Remember that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original — not that Johnny Depp monstrosity) when the mad confectioner shows off his mind-melding new creations to Charlie and co.? If you're anything like us, that scene elicited more than a few oohs and ahhs when you first saw it as a kid — the idea that you could eat something that could completely transform your daily reality served as daydream fodder for years to come. Of course, these sorts of psychedelic sensory experiences can be approximated through experimentation with substances, both legal and otherwise. But, what if you could achieve a Wonka-esque trip without the risk of any wonky side effects?
Okay, so it's not quite the technicolor dream depicted above, but it turns out that there are a number of ways to tweak your senses to achieve greater productivity and optimize your health. The Daily Beast's Ari Meisel has put together a handy guide to "biohacking for beginners," teaching intrepid readers how to safely and easily mess with their minds. Some of the tips are relatively tame, like using essential oils to alter your mood (lavender is calming, while cinnamon can increase focus). Employing different colored lights can help regulate our circadian rhythms and maximize our waking hours — apparently, red is best if you're trying to hunker down and do some serious work, while a soft green hue has a calming effect.
But, perhaps unsurprisingly, our favorite happens to be the most trippy. A natural plant extract known as Miraculin binds to the sweet receptors in your taste buds, making sour or acidic foods taste very, very sweet. It's as easy as popping a Miracle Berry tablet, which is available on Amazon. Psychedelic awesomeness aside, we kind of love the idea of being able to eat a grapefruit (or even some kimchi) to satisfy our 3 p.m. sugar craving.