In the past century or so, the food and drink industry has been operating from a profitable and efficient model that typically removes most all that is inherently healthy from food (in its most natural state), and replaces it with cheaper ingredients that are inherently unhealthy. This is done so the products are more cost-effective to produce and so they can sit on a shelf somewhere for extended periods of time. So much of what gives this processed food its flavor has been unnaturally added back into it with ungodly amounts of refined sugar, sodium, cheap oils, beef fat, artificial flavorings, and any of literally hundreds of other chemicals meant to augment a product’s taste and aroma. And that’s before we get our hands on it and add more salt, sugar, flaming-hot pepper sauce (my personal downfall) or thick, creamy toppings.
As a result, our taste buds have adapted to these more extreme flavors, and this is reflected in all of our most popular high-fat, sodium-laden, sugar-riddled foods and drinks that we pound down in unprecedented, “Super-Size” amounts. One of the many consequences is that certain natural or “health foods” might taste bland by comparison, thereby creating a resistance to eating them for some folks.
The Art of Transitioning
Fortunately, your taste buds can and will revert back to their normal sensitivity…if you allow them to. And believe me, once they do, fresh strawberries or the occasional dairy-free, refined sugar-free vegan chocolate dessert will be as satisfying to your sweet tooth as any of this junk is now. I guarantee it. The key is, you must make the full transition into the new foods and away from the old ones to successfully experience this readjustment.
It’s just like when you go to the beach and you’re walking barefoot close to the rising tide. When the water first hits your feet, it might feel uncomfortably cold and you may wonder how those surfers and swimmers can stand it out there. But as you continue to walk in it and gradually go deeper, once you get past the initial breath-taking adjustment, you soon find yourself among the surfers and swimmers enjoying yourself with no discomfort, fully acclimated to the water temperature. It’s the same thing with your taste buds.
Once this adjustment happens (and it will not take long), you will also develop a renewed appreciation for simple foods, in their original forms. Plain ol’ corn-on-the-cob, lima beans with very little seasoning, and even baked yams will taste better than you remember, as you notice that your palate can more easily and sensitively discern the distinct flavors in simple food, the way it was originally created in the earth for us. And as for gourmet vegan meals…you will find them absolutely orgasmic.
Going on a three or four week, super clean, no frills “cleansing” diet is probably the most direct way to make the transition from all the bad stuff at once. However, this is also the most challenging and painstaking approach. The other option would be to replace certain bad “food groups,” one at a time. So you might start with sodas and refined sugar, opting instead for various health food alternatives. Or, you might start with cheese and dairy, checking out various soy alternatives.
The key is, once you transition into the alternative, do not keep switching back and forth, because your taste buds will never have a chance to adjust. Instead, make a strict commitment to only use the healthier “substitute” for a designated amount of time, convincing yourself that you can always go back at the end of the trial run. (30 days is always a good amount of time for this.) Chances are strong, though, that you will have successfully made the adjustment and will not feel a need to go back.
Be strong, and let the transition begin…