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BrittanyBrittany wrote on November 24, 2015 on 6:21 am:
Wow. I'm almost 21 and I have been struggling my whole life with this. With thanksgiving coming up, it had me thinking. So I just googled adult picky eaters and I can't even begin to explain how happy and relieved I am that there's other people just like me. I honestly felt so alone and embarrassed. I get anxiety when it comes to social eating situations. I absolutely dread when I get older and go to my significant others thanksgiving with his family. People have always made me feel like my eating habits are an inconvenience which is why I felt so alone. I literally started crying years of joy in just knowing I'm not the only one like this. Thank you.
LeanneLeanne from Leeds wrote on November 22, 2015 on 3:18 pm:
Yes thank you for this safe place!! I've always been picky with food. I thought it was due to being in control after my parents divorced when I was 7, However my mum tells me I was picky even before that. My young nephews seem to have the issue too. Which sadistically makes me feel better, that it's more of a genetic problem rather than me being the problem.
I've always been made to feel like I'm a nuisance but I have a fear of trying new food like I think it tastes bad before I've tried it. I'm scared that I would never get rid of the taste. I know it's irrational but I can't help how I am. Because this is me, I eat fruit and veg so I can be healthy I'm just not very varied when it comes to choosing a meal. I have got better, I do think that is down to surrounding yourself with the right non judging people who'll making feel at ease rather than shamed
MaddieMaddie wrote on November 21, 2015 on 2:10 am:
Ashee, I agree with you completely when it comes to thanksgiving. If you're a macaroni person like me, you might try the fried macaroni appetizer at California pizza kitchen. It's like macaroni surrounded by the breading from fried chicken.

I've noticed quite a lot of us selective eaters commenting about a fear or embarrassment of eating with other people, which makes me think maybe these food aversions might have something to do with social anxiety. While I'm able to eat in front of people, and don't avoid social situations because of food, I know I definitely have a hard time enjoying food if everyone makes a big deal about it, even if it's a food I like. If I know I'm going to be somewhere where other people decide the food options, I tend to bring along some backups just in case there aren't any plain bread rolls. (Weddings are a nightmare with all that "fancy" catered food) I think a significant part of the food issue is that we picky people don't want to feel like outcasts over what we eat. The more attention people put on us, the more our appetite diminishes. It's like being stared at while you're trying to sleep- you just can't get comfortable. In my attempts to acquire a taste for new foods, I've found trying things when I'm completely alone has been far more successful than trying things around other people. I encourage all of you to keep trying to find new things to eat. It may be difficult, but every success is worth the effort. You may have to try foods that some normal eaters would shy away from, but it's worth it. (I was feeling particularly brave one day and discovered that my mouth accepts breaded shrimp of all things, while I still can't handle the chewy texture of ham) Travel might also help: being in a foreign environment makes your brain more willing to accept unfamiliar things of many kinds. I hope you all find new and wonderful foods to eat!
MaddieMaddie wrote on November 21, 2015 on 1:11 am:
