Hi everyone, here’s another quick TIP for you: good food need not be tasteless!
I believe Nick had mentioned early on that he didn’t want to live his life in a tasteless world. I totally understand that and agree with it. Perhaps though, it may be a matter of perception?
We probably all know by now that processed foods are literally engineered to makes us desperately want more, and this gives them a sort of unfair advantage over “normal” food. However, from my own experience and from what I’ve read, your taste buds have an incredible ability to evolve along with your health.
I remember a time when I used to love eating McDonald’s as well. In fact, I used to have two of the largest burgers with fries and a drink nearly every single night at 4am! I guess that’s what tasted good to me at the time. It was a real treat, since I wanted something delicious. Now, many years later, I can honestly say that that same meal seems so repulsive to me that even the thought of having anything from McD’s doesn’t cross my mind, even if I’ve got it right in front of me. I kid you not, it’s almost like it’s invisible to me, or at least to my brain’s center of desire.
There is good reason for this: my values have changed dramatically. Good health and longevity are some of my highest-ranking goals today, and this has a direct impact on how “hard” it is to resist certain foods. Some delicious-looking desserts definitely look tempting to try, and I just need to remind myself how it’ll make me feel, and what is truly most important to me. But a lot of other stuff, not even a consideration anymore.
Growing up in a Greek family, we had the staple “μακαρονάδα” at least once a week (with plenty of white bread, no less). I continued to eat lots of pasta into adulthood and even as recently as 2010, while married to Jackie. Had you told me then that I would not care at all for pasta today, perhaps I would not have believed you. But the fact of the matter is (and you can ask Jackie, too, she’s the same) we bought some gluten-free pasta months ago and it continues to sit there in our cupboard. We both have literally zero desire for pasta now. We sometimes discuss about how weird that is! Like I said, our nutritional values have changed, which makes many “decisions” effortless and even subconscious.
What’s interesting is that I don’t crave or miss any of the “delicious” junk because I have come to discover what real food tastes like. Before, my taste buds were literally out of my control, and I gave in to anything and everything that looked appetizing. Now that I can discern what will really taste good (in a nutritious way, I guess), that’s what I genuinely want to go for – most of the time. I am human, of course, and temptations are all around us in life. But yummy-looking junk food is definitely no longer in control of me. This may sound far-fetched for some, or even dishonest, but I swear to you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Your body learns to crave what will truly be good for it. By far my favorite food at Helen & Jimmy’s buffet yesterday was the salmon and broccoli, and that’s exactly what I had – and I loved it! Thank you both for putting out some wonderfully healthy choices yesterday!
All in all, along this journey, Jackie and I have taken the time to learn a thing or two about cooking, inevitably. And although it’s slightly frustrating for me to feel like a perpetual beginner in the kitchen (thank God I have Jackie, too!), the combinations of herbs, spices and use of fats for cooking (coconut oil, salted butter, duck fat, bacon grease… eventually will try some pork lard and beef tallow) have made our food so incredibly enjoyable and tasty that I’m completely satisfied and delighted at dinner. I feel very grateful for the incredibly appetizing way we learned to eat, and I know it is in each and every one’s reach.
I therefore encourage everyone to fearlessly foray into the kitchen and try new things. Start by following a good whole-foods cookbook – I’ve got many that I can recommend. Buy veggies in season and get creative, your taste buds will thank you for it. Believe me, the end result is supremely worth the initial effort. Good, healthy, mouthwatering and scrumptious food eventually becomes just part of the regular life routine.
The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor.
Eating is always a decision, nobody forces your hand to pick up food and put it into your mouth.
–Albert Ellis, Michael Abrams, Lidia Dengelegi (The Art & Science of Rational Eating)
Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.
–Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin