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What continues to surprise me is the simplicity of meals that I eat these days

Sounds like you've discovered the concept of Sensory Specific Satiety Since childhood, I've pretty much always eaten/cooked "simple" or "clean". To the extent that my husband often comments that those 5 ingredient cookbooks you see around have 3 to many ingredients for me.

I credit my mum with instilling a tradition of monotonous cooking in me. Always felt a bit guilty about my seeming laziness until a series of nutrition lectures I took about 10 or so years back. The lecturer mentioned this (SSS) and quoted various researchers in the field ((Barbara Rolls for but one name to Google, if interested) Was quite empowering to realise that I .... and my mum before me.... was embracing cutting edge science.
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