Part of mastering mindful eating is learning to appreciate taste. How something tastes when you first sample. How something tastes after a while. How something tastes when you are hungry and when you are not.
Interestingly, what we call “taste” or flavor” is greatly influenced by what we smell. When we can’t smell a food, we can’t taste it. This happens all the time when we have a bad cold.
Next time you have a cold that’s got your nose stuffed like a turkey on Thanksgiving, try a taste test. Choose three or four items and see if you can taste them. If you’ve got a friend with you, you could try this test blind-folded and guess what the food is first by smelling it and then by tasting it.
When we can’t smell a food and consequently can’t really taste we often lose our appetite for it. The right smell can make us want to eat more, while the wrong smell–or no smell–can make us eat less. Keep this lesson in mind as you build your taste-awareness skill for mindful eating.