Motivation Monday: Palate Cleanser
Each Monday, we're rolling out a new challenge to change the way you think, act, do, or feel. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be motivated to try something different for a week. And if you love it, keep it going!
Here's a fun fact: your palate changes as you get older. It's why most of us grow out of that chicken fingers and fries phase from our childhood (while still occasionally indulging as adults) and start testing out new foods as we get older. However, it's easy to get stuck in a food rut. You like iceberg lettuce, so you buy it every week. You grew on white bread, so it's still your go to as an adult. Your favourite chip flavour has been ketchup since that first savoury sweet bite, and now you can't envision indulging in one of those other varieties.
Insert whatever foods you want into the sentences above - we all have favourites and preferences and likes, just as we also have dislikes. But this week's challenge is to revisit foods you've got an aversion to - and see if your palate might be more inviting to them.
First, make a list of foods that you generally skip over, whether it's a pizza topping you forgo, a flavour you've never particularly enjoyed, or a food group altogether (we're looking at you, seafood-haters).
Next, think about some of your favourite foods, in particular, foods that have become new favourites. Then, think about any similarities they might have to foods on your 'dislike' list. For example, if you've jumped on the kale bandwagon in the last few years but you've always hated spinach, surprise - both foods have similar nutritional profiles and to be honest, flavours (if anything, kale might be more strongly earthy tasting).
You can also jot down foods you're curious about trying or have avoided trying because of some pre-existing assumption. If you're uncertain how they taste, do some online searches - plenty of food bloggers will give you an idea as to their flavours.
Finally, pick one or two foods that you can 'trial' this week. Opt for moderate ways to incorporate them into your diet. If you're not a mushroom eater, you don't have to eat a portobello sandwich. Instead, just don't pick them off your pizza. Or try a creative recipe that grinds them up for a vegetarian take on ragu pasta sauce.
You may be surprised at how quickly you enjoy a food you've long avoided - but you also may be just as averse to it as you were at the start of the week. However, keep in mind that your tongue can be trained - realistically you should try something 10 times before making up your mind as to whether you really hate it. And if you do? No worries - there's plenty of flavours in the sea! Just keep tasting and experimenting.