It will take time to adjust to your smell loss

Learning to face food, from the awful beginnings to peaceful coexistance

If you are just starting to adjust to smell loss, you need to find what works for you. Take a look at the graphic on the right. See if you can recognise yourself in one of the stages. 

We’ve all thought it would be great if there could be a cookbook for anosmics. But over and over this has proven difficult to do. Why? Because while there are some foods that many of us agree are plain disgusting, there seems to be little consensus on what we *can* tolerate. A recipe that works for one, will probably be disgusting to the next person.

The thing to remember is this: it is up to you to find out what foods you can bear. It’s a challenge. You’ll start by saying “everything is awful, don’t make me”. But you have to keep trying. Sometimes the first mouthful is unbearable, then by the third mouthful you can actually tolerate it. On bad days, keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that things will change.

Tips for the beginning:

If food is really unpalatable, experiment with unflavoured protein powder mixed with a beverage you can tolerate. Most premade ones have flavourings which you may not like. Find what works best.

Everyone is different. What appeals to you may not appeal to others, so don’t rely on what you read on the internet. Explore. Get a helper if you feel unmotivated.

You’ll probably want more salt and sugar. This is not great, but if it is your only option, use them as a crutch until you get stable.

Explore meals with true taste balance: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami all together. Examples: sweet and sour, Indian meals with chutneys, salads with different lettuces, cheese, fruit (fresh or dried).

Artificial flavourings are awful for most, but sometimes the tangy-cool-cheesy Doritos are just the thing.

Think about colour on your plate. More is better. White food on a white plate may no longer work, even if it is comfort food.

Eat like a baby: the golden triangle of hands, mouth, nose. Pick up the food and feel it. Hold it to your nose, explore it in your mouth. (just don’t smear it on the walls!). You are developing a new relationship with food. Give it time.