9 July 2016

Overcoming Food Fears with Tilda Rice*

Overcoming anxiety-induced food fears with Tilda Rice and Pulses pouches. Nourish ME - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Overcoming anxiety-induced food fears with Tilda Rice and Pulses pouches. Nourish ME - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Overcoming anxiety-induced food fears with Tilda Rice and Pulses pouches. Nourish ME - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

It's fairly common knowledge amongst my close friends and family that I'm a 'fussy eater', but I rarely even attempt to explain why. I don't choose to 'turn my nose up' at things, or refuse to try a new food because I'm being obstinate on purpose, believe me. In the past few years I've extended my palate and the range of food that I eat massively, but to this day I still struggle to even consider trying new things, or changing the way I eat. 

My mental health and general anxiety are closely connected to the way I eat. I'm 100% an emotional eater, but it goes beyond just eating when I'm sad or happy or worried. There are certain foods I associate with happiness (watermelon and nachos, for example), and if I've had a bad day, then a 'normal' meal just won't suffice, and it might even end in tears because I haven't had one of my special meals that I associate with happiness.

This may all sound very strange, but it has a massive impact on the way I eat and what I choose to eat. Gradually over the past three years of our relationship my boyfriend and I have worked together to expand my idea of 'safe' and 'happy' foods, that I can eat to maintain a good mood, and I've started eating things I could never have imagined eating before. If you had asked me back in 2013 whether I would ever eat paella or sushi, I would have grimaced and replied with a firm 'nope', but now these, and other more adventurous foods, have a place in my diet. 

It's not even just the content of the food that my anxiety impacts, but the way the food is presented and eaten as well. Meals with lots of different components (e.g. a roast with meat, potatoes, stuffing and several types of vegetable) take me forever to eat because I have to have a mouthful that contains the right proportion of each type of food. This involves me chopping everything up into the 'right' size before eating it, and I just can't imagine not doing that. This is possibly the most irritating aspect of my food anxiety - if you're eating with me I WILL take forever.

As well as this, if I'm cooking for myself the different foods on my plate cannot be touching or piled on top of each other, unless it's a dish that is designed to be like that, for example, paella. So, it actually takes a little longer to plate up, and god forbid if anyone smothers my food in a sauce I don't like. 

New foods also pose quite a threat. It took two years of incessant persuasion for my boyfriend to even get me to try sushi, and then I discovered that I loved it ... whoops. This means that I'm *that* person that goes to a pizza restaurant and orders margarita, because I know I like it.

So, when Tilda Rice offered to send me some samples of their new rice and pulses pouches, I was more than a little nervous. They sent me: the chickpea, harissa and lemon pouch*; the pinto bean, green chili and lime pouch*; the edamame, spring onion and wasabi pouch*; the split pea, green chili and coriander pouch*; and the black bean, jerk and coconut pouch*. In essence, the pouches contain basmati rice with a sauce and a form of pulses.

Not only do some of the pouches contain new foods for me, but also everything was mixed. However, I had agreed to write this post, so I wanted (and needed) to push myself into trying to whip something enjoyable up out of these pouches of goodness. 

I'm not going to lie, I didn't enjoy all of them too much - everyone has their favourite and least favourite flavours right? Well I don't like barbecue sauce (I know, I know, it's a crime), so jerk sauce never goes down very well with me. However, the chickpea, harissa and lemon pouch was utterly divine, and I would actually repurchase it for a nice easy lunch when I'm feeling a little lazy. 

How did you overcome your food fears with them, I hear you ask? Well, for starters I didn't rush my sampling of them. I probably tried one every other day and decided not to put too much pressure on myself. If I didn't like it and couldn't finish it, that was fine, because I had put myself out on a limb to try it.  I also ensured that I had something I knew I liked to accompany it. With some I made a little curry sauce and chicken, and with others I had homemade chunky pasta sauce. Combining familiar flavours with these new ones definitely made them a lot easier to handle. 

Do you have any food fears like me?

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12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. It was an interesting read. I don't have fear foods, but I do tend to indulge on certain foods. It's a work in progress. The chickpea pouch sounds amazing. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. I;m glad you liked it. I totally have foods I like to indulge in too

      Steph x

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  2. I found this really interesting to read, I really like tilda pouches so I might have to give these ago! I don't have food fears as such but I also find that my eating is linked to my anxiety and mental health and sometimes, I just can't eat anything at all! I just grimace at every piece of food in front of me (even if I normally love it!) Thank you for sharing your experience! x

    Victoria | http://victoriaahelenn.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aww yay! Yes, they make for such an easy lunch. Mine definitely is linked, but hopefully one day I'll manage to sort that. You're welcome :)

      Steph x

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  3. It's great that you're working to overcome your food fears - sushi is too good not to love hehe :) These sound really good, I'm not huge rice fan but with other things it can be really tasty!

    Anoushka Probyn - A London Fashion Blog

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    1. I have to agree with you on the sushi front! Sushi is amazing haha. Definitely!

      Steph x

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  4. It's really helpful to read someone else talk about their struggles with food, so thank you for sharing with us hun. I've had food issues for as long as I can remember, and they're a mixture of my physical illnesses impacting on how I eat, but also my mental health (and eating disorder) giving me a lot of anxiety about the things I should eat. I cut food up into very small pieces because I don't really like chewing too much (it probably sounds daft, but I just hate that sensation of trying to continually chew something and it all going dry and horrible in your mouth), eat things in a certain order and have a lot of foods that I just won't go near (e.g. fruits with stones - I have a thing about not liking stones in food or food off the bone!) So yeah, it can make lift pretty difficult. It's good to hear that you've been able to push your boundaries over the last few years though, and some of these pouches sound really yummy. I might have to look out for them in the supermarket next time I go :)

    Jenny xx

    www.jaffacat.co.uk

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    1. I'm so glad you found the post helpful. I think we quite often gloss over how food can impact mental health aside from eating disorders, and actually it's quite important

      Steph x

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  5. Lovely post - thanks for sharing. I am extremely picky with the food, eating somewhere can make me slightly anxious because I want to know what actually goes inside my food! Actually, rice is one of my favourite things to eat, especially wild rice, probably could eat bowls and bowls of it haha xx


    www.hairwonderfulday.com

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    1. I actually only started eating rice in the last couple of years! It's so versatile that I use it all the time now

      Steph x

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  6. I'm the least picky eater in my family, but my issue is I have difficulty finishing my food whenever I go out to eat. It's not necessarily a bad thing I think, since I'm prefer eating small meals multiple times per day, but when you're out and everyone's noticing your unfinished plate, it gets a little embarrassing sometimes!

    By the way, I'm not a fan of barbecue sauce either! I love the sound of those rice pouches, and harissa and lemon sounds especially yummy.

    XO,
    Liyana | Affordorable

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    1. I like to eat lots of small meals too! The harissa and lemon one was absolutely gorgeous

      Steph x

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