I've been on paleo for a couple months now, more or less, and I've got a problem. I'm a terribly picky eater when it comes to meat. I hate seafood. I hate beef, except for the uncured hot dogs I sometimes buy, which don't taste or feel like ground beef or steak. Don't like lamb at all. Don't like pork at all either, except for bacon, which again doesn't taste or feel like most other pork. While I can choke down a couple bites of lamb or pork if I have to, I can barely even swallow beef or seafood. I think I could do okay with beef broth and the like, however.
I've mostly been sticking with chicken breasts, the occasional sausage or piece of uncured bacon, and supplementing with fish oil. Besides the nutritional issues, I'm just plain getting bored with chicken.
Any suggestions, either animals or parts I've been overlooking, or recipes where the meat doesn't, well, taste much like it usually does? No nightshades, please, dairy (tried reintroducing that; didn't go well), or seafood. I know, I know, fish is good for me, but one thing at a time.
You're overthinking it. You're afraid of it. You ate nothing but bread and pasta as a child, and you haven't grown out of that childish, irrational prejudice about "gross foods."
Stop thinking. Eat meat. Don't be afraid. Eat meat. Grow up...meat is delicious. Find someone that's a good cook to convince you that this is so. Grow up.
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but your language ("I can choke down") is very personal. It's not the meat (which IS delicious), it's you. YOU have to change. The world won't change. "I don't like..." Why not? Fix that and you can eat ANYTHING! Now I'm not saying be Andrew Zimmern and eat testicles for lunch all the time. But really, steak? You're missin' out.
My recommendation, just eat meat. All kinds and ways of preparing it. You don't like meat now because you aren't eating it. If you just ate it, you may not like it, but you'll get used to it.
I only say this from experience. When I was in boot camp, I ate the worst food for 8 weeks but got used to it. No big deal until my first weekend out of boot camp, I went to a restaurant and had one of my favorite meals. Then, for whatever reason, I had to deploy early and was right back to eating the same crap. The food was worse the second time because I had a break from the crap food. After another 2 weeks on deployment, I was eating my fill of crappy tasting food and enjoying it - because there was nothing else.
This is an interesting chapter from a book by a food critic who worked on overcoming [his own food aversions] in order to be a more fair reviewer.1
He suggests trying everything seven times.
It sounds to me like it's a mouth feel/texture issue as she said she thinks she can eat beef broth - which tastes like beef. Yeah this is something you're going to have to get over, I've been having this conversation with my son a lot lately too. He refuses to eat a lot of what I cook so he ends up eating hard boiled eggs, deli meat and cheese instead of a good dinner. I keep telling him he's almost 15, it's time to grow up and eat adult food!
What about stews? Potroast? Thinly sliced roast beef? If sausage is the only way you can handle it, perhaps find a good butcher or make your own for each meal. My family eats a lot of sausage, it's a delicious way to incorporate protein and fat. Why do you hate fish? Have you ever had really fresh fish? What about bland white fish? My husband refuses to eat salmon, but will eat tilapia, halibut, swordfish, cod, haddock, mahi mahi, and other white fishes. FRESHNESS MATTERS! Un-fresh fish is super nasty. And I can't stand canned tuna, though I love fish. I make patties out of canned salmon and albacore (better quality fish tastes less "fishy" and is less smelly). Future boy was a little harsh, but he's right - you have to grow up. I cannot stand the taste of liver. I spit out foi gras that I didn't have to pay for. Yet, I ordered one (cow's liver, not goose) and will eat it simply because it's good for me. You may be cooking it wrong. You may just be like my sister, and if that's the case, I'm very sorry. Anyhow, I hope this has been of help.
I had this "problem" after being a vegetarian for 5+ years and needing to eat meat for my health. I stuck with just plain chicken breast for at least six months before I could stomach red meat. I still don't like pork, and fish grew on me after I hit my 20s (I was a very picky eater growing up).
Try cooking some chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper in the oven. It's very mild and you can just pick at it during lunch or dinner for the next few days. It helped me get used to the "umami" flavor of meat.
Not to be too abrasive but I agree with futureboy. Just eat meat. It's just food. And your everyday meals don't necessarily have to be the most mind-blowingly delicious thing you've ever put in your mouth, you know?
That said, I also think you can get over picky eating. You just need to keep pushing yourself and with time the food aversions will probably go away. I used to be a incredibly picky child and drove my parents insane with my refusal to eat pretty much any vegetables or meats/fish until I was in my early teens. But those things now form the vast majority of my diet. Why? Because I sucked it up, realised I couldn't eat like a child (i.e. exclusively for taste) forever, and started eating those foods I used to hate. A lot of them are now favourites. You can change your palate if you want to.
I will say that it's worth taking time to learn to cook really well. Poorly prepared/overcooked meat and fish are pretty gross. You might also try going longer between meals. If you're genuinely hungry surprisingly few things taste terrible.
I can't say that I agree BUT I can see where you are coming from. I like meat but hate fatty oily things ( cut fat off steaks, don't like butter, don't like bacon grease, hate the skin of chicken, so on). I can accept that some of the revulsion is probably in my head from being conditioned to think fat is bad (which might be the same for you) But a large portion is just my taste preference. I've been struggling the last couple weeks to eat more fatty foods and while I have more energy I feel worse overall - bloated and stomach issues. Finally I just decided that maybe I will never be a 50-60% fat eating paleoite.
To me it's not worth it to hate what I'm eating and in order to keep eating paleo I'm just going to have to increase my fat in other ways ( and be happy to reach 30% fat) Maybe this is the same for you. Before giving up on meats though how about try other options like rabbit or other fish. I know many people who hate seafood in general but have a couple exceptions. How about duck or goat? Like other posters cook it many ways since so much depends on the prep. Also, I know you mentioned no dairy ( I am lactose intolerant as well) but have you considered goats milk?
i dont have exactly the same issue, but i didnt grow up eating a lot of meat (we didnt have a lot of money), then i was veg*n for most of my adult life. i did start eating meat about ten years ago, but only out a restaurants or something as my husband has been vegetarian, too. maybe once a month or so. then, i went paleo about 8 months ago or so. it was a HUGE adjustment for me and my whole family to be not only eating meat every day, but buying it and cooking it as well.
i often find myself gagging on meat if i think about it too much. i have to say though, that it has been getting much better with time. two things have helped; just eating it because i know its healthy for me and being paleo has had enormous health benefits. eat whatever meat you can tolerate and when you become accustomed to that, try to add in something new. as you start to experience the benefits of being paleo, its a lot easier to commit.
the other think that helped was just learning more about meat. i got a few cookbooks/food books and i read a ton of blogs about food. i just read and read and read. i still gag on muscle meat sometimes when i think about it too much, and im nowhere even close to offal or sucking on a marrow bone. sometimes i have to just abandon my plate and walk away from it ( i left two of my five little steak tips on my plate last night and couldnt get myself to finish it), but generally things are a lot better. knowing also that its purely psychological helps, too. you do have to sort of just "get over it", but find the path of least resistance. good luck!
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