LESS IS MORE, or so they say. I’ve certainly found that to be the case when it comes to vegetarianism and veganism. When I cut meat out of my diet back in the ’90s, I did it gradually and the less I ate, the less I enjoyed the meat that I did ingest, which meant that giving it up completely turned out to be easy.
More to the point, the more vegetables I ate, the better they tasted to me, which meant I just wanted to eat more and more (and more). Veggies that weren’t on my list of favourites – or even classed as vaguely enjoyable choices – became my delicacies.
The same has proved to be true as I cut back on dairy and also as I embrace raw food. I used to really enjoy dairy products but instead of craving the taste of halloumi cheese, I started finding it to be greasy and less than appetising after I started eating it less frequently. So, was giving it a miss difficult? Not even slightly. Frankly, I can’t see what I enjoyed about it in the first place. Even the whey protein powder that I’ve used as a supplement for ages has become too much – it’s an unflavoured and unsweetened NZ whey, which used to have very little, if any taste to me. After a month or so of dramatically reduced rations, it started tasting as rich and sickening as lukewarm clotted cream. Blech. Giving that stuff up has been a non-event. Even the thought of a creamy hot chocolate is enough to send me fleeing for some delicious rice milk enriched with chickpea protein.
I’ve said this before – “the more raw food I eat, the more I want to eat raw food.” My taste buds seem to be on overdrive since I changed my diet to include about 50-60 percent raw food, and now I’m eating most of my salads without a dressing unless I feel like a particular taste at the time. The actual flavours of the vegetables are startlingly intense, so why would I drown them in dressing, even my own home made ones, which are as healthy as a huge health shop?
It seems to me that Mother Nature has made it easy to give up the bad stuff. Once you stop slathering your food with salt, fat and seasonings, you start appreciating what it really tastes like. I’m not advocating that we should all gnaw on carrots – I’m as much of a culinary hedonist as the next bloke, but when the taste of unassuming fare just about blows your mind, then imagine how good the really well prepared stuff tastes. Simply put – try dropping the junk (or the meat or the cheese), you may just find that you don’t miss it anywhere near as much as you feared you might.