Introducing… Lauren Vs. Food!


Trying scary foods for the first time!

I am the anti-foodie.

If it were possible for humans to exist without needing food, I wouldn’t eat at all. I don’t enjoy eating and a lot of different types of food freak me out.

In part, I blame my mother for my lack of interest and excitement in food. Growing up, we lived on a lot processed food for much of my childhood and that’s all I’ve ever known. Every dinner was a frozen ready meal or similar and our microwave was her best friend. Whenever we ate out, we choose somewhere “safe”, somewhere with pizza or burgers on the menu – things that I would order 99% of the time.

But the blame doesn’t lie entirely with her.

It’s how she was brought up by her mother, and so she suffered from the exact food issues as me when she was a child. From speaking to her recently she told me that every day of the week, she knew exactly what would be served for dinner:

Monday would be fish, Tuesday – sausages, Wednesday – pasta, Thursday – burgers, Friday – take out, Saturday – beans on toast, Sunday – casserole.

That’s what she ate every single day for much of her childhood.

We’re a family of bland eaters.

So by her not having had any real experience with different types of food, she didn’t feel the need to try anything new or encourage her children to either. Apparently I was a pretty fussy child, though, so even when she did try to encourage me to branch out, I would refuse to try new things.

Sympathise with my Dad. My Dad adores all types of food, from all different countries. I think he realised that he was going to have some difficulty when, on his first date with my Mum, he had to introduce her to pizza! At 18 years old, my Mum had never had pizza!

The first reaction I got from my friends when telling them all about my trip was, “but what are you going to do about the food?!”. They found it hysterical that I was going to be travelling all around the world, and yet had never eaten the most basic of foods.

To give you some idea of just how inexperienced I am with trying different foods…

  • I have eaten rice FIVE times in my whole life. Yes, five. And by times I mean picking up a grain of rice and resting it on my tongue for a few seconds. I don’t think I actually even swallowed it. I hate the smell of curry and rice reminds me of that smell so… I’m definitely nervous about heading to Asia.
  • I’ve never eaten an egg. Never.
  • I tried Chinese food for the FIRST time in my life this year. Likewise, I only tried Indian and Thai food within the last few months. And I’m not really sure I can call it trying them because I had them at a buffet restaurant that serves Chinese, Indian, Thai and Italian food. Well, I really liked Chinese food, Indian food was TOO SPICY, and Thai food tasted… Strange.

Judge me, please. I judge myself for being so terrible with food!

Trying scary foods for the first time!

Knowing all the different food I’m going come across on my trip is somewhat of a concern for me.  It’s either going to be amazing and I’m going to discover all these wonderful foods that I could have easily gone the rest of my life not knowing about, or it’s going to be a complete disaster and I won’t eat a thing for months and months!

Strangely, I’m really excited about it.

Despite my lack of experience, I am still willing to try absolutely anything and everything on my trip. I can’t think of much I wouldn’t try, and even though I probably won’t like half of it, it’s going to be absolutely hilarious trying it all. One of the first places I’ll be visiting on my travels is Australia and already I’ve been scared by the stories my Australian friends have told me about food — Vegemite, kangaroo, shark…

After realising that my experiences with food are unique, and there is literally NOBODY I know who is as bad with food as I am, well, the only logical thing to do was to start up a food section on my blog:

Lauren Vs. Food.

I have a feeling food is going to win a lot…

So wherever I am in the world, if I see something completely insane or terrifying – or even something as simple as an egg (hahaha), I’m going to try it, I’m going to blog about it and video myself eating it too!

Everyone tells me that by the time I return back home, I will detest all the old food I used to love and have evolved into Miss Worldly, eating crazy, foreign foods every night of the week. I’m doubtful, but anything can happen, and it should be a lot of fun experimenting.

As I said above, I’m happy to try pretty much anything I’ll come across on my trip, so if you have any suggestions for me or if there’s something completely insane that you want me to eat while I’m out there, leave a comment and let me know and I’ll do my best to hunt it down!

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35 Comments

  1. Arjun Ray
    July 13, 2011
    Reply

    Well Lauren, ARE YOU SERIOUS?! I’m in a state of complete shock & disillusionment!! :O But now that u’ll be all across, I’m sure post ur trip u’ll be more cosmopolitan towards cuisines… As for Indian food, stick to lentils and kababs and Indian bread, these wouldn’t be spicy… Remind me to eat and come when we go on a date… ;D

    • Lauren
      July 13, 2011
      Reply

      HAHAHAHA, best reaction ever… Too funny!

