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Food Hate To Food Love

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope that your week is off to a great start and that Super Bowl Sunday was fun. My Monday started the way that they all have for the past two years…with a 5 a.m. wake-up call to teach BodyPump. Even though I sometimes arrive to teach class a bit disheveled (my socks didn’t match today/my hair was piled on top of my head…per usual) and sometimes ask myself, “Can I really lift weights right now and act excited about it?”,  I am always happy once 7 a.m. rolls around to have already finished a tough strength training workout and feel so motivated by my class members who show up week after week to workout with me.

We are still teaching BodyPump 80 and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a hard release and I am loving the cardio focus and some of the new innovations – especially in lunges and shoulders.

I was starving when I got home from teaching and I was feeling like I needed a change from my typical oatmeal or Greek yogurt breakfasts. After a quick check of the fridge/freezer I ended up making French toast with Great Harvest Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread. I topped it with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and a drizzle of maple syrup and had blueberries and bananas on the side.

Let’s back up to last night’s dinner because it was too good not to blog about. For whatever reason I have been craving chicken tortilla soup for a few weeks now. I figured there was no better day to make it than Super Bowl Sunday, plus it was a rainy, chilly weekend in Charlotte so soup felt like a comforting thing to have for dinner.

It had been a few days since I had a salad so I started my meal off with mixed greens, goat cheese, carrots, toasted pecans and dried cranberries with honey dijon balsamic vinaigrette.

And then I got to the good stuff. I used a recipe that I posted on Bakin’ and Eggs last year. It’s super simple, healthy and delicious. You basically just sauté some onion, garlic,  jalapeños and green chilies and then dump in a bunch of other ingredients and let it simmer until you’re ready to eat. It’s tomato-based with a mixture of shredded chicken, black beans and corns mixed in. My favorite part about soup/chili is getting creative with the toppings. I went with shredded white cheddar, sour cream, cilantro, avocado (always avocado…obsessed), a squeeze of lime juice and blue corn chips.

Speaking of cilantro…I used to hate it but over the past year I have developed quite a taste for it. So much so that when I was shopping for ingredients to make the soup, I made a trip to a second store because the first one was out of cilantro. There are not many foods that I dislike but when I do dislike something I keep trying it in hopes that I will acquire a taste for it. I guess it worked with cilantro. Now, let’s see if I can ever acquire a taste for dill or capers…unlikely! 😉

Cilantro – love or hate? Are there any foods that you used to dislike but enjoy now? 

{ 74 comments… add one }
  • HRCK the Herald February 6, 2012, 9:06 am

    I used to think I hated coconut, but I love it now. And I used to think I hated all vegetables, but I think that was just a growing up thing 🙂

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:00 am

      oh coconut is so good! glad you discovered your love for it!

  • Bess @ Bess Be Fit February 6, 2012, 9:13 am

    I like most everything but I really don’t like water chestnuts…they gross me out. And for some reason I don’t like pimento cheese. I realize I’m a southerner and this is like a mortal sin or something but I’ve just never liked it! It’s weird too because I love all cheese except that.

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:01 am

      so sad you don’t like pimento cheese. it’s one of my faves. what don’t you like about it? there’s about a million variations of it. 😉

    • Stacey February 6, 2012, 5:37 pm

      Never even knew what it was till my job as a teen at Taco Bell. Thus began my love for cilantro. Frankly, salsa is not salsa without it! 🙂

  • Brooklyn @ Veggie Table February 6, 2012, 9:13 am

    Obsessed with cilantro! Forrest and I eat cilantro by itself 🙂

  • Katie February 6, 2012, 9:15 am


    Firstly, I just wanted to say how much I LOVE your blog! 🙂 Your attitude/lovely recipes/healthy living are truly inspirational !!

    I have been attending Body Pump for the last month and am completely addicted! However, I do have a few questions if thats ok!

    i) Do you fuel differently before or after for it? I’m worried I’m not eating enough protein after and thus not getting all the benefits from it. I also attend body pump at half 12 so I tend to have a banana just before and then have lunch after, but I don’t know whether I should eat more before?

    ii) When do I know I should increase my weights? It is definitely feeling much much easier, but I don’t know whether to increase my weights and then not be able to finish every set?

    iii) Do you find the back section particularly strenous? I find it the easiest and it doesn’t “burn” as the other exercise do so I’m worried that I am doing it wrong as it such a technical exercise!

