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A friend came over for dinner Saturday night. She is a diabetic Type A, who is curious about my being on the BTD, but not particularly interested in following it herself. Nonetheless, I fixed a Type A meal, since it would be me and three As. We had wild caught steelhead trout, black-eyed peas, ginger carrots, steamed broccoli, kohl slaw, and spelt/rye bread.
My friend's mom has had surgery and is in a rehab center while she has physical therapy. We are all hopeful that she will regain her strength and be able to resume her active life. One of the things she doesn't like about the rehab center is the food. Nothing tastes good to her. We had a lively discussion about why, with a staff of trained dietitians, institutional food doesn't taste better.
My friend said that one factor was that her Mom's doctor had ordered a low salt diet for her. I vividly remember years ago when my husband was put on a low salt diet for his blood pressure. I was going to a lot of work to buy low salt products, and cook without salt. One night he was picking at his food and said, "You know, your mashed potatoes just don't taste as good as the cafeteria's." I exploded. He was eating out and comparing the high salt restaurant food to the low salt meals I was preparing at home. I couldn't possibly compete. (Mashed potatoes were one of his pre-BTD favorite foods.)
Another factor for my friend's Mom is that her sense of taste isn't what it used to be. She reluctantly admitted that before her surgery, even food at home hadn't tasted as good as it used to.
My husband chimed in with his favorite theory - that things that are healthy taste terrible and things that taste good are bad for your health. I would dispute that! I thought we were eating a healthy tasty meal. However, I know what he means. If you did a taste test between spelt/rye bread and a Krispy Kreme donut, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would vote against the Krispy Kreme's on taste alone.
Eating healthy food is an acquired taste. I didn't eat 8 - 10 fruits & vegetables a day when I was loading my plate with starches. Being aware that there is a high price to pay for the flaky texture of a pastry, or the smooth sweetness of cake icing makes it easier to say no. The more I eat whole grains, the more I appreciate their rich flavor, even though I have to chew them more.
The longer I eat right, the more I appreciate the natural flavor of real food. But I wouldn't trade my job for a dietitian's!
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