Have you ever heard people saying, “we eat with our eyes?” Although the phrase may sound silly, give it some thought. Our eyes tell us when we’re attracted to the opposite sex. You’re not going to get up close and personal with someone you don’t find physically appealing are you?
It is the same with food.
So it could be said we do eat with our eyes. If we don’t find it physically pleasing then it’s unlikely we’ll want to eat it. Ever wondered why restaurants serve up meals with a little garnish on the plate, some salad, etc. It is to make the food seem more attractive. If it looks pleasant then chances are it probably tastes that way as well. A problem a lot of people have is not making their meals look good enough. When people start a diet they invariably make their meal look dull and boring. Extra effort is needed to make it seem exciting and appetising.
Do we perhaps make unhealthy meals seem more appealing? Dress them with trims and garnishes as we don’t like to think how bad they are for us. Is this perhaps true with some meal choices in restaurants? Maybe they don’t want us to think of all the unhealthy ingredients that make up the dish.
So how can we make our diet more attractive? Let’s discuss some important points.
As with all things in life we are guided by our senses. We are not attracted by things that give off an unappealing aroma or don’t look good on the eye. It is the same with food. Make your meal look pleasant and enjoyable by adding lots of colour. Lemon or other acidic juices sprinkled over your food will help it keep its colour until ready to serve. A good tip to keep green veg from losing colour is to only cook it briefly.
It’s vital to add lots of colour to mealtimes. Be creative and make your food vibrant and appealing. If it’s overcooked, dull or soggy it’s not going to appear appetizing. Vegetables are a great way of adding appeal to food as they come in so many colours. Yellow peppers, red onions, green celery, all excellent additions to your plate and attracting the eye.
Next time you’re at a market or in the vegetable aisle at a store have a look around at the wide variety of colour available. Check out the freshness. Make food tempting to the nose and taste buds as well. Add lots of spices and herbs to give a rich aroma and flavour.
All too often healthy low fat food can seem tasteless but with a little know how it can be turned into a vibrant and delicious feast. A cheap and easy way of adding taste is by using peppers to make a meal hot and spicy. Tone it down a little and add sweetness by using a little sugar.
Unfortunately this is often missed in the cooking and preparation of meals. Just as important as taste and smell, if it isn’t feeling good to chew then you’re most likely going to want to spit it out! Don’t burn or over cook your food. Blanch your veg to keep it crisp – nothing is worse than soggy vegetables! Don’t turn your meals into dull, tasteless experiences – keep everything as good on the eye and taste buds as they were before they were cooked.
Organise the food on your plate so it looks appealing and attractive as well. Make your meal look larger by using a smaller plate. Don’t just dump the food on your plate – arrange everything out nicely and spread it out well covering the whole plate. Add aroma to mealtimes by burning scented candles or incense while you eat. Be aware though that the fruit scented ones may increase your appetite! An appealing fragrance in the air will make you forget about your hunger.
Don’t forget to take in plenty of liquids with your meal. It’s not a good idea to wait until after eating to have your drink, take it whilst you eat as this makes your stomach feel fuller and aids digestion.