ADF Side Effect - Super Human Smell

Day 9, Fast Day #5

A side effect of alternate day fasting I have noticed that is both a blessing and a curse is increased olfactory perception.

At first I thought that I was imagining my sense of smell being better because I was hungry and Zach hasn't noticed any differences in his sense of smell. Turns out olfactory perception and sense of taste have been studied in people who are fasting. Increases in the palatability of food and odor identification was seen in females in the study and an overall change in odor threshold in all participants. Another study shows that hungry people are also more aware of non-food odors than non-hungry people.

My super smell power on fast days is a noticeable and tempting reminder of hunger, especially when walking by restaurants and smelling the microwaved lunches of co-workers. I can also smell the trash needing to be taken out before I enter my own apartment. Yuck.

On the brighter side of my fast day heightened sense of smell, the actual taste of the food I eat is awesome. Since most of our perception of taste comes from smell, my super smell makes the fast day meal taste better than it would normally. Prior to ADF, I needed a dip, dressing, or sauce to have an interest in eating most raw vegetables. But when I am having my fast day meal, vegetables like broccoli and celery seem magically sweeter and delicious on their own. Carrots become like orange candy. No hummus or ranch dressing required.

It is time to end this blog entry before I make myself even more hungry than I am!

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