A client asked, “How would I know if something in my refrigerator is still good or if it has gone bad?”

I advised her to use her senses.

“First, look at the food and see what it looks like. Does it have an odd color or uneven patches of color? Maybe some brown, green, orange, black, or white spots? Does it have a weird shiny glaze on top, or is there some fuzz growing on it?”

And, then I told her, “Put your nose into the container and take a whiff. If your face recoils from that container in any way, it’s a sure sign you shouldn’t put that food into your mouth and eat it.”

We can usually decipher from smell alone whether something is good for us. It’s not 100 percent foolproof, but the majority of the time, your nose can tell you exactly what you need to know about whether or not to put a substance inside your body.

You would be surprised how many people do not actually look at their food or smell it before it goes into their mouths. It’s more common than you may think.

Most of us are rushing through meals and not connecting with our food or the fact that the food is actually going to become our bodies on a cellular level. We do not take time to connect with our senses, and we certainly do not take time to smell, taste or chew our food, which can be a BIG problem for the digestive system.

I’ll give you a personal example. Three times in the past two years, my husband suffered from food poisoning or had a negative reaction to something he ate after dining out at a restaurant or other eatery.

Each time he asked me to taste his food or he would put a little piece of it on my plate to share what he was eating. I would look at it. Then I would smell it. And then, I would put a small amount of it into my mouth to taste it. On each of the occasions he suffered from food poisoning, I said to him, “I don’t like it. It’s got an odd flavor,” and I didn’t eat any more of it.

My hubby, unfortunately, has a voracious appetite. Even if something tastes a little bit off, he’ll bypass his senses to get that food into his stomach—not a good practice. But, he’s not alone. Lots of people do this.

Just the other day, as he was gently nursing another stomachache, he finally said, “The next time we’re out to eat, if you think the food tastes funny, do NOT let me eat it no matter how hungry I am!”

I said, “Okay. Until you can slow down and come to your senses, I’ll be your guide on this.”

We have to connect with our senses when feeding the body. Otherwise we can set ourselves up for long-term digestive trouble and once that happens, it can take time, specific foods, and herbal remedies, to repair the damage. You can learn more about what foods/herbs to eat to repair gut health here: Supporting Your Gut Health

At your next meal, take a moment to look at your food. Does it look appetizing? To determine if it is healthful, or not so healthful, just LOOK at it! It’ll take only one or two seconds to scan your plate.

Then, smell that food. You don’t have to put your whole face into the plate, but somehow get a whiff of it before it goes into your mouth. Put some on your fork and smell it. Aromas activate your salivary glands and digestive juices, and get your body ready for eating.

Your sense of smell is also connected to your limbic system. The limbic system controls memory and emotions, and it’s connected to the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which control the release of hormones that affect our appetite, nervous system, body temperature, stress levels, and concentration.[1]

Utilizing your sense of smell is essential for regulating your food intake and for letting you know whether or not something is going to nourish you.

I’m sure at one time or another in your life, you entered someone’s home and the scent of home-cooked food made your mouth water or made you feel comfortable and safe. This is one of the reasons real estate agents sometimes bake a batch of cookies or bread if they are trying to sell a home. The aroma of baked goodies wafting in the air creates a sense of warmth, comfort, and well-being. Why do you think people line up outside bakeries when a new baked good is launched into the marketplace?

Our sense of smell is powerful, and can let us know whether something can physically and/or nutritionally support us on a deep level.

When I was in my early thirties, I had “gone vegan” after reading some inspiring books about veganism. After two years of abstaining from all animal proteins and saturated fats, I began suffering from adrenal fatigue and muscle weakness.

When I finally contemplated eating meat again, I remember looking at the meat for a long time, and then smelling it. My mouth filled with saliva. It was the most interesting sensation. My glands became very active, and I was practically drooling!

That was a sign from my physical body that meat was the food I was supposed to eat at that time. My body was in a state of deficiency. Regardless of any information I had read in the vegan books or other “health-related” materials about meat being bad for health, my body was clearly saying something completely different.

I honored my senses, gave my body what it needed, and my condition improved.

Are you using your senses, or are you eating blindly, so to speak?

Take the time to connect with your food on a deep level. Look at your food and smell it before you eat it. You may be surprised at what your senses tell you.

 

[1] http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rswenson/NeuroSci/chapter_9.html