It is easy to overeat – especially when we are not paying attention. Have you ever mindlessly noshed away on potato chips or some other munchies at a party without noticing how much you have eaten? That can easily happen. Especially in a social situation when there is socializing with other people.
We live in an eating and drinking society – many social situations are centered on food and alcohol. It is very rare that there is healthy low fat food at social gatherings. As one of my healthcare colleagues says, “You can go out to a party or dinner and yet, there can be nothing to eat!” – meaning nothing healthy or nourishing. He suggests either eating before going or bringing a healthy snack of your own.
In my counseling work with clients, in West Chester and Philadelphia, PA, I routinely hear how difficult it is to maintain healthy eating habits – Mostly due busy and rushed schedules with little time for homemade meals. This type of lifestyle can turn into a runaway train – get totally out of hand. “On the fly” food is often high in fat, salt, sugar and carbs. They create cravings.
Mark Hayman, MD, author of Ultra Wellness uses this example – if a person was presented with a bowl of chips and a bowl of broccoli, what are the chances that the broccoli will be over-consumed? Right…no chance! Natural foods just don’t ignite addictive eating.
So, what might happen if you could change your palate? To rectify your sense of taste to what you find is pleasing, satisfying and good? Do you believe that is possible? It is.
Modern day foods are often processed and genetically engineered. They can distort the sense of taste and confuse the palate. Salt, sugar, chemicals, alcohol, dairy, food additives and overly processed foods are notorious for distorting taste. We get used to intensely flavored foods which are not real, but enhanced. Then something like a fresh salad no longer tastes good enough and seems bland. We grow distant from what is natural and seek out artificially flavored and altered “food substitutes.” Our taste buds get worn down and turn bland. They take a lot to be stimulated – making way for low nutrition flavored and presentation enhanced food products.
In a way, these foods can be viewed as synthetic drugs. After all, food is a substance that can be abused, and addiction is about high stimulation and intensity.
Cutting down on these “foods” is a start, but giving your palate a breather and cleansing to re-focus on real, pure taste can be of most help. A confused palate can make it difficult for your body to recognize true hunger verses a “hankering.” True food cravings for greens, protein, water, fruits, and other foods which hold the building blocks of health can go unnoticed or misinterpreted. Junky – fatty, salty, sugary foods can creep in as replacements and fuel powerfully addictive food cravings. There is an easy way to re-center your palate and recreate how you eat – restructure your mindset.
Make it a point to get more connected to your food. Next time you eat fruit, such as an apple, first look at it. Notice the color and variation of its skin. Smell it. Then bite into it noticing the juiciness, and the depth of the flavor – sweet and tart. Eat slowly – take in the detail. Feel the consistency on your tongue.
This is more mindful eating – getting back in touch with our senses and coming back to the moment experiencing what is, pure and simple – And, of course, learning to love it.
This is the way we reclaim what is natural and healthy.