Did you have a most hated meal as a kid?
I absolutely did, and it was fish. Any fish. Before I turned vego at 16 I was a mad carnivore. I loved meat… and fish was a slimy, smelly, supremely unsatisfactory substitute. I didn’t care that it was “brain food” I wanted nothing to do with it.
I sulked and grudgingly forced it down with bad grace once a week when mum inflicted it on the family… I found brussel sprouts equally unappealing however now I eat fish and brussels (often together) at least every second day.
A few things, one of which is I’m now grateful for the meal someone else kindly bothers to cook for me (!)… I’ll cover the others in todays Tuesday Tucker show: 3 Ways To Trick Your Tastebuds Into Eating Healthier.
One: Give your most HATED food another chance.
As you get older your tastebuds become less sensitive and some of those strong or bitter tasting foods you might have hated may now actually be enjoyable.
This was the case for me with brussels, rocket and olives to name a few.
Ok, so there’s no ‘trick’ there however here’s one… if it’s a food you would like to enjoy, then ease into it by eating it with another food you do love. This was my unintentional experience with olives.
I thought I hated them until my mum started making the most delicious olive bread – I started off picking out the olives but liking the flavour they gave to the bread… in no time I progressed to loving the olives and hunting down the most olive laden chunks of bread. Possibly that’s not the best example – I’d never say have bread with your brussels to help them go down!
Often it’s just a matter of giving the poor food a fair chance and cooking it with a dash more creativity than merely boiling the life out of it which likely many of us off many a veg for way too long.
Two: Educate yourself on the value of those foods you don’t like, but would like to like.
For example I thought cabbage was a waste of time until I discovered it was a member of the cruciferous super veg family. That’s the fam of veg with the super power to help restore balance to your estrogen levels. Now this really is a super power in my mind when I learnt that having your estrogen levels outta whack can lead to extra fat storage in estrogen sensitive areas… which happened to be my personal problem areas: the hips and thighs!
I didn’t rate Kale until I learnt it could turn into the most amazing crispy, greasy, salty – guilt free – crisps.
Now I’ll happily munch it in salads and omelettes too.
I even made pesto out of kale last night. In fact that recipe was so awesome I’ll share it with you now! I call it:
My whatever I had on hand DAIRY FREE PESTO!
1/2 a small bunch of kale (lightly steamed) and a very small handful of basil.
1/2 cup of raw cashews (soaked and drained… I was lazy and just poured boiling water over them for a couple of minutes rather than soaking for 2 hours.)
2 tablespoons of hemp seeds.
1 tablespoon of avocado oil.
1 teaspoon garlic powder.
1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
Simply blend it all. It’s yum!
I actually happened to have parmesan in the fridge which I could have added if this was a flop but it totally didn’t need it and I’m loving dairy-free-bloating-free-me!
Three: Reactivate your tastebuds.
It’s been shown in numerous studies that if you’re more sensitive to taste you’ll have an easier time maintaining your weight. Equally, very over weight people are less sensitive to the taste of sugar and fat. Which often leads them to consume greater quantities of each in order to taste and feel satisfied by them.
Where ever you are on the weight range it’s absolutely been my experience that you can reactive your tastebuds – specifically I mean, get to experience the taste and the sweetness in foods that previously tasted bland when you spent years adding excessive amounts of salt, sugar or fat.
I used to be a salt fiend!
I’d add it to everything. I went cold turkey at one point when I realised it was more than excessive and now when I add a touch of salt to something I can really taste it. It’s the same with sweet. Veggie’s tasted bland and boring when I ate sugar every day. Since I’ve cut sugar from my diet veggie’s taste completely different.
If you need heavy sauces, dressings and the like with your every meal it’s going to be tough to see long term body gain results. Those things just have a super high caloric density and they fuel your desire for more strong tastes. To reactivate your tastebuds, by relying only on some light seasoning and spices or fresh herbs there will be a brief period in which your food does taste a little bland.
It’s 100% worth sticking with though. Then you can work back in the better versions of some of your fav sauces if you choose to and you’ll actually really taste and appreciate them.
Eating is one of the most easily obtained pleasures in life. The danger is as with any pleasure the more you have the less likely you are to appreciate it… it’s easy to get carried away.
My recommendation is to be very free with your appreciation. To love and appreciate every meal.
I genuinely believe I get at least as much pleasure from every meal that serves my body well as the person who regularly eats the stuff I choose to steer clear of.
The huge difference is that when you choose the healthier meals that serve your body well you get the additional benefit of never having to waste energy feeling guilty about what you’ve just demolished.
To get actionable today, I’d love you to try one of those foods that you seeing popping up all over the place – it’s a high value food, likely a veg and it seems to be everywhere but you’ve always hated it. Just give it a go. Ideally prepared in a different way and perhaps you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
That’s it for today… in tomorrows Wednesday Weigh-in show I’m covering: The Diminishing Returns Of Exercise.
If you liked this you’ll also like: The emotion that guides my weight loss…what’s yours?
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.