A nice cold drink of water

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, March 22, 2012

In the market the other day, as I sadly made all the healthy food choices that my doctor would want, my cashier looked over my purchases.

“You know, I should get these,” she said, referring to my Crystal Light drink pouches. “Then maybe I’d drink more water.”

“Or you could just drink more water,” I responded.

“I can’t. I hate the taste of water,” she said.

As a foodie, a statement like that makes me sad and a little curious of about the state of our taste buds. Is not liking water simply a personal preference? Or are we so surrounded by flavor that some of the very building blocks of eating are becoming too plain to bear?

Now that I’m gluten-free, I’ve come to a new level of appreciation for food in its simplest form. Fruits and vegetables are just fine right out of the ground. A steak doesn’t need steak sauce. And a cool glass or bottle of water is still pretty refreshing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that expecting more out of our food is bad. After all, I’m sure no one’s disappointed that some genius somewhere decided serve peanut butter with jelly or top a hot Mexican dish with fresh cilantro. Flavor is a very good thing. I’m just saying one shouldn’t disrespect what food means to us.

In a world full of food innovations, it’s helpful to take it back to basics every now and then. The cool, crisp first bite into an apple is still one of life’s finest pleasures. Eating without gluten has reminded me that food is fun and best when it’s fundamental.

When you’re a type-2 diabetic, the battles with food are so varied and border on the ridiculous. But, with discipline, a serious foodie can survive on the simpler things, as we were intended to do. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but focusing on the simpler things makes your taste buds more aware, heightened by focusing on the little intricacies of the food that has sustained us all.

So if you don’t like the taste of water, consider a life without it. It, like so many other foods, still has those subtle pleasantries we should hold dear.

Take your taste buds back to the basics every now and then. It’s a good way to ensure you’ll appreciate the gift that food is for the duration of your life.