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Diversity, a Principle of Nature – In What You Eat as Well as What You Grow

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to admit how long I lived before I learned certain information that was vital to my well being and could have made me healthier and thus, improved my life much sooner.

Until we learn otherwise, we’re pretty much a product of our upbringing.

Take food for example. Food selection when I was growing up was basically limited to meats, meats, and more meats along with white bread, butter, eggs, dumplings, green beans cooked 48 hours with ham, canned peas and spinach, mashed potatoes made with evaporated milk, apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, and tomatoes.

Not a health creating diet. It’s no wonder I had all kinds of intestinal problems – colitis being one of them — until I learned that eating correctly (or even just going in that direction) can make all the difference.

In my ongoing search for improving various aspects of my life, I came across a CD program about 10 years ago entitled Magical Mind, Magical Body by Deepak Chopra, M.D. who advocates alternative medicine. I learned invaluable, simple ways to improve my health and vision.

One of the things I found most interesting was how some people can control eating disorders and imbalances in the body by using their taste buds. Here’s how it works:

There are six tastes and thus we have six different types of taste buds. We need ALL six tastes at least once a day, or preferably at every meal to feel satisfied and to ensure that all nutrients and food groups are represented. (What an easy way to make sure we get everything we need! It’s all built into us.)

Dr. Chopra goes on to say that most people in our country today only satisfy the first 3 (sweet, sour, and salt) which causes imbalances. (He points out, by the way, that these are the only tastes in fast foods.)

The Six Tastes Are:

  • Sweet – includes grains (and food made from grains like bread, pasta), starchy vegetables (like potatoes), all meats and dairy, sugar, honey, molasses.
  • Sour – includes citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, pickled foods, vinegar, cheese yogurt, alcohol
  • Salty – salt, soy sauce and any food to which salt has been added
  • Pungent – includes peppers, chilies, onions, garlic, cayenne, cloves, ginger, mustard, salsa
  • Bitter – includes various greens, spinach, kale, lettuce, celery, brocolli, beets, sprouts
  • Astringent – includes lentils, dried beans, cauliflower, figs, pomegranates, tea

Reviewing this information  a few weeks ago explained to me (again) why I felt constantly hungry if I didn’t include something from the “sweet” taste category at my meals (like bread).

For various reasons I’ve basically had the same thing to eat every day for the nine months since Bill’s been gone.  But as long as I include all 6 tastes, I’m satisfied.

Here’s what I have:

Various greens, chopped cabbage and carrot, radishes, onions, garlic and oil and vinegar.

Various greens, chopped cabbage and carrot, radishes, onions, garlic and oil and vinegar.

I chop at least two cloves of garlic and mix with the chopped cabbage and carrots which was coated lightly with oil and vinegar.  Once the oil and vinegar is added, the garlic is not overpowering and blends with the other tastes.  (Raw garlic is extremely beneficial to your health.)

I rough chop the radishes and onions and mix with chopped parsley or dill, a bit of salt and coat lightly with oil and vinegar.

Radishes, onions, dill, a bit of salt coated with some oil and vinegar.

Radishes, onions, dill, and a dash of salt coated with some oil and vinegar.

Greens include arugula, beet greens, tender chards, and lettuce.  I add a little salt. Then lightly coat with oil and vinegar.

If I happen to be  fortunate enough to have an avocado, I happily slice that for inclusion.

I stuff a little of everything into a whole wheat pita pocket and enjoy with a cup of tea.

Final Thoughts

If you didn’t already know about the 6 tastes, I hope you’ll put this information to use in your life and see if it makes a difference for you.

____

11 comments to Diversity, a Principle of Nature – In What You Eat as Well as What You Grow

  • Thank you for the reminder. It’s important that we learn to eat for our health and not just to satisfy the appetite. I say that because if we have eaten “junk food, fast food” our taste buds are perverted and need to be retrained. How good real food taste when that happens. If radishes were in season here I would be trying out your radish salad….it looks amazing.

  • Dianna Malta

    Over the past ten years, I have changed my diet to one similar to the one you described, and it has made a huge difference in my overall health. Need more vinegar/astringent items though, with the goal to reduce inflammation! Thanks as always for sharing your wisdom.

  • Betty Taylor

    Fascinating! Maybe this is what is going on when you’ve eaten, but you’re still “hungry for something and don’t know quite what that is.”

  • Pat

    Theresa, this post and the last one have convinced me to try the German Giant radish! I ordered some seed and cannot wait for them to get here. The only radish I have right now in the garden is the rat’s tail edible podded radish. It is terribly convenient. I just snap off several pods as I am walking through the garden and eat them right then and there!

  • Anna

    Thanks for the great post … always in need of food recipe inspirations. I also love that you reference Bill regularly as he is still a love of your life. My dad passed 2 yrs ago and I still talk of him regularly as he is still such a positive part of me and my life of 54 years.

    fan in nj,
    anna

  • Don Rutherford

    Theresa

    Is beer a sour or a sweet?

    I grew up a carnivore, but eat more veggies now and don’t have to have meat every supper, if not every meal.

    Seriously,

    Thank you for the wonderful information.

    Don

  • Theresa

    Comments are my favorite part of writing a post. They help me to know what you guys like to see me write about.

    Sheila, those radishes with sweet onions really are delicious!

    Thanks Dianna. It’s also made a difference in my overall health.

    Betty, that’s exactly what I thought.

    Pat, it’s turning too hot here for me to start more radishes and that’s sad because I’m almost out! I’ll have to wait until fall to get more. I’ll bet you’ll love the German Giants.

    Thanks for sharing how you felt Anna. It meant a lot to me. I was so sorry to hear your dad passed. I know you miss him so much.

    Don, I don’t know what beer is. I guess it could go either way.
    Glad to hear you’re enjoying veggies now. 🙂
    Theresa

  • Toni Brock

    That was very interesting to me. You photos are so beautiful and make me hungry just looking at them! I was so excited about finally getting French breakfast radishes cuz people raved about them, now I am going to have to search for your German Giants 🙂 i absolutely LOVE it when you share your food prep ideas.

  • Betty Dotson

    I began having allergic reactions to onions about 25 years ago. Then garlic about 7 years ago. I really miss their taste as well as their health benefits.
    I just planted beets and carrots yesterday and totally missed getting the spring lettuces, radishes & cabbage planted. I have big plans for fall planting.
    I’ve got to find a way to preserve my mustard greens for my winter vitamin shakes. The only idea I’ve thought of is chopped and frozen in large sized ice cubes.
    Still trying to make more raised beds, if only the ground would dry enough that I wouldn’t do more harm than good.
    Last year I planted a dill plant in my small circle flower garden in the middle of my vegetable garden ( you should have heard Alfred complain about how it would make it so much harder for him to till!) and have LOTS of baby dill plants this year! Can’t wait to harvest our potatoes to try your dill/potato recipe!
    Right this minute I’m craving a veggie pita pocket! Sounds so yummy!
    I keep thinking of your quote ‘Iron sharpens iron’ and you’ve proven it true in my life. I’m so thankful I found your Blog.
    Betty

  • Barb Burrs

    What did Betty Dotson mean in her comment of July 1 re: your quote ‘iron sharpens iron”? We love reading your ideas, etc. Thank u so much!

  • Theresa

    Thanks for asking Barb.
    Betty was referring to one of my favorite proverbs – “Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another.”
    Here are two posts that show that in use:
    http://tendingmygarden.com/spring-season-of-hope/
    http://tendingmygarden.com/one-man-sharpens-another-even-in-the-garden/
    Theresa

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