Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Cooking fast, flavorful, healthy food is easier than you think.
You don’t need to invest a fortune in kitchen accessories or spend hours looking for fancy ingredients in order to create delicious and wholesome dishes.
With just a few basic principles and equipped with some essential kitchen tools, you can make flavorful recipes and create and expand your own collection of healthy, people-pleasing dishes.
What is Flavor?
When we describe food as flavorful, we mean it’s appetizing to eat – it appeals to our senses, and once we’ve tasted it, we want to keep eating.
But where does flavor come from and how do we experience it?
The attractive quality we call flavor is actually a combination of senses – not only what we taste, but what we smell and the sensations we feel as we eat.
Our noses and mouths share an airway allowing both smells and tastes to join as we eat, letting us register a wide range of flavors based on different combinations of scents and tastes.
Even our sense of touch plays a role in the way we enjoy foods – as anyone who’s ever had a craving for crunchy chips, a nice soft slice of bread, or a cool, creamy bowl of ice cream can agree!
Let’s take a closer look at how our senses impact our perception of flavor.
Although we can identify hundreds of different flavors, our tongues register just 5 basic tastes.
If we had our way, we’d add a 6th taste to the list – freshness.
Freshness is hard to describe, but without it the other 5 don’t mean nearly as much!
When we eat, our taste buds send instant signals to our brains, contributing to the overall sensation of flavor.
The 5 tastes are:
If you have a powerful sweet tooth, you’re not alone!
Many of us have a natural preference for sweet foods.
The good news is white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other unhealthy, refined ingredients aren’t the only sources of sweetness available.
Fruit sugars, some alcohols, and even spices like cinnamon all taste sweet – giving us lots of options for satisfying our craving healthfully.
The puckering reaction we have to acidic foods like vinegar, cranberries, citrus fruits, and even some vegetables (like rhubarb) may seem unpleasant.
But sour notes can help balance out other flavors; and a mild tart taste can create a sensation of refreshment, like in a lemon sorbet.
Table salt is the most common source of salty sensation.
Salt can enhance natural flavors and balance other spices, but it can also dominate our palates so we fail to notice other tastes.
Reducing salt will not only open up a whole new world of flavor, it’ll also help boost overall health: Limiting sodium intake is an important way to control high blood pressure.
This doesn’t mean we need to ban it from our kitchens.
But learning how to coax the most flavor out of your ingredients allows you to cut back on the amount of salt you need to add to your food.
Our ability to sense bitterness may have originally helped our ancestors avoid poisonous plants.
While we still tend to avoid extremely bitter foods, there are plenty of milder variations of this taste sensation we’ve learned to enjoy – our morning cup of coffee and evening glass of wine both have bitter notes, for example.
Grapefruit skin and tonic water (which contains bitter quinine) are other sources we tolerate of this taste sensation.
5. Savory (umami).
A relative newcomer to the 5 basic tastes, umami, a Japanese word translating as “savory” or “meaty,” was identified in the early 1900s and has been gaining in popularity in recent years.
The rich, silky taste is associated with glutamate, originally found in seaweed used to make soup in Japan but also found in soup stocks, mushrooms, and many other foods.
Yeast extracts (available in health food stores) can also be used to boost the umami taste – and are a healthy way to add richness without slathering dishes with fats.
If you have questions about taste, send us an email.
Come join us on our natural weight loss journey! We’d love to have you along!
Have an awesome day!
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Dick and Lenay
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