The other day, I tasted black tea for the first time. Just a few minutes ago, I tasted a real, unsalted almond. No, it wasn’t the first time I’ve ingested these items, but all of a sudden, I can actually taste them, in their natural state. It semi-blew my mind.
Why, you ask? It can only be one thing. In the week and a half since I’ve eliminated sugar from my diet, (mostly- I couldn’t turn down a hit of hot chocolate, I am human) I have noticed a change in my taste buds. The idea of having black tea with nothing in it is something I was never interested in. Milk and sugar (or in my case, Splenda) were the only options; honey and lemon if illness was involved. But black, plain, English tea? Nope. Surprise! It TASTES like something all by itself. It’s a little sweet, a little fragrant, and shockingly enjoyable. Same with those almonds. My whole limited engagement with nuts has been the salty, sometimes flavored kind. Fun, but not my first snacking choice. Since buying a large container of unsalted mixed nuts, I add them to salads, parfaits, oatmeal, and now, a handful of smooth, nutty goodness for a midday treat.
Okay, this is sounding rather annoying and preachy, which I hate. I guess I had no idea this would happen. Sure, I knew there would be a ton of positive effects that come along with streamlining my diet, but the idea that I’d actually start to enjoy foods for their full potential, maybe for the first time, is a pleasant surprise. We’re so used to consuming food covered in sugar, sauces, and flavorings that we have no idea what the food itself is supposed to taste like. It’s like our sense of taste has been numbed by all the fake stuff. How sad is that?
Here’s my little challenge for you. Take one week- just one- and try things au naturale. Coffee, tea, vegetables, fruit, nuts, meat, fish… there are so many flavors that we take for granted. See if you can taste the difference. Honestly, I can’t imagine going back after having this welcomed aha moment.
Amazingly Delicious No-Sugar-Added Desserts and Sweet Treats (Babble) – I’m off the dessert train for now, but if you still want to incorporate fun baked goods into your sugar detox, it is possible. Now, a lot of these recipes call for alternate forms of sugar, like maple syrup or honey, but it’s my belief that if you’re going to have it, have it in moderation, and have it in healthier forms. I still think added honey to your tea is a ton better than adding 2 Tbsps of white sugar. PS: so many fruits are AMAZING by themselves, no sugar necessary; a good place to start when creating desserts.
Simply Roasted Vegetables (Jamie Oliver) – You can roast any veggie. Well, maybe there are some that don’t turn out quite right, but if so, I haven’t found them yet. I love, love roasted veggies, even veggies I’ve never been that excited about in the past. I love the way roasting them brings out their sweetness, and then I will have some for dinner, the next morning with eggs or even !savory! oatmeal, or over a salad. I kid you not when I say, I’m happy to have a big bowl of roasted vegetables for dinner. Now that I’ve said that, I’ll shut up, because I know you hate me a little.
Healthy Smoothie Recipes (Eating Well) – Berry smoothies are a staple of my current STAT plan, and they require no added sugar or sweetening of any kind. Guess what? I like it.