To begin, I´d like to share a short story:
Once upon a time there lived two ants, who were close friends. One lived on a salt hill and the other on a sugar hill. One day the ant on the salt hill invited his ant friend, from the sugar hill, to visit him and to taste his salt. His friend from the sugar hill accepted the invitation and the following day he paid his friend a visit. “Try my salt” he insisted. The sugar ant was not impressed and said, “I would like to invite you to taste my sugar, which is fantastic.” So, the next day the salt ant decided to pay him a visit. However, since he had never tasted sugar before, he decided to put a piece of salt in his mouth…just in case he didn´t like the sugar. When he arrived, he was offered a grain of sugar and put it in his mouth. “This tastes just like my salt”, he said. “That´s impossible”, the sugar ant replied. He then said, “Open your mouth.” He saw the piece of salt and told his guest to remove it. “Now try it.” Upon tasting the sugar, the salt ant said, “Yes, your sugar is much tastier than my salt.”
The Moral: Sometimes, to learn or accept something new, we need to let go of the old.
So, what are the 2 types of people in the world…of nutrition?
A type 1 person finds it easy to let go of a belief, an idea or a habit, in order to learn something new, or begin a new experience. He or she is usually convinced, from the get go, that the possibilities being offered are well worth the effort involved. At least it´s worth giving it a try This was obviously not the case with the ant from the salt hill. Type 2 (the salt ant) has difficulty doing this and, thus, the process of letting go and starting anew, is not easy, because of doubt, fear, etc. With regards to nutrition, changing from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a Whole Food Plant Based diet (WFPB), would be easier for type 1. He or she could make the change completely and quickly, whereas type 2 could not. I think that what type we are depends on how we generally react to our life´s situations.
I often consider myself Type 1 because, once something makes sense to me and I make a decision to change, there´s usually no turning back. Case in point: During the 1970s, while living in Mexico, I was smoking up to 2 packs of cigarettes a day…cigarettes without filters (in Mexico there are a couple of non-filter options). I was also eating lots of meat, dairy and eggs. In 1976 I began exploring the benefits of WFPB nutrition. It was also around that time that the surgeon general published the warning that linked smoking with cancer. So, I decided to quit smoking and, “to kill 2 birds with one stone”, on that same day, I also gave up eating meat…and that was it.
Just as I had done, I know people who were able to give up smoking at the snap of the fingers (type 1). I also know people who had to be weaned off of the habit by gradually reducing the quantity, by using smokeless cigarettes, chewing nicotine laced gum or by applying patches (type 2). Whatever type we are, both can be successful…if we decide to switch from the SAD to WFPB nutrition. Why, because I´m convinced that the closer we get to a WFPB diet, the healthier we will be and feel, not only because the research and scientific studies tell us that, but also because of what our taste buds tells us.
THE SECRET IN OUR TASTE BUDS
Unfortunately, it is not common knowledge that once we reach a certain point in our transition from the SAD to a WFPB diet, our taste buds begin to change and remain changed…as we begin to acquire new tastes that are much more compatible with our newly acquired health.
THE SIX BASIC TASTES OF THE HUMAN PALATE: Sweet – Salt – Bitter – Sour – Umami – Fat
Restaurants, especially the fast foods ones, know how to manipulate the combinations of the 3 tastes that we adore most (salt, sweet and fat), into some very enticing foods (i.e., hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, cheese, ice cream, etc.). Unfortunately, tasty as they are, if we´re not careful and aware of the power they can have over us, we can end up strolling unconsciously down a path towards chronic diseases such as heart, cancer and diabetes.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO OUR TASTE BUDS WHEN WE CHANGE TO A WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED DIET?
I´ll cover that…in my next post.