Many people suffer great difficulty transitioning to a Whole Food Plant Based diet because it is perceived as too bland. It feels like a terrible sacrifice!
We have five traditionally recognized senses: hearing, vision, touch, smell and taste. Interestingly, each of these senses are adjustable. The perception automatically scales to an equilibrium based on an average level of stimulation.
Hearing: If you are in a very quiet environment for an extended period of time, your hearing becomes extremely sensitive. You "can hear a pin drop." If you are in a loud environment your hearing sensitivity automatically turns down. Conversely, after a time in a very loud environment, the "pin drop" cannot be heard.
Vision: When one goes from the bright sunlight into a dark room, it is hard to see anything. For those who enjoy astronomy, night vision is of keen interest for viewing celestial objects in the dark sky. Considerable time in the dark is required for one's vision sensitivity to increase sufficiently for night vision.
Touch: The sense of touch follows the same sensitivity compensation. After putting on a hat, one can feel the pressure of the hat band around the head. After it has been on for a while, it can no longer be felt. It is easy to misplace one's glasses until found on the top of your head.
Smell: The sense of smell likewise compensates. For example, the sense of smell of a particular perfume can become so diminished that the wearer can no longer smell it even though it remains strong to everyone else. In the movie, "Water for Elephants", while shoveling tons of horse manure in a stock car, Jacob asked Wade, "How do you stand the smell?" Wade replied, "What smell?"
Taste: As with all other senses, taste is also adjustable. In the same manner as your hearing, sensitivity reduces in a high noise environment, taste reduces as stimulation increases. Taste sensitivity, however, is much slower to adjust; especially in the upward direction. This causes one to feel that extra flavor is always needed - that flavors need to be combined and added in order to maximize the taste sensation. I call this "screaming foods." As flavors become stronger, taste buds become weaker. Quiet foods, on the other hand, are absent the noise. It is like viewing the heavens with a sensitive "night vision" of taste. At this level, there are no bland foods. The taste of whole un-flavored, pristine fruits and vegetables can take your breath away in the same way as an astronomer views a beautiful distant galaxy or nebula. Such spiritual level experiences are only possible with sensitive senses.
In the course of learning to control my Type-1 diabetes, I employed an extremely simplified diet in order to log the effects of each type of food. Everything eaten was kept very simple so as not to introduce any "noise" into the data. During this process, my taste became more and more sensitive and eventually, for the first time, I discovered what a potato, a bean, a broccoli, rice, lettuce... an apple really tastes like - and it is beautiful. Since then, adding any sort of topping to my potato is like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa. The potato is already perfect. Adding anything is a negative. In those early times of discovery, most of my friends would feel sorry that I could not have what they were eating. I would explain that it doesn't bother me and that I am not deprived. Indeed, it was I that felt sorry for them missing out on the most beautiful tasting foods.
If you stick with a Whole Food Plat Based diet long enough and avoid meat analogs, complicated recipes or adding extra flavors, you too can experience flavors more beautiful than you have ever experienced or even imagined. But, it does take a while. It took me about a year to begin tasting the beauty of whole, pristine foods. After about three years, the taste, or even smell, of anything from an animal became disgustingly gross. But that is OK - actually, more than OK, because now, the flavors of all the bland foods are now heavenly brilliant! Absolutely worth the wait!