      Yes, sadly it is true… (I think I had a kebab a month or so ago and thought it was spicy… :/) Lentils and bread it is then! :P

  2. Sunee
    July 13, 2011
    Reply

    That’s insane, lol. However do you manage to keep your figure with all that junkfood? And I can’t believe you’ve never had an egg, that’s almost like my staple diet, hehe.

    I think you’ll have loads of fun experimenting and trying out new things. Who knows, you might come back weighing 40 kgs more than when you left, the world’s biggest fan of food :)

    • Lauren
      July 13, 2011
      Reply

      Hahahaha, I have a TINY appetite, so I barely eat much as it is. LOL, an egg… Yeah, that’s kinda pathetic, should sort that out soon :)

      Oh my god, I really hope I don’t come back really fat hahaha! :P

  3. Toni
    July 13, 2011
    Reply

    I think I’m going to join the bandwagon and say that I am totally stunned by your lack of culture eating haha. And you call yourself British?! =D Get used to it girlie…you’ll be sick of ordinary food in no time at all =)

    • Lauren
      July 13, 2011
      Reply

      I know, it’s terrible!! If I wasn’t going on this trip I bet I’d have spent my whole life never trying any foreign foods! :)

  4. Kerri
    July 13, 2011
    Reply

    Haha..got to laugh at myself first – Before I commented.. I actually typed “Name” into the name box.. Spaz!!
    But to your blog! Can’t believe you haven’t tasted more foods… Oh your gonna have so much fun tasting it all! And all us followers will have so much fun watching your facial expressions as you taste it!! Can’t wait!

    • Lauren
      July 13, 2011
      Reply

      That’s hilarious, sounds like something I’d do! :D

      I’ve already had someone tell me I have to eat a tarantula…. This is NOT going to be fun for me! :)

  5. Annie
    July 13, 2011
    Reply

    I was pretty sheltered in the food department for a long time until college but now foreign food is my favorite!!

    Good luck, I’m interested to see what you like and don’t like!

    • Lauren
      July 13, 2011
      Reply

      Glad that I’ve found someone else who was as terrible as me with food! I was beginning to think I was a lost cause! :)

      It will be funny if I end up loving all foreign food and hating all the crap I used to love.

  6. Kris Koeller
    July 13, 2011
    Reply

    We make a point of eating at a McDonald’s at least once in every country we visit. There’s an amazing variety outside the US, and, of course, its clean, cheap and usually has good WiFi.

    • Lauren
      July 13, 2011
      Reply

      Mmmmm, don’t tempt me, I kinda want to do this too!

  7. John
    July 13, 2011
    Reply

    Nice! I was hoping you would make a “lauren vs. Food” post like we talked about! Can’t wait to hear about your experiences! Wishing you all the best!

    • Lauren
      July 13, 2011
      Reply

      Thanks John! :)

  8. Odysseus
    July 14, 2011
    Reply

    I was actually a lot like you. I sometimes joke that I ate nothing but peanut butter sandwiches until I was 18. But the more I travel, the more “weird” food I eat and to my surprise after YEARS of being a picky eater — I never even tried cheese until I was about 23 — I absolutely LOVE all the different tastes around the world. The difference between processed food and fresh food is incredible. After moving to Korea, to my surprise, it turns out I like vegetables — something I never realized when people would serve them to my from a tin can back home (gross).

    • Lauren
      July 14, 2011
      Reply

      Ah, that’s great! Maybe there’s still hope for me yet! :)

  9. Alouise
    July 14, 2011
    Reply

    You’re comment about never having eaten an egg reminded me of the movie Julie and Julia where the main character is trying to make poached eggs, and she’d had an egg before either. I think she was 29, and it was a true story, so you’re definitely not alone in that.

    I love Indian food. My advice is start off mild, and eventually you’ll be able to do something a little spicier.

    • Lauren
      July 14, 2011
      Reply

      Yeah, the problem is that having never had any type of spicy food before, even the smallest amount sets my tongue on fire! But yeah, gotta work my way up slowly! :D

  10. eGichomo
    July 14, 2011
    Reply

    Hey L,

    It’s funny you’ve never eaten an egg.. really? lol. Well, start with an egg. you can even boil it.
    I haven’t eaten lots of foreign food neither so i’ll be watching out to your experiences. Don’t mix so much tho, your stomach might react and keep u in the loo.. we don’t want that for your trip now :)
    Enjoy!

