4 Ways To Reset Your Taste Buds (In Other Words: How To Crave Only The Healthy Stuff)

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(Photo: Kate Powers)

You’ve heard a lot about how clean eating is good for our bodies—but how do we get our bodies to actually want to eat clean?

Candice Kumai, author of Clean Green Eats: 100+ Clean-Eating Recipes to Improve Your Whole Life, has a few ideas for resetting your palate and making it actually crave healthier foods.

Think whole: Resetting your palate starts with gearing toward eating real, whole foods, says Kumai—that means “foods that are not processed or full of sugar,” she says.

Take 10 days off processed sugar: It’s a week and a half of sweet-stuff avoidance, but it’s worth it. “If you were born after 1980, there’s a good chance your body is addicted to sugar,” she says. For 10 days, do this: “No sweet bars, no candy, no smoothies with mysterious ingredients,” she says. “It’ll help cleanse your mind, body, and palate.”

Cook at home: “Your greatest resource to eating cleaner is cooking!” Kumai says. “Learn to cook and you will be able to control sugar intake, control salt, control fats, and never use processed foods!” Kumai’s book, Clean Green Eats & Clean Green Drinks, has recipes that use nutrient-rich (and yummy) ingredients like almonds, kale greens, and kabocha squash.

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Stock your fridge: Kumai keeps these low-sugar staples around at all times: “These amazing foods keep me satisfied, slim, and happy—of course!” she says. “Try purchasing more foods in bulk; be mindful of the processed foods you’re purchasing, and check sugar content on labels for a clean palate.” Here are some of her faves:
* Kale; leafy greens (arugula, romaine, brussels sprouts)
* Extra-virgin olive oil; coconut oil
* Avocados and almonds (Kumai eats both every day)
* Fennel
* Lemons
* Whole-wheat pasta (gluten-free is A-OK too)
* Red potatoes; sweet potatoes
* Tamari soy sauce
* Green tea; matcha tea powder
* Almond milk; coconut milk
* Frozen blueberries; acai berries
* Bananas; Fuji apples
* Canned tomatoes
* Fresh basil, rosemary, garlic, onions
* Gluten-free oats and flours (such as coconut and garbanzo)

And, as a bonus incentive for thinking about rekeying your taste buds, Kumai offers this recipe for one of her favorite reset salads:

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Candice’s Clean Detox Apple and Cabbage Salad


  • 2 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar

  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt (low sugar)

  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds

  • ¼ tsp. sea salt

  • 2 tbsp. dried cranberries (optional for sweetness)

In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk to combine.


  • ½ head Savoy cabbage

  • ½ head red cabbage

  • 1 Fuji apple

  • ¼ red onion

  • ½ cup thinly sliced/slivered almonds

Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice the cabbages, apple, and red onion to resemble extremely fine confetti. Transfer to a large bowl. Add almonds and cranberries (if using). Toss gently to combine. Top with the dressing. Using salad tongs, mix until evenly dressed.

Have you ever “reset” your palate? What’s worked for you?

By Lexi Petronis 

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