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When we have our food we are going to eat we first see it. This can start us thinking about our food and what we are about to eat. This thinking starts the digestive process by increasing our production of saliva. We get other information from seeing our food as well. We can use our knowledge of food to know what we are eating as well as what kinds of chemicals are in our foods, being protein, fats, or carbohydrates. As we discussed in the inputs chapter, these are all useful to us for different things in our bodies. Generally, this is the only way we have of distinguishing the different kinds of foods we are eating and when we can decide if we are eating what we need. This is where you make a choice, when you can see and smell the food, to decide if you are going to eat it or not.
What are words you use to describe your food when you first see it?
Sometimes we can smell our food before we see it. This also helps promote the start of the digestive process. When we smell foods we are actually detecting small food particles in our nose. The signals of liking the smell or not, along with an idea on what the smell is, is sent to our brain to interpret it. It is a great theory to say that when something smells good to you there are some molecules in there that your brain is detecting that it needs. This is particularly true of spices and is a great way to practice adding herbs and spices to your cooking. If it smells good it is probably something your body needs.
Smell is the first place we sometimes have physical reactions to our food. The same molecules we are interacting with in our nose can prompt allergic responses in sensitive individuals. If something does not smell good to you, makes you sneeze or other responses it is a message to you to pay attention. Some foods, like black pepper, will make people sneeze just because of the physical sensation of the molecules on the mucus membranes. Unless you know you are allergic to something and can often smell it, just pay attention to your reaction as you further process the food.
What are words you use to describe your food when you first smell it?
Are there any foods that elicit a response from you, positive or negative, from their smell?
Most of us usually start to experience our food through our mouth. And for most of us, this is also the last place we think about our food experience during digestion. In Ayruvedic Medicine there are six different flavors we experience: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent, and pungent. Each food is made up of a combination of these and we need a little bit of each of these in our diets. Most people like the sweet, salty, and sometimes the sour tastes but they need to be balanced with the bitter, astringent, and pungent tastes.
What tastes do you enjoy?
What foods do you eat that contain these tastes?
What foods could you eat to get the other tastes into your meal plan?
Remember: we also offer consultations if you are looking for more support with nutrition and dietary changes in your life.