    Thank you so much 🙂
    Katie xx

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:05 am

      hi katie! thanks so much for reading and commenting. i’m so happy to hear that you’re getting into bodypump. i’ll do my best to answer your questions…

      1) i think you’re fine to eat a banana before as long as you’re eating a pretty decent breakfast. i would definitely recommend trying to make sure that you’re lunch includes a decent amount of protein after since your muscles are in the recovery phase and wanting to soak up as much good stuff to repair as possible!

      2) gradually increase your weights by adding on like the 2.5 plate. if it feels too easy and you’re not experiencing “muscle burnout/i can’t do any more reps” at the end of the track then you’re probably ready to go up. it also varies release to release depending on the difficulty of the tracks. whatever you do, don’t feel pressured to go up before you’re ready because you don’t want to become injured.

      3) the back track is the most technical so pull your instructor aside one day and have them check your form on clean and press and make sure you are doing the dead rows (wide and normal grip) as well as the dead lifts correctly. you don’t want to strain your back! but yes, it is challenging for me…especially long sets of wide rows! 🙂

      hope that helps! let me know if there are any other questions i can answer. have a great day!

      • Katie February 6, 2012, 2:40 pm

        thank you so so much jen! 🙂 I will take all your advice on board!

        Hope you have a lovely day!

        Katie xx

  • Kate February 6, 2012, 9:21 am

    i am definitely a cilantro HATER. gag.
    i also love to start my weeks with body pump and did so this morning! 🙂

  • Alaina February 6, 2012, 9:24 am

    I LOVE cilantro! I would put it on everything. 🙂

    I used to not like garlic or asparagus. Now, I love them both. (and it’s a good thing I have a husband who loves garlic too.)

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:06 am

      i hear you on the garlic! i like it cooked but hate it raw!!!!

  • jennyv February 6, 2012, 9:40 am

    LOVE cilantro! I enjoy making my own “Chipotle” cilantro-lime rice — so good!

    I used to hate mushrooms and beans… yes, I was a picky child. I think it was all a texture thing. Now I love both!

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:07 am

      oooohhh…yum! more details on the rice please? do you just cook rice and then stir in lime juice and cilantro? i must make this!

  • lauramich February 6, 2012, 9:43 am

    LOVE cilantro! Would chew it by the handful!

    In the last year or so, I’ve done a 180 on two vegetables that I thought I disliked—cauliflower and beets. With cauliflower, I thought that I disliked it raw and while I didn’t mind it cooked, I didn’t love it and had issues with it on aesthetic grounds. (It’s white! And looks kinda like brains! Is this really a vegetable at all?!) Then I discovered a few fabulous recipes using cauliflower that helped me at least start getting over my aesthetic issues. Next, I discovered that raw cauliflower is yummy when dipped in ranch dressing … which proved to be a gateway to discovering that raw cauliflower is yummy, period. I still struggle with feeling like I’m not “really” eating a vegetable when I eat cauliflower, because it’s white and not brightly colored. But I’m definitely including it more in our meal planning. (Last week I roasted it for the first time—huge, huge hit.)

    As for beets, what I disliked were the jarred, syrupy “Harvard beets” that my father loved. Raw beets? Yes, please! Also, my MIL made home-canned pickled beets for the first time, and I could eat those by the pint. (Recipe is in the Ball canning book; I plan to try it myself this year.)

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:09 am

      cilantro really seems to be a love/hate food. seems like we have mostly lovers here. 🙂

      it’s really cool to read how you’ve discovered that you do like cauliflower and beets. i love cauliflower…especially roasted but i agree with you that i struggle with the whiteness of it and feeling like i’m getting a lot of nutritional value.

      the pickled beets sound awesome.

  • pamela February 6, 2012, 10:12 am

    LOVE cilantro. I used to hate beets but now I love them.

    Thank you for posting such great recipes and your lifestyle habits. It sounds like you are busy and/or having a stressful time and it’s so helpful to see you take such good care of yourself during times of stress. I am currently undergoing a period of transformation/upheaval and you are so inspiring to me and helping me to take care of myself as well rather than turn to the comfort foods/habits. Thank you!!!!

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:11 am

      pamela – i recently discovered my own love for beets over the past few years too. i love to roast them and add them to salads.

      yes, i am busy and going through a stressful time right now. it has been extremely difficult at times to take the right steps to take care of me (thus the extra wine and sugar/carbs/cheese) but i know that if i don’t take care of myself physically then the emotional stress will not get any better.

      hope that things are turning in the right direction for you. thinking of you.

  • Jaima February 6, 2012, 10:24 am

    I love cilantro! I used to hate capers and now I love them. It’s weird how our taste buds change over time. PS-I love BodyPump 80 too. I’m actually getting certified to teach it and my training is this weekend!

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:12 am

      awesome! congrats on BP teacher training. let me know if you have any questions about it. such a great experience. prepare to be sore! 😀

  • David February 6, 2012, 10:28 am

    Cilantro is actually a food that has some science behind the love/hate relationship…the “soapy” taste some people report is all too real. I’m thankfully not one of those people…it’s great stuff!


    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:13 am

      david – i remember seeing that before but had totally forgotten. i think it’s funny how it is such a love/hate thing but i’m happy to be on the other side of the fence now!

  • ashley February 6, 2012, 10:28 am

    Oh goodness! I can think of a ton of foods that I would never touch but love now. Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe are now staples in my house! We made a similar soup for our Super Bowl party. So good!

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:14 am

      brussels sprouts are one of my faves! i definitely have acquired more of a taste for them now that i know about methods of cooking them other than steaming! i’ve converted quite a few family members out of the brussels sprouts hating club! 🙂

  • taylor February 6, 2012, 10:33 am

    LOVE cilantro. I can eat it by the bushel 🙂
    i’m not kidding, i love it that much.

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:14 am

      haha! that’s pretty serious love! 🙂

  • Cindy February 6, 2012, 10:49 am

    I wanted to respond to a couple of the comments on the previous post. If you would prefer to keep your personal life to yourself and not discuss Brandon, just let your readers know that. We all support you and love your blog. But by ignoring the questions, things just seem awkward…like there’s a big elephant in the room that no one is talking about. You have every right to decide what you want to keep on and off your blog and I think all of us appreciate that. I just think it’d be better if you dealt with the issue and your readers directly instead of ignoring their questions.

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:21 am

      hi cindy – thanks so much for your comment and for everyone’s concern. i know that it’s obvious that things have been a little off with me over the past couple of months and i do ask for privacy as i go through a difficult time. this is not only out of respect for me but also those who i love. there will be no public post dedicated to answering any of these questions but i have been responding to private messages and emails.

      peanut butter runner is a “lifestyle/healthy living blog” and my main focus is to provide you with a look at how i eat and workout. i know that the personal connection with readers is important too and that is why i share a lot of my life with you but i have to maintain some boundaries.

      again, thank you for your comment and support. xoxo.

  • Joanna February 6, 2012, 10:56 am

    Cindy, come on half a day (or less) has passed since those last two little comments were posted… give Jen a break. Not everyone sees everything in quick timing- I know I will sometimes have sporadic boughts of not checking everything I should, getting busy, etc- and no doubt anyone else is capable of doing the same thing. the only awkward thing that I’ve run into, personally, was the comment I just read above mine.

    Back to my original reason for commenting- Jen, that food looks utterly incredible. I may have to do a remake of that quinoa… 🙂

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:26 am

      hi joanna – thanks so much for commenting and for supporting me. i really appreciate it. i have been avoiding some comments but it’s due to the reasons listed in my above response to cindy. i value my readers so much and i have been blown away by all of the encouraging “hang in there” comments and messages and concern that has been expressed. it’s tough to live your life publicly when you are going through personal struggles.

      • Joanna February 6, 2012, 2:36 pm

        I know we all keep you in our thoughts and send good vibes your direction, Jen (and I hope I didn’t come across too harsh, Cindy!) thank you for keeping a blog that is so incredibly enjoyable for me to read. I could count on one hand the personal non-friend blogs that I follow, and still have a couple fingers left over- but yours is just too fun. I hope the encouragement that you give your readers flows back to you as well.

    • Cindy February 6, 2012, 11:44 am

      Joanna – I truly meant no offense. I am HUGE fan of Peanut Butter Runner.

  • Catherine February 6, 2012, 11:35 am

    Hi Jen!
    The whole cilantro debate is very funny, my mom gets nauseous if she even smells it but I, on the other hand, love it!! I actually read an article about how some peoples aversion to cilantro may be connected to their genes haha

    Question! Are beets hard to prepare for salads? I love them but they seem very intimidating…and i just figured out the butternut squash so this is my next challenge!


