel better instantly. If they prescribe, "Hey, go and exercise and go and start eating more vegetables," the adherence to that prescription would probably be very low. I'm not a doctor, but I just imagine they probably have their hands tied a little bit as well.

Amie: Yeah. It's interesting. It's just all like a big cycle because you the doctors are paid by the pharmaceutical companies. It's all just a big big ... I had no idea about any of this until I got sick. Then I was like, "Oh my gosh." I had to wake up really fast and try to figure out how to save my life. The fact is, I work with over 500 doctors and no one was helping me.

Dave: Wow.

Amie: The best doctors in the country didn't have answers, they just had drugs. At that point I said, "Okay. You really need to buckle down." I was on disability from my job. You know?

We put all our trust in doctors when we really have the responsibility to take care of our own health

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Dave: Wow. I'm sure you get tons of people asking you these sorts of questions and as do I. People who have symptoms or don't feel well and just know that there's something wrong, would you say that most people could go through a process like you did and actually heal themselves just through diet?

Amie: You know, I'll be honest, it's a full time job. I look back and I wonder how the heck I did it. It's expensive and it's a full time job. That's why I really work with people on how to navigate your ways through western medicine, [inter-functional 00:05:52] medicine, what doctors to see, what tests to get. That was a huge wake up call for me. My book comes out in 2 weeks. It's called Eating Clean: The 21 Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body. It's a cook book.

Eat Clean And Detox Your Life

It also talks about my whole health story in the beginning and how I ended up healing from 10 years of chronic illness. It also talks about toxicity and how really the underlying issue was toxicity in my body, pesticides, herbicides in our vegetables and fruits, and growth hormones, antibiotics in our animal proteins and cheese. Everything from dairy to animal meat, anything like that, eggs. I switched to 100% organic in order to literally detox my life. What's interesting is some many people think detox is about starving yourself on a juice cleanse.

Dave: Yeah.

Amie: That's not it at all. That's a cleanse. When I had Lyme disease you have to detox. You have to get the bad stuff out of your body. A cleanse is going to do nothing, but get you even more sick. It's really about eating clean, getting enough sleep, Epsom salt baths, skin brushing, things that you can do to support your body on a daily basis. We're bombarded every day by even more toxins than we'd ever seen.

We probably do that all the time. From plastics to car exhaust to dryer sheets coming out, the smell of a new car, a new carpet. All these toxins are coming up and affecting us. There is something called MTHFR, which I read about in my book. We all have it, it's in our DNA. It helps you methylate every day and detox. Some of us are handicapped and can't detox. I'm missing one of the genes that doesn't allow us to detox. Kids with autism are missing two of the genes - 35% of people are missing one of them.

 Western medicine doesn't test for it. It's just amazing the other answers that are out there for people because they feel like they're not getting any answers, to show them that there's so much more beyond just regular standardized testing with western medicine.

Dave: This sort of ties back to our question today Karen wrote in. I liked her email because she recognized the importance of eating "healthy meals," and then basically said, "I want to eat more vegetables in particular, I just don't like them. The only thing I like is salads".

I was watching one of your videos on your website and you were talking about you started feeling frustrated as you were navigating through all these health issues. You've had to eliminate so many different vegetables that you personally enjoy. What would you say to someone like Karen who feels like her hands are tied behind her back? She doesn't like stuff. What would you recommend?

Create Flavors With Your Vegetables

Amie: It can be tricky. You really have to figure out how to create flavor without gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, anything that's bothering you. That was really really tricky for me. One thing that I did was, I tried to figure out, "Okay. What can I do? How can I start to create flavor in my life without all these things?"

I started looking for nuts and seeds that were creating creamy dips and spreads and using zucchini and eggplant and other ingredients like avocado and fresh herbs and different thing that I could start to use. You know, butternut squash. Things that I could start to use in a food processor that were really creamy and beautiful and really could compliment my food.

At the end of the day I was like, "This is exhausting and I can't even eat any of the condiments that are out there." I just started to really put the pieces together and make my own. I think making my own condiments is one of the best things. Even like a hummus recipe or even making a zucchini hummus or a butternut squash hummus or ketchup out of sun dried tomatoes. Things to get vegetables in other ways that are more creative.

Dave: I love that. One thing, you can probably speak to this as well, but I've noticed that as I refined my diet over the last 10 or 15 years my taste buds have actually changed so that some things that used to not seem as flavorful 10 years ago, all of a sudden they're full of flavor. Just because some of those hyper-flavorful sort of processed foods have been eliminated.

Amie: Oh, completely. It's fascinating isn't it. I'll be honest, 10 years ago I was drinking Diet Coke and eating Splenda and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and drinking Crystal Light, but my diet wasn't bad. I ate tons of vegetables. I was a healthy person, but I chewed gum, I had diet ... I had all these chemicals coming into my body every day. It was terrible.

Dave: I love that you mentioned that because I find ... You probably experience this as well talking with a lot of clients, people are trained to look at nutritional labels. I think that's fantastic, but the danger in that is we become so obsessed with macronutrients and calorie counting and those very high-level statistics that can say a food is healthy or not healthy. What you're talking about doesn't show up on a label ever.

Amie: I know. It's crazy isn't it? That's what's so scary. That's what scares me. You know?

It's Up To YOU To Find The Answers Your Body Needs

Dave: Yeah. When you were talking about earlier you said that as you were kind of healing your body, it became a full-time job. I know Karen who wrote in, if you're listening or anyone else whose kind of trying sort out a healthy diet, that might be a scary statement to hear someone like yourself. You're an expert chef. You've got all this trained background and you say it's a full-time job. What is someone who doesn't have your skills, what are they supposed to do?

Amie: You know what? That's why I work with people one on one and try to help them navigate their way through everything because you need a team. You need a team of doctors that are going to help you. I'll be very honest, no one doctor helped me. You have to find a team of doctors because they all specialize in different things, but you have to find somebody that specializes in exactly what you need and have them all work together, which is exhausting in itself. That's one of the biggest things.

You have to own your health. You really have to figure it out yourself and take notes. I had a binder with all my blood work and paperwork and all of that. Just be really, really organized. It's a lot of work. Once you find out what works for you and makes you feel amazing, why wouldn't you do that thing every day? It's really about finding what makes you feel good, and that's why I wrote my book.

To really pinpoint and show people, these are things that you can do to help you detox on a daily basis, and to help support your body's process on a daily basis, and really getting the good foods in. I think that's what so many people don't realize. Everyone is trying to fight against illness, but it's really you should be supporting your body's process, the ability of your body every day.

Don't wait for your body to get sick and then treat it. Prevent sickness with natural, healthy food

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Your body's detoxing every day in your urine, in your sweat, in your feces, all these different things. If we're being bombarded by all these toxins or not eating organic or eating seafood that's full of mercury and heavy metals, after a while, things are going to start to appear.

Dave: What I love you eluded to is that idea of we don't know what we don't know. Someone who doesn't know what it's like to feel digestively well or feel full of energy and experience that, it's really hard to even recognize, "hey, there's something wrong."

Amie: Yes. Exactly. That's one of the biggest things in my book, I take people for a 21 day elimination plan and then I also take them through a 7-day reintroduction process that's done very specifically, because people don't realize they're bloated every day or they have a headache, or it's not normal to take Advil a few times a week. It's not normal to take Mylanta a few times a week.

That is not normal. Your body should not be having these effects. I grew up, we all grew up with this advertising that it's normal to take Tylenol when you have sinus issues, and really it's Candida. If you have a stomach ache, take Mylanta or take a Pepto-Bismol, or you have a headache, take an Advil. It's crazy, isn't it?

Dave: I 100% agree. Again, it's that instantaneous response that we've accustomed to or expect. "I want my headache to go away right now," as opposed to figuring out why did it manifest in the first place.

Amie: Exactly, and we don't even know how to listen to our bodies. I'll have to be honest, the first energy healer I went to a few years ago is like, "Amie, you're not even in your body," and I was like "what the heck does that mean?" I literally was, "you're right, I'm not in my body." I am numb. I am working a corporate job, I am exhausted, I'm not in tune with my body, I'm just eating and shoving food down my throat to make it through my day, just to get through my day.

Excuse me, I hate to say it but that's 3/4 of our country. Everybody's stressed out and just doing ...Everyone is in survival mode. If you noticed that, everyone is just trying to survive. No one is really living and being.

I think it's so important to really focus on that.

Dave: Yeah, I agree. I had a guest on maybe a couple months ago, Glenn Johnson, he's a personal trainer, and he was talking about how our priority for eating has gotten sort of whack and sort of number one priority for most people is convenience or taste. Usually those 2 are interchangeable. It might be priority number 3 or 4 or 5 in terms of what it actually is doing for our body. He said that survival mechanism, I need it fast and I need it to taste good, and everything else is secondary.

Amie: Completely. Completely, yeah. It's unbelievable. I'm starting to learn now, I think my next book will be about the mind because your mind controls everything. We are all bombarded by past experiences or conditioning from childhood or traumas and things that we don't even realize we live this stuff in our head, and it's what really manifests all these health issues.

Dave: Getting back to Karen's question, she, again I like her perspective. She comes in knowing, "I need to clean up my diet and unfortunately, I just don't like eating healthy foods." I was mentioning to you, we like to finish this podcast with it, it's called the Make Your Body Work Takeaway, can you give some practical advice to people like Karen who want to make the change but they don't like the taste right now, what should they do?

Make Your Body Work Takeaway

Amie: My best advice if you don't like vegetables is to figure out what you like to eat. If you are more of a savory person, make a list for yourself ... Bake it up, savory or sweet. You're either savory or sweet. If you like both, you can choose one. If you like sweet, I want you to list all the fresh herbs and all of the spices that are sweet, and I want you to go do the same thing for savory.

Sweet would be like cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and apple pie spice and vanilla extract and almonds. Things that are naturally sweet. Savory would be more like walnuts or chili powder, paprika, rosemary, oregano, different things like that.

Dave: Can I jump in there for one second? I completely agree with you, but for I'd say, the vast majority of people out there, they would have no idea where to even start. Where can they do that? On your website, do you talk about that, what spices will satisfy what types of flavors like that?

Choose Between Sweet And Savory

Amie: You know, I don't. That's actually a great post that I should write. To break it down even simpler, actually, you should probably just do this, ask yourself what you like, sweet or savory. This is really getting down to get you to eat more vegetables. Think about all the ... Just go to Wikipedia and look up "vegetable." Look through all the vegetables, something like Brussels sprouts is obviously going to be savory but if you want something sweet, you can do something like make a mango salsa with mangoes and tomatoes.

It's really about trying to move in the direction of what your taste buds like, because I don't want to be giving people kale every day and they're going to be like "it's going to be awful," right? You want them to be able to enjoy what they're eating and enjoy the experience, that's half of it. If you're sitting there eating a perfect diet and you're miserable, you're not going to be healthy. It's mind and body together.

Really, look at all the vegetables, even if you just Google the word vegetables, you'll have a ton of pictures of vegetable, and go through and ask yourself, "savory or sweet, what do I really want?" Same thing with fruit, and combine different things to get yourself to eat what your mouth is really wanting. If you say "I want something sweet," you can look up on Pinterest or on Google strawberry smoothie or mango salsa, or strawberry recipes. The internet is just full of ideas.

Even if you just go to Pinterest. You know what I mean? Just to get you acclimated to different flavors and different creativity. Does that make sense?

Dave: You just knocked it out of the park. That is so practical and it's something that anyone can do. I loved your example of you throw Brussels sprouts and someone might have a connotation that Brussels sprouts taste bad because they saw that on TV, but just have them prepare them in a way that satisfies what their natural craving would be.

Throw Out Your Salt And Pepper

Amie: Exactly. What's interesting is you can change all of these foods around just with a few little switches. My best advice is throw out your salt shaker, your can of olive oil and your pepper, and invest in a really high-quality sea salt, freshly ground pepper with peppercorns in it, and a high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

If you just do those 3 changes starting today, you will eat any vegetable, I promise you. If you put olive oil on it, sea salt and pepper and put it in your oven and roast it, hands down, you will eat it because of the flavor profiles that come out with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, and a really, really good extra virgin olive oil.

If you don't like the taste, add flavor to your vegetables with quality spices. It's not difficult to start!

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Dave: I love it. You cannot get much more practical than that. That is awesome. Amie, I feel like we could go on and talk for hours, but can you, just for the sake of time, can you tell the listeners where can they find out more about you?

Amie: Definitely. My website is thehealthyapple.com, and I also am on social media, all Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, add The Healthy Apple. I'm going to give you the link to my landing page to purchase my new book if anyone's interested in a book that comes out on March 8th. It's called Eating Clean: The 21-day Plan To Detox, Fight Inflammation and Reset Your Body.

Dave: Perfect. Thehealthyapple.com, and then in this show, the absolute resources for this episode which you can go to at makeyourbodywork.com/31 and you'll see a link there that'll take you to Amie's brand new book.

Amie, thanks again for joining us today and for all your wisdom. That was really awesome.

Amie: Of course, thanks for having me. Have a great night.

Dave: Yeah. Thank you. Thanks again, Amie for joining us for this episode of the podcast, and for the really practical advice that you gave us. Thanks to you, listeners for tuning in each week. I just love serving you, I love bringing these expert guests that can help you improve the health, and just overall satisfaction that you experience in life.

I also want to say thanks to everyone who writes in each week with these fantastic questions. It's amazing hearing from you as you share your life and share your struggles, and share your victories. Again, without those questions, without your e-mails, and without your messages there would be no show. Please e-mail me anytime. Dave@makeyourbodywork.com.

Before we go, I just want to highlight our very special sponsor who brought this episode to us today, the guest that I had in podcast episode 27 were Neil and Tom and they're the founders of a company called Naked Snacks. Nakedsnacks.ca. If you go to makeyourbodywork.com/27, you can read about how to clean up your snacking habits and you can also take advantage of an offer that Neil and Tom gave to all the Make Your Body Work podcast listeners.

If you go to Nakedsnacks.ca and place an order for your own delivery of these healthy but delicious naked snacks, you can put in the coupon code, "makeyourbodywork" and you'll instantly save 33% off your orders. Again, that's the coupon code "makeyourbodywork." Go to Nakedsnacks.ca, place your order today and if you want to hear from Neil and Tom, visit makeyourbodywork.com/27, to listen to their podcast. Thanks again and I am excited to see you again here next week.

Thanks for joining me today!

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