Why Fast Food Is Addictive: Ronald McDonald and The 6 Tastes of Ayurveda
Over the past 50-60 years, our American culture has slowly become out of balance with nature. With the speed of technology and the crazy, intense pace of our lives, our bodies can’t help but live in a chronic state of stress. The phrase is “fight or flight.” Either you’ve heard the terms, or you may -- in fact -- be living it yourself. 
From the minute we wake up in the morning, our bodies are prepared for that state of emergency. It could be the almost car accident you got into on your way to work, the three jobs you’re trying to juggle, your kids screaming at you in the background, the marathon you’re training for or the relationship with your partner that has become less than ideal... Our bodies don’t know the difference. Stress is stress. And it’s chronic.
Our nervous systems are out of balance. So, Ronald McDonald went to India in 1954 to learn more about the six tastes in Ayurvedic nutrition. And, what did he find out?
According to Ayurvedic tradition, our bodies naturally crave tastes that balance our doshic make-up and shun tastes that are aggravating to our nature. The sweet taste of milkshakes are soothing and calming to our nervous systems. Salt (i.e. French fries) improves the taste of food, calms our nerves and prevents anxiety. And, the sour taste of pickles on burgers stimulates our appetites.
It’s called comfort food. Don’t you crave it when your life is going 90 miles an hour? Ah, that first bite! It’s like the needle to a heroine addict. It worked in America, and the rest of the world soon followed. Come 2012, and McDonald’s has more than 33,000 restaurants (do we actually call them that?), serving nearly 68 million people in 119 countries every day!
So, now we’re on track to have the entire world following in our American footsteps. Doesn’t that scare you?!
The problem is, there are actually six tastes that should be present in every meal and guide us toward proper nutritional health. Sweet, salty and sour are only three of them. The others are:
  • the bitter taste which is cleansing and detoxifying;
  • the pungent taste which strengthens our systems; 
  • the astringent taste which cleanses our blood and helps us maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Chances are, your tongue may also be missing a few of these tastes. Can you pass by the entrance to your favorite fast food restaurant, and add more peppers, chilies, radishes, ginger, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, sprouts and beets to your diet instead?

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About the Author

Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Hayley creates lifestyle transformations by coaching her clients to strengthen, nourish and evolve through the cycles and shifts in life. Combining cutting edge understanding in all three disciplines due to years of anatomical study and dietary theory, Hayley’s approach leverages their blended benefits and results. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening–empowering her client’s to heal not only their physical bodies, but their hearts and minds as well. Hayley studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, with David Wolfe, raw food expert and is an essential oil expert in her own right. She is a doTERRA Presidential Diamond and a Pangea Beauty Ecologist. Her insights and articles can also be found on her blog, Positively Positive, Natural Cures, Yoganonomous and Elephant Journal . She has also been featured in Pilates Style magazine, Natural Health magazine and Triathlete Magazine. She has fun running and playing in the mountains with her husband, former world-ranked triathlete, Wes Hobson and their two beautiful daughters, Makenna and Madeline. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events she's hosting and custom programs go to hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.