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How To Circuit Train Your Taste Buds

Are you eating foods today that you never dreamed you’d eat two, five, or ten years ago? Are there unhealthy treats you used live for that no longer appeal to you? At the same time, do you also find it hard to step beyond your normal eating habits to try something new? Deciding to make the switch to healthier foods can be quite overwhelming, because food represents comfort and normalcy.

We all have our favorite dishes and treats-in fact, many of the foods you now delight in may be the same foods you’ve been eating since childhood. So, not only can your favorite foods comfort you physically; they can also remind you of days gone by. It’s often this psychological connection that sabotages our efforts to eat new and healthier foods.

Try New Flavor Combinations

As a child, it bothered me when I learned one kind of food was touching another on my plate. I was absolutely convinced that if the different flavors mixed, my entire meal would be ruined. In fact, I was so reluctant to combine tastes that I wouldn’t even place sauce on my spaghetti! Today, I no longer cringe at the thought of mingling foods and flavors. In fact, I like to mix different foods together and am eating foods I never dreamed I would. So how did I make the change? Over time, I took risks, experimented with food choices, let go of ancient habits and consequently, retrained my taste buds.

This training is sometimes referred to as a “nutritional journey.” Instead of concentrating on diets and the accompanying marks of success and failure, we can really train ourselves to delight in different foods, accepting the bumps in the road merely as part of the journey. Once we’ve learned how to be more accepting of change and less hard on ourselves, we can make a shift inside that causes lasting positive transformation.

It Sounds Weird, But You Just Might Like It

One of my many nutritional journeys involved beans, a food I had always disliked. Through reading, I learned the importance of eating beans for fiber and protein. I started to see how nutritious beans really are, which demystified the food for me. Shortly after that, I let go of my preconceived notions about them and opened myself (and my taste buds!) to change. I even explored different ways of cooking with them. Today, while they are still not at the top of my list, I do look forward to eating all sorts of bean dishes, especially one of my recent favorites, escarole and beans.

A recent Italian-American client winced when I suggested whole wheat pasta. He was reluctant, but he agreed to try it. By giving it a try, staying with it and resisting the temptation to go back to his ancient ways, my client learned that he really prefers whole wheat pasta-something he never thought he’d delight in eating.

Tempeh is another example. To many, it might sound foreign and vegetarian and untouchable. But, really, when marinated and served with tasty grains and greens, tempeh is a truly scrumptious meat alternative-high in protein and quite healthy. Even non-vegetarian meat eaters like me can delight in an occasional tempeh dish now and then.

Delight in Your Nutritional Journey

The nutritional journey is all about acquiring a taste for healthier foods by looking at them through a different lens. Reckon of food the same way you reckon of travel: approach it with a sense of wonder, an exciting place that’s just waiting to be explored. Instead of resisting the taste or look of a new food on the first try, go a small deeper and stay with it a small longer. It might not happen overnight, but you just might notice that each time you eat a particular food, your taste buds have become more and more accommodating.

Mark Greenwald is AADP Board Certified and holds a Master’s of Science degree from New York University. His graduate studies in Integrative Medicine, with an emphasis in health and nutrition, translate directly into cutting-edge knowledge and information for his clients. He has taught in numerous independent schools in Manhattan for over 20 years. While on his own journey with health issues, Mark learned that there was much more to excellent health than what he was eating. It wasn’t until he started working on his own issues that he started speaking to others about health and helping them to make changes in themselves. Mark’s path then led him to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition., Their globally recognized program specializes in training highly qualified health and nutrition counselors. At IIN, world-renowned leaders in the field of nutrition teach graduates, not one, but all existing dietary theories. Visit Mark’s online health and nutrition program, Healthy Living, at balancedpurposefulliving.com balancedpurposefulliving.com

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