Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coffee, Hold the Sugar

I’m always hearing that my clients can’t eat right because they don’t like veggies or fruits, can’t give up their biscuits (hey, I live in the south) or can’t live without salt.

I remember backpacking when I was 15 and waking up to find that we had coffee (yeah, I was drinking coffee at 15) but NO SUGAR OR MILK. OMG. I had to have the coffee and found that it was the best coffee I’d ever had. When you’re backpacking with freeze dried food, you can see how this might be the case. I took my coffee black after that trip. On subsequent occasions, tasting it with sugar or milk, I found it to be terribly sweet and weak.

There is a subset of people who are genetically picky eaters. They are truly revolted by certain food, tastes or textures. But given my own experience, I was not surprised to learn that, without too much difficulty, most of us can be retrained to eat more veggies, less sugar and less salt. You might try some of these strategies.

* Increase vegetables by mixing your veggie with another flavor (spices, garlic, onion) or food that makes it more palatable.

* Take your coffee and breakfast cereal with less and less sugar over time.

* Gradually reduce salt and add other flavoring if you need it.

* To increase fruit try adding it to cereal where it will also serve as a natural sweetener, or make fruit smoothies.

* Try to make gradual changes if you’re trying to lose weight. Pass up the bread at restaurants. Then the dessert. And of course, be mindful.

Given that children may accept a new food after as many as 15 trials, why not adults? I think you will find that the more you try something, the more natural it becomes. After all, we give up alcohol, cigarettes, people, and various other things we thought we had to have. Once you start feeling healthier it becomes easier. So go from your Starbucks latte to a latte skinny, then a cappuccino skinny, and one day you may graduate to black. Decaf, of course.

And to get in the mood...Black Coffee, Sarah Vaughan

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