By the middle of my first college semester, I had mastered the dining hall flow. I had developed mental food lists for every meal. At dinner, I went right to the “lite” section, with unseasoned grilled chicken breasts, whole wheat pasta, and marinara sauce. More often than not, I went straight for that, made myself a side salad, and then might splurge for an ice cream bowl. (Have you been to Penn State’s Creamery? Even my disordered eating mind couldn’t pass it up every time.) I was eating healthy of course, according to my eating disorder. I was getting in my whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein. I rarely even paid attention to what was being served on the menu du jour. (But let’s be real, I probably wasn’t missing much either way.)
On most days, I had a turkey sandwich for lunch, except when I ate the Spaghettios to try and warm up and enjoy a childhood favorite. I started my days with a simple breakfast of toast and yogurt in my dorm room, with a handful of dried cereal or a piece of fruit. A creature of habit—or, beholden to the comfort of routine.
There were oh-so-many foods I wouldn’t allow myself to eat.
Others, I loved so much that I would allow myself to indulge on occasion. This was as much about keeping up appearances as it was about needing those simple indulgences every now and then. And as I got deeper into my nutrition studies, there were simply foods I would NEVER eat, or so said my eating disorder voice to my orthorexia.
As you might guess, these lists of “92 Foods So-and-So NEVER Eats!” were my jam.
If I wanted to continue manipulating my body—oh, ahem, for the sake of nutrition and health of course–I needed to memorize these lists. I needed to know the secrets and the calorie counts and then put my new (shallow) nutrition knowledge to task and create more food rules.
Obviously none of that did me any good. I had a disordered relationship with food, my body, and this nutrition knowledge that I abused. I didn’t need those lists, because what someone else chooses not to eat has NOTHING to do with me.
If this sounds familiar, and you want some help breaking away from these food rules, let’s chat.
You do not need to read these “Never Will I Ever” food lists.
You get to decide which foods you want to eat, and why you want to eat them. You get to choose whether your health is a priority. Your health is not a moral obligation. You get to decide if, when, or why you want to work with a registered dietitian to improve your health, or your relationship with food and your body, or both.
Learn more about the Anti-Diet Approach to Dietetics, and how to work with clients who have disordered eating patterns, through the RD Real Talk Round Table events.
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I’m posting these seven foods I never eat for two reasons:
1) It caught your attention, for one reason or another.
2) That gave me an opportunity to let you know that this list of seven foods I never eat has nothing to do with you, your health, or the food rules you DO NOT need to live by. Now, I hope the next time you see an article titled “8 Foods a Dietitian Never Eats!” or “5 Things These Dietitians Keep Out of Their House!” or “12 Foods This Thin-Instagram-Influencer Has Banned for Life and You Can Too!” you know to keep scrolling on by, click away, ignore entirely. That food list doesn’t have anything to do with you.
You can stop reading right here. But, if you’re curious, I’m going to post seven foods I never eat, for fun, anyway.
Real Talk: These are foods I never eat because I DON’T LIKE THEM.
Not even a little bit. If I have any of the following foods, it is 100 percent accidental and I make a terrible face. I have a hard time even hiding my distaste for these foods when my husband eats them, and he likes to laugh about the childish expression I make, on impulse. Because I really can’t even with these foods. But YOU DO YOU.
Why is there such a mushy, tasteless vegetable in this world? Why are they part of every frozen vegetable mix that befell my childhood plates? Why are they in casseroles? Why are they so tiny and difficult to eat around? WHY has someone mushed them further, into a soup? It’s all a sad vegetable story, IN MY OPINION.
When someone decided to allow the mold to grow on a cheese and then eat it, they made one of their own worst life decisions, IN MY OPNION. It smells weird, and tastes worse. It is a MOLDY cheese. When else is it acceptable to eat mold? And why? Plenty of fresh cheese exist in this world, with a great savory flavor, and that’s all I need to know.
On a recent trip through the Portland airport, I picked up a yogurt parfait for breakfast. It was an easy grab-and-go option, with some granola and dried fruit up at the top, to mix in. Part of that dried fruit mix was dried papaya, which I almost spit out ON the plane. While in motion. Something about dried papaya turns it into a weird spicy fruit. (Or maybe just that particular mix?) I am NOT into spicy fruit.
See above: Moldy cheese. I look at cottage cheese and can’t see anything but a spoiled food that’s acceptable to eat, for whatever reason. I ate it once by mistake as a kid–it was part of a dessert, which is even worse–and I’ll never forget the shock. TBH, I haven’t tried it again since but I have no desire to. And that’s enough to keep me away.
My husband LOVES sardines, so we have a box of them delivered every month. He puts them on his salads at work, which is great because it means I never have to smell them. I’m into most, if not all, other types of fish. But these little smelly, salty, slimy swimmers are NOT MY THING.
This is another one I trace back to childhood trauma, but also the shock I’ve experienced when I order a sandwich or wrap from a new deli (while traveling or something) and they use a spicy mustard or horseradish, OR BOTH. It’s all I can do to keep that bite in my mouth. I do have SOME manners, though.
If there are any other FRIENDS fans here, you may remember the “Aw, he was gonna drink the FAT!” episode. That’s how I picture eggnog. A cup of some viscous substance that is simply not meant to be consumed as a liquid. Eggs for breakfast? SURE. Egg burrito? YES. Baking with eggs? Of course! Hard boiled? I’m in. Drinking eggs? DRINKING THEM? But, why? It’s not appetizing…TO ME.
Please make note that all of the above are simply my personal preferences. I’ve shared them for no other reason than your entertainment. I don’t deem any of the above foods that NO ONE should eat (unless you want to eat something tasty, in which case, stay far away, obviously). I don’t ban them from my diet because of any health reason. I ban them because I do not like how they taste, or feel, in my mouth.
Please refrain from making someone else’s food rules your own.
As one so-called doctor (Seuss) might say here, “You are you, that is truer than true.” Your food tastes and preferences are okay, because they are yours. Don’t let some attention-grabbing list decide otherwise for you. If you do feel like your food rules and preferences are overpowering your decision to eat what (and when and how) you like, and it’s all-consuming to live by these food rules, let’s chat. Please, let’s take you out of that diet cage.