I'm a somewhat picky eater- not to the extent of health problems, but I struggle with all fruits, all vegetables, and some meats. Most restaurants seem to feel a need to make dishes more complex than they need to be (especially when it comes to macaroni, which is constantly given hot spices). I always feel awkward at family get togethers because of my eating habits. My extended family doesn't understand the problem, and they end up making me feel even more uncomfortable by pointing out the fact that I refuse to eat some foods. They are always saying, "just try it, it's good" about things that just don't look or smell edible to me. It's extraordinarily difficult to defeat the gag reflex I often get when trying a new food, so I always resist trying new things in social situations. I have, however, successfully chewed and swallowed corn, carrot, pea, a few blueberries, and small pieces of broccoli. I've also developed an acceptance of marinara sauce (although I still don't enjoy it). I still have a hard time chewing fruits or vegetables- it's really the texture that bothers me. I have found three ways to try things that don't trigger a gagging episode for me: swallowing small things whole, adding an unfamiliar flavor to soup, and a tactic where I try something way outside my comfort zone (like a vegetable), and then eat a whole meal that is still out of my normal range of foods, but closer to what I am accustomed to (like pasta with marinara sauce). The only other thing I know of that helps is to make sure you're intensely hungry before trying something new. Even steamed vegetables start to look delicious when you're in the midst of a hunger induced headache. If you're one of the people who only eats pasta plain or with butter, I suggest you try melting just a little bit of butterkase cheese over some noodles. It's a very mild cheese, with a buttery flavor. Swiss and gouda are also good mild cheeses. If flavor is what trips you up, try learning to play any instrument with a reed. New woodwind reeds taste pretty bad, so if you can get past that to play some music, you can get past most flavor issues.
AsheeAshee from San Marcos wrote on November 12, 2015 on 7:36 pm:
I'm so happy to find an actual support group for this. I'm 22 and all my life I've been told I'm spoiled, or that I will grow out of my picky eating but it never happened. A lot of times what other people call food just doesn't look or smell edible in any way to me. I HATE eating in public or ordering food in front of people because they always give me weird looks when everything I order is from the kids menu or "plain & dry". I hate Thanksgiving, that's always just family giving me weird looks when all I can eat is mac & cheese and rolls. I'm so so so so happy this place exists, thank you for a safe place.
MarthaMartha from San Antonio wrote on November 12, 2015 on 5:10 pm:
I was finally driven to find 'support' because I am seriously considering taking off work tomorrow because it is our annual Thanksgiving luncheon. I work for a small company and everyone brings a dish, dessert, etc. and there are many new people that have joined our company since last Thanksgiving that don't know about my 'issues.' I'm already dreading all the questions I'll get when people see me with only three things on my plate while everyone else's are overflowing. "Oh, don't you like green bean casserole?" or "Oh, yams are delicious! Why don't you like them?" Seriously, after 50 years of this I'm just so tired of feeling like an outcast.
BrittanyBrittany wrote on November 12, 2015 on 8:18 am:
Hello. My name is Brittany and I am 23 years old. Stumbling across your website is sort of like a godsend to me. I've been crying as I read, finally realizing I am not alone in this struggle. For as long as I can remember, I have had a strong aversion to most fruits, vegetables, and seafood, but not due to taste. The texture of these foods is simply too much for me to bear. I can handle cooked apples, bananas (on occasion), potatoes and onion rings (only because the crunchy outside masks the onion texture). Lettuce is a huge no-no for me. No matter how appetizing a salad may look, I can not even think of trying it. If there is a tiny shred of lettuce on a hamburger or taco, I know it immediately. This has proved extremely difficult for me and I want to see what I can do to overcome this massive obstacle.

