Stop eating bad things. The end!

Just kidding.

As I noted in my post below, very processed food is engineered to be intensely satisfying. It creates an almost addictive response. Some studies show that processed food can form an addiction much like using drugs like a nicotine or cocaine.

When you’re eating this intense food, regular food from nature can’t compare.  Eating broccoli and fish after a lunch of Pizza Hut would be like a regular ol’ woman like me standing in the middle of the Playboy mansion.  I would look like a wreck next to those medically engineered women.  Put me in the middle of a shopping mall or grocery store and I hold my own much better among the other natural, un-enhanced patrons.

Today, I was drinking my stevia-sweetened whey protein shake.  It’s just water and protein powder.  It’s not bad, but it’s not exactly Ben & Jerry’s.  When I first started drinking it, I admit it was not exactly a favorite.  Today, a week into eliminating all refined sugars, that shake tasted freakin’ AWESOME.  Without the overstimulation from sweet foods, my body has adjusted its palate.  That only took a week.

I had a similar experience back in college.  I was a 2 pack a day Coca-Cola drinker.  My dad, a type-II diabetic, would nag me about all the sugar I was consuming and encourage me to switch to diet.  BLECH, I told him.  It tastes nothing like regular. It’s gross and chemical-y.  Well, when I gained the Freshman 15 (and a couple of extra pounds besides), I cut out the Coke.  I made it about 11 days before I caved and had a Diet Coke.  OH SWEET NECTAR OF THE GODS.  That was the beginning of a 7 year affair with the stuff.  I would actually get out of bed in the morning even though I was tired just because I needed a Diet Coke.  I’ve heard smokers describe their breakfast cigarette similarly.  I had a breakfast Diet Coke.

This is not to encourage you all to start loading up on chemical sweeteners. New studies show these aren’t exactly great news for our bodies and metabolisms.  It’s to show that foods that seem impossible to enjoy (stevia sweetened protein powder?) can become enjoyable when you clear out the junk from your diet.  Just as you wouldn’t expect your kids to eat their green beans and chicken if they ate chocolate chip cookies before dinner, you have to make sure you have an appetite for “the good stuff.”  This doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself or go on any type of diet.  It just means eat a healthy, if slightly bland, diet for a week to 10 days. Watch how you start to notice sweetness in foods where you never noticed it before.  Even balsamic vinegar will taste sweeter.