    • Jen February 6, 2012, 11:41 am

      hi catherine – david actually posted a link to an article explaining the love/hate thing with cilantro in his comment above.

      beets are SO easy! all you do is wrap them in foil and place them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour or so until they’re easily pierced. let them cool and then unwrap from foil and the skins will peel right off. slice and serve! 🙂

      • Catherine February 6, 2012, 11:43 am

        awesome thanks!

  • Chris February 6, 2012, 12:06 pm

    Hi Jen,
    Your blog has been a major inspiration to me over the past several months as I try to incorporate healthy living into my every day. It’s completely understandable that you want to keep certain parts of your life private, especially when you’re going through a difficult time. I haven’t asked because I’m a very private person myself and wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing things like this either… I just wanted to say that I have been thinking about you and sending positive vibes your way. I hope that you have lots of support nearby (it certainly seems that your friends are rallying around you). Please know that your readers are all here supporting you quietly as well. HUGS.

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:36 pm

      thank you so much for the nice words about my blog and the encouragement. i really appreciate you taking the time to comment and say those things.

      • lauren February 7, 2012, 4:16 pm

        agreed – praying & sending positive thoughts your way.

  • natalie February 6, 2012, 12:10 pm

    I saw the Chipotle rice mentioned earlier – I have yet to make it, but this recipe has found its way to me, and it is waiting waiting waiting for me to get up off my lazy butt and finally do it! http://restaurant.food.com/recipe/chipotle-copycat-lime-rice-recipe-147335 Hope that helps!

    This is going to sound odd, but I can’t stand raw tomato. Tomato sauce, sundried tomato; all of that is good with me – just not tomato. Blech!!

    Glad your cilantro ‘senses’ have kicked in – welcome to the dark side, muahaha! 🙂

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:39 pm

      i only like raw tomatoes when they’re homegrown summer tomatoes. the ones you get in the grocery year-round that are shipped in from all over are gross!

      thanks for the recipe link! looks easy and sounds delicious.

  • Robin February 6, 2012, 12:24 pm

    I do not like cilantro! But I love your blog!

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:36 pm

      haha – thank you! 😀

  • Chelsea February 6, 2012, 1:55 pm

    I’m not very picky but I cannot stand brussel sprouts or jalapenos! Yuck. I’m working on it, though. Hope you enjoyed the game last night. I had just gotten home from teacher training and I was half asleep for most of it!

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:35 pm

      i had it on in the background but didn’t really pay attention. 😉

      hope you had a good TT weekend!

  • sasha February 6, 2012, 2:02 pm

    I HATE cilantro…it tastes awful! I will literally pick it out of my food. But people have told me that it is actually a genetic thing?
    I used to be grossed out by mushrooms (both raw and cooked) but recently I have been eating raw mushrooms by the handful. Not sure what has gotten into me!!!
    I hope that, like you, I can get over the cilantro aversion….

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:34 pm

      yes! see the article that david linked to in his above comment.

      i love mushrooms!

  • Susan February 6, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Love, LOVE, LOVE cilantro! Always have. I can’t seem to acquire a taste for capers. And liver, I will never like, YUCK!

  • Sierra @ Posh Meets Pavement February 6, 2012, 2:40 pm

    I love Cilantro but both my step dad and my uncle hate it…weird. As a child I hated whipped cream (who am i?), milk, and yogurt. I’m super picky about yogurt, but the ones I like….I love. I would eat Fage every morning if I could…

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:40 pm

      i love fage too. i’ve never had a problem with dairy although i have to really be in the mood to just drink a glass of milk. happens only a few times a year.

  • Kimberly @ Healthy Strides February 6, 2012, 2:46 pm

    I absolutely love cilantro. Love it, love it, love it. I used to hate cantaloupe and cucumbers. I’m not sure if it was texture or taste but I couldn’t stomach either … until I got pregnant. When I was preggo, I could not get enough of either and I still enjoy them after the fact. I found it very odd.

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:33 pm

      that is crazy how your taste for those things changed when you got pregnant!!!

  • Brittany (healthy Slice of Life) February 6, 2012, 2:48 pm

    Love reading your blog and love seeing your food combos. I tried the butternut squash, spinach and goat cheese combo last week and loved it! Whatever is going on (as read above), just know that there are a ton of us ‘virtual friends’ out here supporting you and sending good vibes your way 🙂

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:33 pm

      i saw on your blog that you tried that combo – so glad you liked it!

      thanks for the encouragement.