I am so happy to have found your website and look forward to reading all of your stories. Thank you.
KayleeKaylee from Eagan wrote on November 11, 2015 on 5:34 am:
Hello everyone,
Recently my picky eating has gone to new levels. I have a very short list of about 8-10 food that I will eat. I do not try new foods, and also do not consume meats. The last month has been more difficult for me. If I am not in the mood for any of my 8-10 foods that I normally eat, then I will go days without eating. I eat again once I have found myself craving a food I enjoy. Through those days I do get hungry, and very frustrated with myself when my body would rather go hungry. When this happens I am often feeling very down and depressed, and also very emotional. Does anyone else have a similar issue with their eating habits? If so, how are you dealing with it? Should I considering talking to my doctor? Looking for anyone to help.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Some people live to eat and many of us eat to live. Sounds like you are stuck in the eat to live side of things. At the very least you need to find some way to get something in your stomach each day. You might want to try Ensure or Boost which aren't bad if they are very cold.

That's what I do when I don't feel like I want to eat. You must feed your body so you can be the best you can be. If you don't you could be in big trouble in a very short time span.

Bob K
AngelaAngela from Edinburgh wrote on November 9, 2015 on 4:49 pm:
Hello all x. I found this website doing another frantic search on the internet for ways to "cure" myself. Long story short, i had some reactions to foods 3 years ago & after many meds, miss diagnosises, i have been diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. The problem is, i was told it was allergies in the beginning and i have eaten the exact same foods day in day out at the exact same time each day. I eat a total of 5 things including butter. I havent had a veg fruit or anything containing sugar for a total of 3 years now. I cant shake the fear to try anything, ive seen specialists, dieticians and no one can help me. I have a complete fear of symptoms returning like swallowing difficulty & excessive mucus production to the point of choking. I cant shake it and i cant believe its not in fact allergies but all functional now. Ive lost a total of 5 stone and now struggle to fit into a size 4 uk clothing. Theres no joy to life, i had my own cake business which i lost last year due to this. I cook every day for my family, smell the food lovingly, pray for the day i can eat "normal" again, but it never comes. I have a panic attack just thinking about attempting to try something in my mouth. My doctors want to prescribe anti depressants but ive resisted. Im also afraid to take any kind of medication at all. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated. Its good to know im not alone as we just dont fit the "norm" of bullemia, anorexia ect. Thanks for reading x
Admin Reply by: Bob
This is very interesting to me. So for most of your life you ate as a normal person and only after your illiness did you start limiting the foods you can or will eat. Sounds to me like something in your brain was damaged and it is also the part of our brains that had this defect for most of us from birth. I wonder does a lot of the food now appear to you as something that is not food? I hope you can join our Yahoo group so we can discuss your issues with us more. We may be able to help each other understand more fully why we have so many problems with food. Bob k
MattMatt from Maryland wrote on November 8, 2015 on 8:48 pm:
Hi, I'm 49 and have been picky about food my whole life.
Thankfully my parents never pushed food or punished me for not eating everything, but if I stayed with relatives, they would try to punish me for it.
Asparagus? Yuck!
They would pester me to try it, or tell me that I'm “not getting up from the table until I cleaned my plate” or the ridiculous "we'll put it in the fridge and you'll eat it for breakfast" crap. It got so I didn't want to visit with them anymore, even though I loved playing with my cousins, I just didn't want to deal with the importance on food that they seemed to stress over and the stress it was putting on me.
As a kid I only liked only a few vegetables like peas, carrots, celery(sometimes if I felt like it), corn, potatos, sweet potatoes. But now I eat a lot more variety like all beans, green beans, spinach, eggplant(parmesan only), brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, okra, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes(yes it’s a fruit) and baby spinach and lettuces.
Back then I had some texture issues also, like strawberries. I loved the flavor of strawberries in ice cream or jelly but I couldn’t stand to eat one raw. It was slimy and full of those bothersome little seeds. I could only make my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with fruit jelly because fruit preserves had too much fruity gunk and seeds. The same thing with blackberries and raspberries but the dislike for the seeds in them was worse than strawberries. But now I love and prefer fruit preserves and don’t mind the seeds.
Raw apples I still have a texture problem with. I love the flavor of the juice of the raw apple but chewing the pulp and skin, Eeeyick. The pulp is so gritty that it feels like I have a mouthful of sand. After the apple flavor is gone, I just can’t bring myself to swallow the mass of skin and pulp and I have to spit it out before I begin to gag. I’ve never had a problem with cooked apples, like apple pie, apple cobbler, applesauce is all fine. Raw pears are even grittier. Eww.
My problem now is that certain aroma’s still make me queasy and sick. If I can’t get past the smell, it’s not going in my mouth, period. I hate it when people say “C’mon, it doesn’t taste anything like it smells.” And I say to them, “Yea, prove your theory to me by eating a plate of some fresh steaming dog poo.” That pretty much shuts them up.

I’m not as picky as I used to be as a kid but there are certain foods that I'll never eat such as:
“Mayonnaise” and any foods made with it. Which pretty much excludes all pre-made sandwiches, and of course any creamy based salad dressings or products such as macaroni salad, potato salad, egg salad, etc.

“Mustard”. Or mus-TURD as I like to think of it. All kinds including honey-mustard and powdered mustard used in recipes.

“Mushrooms”, “olives”, “green, red and yellow peppers”. On a pizza, I can pick off the mushrooms and olives, but if there were peppers on it, I’m not going to eat it because the pepper flavor completely contaminates the pizza.

Anything and everything “pickled” is a non-starter for me. Smells awful and tastes even worse. I just hate all the vinegar-i-ness of it. Relish’s and chutney’s are on this list as well. Although vinegar used as an ingredient such as ketchup or other recipes I’m fine with. Also I’m fine with a little bit of sweet vinaigrette on a leafy salad now that I kinda like to eat lettuces. Only recently, in the last 2 years have I begun to eat leafy salads. I still struggle with it sometimes. Also can’t stand the smell of vinegar. makes me want to puke. I have to leave the room or building if someone is cooking or cleaning with it.

