Can You Train Your Palate to Crave Healthy Food?
You can train your palate to crave healthy food. The first and most difficult step is changing your mindset.
An unexpected diet change
I didn’t really pay that much attention to what I ate before. I never really had significant issues about my weight, so I could pretty much eat what I want and get away with it (weight-wise at least!). Back in 2005, however, something in our household diet changed, and it forced me to consider how I nourished my body.
You see, more than a decade ago, my mom decided to eliminate white rice and bread from our grocery list and replace them with their brown counterparts instead. This change upset me at first; I even complained about brown rice tasting like chicken feed.
What’s funny to me now is that I feel the opposite of what I felt then. We all got so used to eating brown rice and brown bread after a while that we ended up liking it. This particular experience led to my first nutrition a-ha moment:
You can train you palate to crave healthy food!
Eating healthy means changing your mindset
Eating healthy isn’t as easy as buying brown rice instead of white. It goes much deeper than that. There’s the prevalent notion that healthy equals tasteless, and that’s enough to discourage anyone from even starting to eat healthy. This way of thinking, to my mind, is the hardest obstacle to tackle. Changing one’s mindset is the key to becoming more willing to eat nutritious fare.
Here are some tips from Women’s Health Magazine on how to change your mindset and retrain your taste buds:
- Make it a point to regularly try eating just a single bite of a nutritious food you dislike, and surprise yourself by losing your aversion to that food over time. (Hey, this sounds super familiar!)
- Pair food you don’t like with food you do like, like adding a bit of butter to your veggies. This will help your brain get used to the taste of the latter.
- Got an eye for detail? Great! Then try prettifying your plate more often. A study found that salads arranged artfully are more palatable compared to salads whose ingredients are just tossed at random.
Here’s my personal tip: stop thinking about eating fruits and veggies as torture or as punishment for being fat. Start thinking of eating healthy fare as a really cool habit that’ll help you achieve your life goals. This might sound like a stretch in logic but it isn’t: if you don’t feed your body well, you won’t have the energy to go after your dreams.
Aiming for a healthy plate balance
Aim for healthy but don’t stress over occasional slip-ups. It’s impossible to have and maintain a 100% clean diet. There are so many things beyond our control, so it’s wise to make allowances for when life happens.
Don’t be disheartened if your body doesn’t naturally crave healthy food. The important thing is to know that taste buds can be trained to embrace a more healthy diet. It all starts with the simple – but not easy!! – step of changing the way you think about nutritious meals.
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Info from Camille Noe Pagan of Women’s Health Magazine.
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