Probably the hardest thing to do when changing how you eat is to learn to change tastes. Taste is a learned behavior. Think about it; some people can eat things that make you gag while you do the same. Consider raw oysters. With a heritage from New Orleans, oysters should be something I can understand. But I’ve never developed a taste for anything raw that used to be alive and walking. The distinction is made because raw veggies are totally one of my greatest joys. But raw slimy oysters are something I don’t think I’ll ever willingly eat. That goes along with other raw meats or fish. However, I certainly respect that some people adore these foods. That’s what diversity is all about. It also illustrates my point that tastes are learned behaviors.
Here are some of the tastes I have the most struggles with as I change my consumption patterns.
1. Coffee. What I miss is the rich, full taste of coffee. However, after the experience of the withdrawal the desire has definitely diminished. Will I ever enjoy it as much again? Probably not because of what I know it did to my body. Something with that powerful of a hold on my life has no place in it. Instead, I have a new box of Oolong tea on my kitchen counter that I’m going to try. I can tell there’s a fear of caffeine addiction. I was informed by the nutritionist at the health food store that one cup of caffeinated herb tea has about 30 mg. of caffeine compared to 150 mg. in one cup of coffee. That’s a lot to consume.
2. Chai Tea. I also miss chai tea. That’s because the brands I use have a lot of sugar and I don’t want to get back on so much is that white sugar. Unfortunately, artificial white sugar is found in almost all prepared foods in the US. That is a taste that a lot of people are developing and small children are bribed with a sweet taste. That’s a taste that needs to be unlearned. I’m sure I can find a way to enjoy a god tea without having to aldd any sugar. A splash of soymilk could do the trick.
3. Fried Fish. Living on the Central Coast makes fish and chips a normal meal. You get spoiled having fish straight off the fishing boats to eat along with freshly fried garlic fries. A new thing is sweet potato fries too. This fried meal is probably the most difficult thing to change at this time, but my health dictates that move. I have been working on some good recipes for oven baked fried foods that have the same crispy, crunchy tastes and flavor without any of the calories and fats. Even though I use olive oil for frying my food, that’s not the best thing for me either. I’m going to perfect the oven baked recipe and share it with you.
4. Fries. I have to go back to the fries. The classic French fry is one of my favorite comfort foods. Why I don’t really know whey I can easily eat a baked potato and be happy. I think I just enjoy fried foods. The reason is that I only trusted fried foods in restaurants for a long time. I felt that nothing could be “messed” with and that the food was well cooked. So I would eat fried foods when out. Plus, my comfort food is crunchy. Therefore, the other hard potato is of course the potato chip or other fried snack such as Cheetos. Baking fries is an option. Also, using Jicama, a root vegetable often found in Mexican foods. It’s sweet with a character like potato. I’m going to work on substituting this vegetable for the potato and fries.
5. Oatmeal cookies. I am a true Cookie Monster with no excuses. Give me a bag of cookies and it is impossible for me to eat just one. I can eat fewer potatoes than cookies and oatmeal raisons are my favorites. I like the crispy one of course. Crunch again; comfort food for me. Another difficult to resist cookie is the shortbread. Not all shortbread cookies are good. The really buttery ones that are flaky and light are the best. I love Pecan Sandies; can eat the whole bag unfortunately. .
6. Good Cake. I have to emphasize, the “good” with the cake. There’s nothing like a light, fluffy cake that makes you feel like you’re to really cheating on your calories. The other is a just sweet enough and very dense, perfect pound cake. My favorite cake is a great carrot cake. I used to be a carrot cake queen in college and kept cake baked and on my table in my college apartment. Anyone could come by and get a hunk of cake. Of course there was the great crème cheese icing too, all home made from scratch. There was nothing like it. I have to find that recipe. I’m grateful for places that sell one slice of cake instead of making you buy the whole thing. I found only one place in Los Angeles that has the perfect red velvet cake. I’ll also work on that recipe. The question is can you really create a real low-fat cake without losing the texture and taste? I’ll let you know.
I’m sure I’ll think of several more foods as soon as I sign off. That will have to be another post.