Challenging the Food Rut

new foods 002

My regular bananas (right) and the ones I am trying (left).

Part of the quest for the better me is a quest to eat better and eat different.  The better is pretty obvious, but the different is somewhat less so.  In most things in life, I really like change.  I don’t want things to be the same.  I get bored easily and often switch things up.  Food is somewhat different.  I could eat the same food many days in a row without complaint–though once I’ve had enough, I don’t want it again for a long time.

This week, in an effort to get out of my “food rut”, I decided to try two new things.

First some background.  I teach a lot of student from all over the world, and the topic of food and how they miss food from their countries either comes up as a topic or arrives on my desk as a complaint from one of the students.  Whether justified or not, I give them time to vent and try to listen patiently.  Among the ranting and raving, they have told me about some food that sounds delicious, and I am excited to try.

One of these things are small bananas–they told me the name in their language, so I have no idea what they are called in English (finger bananas?).  I had never seen them until just the other day.  I cam across them in a store which caters to Asians, and very few of the fruits are named.  Nonetheless, after hearing about them so often, I decided to buy them.

As you can see from the picture, they looked pretty yellow and I assumed that they would be good to eat.  Unfortunately, I don’t think they were ripe enough.  They were hard and bitter.  I am going to wait a few more days before I try again.

The other interesting thing I tried relates to my lunch.  Last summer I had a lot of success changing my lunch meal from sandwiches to a salad containing chicken, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, peppers and grape tomatoes.  While this has served me well, a bunch of my well meaning colleagues have suggested ways to “improve” my salad.  The one suggestion that has caused quite a bit of debate centres around the addition of kale.  It has been describes as healthy, but pretty unpalatable–people used words like heinous, horrible and “not a good idea”, citing that the texture was akin to shoe leather.new foods 005

While in the same store as the small bananas, I considered buying a bag of kale.  I decided to ask a woman shopping next to me her opinion–partly because she was attractive and partly because after the comments about kale, I couldn’t get enough second opinions.  She mentioned the texture as well and steered me towards the mixed bag pictured above.

I tried the mixture in my lunch today and it was pretty good.  I didn’t notice much of a difference, but there was a unique taste in there.  I am ascribing it to the chard, rather than the kale.  I will be having it again tomorrow and Friday.  At least my apprehension is gone.

I am relating this story for several reasons.  The first is that I want you to know that I am doing things towards my improvement.  The second is to solicit information about these bananas.  The third is to encourage all of you to try something new.  Sometimes you win (chocolate soy milk) and sometimes you lose (coconut water).  Open yourself up to new things, even if they are small and inconsequential.

 There will be other things to try in food, books, activities, music and movies.  Next up for me (food wise)  are banana chips and coffee smoothies.

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About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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6 Responses to Challenging the Food Rut

  1. bribikes says:

    I don’t really like bananas, but I am pretty sure little bananas haven’t properly ripened until the peel is nicely brown.

  2. bribikes says:

    Also, from what I can tell from your picture I think you bought the manzano (which means apple, I believe) variety which are supposed to have a nice, complex flavor, but again I don’t know this from personal experience so I can’t tell you for sure 🙂

  3. bgddyjim says:

    Bananas are good cycling food, no doubt about that. As far as the rest, I prefer more mileage and great food. I love to ride but I ride to eat. 😎

  4. FoodChezNous says:

    You don’t like coconut water? It’s one of my favourites. Kale can taste good when blended with bold flavours: kale chips or a kale Caesar salad are great.

    • Anthony says:

      I only tried one kind of coconut water and ….it was quite the task finishing it. I didn’t find the baby kale to be particularly heinous, but I have not seen that same package again. I keep looking though. I will get around to trying kale chips this year–that I can promise.

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