“Organ meats”. I have never tried it and never will. Call me closed minded, I don’t care.

“Lamb”, “Venison”, “game birds(geese, duck, etc)”. Nope, nope and nope.

“Coffee”, “IPA beers” and other bitter flavored drinks I can’t stand. I can’t drink straight liquor either. It has to be mixed with something sweet, like fruit juices or something.

“Hot-Spicy” foods are also off the list. If i detect any heat or burn in my mouth, it’s over. I can’t enjoy my meal if I have to experience pain while chewing and swallowing it. No thank you. This particular category of food seems to get the foodies incensed when I say that I don’t/won’t eat spicy foods. This where I get the “What? Really? What’s wrong with you?” or “You have a boring, bland palate.” comments. This would include all Indian and Thai food, Jamaican jerk sauce, jalapeños, habaneros, red pepper flakes, buffalo wing sauce, you name it.

The last thing I just won’t eat which seems to piss off the foodies the most is, “Seafood”. It seems to be the one food group that most people just can’t get over myself,(and my wife), not liking, and the one thing that seems to cause the most stress. People will say to me, “Oh, you don’t like seafood, but you like shrimp, right?” or “You don’t like seafood because you haven’t been served really fresh seafood” or “You don’t like salmon because you haven’t had my salmon made my special way”. But when I tell people that I hate seafood, they seem to think that I’m broken and that it’s their mission to fix me somehow. Nope, I just hate all seafood, including seaweed(nori, miso). It’s not just seafood but all water borne plants and animals which includes fresh water fish and crustaceans as well. I’ve tried fish sticks, shrimp and salmon as a kid and have always been extremely disgusted by it. To me all seafood has this one prevalent thing, a certain flavor and smell, which can only be described as, “The Ocean”. And I don’t want the smell and taste of the ocean in my mouth. I won’t eat Thai, Vietnamese or other southeast asian dishes because of a staple ingredient that’s used in almost all those foods. “Nam Pla”, better known as fish sauce. It’s used in most seafood and non-seafood dishes like beef, chicken and pork entries and side dishes. So even though it’s not officially a seafood dish, it has seafood in it. So I just avoid it altogether. I also avoid Worcestershire sauce because the main ingredient is anchovies. My wife however, whom also hates seafood, doesn’t mind Caesar salad dressing and Worcestershire sauce in her food. One time she revealed to me that she always uses Worcestershire sauce when she makes hamburger patties. After that revelation, I now refuse to eat her hamburgers and meatloaf. Finally the smell of seafood is so vile and offensive, that I’ve had to walk out of restaurants and people’s houses to be able to completely escape it. To me it’s the same as smelling something dead and rotting.

I’m a proud picky eater these days.
I don’t lie to people and say I’m allergic or say I have digestive issues.
I used to try to tell white lies about it, but then something clicked in my mid-20s and I said to myself that “this is just who I am, accept it, or don’t.” I tell people that I simply just don’t like to eat it and that’s that. If people try to belittle or shame me, I fire back with witty comments like the dog poo comment I mentioned earlier or if they refuse to drop it, I’ll get angry and tell them to STFU. Other times I just tell people that it’s not a topic I wish to discuss anymore ever, and that I’m all talked out about it.
I’m 49, and nobody, nohow is going to change me now.
I don’t worry about insulting anyone anymore either.
If I’m invited to private dinners, I let the host(s) know that “I’m a picky eater and I might not be able to eat, or even try all the foods offered”, but to not worry or think that they have to make any special exceptions for me.
I’ve never had an intimate relationship fail because of my picky eating but I have had to break off friendships because some would like to out me and put me on the spot in front of other people or they prepared a meal for me and then revealed a disgusting ingredient they put in it knowing full well that I would’ve vehemently objected. When that happens, our friendship is over. I can never, trust that despicable person ever again.
Do I eat unhealthy things? Yes.
Am I overweight? A little.
But I’m not starving to death and don’t need any counseling or therapy to overcome my pickiness. I’m happy and enjoy the foods that I like and I’m comfortable with my food choices.
Anne WilsonAnne Wilson from London wrote on October 31, 2015 on 4:04 am:
Hello. I'm 48 and have always been an extremely picky eater. Like many of you I have struggled and been embarrassed and unable to go places because of my eating.
Unfortunately most of the stuff I do eat is unhealthy and fattening: bread and peanut butter. Lunch breakfast and supper. Occasionally French fries added. I fill up with chips almost Every night. It's difficult for me to go on a diet.. I have recently thought of going to a therapist or a nutrientist. I wonder if I can change?? I never thought of changing before. I have always accepted that I will only eat a variety of a handful of things forever.
But I am overweight and would like to get healthy.
I'm hoping to learn of any one here actually facing your fear and try new foods and continued to eat them.
Thanks
SunSun from Germany wrote on October 29, 2015 on 9:10 am:
Hello! I've got a question: who is a picky eater and pregnancy? Is it possible?
(sorry , my English is very bad :-) -
Admin Reply by: Bob
We have lots of female members in our support groups who had no problems with pregnancy and they have delivered very healthy children. Our loved ones sometimes think if you become pregnant they can now force you to eat the way they think you should be eating.

In any pregnancy you should be under the care of a doctor to make sure everything is OK. A fetus will get what it needs to thrive in the womb.

Come an join one of our support groups and discuss your situation with our great group members.
KatieKatie from Allen, TX wrote on October 28, 2015 on 5:48 pm:
So happy to have found this site. I'm 38 years old and to say that my eating is frustrating would be an understatement. What I would give to change. My father passed away when I was 10 but I remember him having similar issues so I've always wondered if it was hereditary. I have struggled throughout the years with social settings as well as family members who just say I'm acting like a spoiled child. But now it's become more. I'm trying to work out but lack the energy needed because I can find anything to eat. Nothing sounds good anymore. Well exempt french fries and carrots. Neither of which build muscle. My husband worries about my weight and others think I have an eating disorder. I am in the normal range for my weight and I promise I eat. Just not around them and not enough I agree. I wish there was a pill with all the nutrients necessary for a healthy diet I could take each morning and be done. So frustrated!!!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Glad you found us. I think some of the members in our support groups should be able to help you.

Bob K
Laurel AckermanLaurel Ackerman from Arlington, MA wrote on October 21, 2015 on 7:26 pm:
I am so glad to have found this site. I have my own picky eating issues, which have abated a bit over the years but still are there to some measure. But my 12 year old son definitely falls into the SED category and it is incredibly frustrating. I worry about his health (although his doctor says he's fine/will be fine), and his growth (he is small). But mostly I worry about the social implications. It's hard for him to be at parties, and people (mostly relatives) do not understand the situation and put a lot of pressure on him to "just try it", not understanding that it's beyond that. I'm hoping to find coping support here more than any fixes.
BrittanyBrittany from Tauranga, New Zealand wrote on October 8, 2015 on 5:38 am:
I'm so glad that I am not the only one out there who is classed as a picky eater! I am only 19 years old and have always struggled when people comment about how fussy I am. I do not like the word 'fussy' or 'picky' I prefer selective. The only fruit I eat is green apples and the only veges I eat are potatoes and corn on the cob. I will eat most meats but only if it is cooked in certain ways. I cannot drink hot drinks but I love fizzy. I eat lot's of junk food, however not a wide variety of it. For example, I do not like pizza! I can't explain why I am like this. At first I thought it was different textures of food that put me off but then I realized that most foods somehow do not look like food to me and I won't even try different food as I am quite happy with what I eat. Social events are the worst. Going to sleepovers as a kid I had to make sure to pack 2 minute noodles or a packet of pasta in case I didn't like what they were having for dinner which was the majority of the time. Also when going out for an event at a fancy restaurant is annoying and I always check the menu before going to make sure they have something I like which is usually fries. I also do not like the taste of alcohol so whenever I get invited to drinks I will come up with a reason I can't go because I feel left out otherwise. I am healthy but do worry that my selective eating will cause my health to diminish in the future. I loved reading other guests comments on their experiences and I feel better about finding other people like me :)
JackieJackie from United Kingdom wrote on October 6, 2015 on 1:32 pm:
So glad I came across your website, so hard to find help in the UK, I am the mum of an 11 year old Selective Eater who has been this way since 4 years of age, he struggles daily and it breaks my heart, he desperately wants to try new foods but says he cant, I have to prepare his food and he has a fear of eating in public, recently went on a scout trip for two days and ate nothing. He eats chips, cheese, lentil soup and mash potato and hot dogs, but they all have to come from a certain maker, about to seek help from the medical profession and hope they can point me in some direction to help my son overcome his fear of food.
NicoleNicole from Toronto, Canada wrote on September 28, 2015 on 10:03 pm:
I have struggled with my extreme picky eating for basically my whole life. I'm 23 now and have been growing progressively more and more frustrated with my very limited diet and how negatively it has affected my life, especially now as a young adult. Like so many of you I have been tormented my whole life about it; “How are you still alive?” “You know nothing bad is going to happen if you just try it, what’s the big deal?” “Don’t you want to change?” “You don’t even know what you’re missing” and so many other comments/questions that can often times be very embarrassing and even hurtful. Carrying around this shameful secret which causes me so much anxiety on an almost daily basis has become exhausting. I’ve been desperate to change for a long time, but after so many failed attempts and setbacks I was starting to think it was hopeless. Certain events in my life over the past two years have lead me to embark on a journey to take back control and put my all into improving myself so I can live my life to the fullest. Today I decided to do some research online in an attempt to better educate myself and seek possible treatment options. It never crossed my mind that I would find an online community of people who are picky eaters supporting one another and sharing information. I am overcome with emotion. I cried reading some of the stories posted in this guestbook because I felt such an intense sense of relief knowing that there are other people out there who have been through the same struggle that I have. To know that I’m not the only one, that others have felt the embarrassment, guilt and pain that can come along with being a picky eater has changed my perspective for the better. Thank you so much for sharing your stories, I’m so grateful. I look forward to using this site and all of its resources to help me along my journey.
MaddieMaddie wrote on September 27, 2015 on 8:59 pm:
I'm frequently considered to be a picky eater. At the moment, I can't even try most fruits and vegetables without triggering a gag reflex, and I don't eat meat very often. I also don't like marinara sauce on pasta. I'm healthy, but it is upsetting struggling to order at restaurants. It also doesn't help that family members keep bringing it up at dinners, saying things like, "won't you get scurvy if you don't eat fruits?" I wish they realized how rude that is.
TraceyTracey from Maryland wrote on September 24, 2015 on 4:42 pm:
What a relief to know that I am not the only one. I only recently heard about ARFID and SED so all this time I thought I was just plain weird. Maybe I am, but now I feel a little better about it. I am 55 yrs old and in great health, always have been, had 2 healthy kids and I have a lousy diet. It consists of french fries, hot dogs, peanut butter, buttered noodles, milk and pepsi. I cannot eat any seasonings other than salt, I cannot drink anything hot or even warm. I do like nuts. I never eat any vegetables whatsoever, anything with sauce or gravy is out of the question. Everyone always asks me how I am alive. I don't know, but I am and I'm happy and healthy but have always dreaded all the events surrounding food, which obviously most things include. Anyway, thank you for having this website, I feel so much better.
Valerie BValerie B from Roanoke wrote on September 15, 2015 on 3:42 am:
Finally! People like me! I have been picky my whole life and always made to feel something was wrong with me. If I hear "you just need to try it" one more time I will scream. I am 40 years old, I know what I like. I will not eat fruit of any kind or drink the juice. I can tolerate orange juice if it has 0 pulp. I like how fruit smells but the texture is too much for me. Also raw vegetation is an absolute no and anything with seeds in it. I like a few cooked vegetables but that is all. And I absolutely cannot stand pickles anywhere on my plate or near my food and mustard is included. I have always been like this. My parents would force me to try things and it makes me gag causes me anxiety. My mother would even tell you that I refused apple sauce as a baby. I have worked hard to find something to eat at most restaurants. Business functions are awful as food usually comes pre ordered. My husband will eat anything and my pickiness drives him nuts. I wish I could eat different things. It can look good and sometimes smells good but I cannot get past how it feels in my mouth and in my mind. It is even hard for me to cook or touch these foods. I just don't want to be bullied by it. I survive on a limited variety and what I refer to as nursery food. It is nice to know I am not alone anymore.