Stop Craving Junk Food: Retrain Your Tastebuds!
Retrain our taste buds?
Sounds pretty crazy, right?
Crazy, but true!
It does make sense if you think about it.
An acquired taste doesn’t only apply to oysters and caviar. EVERYTHING can become an acquired taste if you repeatedly consume it.
The reality is that we, as humans, are hard-wired to like what is familiar. This explains how the indigenous people of different cultures enjoy the food of their native lands, as we do ours here in America. It is what we know.
With health consciousness on the rise thanks to a plethora of information shared on the daily, courtesy of our social media feeds, the desire to be healthy is real. Unfortunately, that desire can sometimes be trumped by cravings of less healthy things like maybe pizza or caramel pancakes (yum!)
But honestly, wouldn’t life be so much easier if we all craved broccoli and carrots as much as we do french fries and cheesecake? Well with a little focus, some concerted effort and a lot of patience, it is possible!
The idea is to start craving real, whole foods which can be just as delicious as all of that crap that we have trained ourselves to love. The more you eat anything, the more you crave it.
Enter: Operation Retrain Tastebuds
Follow these tips and get on the road to cutting the crap out of your diet.
Six Tips to Retraining Your Tastebuds
1. Get rid all of the processed and artificial junk accumulating in your kitchen. Eliminating all of this garbage is a MUST if you are going to eat healthfully. If it is not there, you remove the temptation immediately. Pick up something small to indulge in once a week, but don’t keep it on hand.
2. Begin introducing new healthy foods to your diet slowly. Try adding one new food at a time. The main reason people don’t stick to new ways of eating is that they feel deprived. By only adding one at a time, you will not feel overwhelmed.
3. Keep the portions small for the newly added foods. You want to continue to enjoy your meals. By only adding a bite-sized portion, you can focus on the other foods that you already enjoy.
4. Spruce things up a bit. For instance, if you would like to add brussels sprouts to your diet, you might try preparing them in extra virgin olive oil with some bacon or pancetta crumbles. Another great idea is to add nuts. A favorite in my home is blanched green beans added to a pan with coconut oil & toasted slivered almonds. So delicious!
5. Continue to keep trying it. It can take anywhere from 7 to 14 times for you to acquire the taste and actually enjoy the newly introduced food. Be patient and consistent! It will come!
6. Keep an open mind. I know changes to your diet can be frustrating. I get it. Trust me; I wasn’t raised snacking on broccoli and carrots every day. My friends and I would eat a bag of individual Reece’s peanut butter cups as an afterschool snack, eating as many as our little tween hearts desired. At the same time, I have always been open to trying new things and have always enjoyed my fruits and veggies. Keeping an open mind will make the process a whole lot easier for you!
I have first-hand experience that this really does work! For example, I can remember the first time that I ate sushi at the age of 20. I was living in Los Angeles and a dear friend of mine took me to a local sushi restaurant at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I can’t remember what we ate, but I do know that between the idea of raw fish and the texture of it, let’s just say it wasn’t love at first bite. However, by keeping an open mind, I continued to try it again, over and over, until I enjoyed it. Now, sushi is one of my favorite date-night dinners.
I can also remember when my husband, son and I moved back up to Northern California from San Diego a few years back. We were staying with my mother-in-law for a few months. At the time, we had a pretty healthy diet. However, we did have a daily indulgence with sugary creamer for our coffee. My mother-in-law uses stevia, but I often scoffed at the idea. I did not like it at all. To me, it tasted bitter and left an unpleasant aftertaste. However, when I realized it was time to buckle down and cut the fake crap out of our diets, I turned to stevia. I drank it daily until it became my new normal. I applied the same method when switching from cow’s milk to almond milk. Honestly, today I enjoy my healthy morning Cup of Joe as much as ever!
With processed and artificial foods linked to Cancer and a myriad of other diseases, we can’t afford NOT to adopt a healthy diet and teach our children the same. After all, we are given only one magnificent body which is perfectly designed. I intend to treat mine accordingly so that it will still be functioning beautifully in 50 years. You can bet that retraining my taste buds is going to be a key factor in getting this accomplished.
What are your thoughts? Have you heard of this before? Do you have any other tips that can help?
Let me know in the comments!
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” -Mahatma Gandhi