    • Lauren
      July 14, 2011
      Reply

      Hahaha, oh I don’t know if I’m brave enough to eat an egg yet, it’s so daunting! :P

  11. Runaway Brit
    July 14, 2011
    Reply

    You won’t be able to avoid eggs in SE Asia most hostels have fried eggs on baguettes, or omelette, as their breakfast offering.

    You might want to avoid eating a foetus egg though (or maybe you don’t!!). It’s a big thing in Vietnam so if you buy an egg from a street stall, that’s probably what you’ll get.

    Good Luck :)

    • Lauren
      July 14, 2011
      Reply

      Oh no!! I’ll have to get used to them quickly then! :D

      Foetus egg… Yeah, I don’t think I could handle that!

  12. Heather
    July 15, 2011
    Reply

    My inner foodie began to emerge in Australia. I look forward to seeing how the non-foodie gets on this year!! Good luck chica!

    • Lauren
      July 15, 2011
      Reply

      Thanks! :D I have no idea how it’s going to turn out…!

  13. Theodora
    July 24, 2011
    Reply

    Fruit are a really great way to start experiencing new foods — go to a local market, buy a bunch of stuff and start working your way through them.

    • Lauren
      July 24, 2011
      Reply

      I LOVE FRUIT! Fruit I can do!

  14. Jeremy Branham
    August 4, 2011
    Reply

    Like you, I don’t care much about food – when I travel or otherwise. I do like trying new things and definitely have a bit more variety in what I eat. However, food isn’t that important to me. Have to admit though your confessions about what you do eat and what things you haven’t are quite shocking!

    • Lauren
      August 7, 2011
      Reply

      High five for not caring about food! :D

  15. Lauren Vs. Food: Eating Eggs, Peanuts and Coconut for the First Time | Never-Ending Footsteps
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    […] should probably preface the next part by saying that if you haven’t read the first edition of Lauren Vs. Food, then you should probably do so right now. And yes, I know my eating habits are extremely bizarre […]

  16. » Food for thought The Gray Way
    June 21, 2012
    Reply

    […] To read why Lauren  had NEVER eaten eggs, rice or curry until the ripe age of 23 check out Lauren’s blog […]

  17. Derek Freal
    April 7, 2013
    Reply

    WOW! That is both shocking and amazing. I literally don’t even know what to say. Not like its your fault or even your mum’s, as you said, but still…WOW. I’ve always joked that if in the future someone finds that I’ve settled into a food routine based on the day of the week then please just kill me and put me out of my misery LOL. I live for new foods, even if I don’t like them.

    After all, trying new foods is one of the best things about foreign travel — expect for those rare occasions when it happens to be the worst ;)

    But eggs, really? What have you been eating for breakfast all these years? Oh wow this is going to make for some interesting posts indeed!! I’m looking forward to reading more about Lauren Vs Food LOL

  18. Dan
    May 2, 2014
    Reply

    Hi Lauren, Recently came across your blog, great read and very inspiring. I do think i have you licked however when it comes to food…im 38 and have NEVER had rice, Indian, Thai, Chinese or many other foreign foods, havnt eaten any veg since i was about 8 and only get by on the bare minimum of fruit. And the only egg i can eat is scrambled, and even then its only if someone else makes it. Not bad for someone from south east London.

    However, mine is more down to a phobia than anything else, id rather rip someones arm off before trying a bit of the curry they are offering me, so i was wondering, is there any tips or techniques you could share as to how you prepare yourself to try something new rather than feel like you want to cry in the corner?

    • Lauren
      November 26, 2015
      Reply

      For me, I found that trying the tiniest mouthfuls of new food was the best way to go about it. Really that’s the only way to get yourself to try new foods — to just try them!

  19. Andrea
    August 8, 2014
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    I just discovered your blog (as I’m planning on going to Morocco) and I found this blog entry. I love food, so I will happily try anything new (not so much if it’s strange meats though).

    But as much as I love food, I think people should be more relaxed about it (both foodies and non-foodies). If you have an amazing meal, great… but… you most likely will have more amazing meals in your life (though.. if you want to remember the experience , take a picture).
    If the meal is horrible, it’s only 1 meal out of 3 per day (that s 1 out of 21 per week, 1 out of 84 per month and so on….). You can always not eat it and go on “I m only gonna eat bananas today”-diet for that day (which is what I have to do sometimes when i get rashes from not so fresh meat).

    We all have good food and bad food days. I think we should just be happy if it’s a good food day … and not stress out if it’s a bad food day :)

    • Lauren
      September 1, 2014
      Reply

      Agree! And fortunately, travel has been wonderful for my attitude towards food — now I will also try anything new, including strange meats! :-)

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