Changing my taste buds?

Huh. Last night I made popcorn for the first time in over a month. It didn’t taste good. So that got me to wondering: can we change our taste buds such that they come to prefer healthier foods rather than unhealthier ones?

(You might be thinking that popcorn isn’t a horrible indulgence. The problem is that I can–and do–eat it by the bowlful. And we’re talking about a huge bowl. Plus, I don’t air pop it. I cook it with over a tablespoon of olive oil.)

First off, I don’t think it’s even worth trying to change your taste buds to the extent that something gross or disgusting becomes palatable, unless you’re baking it into something. (You couldn’t pay me to eat butter, but baked into cookies? Sure!)

Second, one concern is that it’s not about taste. With a food addiction, or just with the chemicals in foods being what they are, it’s about that rush of high from the fat, the sugar, the flour, the starch, the carbs, etc. All the bad stuff.

Because if it were just about taste, we could put the unhealthy foods into our mouths, taste them, and then spit them out. If only, right?

Regardless of the challenge of chemical highs from foods, I still want to try to change my taste buds. I’ve been eating some power foods lately, which I define as healthy foods that I actually like and can eat on a regular basis. My list of power foods is very small. Sadly, there are a lot of healthy foods that I can’t handle. So I’m trying to focus on the healthy foods that I do like and can eat daily:

  • Oatmeal the way I prepare it
  • Carrots (who knew?) dipped in a raspberry vinaigrette
  • Apple slices with modest amounts of caramel dipping sauce
  • Grilled chicken with dipping sauce of barbecue, honey mustard, Chinese orange sauce, etc.
  • Two Lara bars for dessert

I also like scrambled eggs, but they’re not filling for me, so it’s like eating empty calories. And I could add turkey sausage to the above list, but it’s not currently on my daily menu.

Because I think that if you eat healthy foods for a while and avoid snacks, your body stops liking the snacks, which is why I didn’t enjoy the popcorn last night.

But it got me to wondering. People who give up meat, for example, and then accidentally eat meat (or start eating meat again, etc.), don’t like the taste of it! So why don’t I see how long I can go without junk food, eating only my power foods, with the hopes that I’ll quit liking junk food?

What I don’t know is if your body ever comes to crave healthy foods. If you eat healthy foods for long enough, does your body start asking for them? Like, I’m feeling depleted. Can you feed me some carrots? Instead of, I’m feeling depleted. Give me something loaded with starch and carbs! I need a pint of ice cream!

Here’s hoping. I have no clue, but I want to find out.

In related news, I made it back to the gym last night for the first time in over a month, and it felt great. I’d misplaced my music player and had to search the house for it, but it finally turned up in my desk drawer. (I have to bring it up here to charge it occasionally, so that’s where it wound up.) I did my forty-minute treadmill routine, and I hope to go back again later today.

It’s been a rainy day, but I love this sort of autumnal weather. Cold, wet leaves everywhere, the threat of imminent winter… I made cocoa.

I hope everyone out there is doing well and having a great day!!

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