If you’re feeling sluggish, fatigued, are overweight or dealing with other health problems, chances are it at least partially has to do with what you’re eating. That is, if you’re eating the wrong things. If the majority of your meals aren’t based around fresh fruit and vegetables, and you’re not getting enough nutrients and healthy fats in your diet, you probably need to make some big changes.
Quitting unhealthy eating is just like quitting smoking or any other unhealthy habit. It’s going to take some time to break free from what you’re used to, to make a permanent change to the way you’ve been living. It’s truly amazing what even just a short amount of time can do though.
Within days you will start to notice you have more energy, and overall feel much happier and less stressed. Within weeks you will start to notice not only mental and emotional improvements, but also drastic physical changes in your body, especially if you’re also keeping up with regular exercise at least a few times through the week.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes of all is in regards to your taste buds. After eating a certain type of food for an extended period of time, namely processed, additive-filled foods and sugary snacks, your taste buds actually get used to it and this is what gives you that sense of pleasure when you eat it. This is why so many people say they don’t like the taste of healthy food, like fruits and vegetables, because it just doesn’t taste right if they’re not used to it. The good news is you can actually retrain your taste buds to enjoy healthy foods, and there are a few simple steps you can take to help you do this.
Spice it up
One of the biggest issues people have when they claim to dislike vegetables and other healthy foods is that everything tastes boring and bland. That doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re not used to eating veggies and you think they’re lacking in flavour, you can add things to make them even tastier, just make sure you’re adding the right things. Skip the salt — Himalayan sea salt is a natural cooking salt that is much better in place of regular table salt — along with margarine, butter, and creamy dressings. Instead, opt for a dash of pepper, a light drizzle of olive oil, or some fabulous herbs or spices, to add flavour without adding unnecessary fat or sugar. Chili powder, garlic, basil, mint and oregano, just to name a few. Even just a fresh squeeze of lime or lemon juice and you’ll experience flavour with your vegetables like never before, in the best possible way.
Create a Contrast
Pairing contrasting foods is a great way to make your meals more interesting and enjoyable. Think of adding something crispy like baby spinach leaves to your soft hamburger bun when you enjoy your next veggie burger, or combine softer tofu with pan-fried veggies for a delightful mix of soft and tender to firm and cripsy — or even steamed, if you know how to steam properly, your veggies should still be tender inside and slightly crunchy on the outside — to create the perfect contrast.
Save Your Senses
Anyone can retrain their taste buds, but that’s not going to do much good if you’re damaging them at the same time. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health period, namely for your senses. It dulls your sense of taste, which is why smokers tend to add a lot of salt and other seasonings to their food, because they simply can’t taste it. Especially after years of smoking, taste buds are greatly diminished. Not only does it deaden your poor taste buds, but also the receptors in the nasalepithelium. Just another one of the many reasons it’s worth it to quit smoking. Of course there are lots of other factors that can cause damage to the taste buds including age, certain medications and even some health conditions, but whatever you can do to keep your senses sharp, the better.
As you start changing your diet, trading unhealthy foods for the nutritious foods you should be eating, you will notice your taste changing. No longer will you crave the junk you once did, and you’ll be willingly — and happily — making healthier choices instead.
When you eat right, you don’t crave donuts, cookies, boxed and processed food and other things, because you can taste the goodness of nutritional food and can know firsthand how different it makes you feel. Instead of feeling bloated, sluggish and irritated, you feel happy, energetic and less stressed.
Of course everyone is different, and not every person is going to like every type of food, healthy or not. The most important thing is that you’re doing what’s best for yourself and your health, taking care of your body by giving it the healthy, nutritious food it needs to thrive.