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Retrain your Taste Buds

One of the hardest parts of eating a healthy diet is the taste of truly healthy food.  Our brains have been trained to give into salt and sugar and its time to take charge and retrain your taste buds! If your accustomed to consuming sodium, sugar and refined oils on a regular basis like the majority of American's,  than transforming your diet in a healthy direction is going to take some real hard work and desire to make change. There is so much processed foods and products out there that mask the natural tastes of real foods and we have become addicted to them, to the point where we over consume all of the wrong nutrients, such as, sugar, sodium and fats. Here are some tips to making changes to your taste buds and sticking to them for the long haul.

Hydrate: Drinking at least 60oz of water daily is important in veering off cravings for salt and sugar. When you are dehydrated your body will crave hydration from these nasty culprits and make change to a healthier diet much harder. Do yourself a favor and avoid this at all costs.  

Eat more plants: Once you’ve made the choice to consume a healthier diet, its time to start consuming more plants, lots of different types of plants. Meat and dairy products in general should be phased out as you progress to an optimal healthy lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to try the same things prepared in different ways and spiced differently, it may change how you feel about tasting a certain plant based food. You may despise raw kale and enjoy it steamed, or baked potato with hot sauce or sprinkled with Rosemary and vinegar. Just because you didn’t like something once doesn’t means you will hate it for life. Don’t be fooled by your first response, keep trying and stay positive! Here are a few overall healthy foods that you should try to consume more of: Kale, beets, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower

Don’t add salt or sugar! Our taste buds are always driving the foods that choose to consume and we love indulgence, especially for sodium and sugars. One of the first steps to changing what your taste buds crave is to discontinue adding salt and sugar sprinkles to your food. Many foods already have too much salt and sugar, there is no need to add anymore! This may also be a habit that will need focus and attention to break, but with dedication foods that may seem boring without that salt and sugar will begin to be more tasteful, here you will experience the tastes of real foods. Advice...find a better sweetener or sprinkle to add to food, such as, coconut shavings, cinnamon, nutmeg, or stevia 

Spice it up: Though you need to layoff the salt and sugars, there is such a variety of spices at your fingertips to flavor healthy foods. Give yourself time to experiment and try foods in different ways. Learning to use spices will change your health for the long term, you wont need to revert to coating your foods in salt or sugars because healthy food will just taste darn good! A few great spices to keep on hand: Turmeric, Rosemary, Nutritional Yeast, Cumin, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Celery Powder

Give it Time: Changing your taste buds is not an easy task, they have been trained well to be triggered by indulgence. Eating a healthy diet that is tasty to you is not going to happen overnight, or even in a week, its going to take time. Yes, you will need to overcome challenges and give certain foods a second, third and fourth try, the key is not to give up and allow yourself this time to change.

 

Enjoy: Don’t go into changing your taste buds thinking that you will never enjoy the taste of food again, that is just pure nonsense triggered by a fear response of changing the way you eat and its just pure negativity! Positive vibes only when making changes to better your health! After 5-6 weeks your body will have adapted to the changes you have made to your taste buds, you will feel nourished and even begin to crave healthier foods. Yes, it may seem crazy to think that one day you may actually crave eating Kale or Beets, but truth be told...it does happen and you should be proud!

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Chellsey Latham, DNOM, NC, Nutritionist

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