Seven ways to re­claim your taste for nu­tri­tious foods

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Living Now - - In­ner Health Fea­ture -

Pump up your self­care skills.

Look for other things you can do that are just as, if not more than, ef­fec­tive at giv­ing you the com­fort or high you seek. Cul­ti­vate other av­enues of plea­sure be­sides food, with­out nec­es­sar­ily cut­ting food out as an av­enue al­to­gether. Friends, sports, con­certs, mu­se­ums, out­ings, na­ture, vol­un­teer­ing, and fam­ily all count.

Ex­plore al­ter­na­tives that pro­vide taste you love.

Adore sugar? Try a nearly-too-ripe peach, ap­ples dipped in honey, hot ca­cao sweet­ened with ste­via, or use spices such as cin­na­mon and nut­meg in foods. For a savoury fix, try miso, seaweed, ume­boshi plums, mush­room stock, and spices with bite: black pep­per, dill, basil, onion, gin­ger, co­rian­der, and cumin. Go for full fat or­ganic milk rather than skim milk full of anti-cak­ing agents and syn­thetic an­tiox­i­dants.

Eat mind­fully, es­pe­cially for those first few bites.

That way you can see if the food is de­liv­er­ing on its prom­ise. As you be­come more attentive, you may find the next few bites less and less re­ward­ing. This knowl­edge can help you tone down your crav­ings and bet­ter un­der­stand what your body re­ally feels like at any one time. And if that hap­pens to be a Snick­ers bar, you’ll prob­a­bly en­joy it more and need to eat less if you eat mind­fully.

Pay at­ten­tion to the whole ex­pe­ri­ence of food rather than fo­cussing on the in-the-mo­ment plea­sure of taste alone. Whether you’re at a fam­ily brunch or a movie out­ing, take no­tice of the scenery, sounds, smells, com­pany and am­bi­ence. Eat with all your senses, not just your tongue.

Check for de­fi­cien­cies.

A blood test may re­veal that you’re low in pro­tein, Vi­ta­min B12, choles­terol, or iron. Chromium sup­ple­men­ta­tion is of­ten in­di­cated in se­vere sugar crav­ings. Hor­monal or neu­ro­trans­mit­ter im­bal­ances can ex­plain sugar crav­ings. See your health pro­fes­sional if you sus­pect a nu­tri­tional de­fi­ciency or im­bal­ance.

5Peo­ple who are very fa­mil­iar with food-pro­duc­ing an­i­mal sys­tems of­ten eat less meat and en­joy plant foods more as their knowl­edge in­creases their so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­scious­ness. Good for the planet, good for you!

A help­ful over­all goal may be to re-ed­u­cate your palate to ap­pre­ci­ate a wider range of flavour sen­sa­tions and tone down the crav­ings that may be caus­ing you harm.

Fi­nally, keep in mind that the best ap­proach to­ward eat­ing is not one of de­nial and re­stric­tion.

The best ap­proach is one that cul­ti­vates plea­sures and honours food and the act of nour­ish­ing your­self. By be­com­ing more attentive to and re­spect­ful of your food and the eat­ing process, you will be drawn to more whole­some choices, learn to bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ate the flavour­ful nu­ances of nu­tri­tious foods, and be able to bet­ter hear your body’s sig­nals of hunger and full­ness … all of which, in turn, help you to main­tain the health­i­est, most sus­tain­able, and most com­fort­able weight for you. n

Casey Con­roy is an Ac­cred­ited Prac­tis­ing Di­eti­tian, nutri­tion­ist, yoga and Acroyoga teacher, and natur­opath-in-train­ing who loves av­o­ca­dos and schisan­dra berries in her green smooth­ies. She is the founder of Funky For­est Health & Well­be­ing on the Gold Coast, and ad­vo­cates a prac­ti­cal, fun, and plea­sur­able ap­proach to nutri­tion.

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