I used to believe when fit “fools” or “granola” girls ate sticks, grass and berries and then said they LIKED it…they were LIARS. I could not image that any truly healthy food tasted that good or that I might actually crave leafy greens. I did not believe that a big creamy bowl of ice cream might actually someday taste too rich, heavy, and “artificial”. These things were so foreign to me and I felt it was the fit folks’ way of deceiving themselves so that they might daily choke down that many fruits and vegetables. Or could it possibly be that their taste buds just didn’t work?
After my 1st clean eating challenge (which took out all processed foods and sugar)…I decided it was time to “treat” myself after the 9 weeks of hard work. I popped a leftover Halloween Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in to my mouth. I was anticipating the same “feeling” and “taste” that came before the challenge. I slowly chewed to take in all the “goodness” and immediately was shocked by the “fakeness” of the food. It tasted like fake peanut butter, fake chocolate, and were there hints of some sort of synthetic substance holding it all together? Yuck! I could not find a trash can fast enough! For those Reese-Loving readers—I get that you might think one insane to spit out a cute little cup! But truthfully, it was an automatic response. Apparently those fit “fools” were right: PALATES CAN CHANGE.
It has taken me years of trial and error with my family to encourage them to change their palates as well. One of the best ways to change is to pull the “fake food” from your diet. Cold turkey. If you eat “pretty healthy” but still have sweets at night, your palate will never change. If your kids eat pretty well but then get a sucker at the bank, a cookie at the grocery store, and a dessert most nights at dinner their palates WILL NOT CHANGE. I had to pull our Velveeta Macs and Cheese off the market for a while and bring in the organic bunny kind many months later. I had to stop making cheesy chicken enchiladas and replace it with a vegetable heavy meal. It was not an easy road…our palates have been conditioned to crave sugar, fat, and salt. At first it appeared that our food lacked flavor. It takes some time to figure out different ways to season your food and for our taste buds to find a deep appreciation for the sweetness and flavor of fresh fruits and veggies. To my great dismay, a rich pasta with heavy tomato cream sauce can not be easily substituted in nature. But over time you will grow to appreciate and love these flavors. Your health will thank you. Sugar, fat and salt lead to sluggish, sick, minds, bodies, and spirits.
For me, this did not happen over night. I had a very strong bond with food and was very resistant to change, or anyone telling me my food was “not fine”. It also seemed impossible to shift my family from the “S.tandard A.merican D.iet” (SAD) to one that was nutrient dense full of protein, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. For some encouragement (and humor) on the subject of continuing to introduce healthy, nutritient rich foods to your family check out:
It is a slow process and a journey of trial and error but the truth is…change does a body GOOD.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed…