Smell Training – One. by Debbie Jinks

Well I’ve been for my Smell Training with Chris Kelly, and as promised, I’m back to tell you all about it. If you haven’t read my previous post ‘Spring back to life’, it’s probably a good idea to do that first or you may not know what the heck I’m talking about. I’ve decided to break it down into separate posts as it was very involved and intense so there isn’t really a way of shortening or simplifying it. I think if I tried to do that it would take away the significance of it as an important chapter of my life in words for me.

(Photographs courtesy of Chris Kelly smelltraining.co.uk).

My training lasted all afternoon and involved eating & tasting, sniffing, talking, documenting and walking, (with Chris’s lovely dogs). The eating side of it involved what I could and couldn’t taste, whether it tasted good, or bad, texture, colour. Taste was the first thing we looked at and Chris used various types of smoothies for this to gauge my reactions – what could I taste, was it good, bad, nothing. She had also very generously made a salad for lunch, with lots of taste, texture and colour variations to make the food more interesting. For all my Anosmic buddies reading this, the salad was made up of – various salad leaves, thinly sliced fennel bulb, avocado, pomegranate seeds, roasted figs, and pine nuts. With warm fried goats cheese coated in breadcrumbs. Give it a go my friends!
There were a lot of taste sensations combined such as tangy, salty, sweet and slightlybitter, meaning that I was getting varied flavours rather than the one flat or often horrible taste I was used to. The different textures made it even more interesting, the goats cheese didn’t taste of anything except salt, but the texture made up for that, with it being soft inside then crumbly and slightly crisp on the outside. I can honestly say I enjoyed it. The only thing that didn’t sit well with me were the pine nuts as they had an unpleasant aftertaste, which was my Parosmia kicking in. I don’t get on with the taste of nuts much anyway so I half expected this. But that was part of the point identifying what I could/couldn’t eat or taste, and recording it.

Chris asked me what I was experiencing while we ate so I ended up talking with my mouth full quite a bit….how uncouth! But the experience was great as it was the most interesting food I’d had in a long time almost like reawakening my taste buds. I’ve made the salad at home since and its still good, very exciting for me! Its made me want to try harderand experiment with food more, instead of being complacent about it which is definitely how I had become. What a good start to the afternoon.  Watch out Ruck I might be taking over the cooking again at this rate!

 (Note from The Editor: Many thanks to Debbie for opening up about her experiences with Anosmia. Many people live with conditions that most would never see, experiance or understand but to read about them allows us to open our minds to situations we cant comprehend. To read more from Debbie you can visit her personal blog (icantsmellathing.blogspot.com) or check out her author page here.)
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