Enhance your sensory environment. Meals are not just about food. Candlelight, flowers, beautiful tablecloths, and music provide multisensory stimulation to link with the smells and flavors of food. When you don't have the time or money to indulge, try a new set of place mats or a vase of flowers even when you're alone. Enriching the sensory, social, and emotional environment surrounding meals feeds your brain, even though you may not be aware of it at the time. Other than that, you may
- Change the order in which you eat your food. Try starting with the dessert and ending with the chips. This may seem frivolous but your brain won't think so. It's primed to handle this unexpected strategy.
- Change where you eat your meal. A different room, outside, on the porch, on the floor or you can even have an indoor picnic!
- Puree in a blender one fruit and one vegetable that you have never combined before. Taste it and make up a catchy name for the new concoction. This could be a fun taste game for a group of food lovers. Who knows, maybe you can come up with a new tasty flavor.
- Eat your food using your "wrong" hand. A small change like this makes even the most routine acts of eating challenging.
Hold Your Nose
Most of what we call taste actually depends on smell. By closing your nose, you bring basic taste information and tactile cues to the fore and experience the texture and consistency of food using your mouth and tongue. Taste buds sense sweet, salt, sour or bitter, astringent, and metallic tastes. Your experience of a food based on these qualities, compared to flavor from olfactory stimulation, utilizes different brain pathways.