I find that mindless activities are excellent for creative thinking. There's something freeing about having your hands busy and your brain minimally occupied! Needlework, driving, dishwashing and solitaire games are examples of when a lot of "eureka moments" hit me ... and i had one this morning.
Way back in my Atkins-days, i found it fascinating that the foods i most craved were GREENS. As a child, i (strangely enough) liked spinach, but never was a huge fan of the occasional beet- or turnip-greens to be found in our house -- well, i just didn't like the way my mother cooked them! Flavor-wise, the seasoning of all these was redundant, and she cooked the roots WITH the tops, and i believe they're better separate. My husband started making things like mustard, kale, chard and collards using different styles, and i became an AVID enthusiast. To CRAVE GREENS -- a completely new experience....
A similar pattern emerged when i started trying new cocktail recipes. I quickly tired of the sweet, koolaid-like bases for alcohol, and new favorites like the Calvados Cocktail (with a whopping 1/2 oz of orange bitters), Satan's Whiskers and Campari-&-soda are now my before-dinner choices.
Maybe i'm a little slow, but it took me awhile to connect the dots after i read that study last week (thanks, Bill!) and did some more googling -- bitter flavors on the tongue prompt an increase in stomach-acid AND bile production. More of each makes for a happier digestive system, and the bile specifically encourages the conversion of more thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3): short answer, bitters make me feel more "normal"!
The old-timers were right ... as usual. Eat your greens and drink your aperitif, they're good for you -- and now we know why.