What is taste fatigue you ask? Well, taste fatigue is the loss of desire to eat a particular food or drink. It is not uncommon to get taste fatigue when you are following a specific diet or lifestyle. It occurs when the same food is consumed over and over again, then over time the thought of that food is no longer appealing.
With such busy lifestyles, we tend to go toward the familiar. Eat things we know we like, watch shows that we know are funny, etc. But it’s that monotony that can get us into a rut! And a rut is exactly where we do not want to be!
Here are 10 Steps to Avoid Taste Fatigue and keep your meals exciting, especially after a gastric bypass surgery.
1. Plan your meals for the week. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…meal planning is a major key to staying on track with any lifestyle changes. Meal planning also helps you stock your refrigerator with a variety of foods so you don’t end up eating chicken every night of the week. See these posts about building a recipe book and how to start meal planning.
2. Use marinades. Marinades can change the flavor of a dish completely. Marinate some chicken in barbecue and some in honey balsamic dressing…these are two totally different dishes even though both use chicken. Plus, marinades are a cinch to make and you can do it up however you like. Check out this blog post about how to make a marinade.
3. Throw in new herbs and spices. Another great way to change up the flavor of a dish is to add different herbs and spices. It is amazing how different a pork chop can taste when using lemon pepper seasoning versus paprika. In the grocery store just spend some time in spice aisle…you might be surprised about how many options are out there besides the good old salt and pepper. You can also use this chart as a guide if you are a spice/herb beginner. 🙂
4. Switch up the protein. A sure fire way to prevent taste fatigue is eating different foods every day. Do not plan to have chicken on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. If you have a variety of pork, beef, chicken, fish, and vegetarian meals then you are more likely to continue enjoying all of your favorite meals.
5. Be adventurous with vegetables. Have you ever said, “No, I haven’t tried that, but I know I won’t like it.” I hear this ALL the time! How do you know you won’t like it? Your taste buds change every few years, and they change even more so if you have had a bariatric surgery. Vegetables like brussels sprouts, eggplant, mushrooms, kale, or even rutabaga can get your away from the typical green beans and broccoli and add great color, flavor, and variety to your meals.
6. Experiment with different cooking methods. Do you use the same skillet and pot for every meal? I’m guilty of this sometimes because it’s fast and easy on a day after work. But have you tried the broiler lately? What about an outdoor grill? Or smoker? Or crockpot? It is not just what you put on your foods that add flavor. The way the food is cooked can make a big difference in how juicy the protein is or the flavor of the vegetables.
7. Add variety to fluids throughout the day. Sometimes it is just not the food during a meal that needs help. The fluids you drink throughout the day can play a big role in avoiding taste fatigue. Adding fresh fruit, fresh spices, or fresh herbs is a nice subtle way to flavor water. You can even blend crystal light with ice and water to make a nice refreshing summer drink. Freeze flavored water or powerade zero in popsicle molds. During the winter, decaf hot tea or coffee is a great way to drink your fluids.
8. Change up your vitamins. Taking daily vitamins is wonderful! But have you been using the same flavor of vitamins since the beginning? Consider ordering a different flavor this time around. We offer a variety of flavors in chewable multi-vitamins, calcium, iron, vitamin b12, vitamin d, and probiotics at our estore.
9. Try new recipes. New recipes can be a little daunting. Especially if it has several steps, it is a food you have never had before, you are cooking for others…the list can go on and on. But there are a few things that can make it easier. Cook new recipes for your family or a close friend…someone to give you honest feedback and that you won’t mind if it doesn’t turn out to be amazing. If it is a food that you have never cooked before, keep the recipes simple. Find a recipe that is less than 5-6 steps. Try one new recipe at a time. Avoid experimenting with a new main dish recipe and side dish recipe on the same night. Before long you will have a whole book full of new meals to add to your wheel house.
10. Sweeten up your meal with fruit. Don’t be afraid to add some sweetness to a meal. Fruit is an awesome way to incorporate new flavors and balance out really savory dishes. Adding fruit to chicken salad or making apple slaw with turkey cutlets are just a few ways to incorporate fruit to a meal.
Keep your meals interesting, my friend! ~Lauren A.