  • Diana February 6, 2012, 3:14 pm

    I L-O-V-E love Cilantro. My dad and brother have always hated it, which completely boggles my mind (we’re related?!?) and whenever I’m making guacamole for the fam and have to make it sans cilantro I’ve been known to say to them “I love you…because I have to….” 😉

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:32 pm

      you’re very nice to make it sans cilantro for them…you should portion some out for yourself and mix it in! 🙂

  • Kelsey February 6, 2012, 3:14 pm

    I absolutely hate cilantro! It tastes so soapy and disgusting to me. It’s not even like it’s just a flavor I don’t appreciate, but it makes my mouth feel gross and slimy and just terrible! I try to avoid it at all costs and pick it out of most things, but once something picks up a cilantro flavor, I cannot handle it. Blegh.

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:31 pm

      i totally get that because i used to dislike it. i don’t know what changed! did you see the article that david posted above about why some people hate it so much for the reasons you describe?

      • Kelsey February 7, 2012, 12:24 am

        I did! Really interesting read. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever like it, but I’m still skeptical. I’ve made efforts over the years to keep trying it to see if my tastes have changed, but no luck so far. I’d love to love it or even just like it though because my boyfriend is Hispanic and is a huge cilantro fan!

  • Heather February 6, 2012, 3:18 pm

    I actually used to hate cheese as a child. I would actually take it off my pizza – everyone thought I was nuts. Of course, I LOVE it now. The soup looks delicious, can’t wait to try it! I am SO appreciative of your blog and all that you do share and that we are in the same city. 🙂 I am so sorry you are having a difficult time, and like Brittany – sending lots of good vibes your way.

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:30 pm

      i can’t imagine hating cheese! so happy that you discovered your love for it! 🙂

      thanks for the kind words.

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) February 6, 2012, 3:32 pm

    I am a cilantro hater… it truly is the only thing I can think of that I just despise. When I was younger I hated scrambled eggs. Now I LOVE them. 🙂

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:29 pm

      oh scrambled eggs have been a staple for me lately. so versatile, delicious and a good source of protein.

  • Lauren February 6, 2012, 4:01 pm

    cilantro is SO GOOD. YUM!

  • Amy February 6, 2012, 4:20 pm

    love cilantro! I used to hate green olives and therefore also dirty martinis, but now I enjoy them both 🙂

    • Jen February 6, 2012, 4:28 pm

      mmm…dirty martinis are my fave! 😉

  • Ariffa February 6, 2012, 4:58 pm

    Wow, you weren’t kidding when you said out dinner toppings were similar!! I wish I could have topped my chili off with avocado as well but it hurts my stomach which is SO unfortunate
    I hate dried blueberries and lychee

  • Tiffany February 6, 2012, 7:30 pm

    I love cilantro! I add it to my salads all the time! So delicious!

    I used to not like peanut butter…crazy i know LOL! But now I LOVE it and eat it with my oatmeal everyday!! 🙂

    Do you have the recipe to your honey dijon vinaigrette? Sounds so delicious!

    Hope you have a wonderful week 🙂

  • Allison February 6, 2012, 8:17 pm

    How about the food we used to love and now hate? This is going to be a very unpopular opinion but….feta. I love all cheese! And one day I woke up and couldn’t even stand the thought of feta. I’ve never gotten over it. No clue what happened–it just sounds so gross now!

    Have a great evening!

  • Marian @ MarianWrites February 7, 2012, 1:50 am

    same thing happened to me! I used to HAAAATE cilantro and now i can’t get enough. Esp. in my guac. Man I miss Mexican food! Tortilla soup sounds like the perfect super bowl meal! I found a veggie recipe this year (from Grace) that I adore. Have an awesome week! Sending hugs from India xo

  • Diana February 7, 2012, 1:58 am

    Cilantro is such a great herb! I use it all the time in my cooking.

    I’ve noticed you use crofter’s fruit spreads…is there a particular flavor that is the best? I was thinking of buying some 🙂 Thanks!

  • Christina February 7, 2012, 11:53 am

    Sister in law says it tastes like soap in her mouth…I love it though!

  • Whitney @ The Adventures of Now February 8, 2012, 1:26 pm

    It’s funny how how it’s so love/hate. I’m trying to lessen my picky eating (I wish I liked tomatoes! In any form…) but even just the smell of Cilantro has me nauseous. I discovered what Cilantro was when I was chopping it up for catering and it was one of the first tasks I couldn’t handle…sometimes if it’s well hidden in a dish I’m ok but it’s my one major food aversion.

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