Back to basics: When was the last time you truly tasted your food? Are your taste buds highly sensitive or are flavors dull, weak and muddy? Would you even know the difference? Your palate should feel clean and pure, ready to taste every layer of food that tickles your tongue.
Enter Marilu. I want to share with you one of my favorite passages from Marilu Henner’s best-selling book Total Health Makeover. I read THM about ten years ago and fell in love with it. It’s packed with healthy ideas and lessons. Including this one…
Marilu’s Apple Experiment. Modern day foods can easily distort your taste buds. So I love to use Marilu’s apple experiment to bring me back to center. I think of this exercise whenever my diet or palate is feeling a tad off-balance. It is also the core theory of how I like to remind myself how humans are supposed to eat. So grab an organic apple and check out Marilu’s apple experiment. And more on why you should try it…
Reset Your Palate. Everyone needs to stop and ‘reset’ their palate once in a while. Modern day foods can put some serious wear and tear on your palate and take your taste buds on a wild ride. The culprits: salt, sugar, chemicals, alcohol, dairy, food additives and overly processed foods. You can either cut out (or down) on these havoc-wreckers, or deal with the aftermath accordingly, by giving your palate a breather to re-focus on true, pure taste. A confused palate can make it difficult for your body to recognize your true food cravings for things like water, electrolytes, carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, healthy fats or protein. Irrational moody food cravings for sugary, processed, super salty or high-fat/calorie foods may arise. No fear, there is an easy way to re-center your palate and your “how do I eat?” mindset.
Here is the passage, as written in Marilu’s Total Health Makeover book, page 27 (and in her THM 30 Day Diet book, pg 34):
“Changing Your Palate.”
“As I worked toward centering my diet and simplifying my food choices, I went on a kick of not only trying to taste the food I was eating, but also trying to dissect each and every aspect of it. If I ate an apple, I wanted to savor the taste of the meat, the skin, the core and the juice individually. (In fact, I even ate the seeds, which are full of vitamins!) Together, these were the elements that made an apple taste like an apple. I wanted to know the difference in the flavors of each element. This experiment proved helpful in teaching me the principle of changing my palate, or reprogramming my taste buds.”-MH
She follows up later by asking: “Do you really taste your food? When was the last time you actually tasted the simple grain flavors in a piece of bread?” -Marilu Henner
Try it! Grab an apple and the next time your palate is clear (don’t do this after a big meal), eat the apple from skin to flesh to seeds and core. Taste it all and chew your food. You will be reminded of the simple flavors of food, and how a simple piece of fruit or veggies can be all you need to satisfy your hunger. You don’t need to add salt, sugar, fat or other intense flavors to taste whole foods fresh from nature.
Want to take it a step farther? Try this same exercise with a cup of baby spinach. It’s amazing the satisfaction you will get from eating raw spinach. You’ll pick up a sweetness in the juices, a saltiness in the tender leaves and a bit of savoriness as well. Be like Marilu (and me) and try this with a few different fruits and veggies. When was the last time you ate one food on its own? (No dressings, dips are sprinkles.) It’s an awesome experiment that will re-awaken your palate and hopefully remind you of how humans are supposed to eat.
Thanks to Marilu for being such a powerful advocate for healthy kids, a vegan diet and animal welfare. Marilu was the person who inspired me to go vegan. She rocks…
Simplicity is the blissful answer. Even in food.
Visit Marilu’s website to learn more about her.
You can purchase any on Marilu’s fabulous books online:
Book passage can be viewed online: Google Books.
I like this one too: