#9: 3 Reasons I Don't Like Trying New Recipes.

New recipes aren't worth my time or energy.

I do not love trying new recipes.

How did I learn once and for all that I don't like trying new recipes?

I already knew this, I just temporarily forgot because I like to try new things, especially when it’s in an area of my life that could use an overhaul, and that area right now is nutrition. I eat well as in I eat high-quality, healthy food, but it often does not make me feel as good as high-quality, healthy food should make me feel. I wake up feeling dead-to-the world whether I go to bed at 8 p.m. or 11 p.m. During the day, I alternate between starving and parched, never just hungry or thirsty or sated. And my blood sugar is either spiking and giving me heart palpitations, or crashing and making me dizzy. I’m not diabetic, but I am clearly food-sensitive. And I'm tired of it.

To see what my nutrition program options were out there, I spent two hours reading through recommended nutrition plans for women. Almost all of them had ghastly combinations of oatmeal and multiple glasses of skim-milk and my least favorite pairing of all time—broccoli and chicken breast. The minute I see any of these ingredients as a menu staple, I know it’s not for me. I also question if any nutritionist actually recommends that diet, or if it’s just auto-generated site content. I was just about to give up when I found Crossfit which promotes the Zone diet which has a Paleo following. One of those Paleo Crossfit fanatics is Paleo Nick. He’s handsome. So I paid $14.99 to access his recipes for a month.

Up first, Thai shrimp soup because I love Thai food, the YouTube video made it look fun and easy, and Paleo Nick was so handsome that I just knew his recipe was going to be delicious. After work, I strutted up to my local market to buy the ingredients, proud of myself for being such a successful adult.

My market had everything except for shrimp stock and Thai chiles. PaleoNick helpfully anticipated my market’s dearth of shrimp stock, and suggested simmering shrimp shells in chicken stock for five minutes instead. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? It does until you get home from the market with one pound of fresh shrimp, shells still on. One pound of fresh shrimp is a lot of shrimp, and each slippery little bugger had to be peeled and deveined. Not only was it gross, it took a full hour. A FULL HOUR. And that does not include the time I spent watching YouTube videos on how to devein shrimp.

My market was also lacking Thai chiles. Feeling resourceful, I Googled a substitute, as in I typed “substitute for Thai chiles” into Google. The very first entry suggested serrano chiles. My market had a whole basket of glossy green serrano chiles so I grabbed the three called for by the recipe plus a few extras just in case I decided to, oh I don’t know, add a little heat to my morning smoothie since I was going to be a Thai food expert after making the soup.

To make sure the pepper wasn’t going to be too hot for my son, I tried a little piece before I tossed it in the broth. Okay, to be honest, I licked a little piece because some part of me just knew. And then I threw them all away. Not only were they way too spicy for my three-year-old, they were way too hot for his mama. Even two hours and multiple hand-washings later, flossing my teeth was painful because my lips burned everywhere my fingertips touched.

90 minutes and $83 dollars later, I had a giant pot of shrimp soup. Kaffir lime leaves floated on the surface, slices of lemongrass and ginger just under, and still it tasted only slightly more flavorful than water. And now I can articulate exactly why I do not love trying new recipes.

What's so lame about trying new recipes?

I do not love trying new recipes for three reasons.

  1. They are expensive because I usually don’t have most of the ingredients on hand because I usually just eat cheeseburgers for dinner.
  2. They are slooooooow. Food prep is time consuming because the techniques are new, and the ingredients are slow to assemble because I have to consult the directions every 2 minutes.
  3. They are often disappointing as there is no guarantee ahead of time that the recipe is going to taste as good as the professional photographs and videos make it look.

What else did I accidentally learn along the way?

Crossfit looks really fun. I asked my physical therapist what she thought about Crossfit and she said, “it’s getting better.” Apparently, Crossfit emphasized speed over form and a lot of athletes got injured. Now, with the right coach and the right gym, it is safer. She said if I wanted an intense group exercise experience, I might enjoy kickboxing. I’m sure I would.

To be fair to Paleo Nick, I only tried one recipe. It is not reasonable to make a conclusion based on one data point. And honestly, if I had bought the peeled and deveined shrimp from the market to start, the recipe would have been more enjoyable to cook. I’m going to try more recipes, but I will stick to simpler, faster, more familiar ingredients for now.

What were my sources?

I’ve started embedding the links to my sources directly into the blog post. Apparently it’s called “inlining.”