The early 1980s warped me. As a pre-teen I watched too much That’s Incredible. I went through a phase where I actually believed that I could achieve great acts like the nearly 7-foot-tall Yogi Coudoux who, on national television, and much to the amazement of Cathy Lee Crosby, lowered his heart rate, stuffed himself into a 2’x2’x2′ Plexiglas box and was then submerged to the bottom of a pool without oxygen. I practiced for weeks in my bedroom closet, trying to fold myself into some leftover cardboard lamp packaging. I often looked like a human fudgesicle: my body contorted inside while I balanced unnaturally on one foot. Ah, the quest for twisted consciousness at age 12. Instead of stuffing yourself into a box, Deb Herlax has some great suggestions on how to be more conscious of your food through taste. And in my opinion, the more aware we are of what we eat, then the more control we have over what we eat, how much and why.
Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey (taste) Bud!
By Deb Herlax, email@example.com.
If you did not have taste buds, eating would not be too exciting. The average person has about 10,000 taste buds, and they shed and are replaced every couple of weeks. But their numbers decrease as we age. By the end of our life, we will have lost half of our taste buds. I believe that many of us compensate for this lack of taste sensation by adding in more flavor with excessive amounts of salt and sugar.
In Western culture, taste is focused on four types: sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. However taste description in Chinese culture dates back to Yi Yin in the 16th century B.C. who described five tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and savory. In 1908 a Japanese researcher proved the existence of this 5th taste as Umami, meaning meaty or savory. Taste buds are located on specific parts of your tongue. Your sweet buds are located on the tip of your tongue. For example, if you were eating a handful of really sweet grapes and you threw them into your mouth toward the back of your throat, chances are that your body would not register that you were eating a sweet treat. Try smelling the fruit first and then taste the sweetness on the tip of your tongue. Your sense of smell plays a huge role in how foods taste, so always try to pause and take a good long whiff before eating your meal. Plus, once food is in your mouth, really try and focus on what you taste; move the food around, chew slowly, and see if you pick up different sensations. I think your body and taste buds will thank you for it.
Here are a few tips from Registered Dietician, Deborah Waterhouse. She has some great ideas on how to get more out of your food, which means your body may require less of it!
If you are craving something salty, eat salty, not sweet. Do not waste calories by trying other types of flavors.
Take smaller bites. They stimulate your taste buds more. Slow down and make sure that if you are eating something sweet, that it touches the sweet taste buds. Let your body know what it is eating!