I know it’s not real food, but I still like it

AKA, the less than real food confessional.

We’re generally here because we believe in real, traditional food. Food like our ancestors ate, food meant to promote good health for ourselves and our families and community. We’re all at different stages on the real food journey, and I am sure I am not the only one who still enjoys some things which don’t fit into the niche of traditional foods. Here are a few things I still love, which I know full well are not the best things for me to consume.

1. Alcohol

We’ve all heard the various reports of wine being good for you… then bad for you again the next week. And bitters are wonderful for the digestion. I’m a fan of Licor 43, and Averna after Thanksgiving dinner. I also love Sambuca, red wine, white wine, beer, mead, vodka, rum, gin, scotch… you get the picture. I enjoy drinking, but without it being a crutch, and I HATE getting drunk. But alcohol is definitely something regular in my diet, and I know full well it’s not good for me.

2. Chocolate
Yes, the weakness of many is one of mine too. I’ve cut out caffeine, gave up soda almost ten years ago, cut out most refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oils in 2004. But somehow I can’t get chocolate out entirely. Since I tend to indulge in it when I have it, keeping it around is not the best thing for my overall diet. At least now when I do buy chocolate, I get Equal Exchange brand. Not only is it fair trade, it’s one of the very few brands completely free of soy lechtin. Their chocolate with caramel and sea salt is to die for.

To clarify based on some comments: I do believe that chocolate is real food. What trips me up more is that chocolate ties in heavily with the next item on my list. For me, it can easily become too much of a good thing!
If you’re a fan of chocolate, I highly recommend the book The True History of Chocolate by Sophie and Michael Coe. This is the reason why I switched from milk to dark chocolate.

3. Food
How is food a weakness, you ask? When you’re me and you enjoy the whole process of eating. I unfortunately have a tendency to overindulge when I eat, which I know full well is not good for me. This has been a problem for most of my life, and I have yet to figure out how to get over this one.

I asked over on the Facebook group if anyone had some not so real food confessionals to make too.
From Delicious Obsessions:
Kraft mayo, Annie’s Mac and Cheese, and diet Dr. Pepper.
My friend Pixi seconded the vote for Annie’s. Until I started making my own mac and cheese, I ate Annie’s too. But nothing matched Kraft Mac and Cheese like they made when I was a kid, when the cheese sauce was in a can.
Autism is a Trip gave a vote for Hellman’s mayonnaise along with kinder eggs. I wish we could get those in the states just so I could have one!

So what about you? What non-real foods do you still love?

I’m sharing this post over at Real Food Wednesday.

15 responses to “I know it’s not real food, but I still like it

  1. I for one think chocolate is Real Food. Yes, there are some downsides to it, but there are some very big upsides to it, besides the taste. The Aztecs ate chocolate. Of course we went and added tons of sugar to it, but if eaten in moderation and if you know you are okay with it, then I say go for it! And like you, I am a HUGE fan of Equal Exchange. They make excellent coffee and tea as well, I might add.

    But a funny story about chocolate. Every year before Easter, my dear husband likes to get Cadbury Creme Mini-Eggs. The regular creme eggs are too big for him, but he liked the flavor. Note the past tense. This year, after another year of trying to make our diet that much cleaner with better ingredients, he can no longer stand the Creme eggs. The face he made as he bit into the one he tried was priceless.

    • Hi Heather!

      To be fair I do consider chocolate to be real food too. Perhaps I should have better tied it in to point three: it’s very easy for me to go overboard with chocolate.

      I used to LOVE cream eggs. Then a year or two ago I bought one in the spring, bit into it… and it just didn’t taste that good to me. So I guess going for real food really can change your taste buds.

      • Believe me, Soli, I have the same problem. I have a major sweet tooth, and I find that real food sweets are just that more addicting because they taste so good!!!

        As for taste bud change, I can really taste the rancidity if I have say, French fries that have been cooked in veggie oil. Before I didn’t. Ah well, it’s all for the best!

  2. I knew I had one concession–Coca-Cola! I never buy the regular stuff–if I find Mexican Coke or Kosher Coke, I stock up. Neither of them have HFCS, but there’s something about Coke that I just love.

    I do have to say the Mexican Coke is better because I usually find it in glass bottles, while the Kosher coke is always in plastic. There’s definitely a taste difference.

    Of course, what’s worse is that I sort of enjoy the metallic flavor that the aluminum cans lend the soda. Yikes!!!

  3. Therese - Artistta

    For me I do indulge in a couple of non real foods. Our family also eats Annie’s Mac n’ cheese, like mentioned above. I have made it from scratch and it’s certainly not hard, but there are those occasional evenings where you need to make food as quick as possible or you haven’t made it to the grocery store and need a standby. That’s where mac n’ cheese comes in to play in our home. I also enjoy cereal (organic only) but not for breakfast. It’s one of my favorite treats as a snack at night after the kids go to bed. I’ll go on kicks and eat it for a week and then not touch it for a month or two. Otherwise for the most part I make everything from scratch in our home. Oh, one other indulgence, is the occasional use of organic, unbleached white flour. For me this has been one of the hardest items to give up, because most recipes don’t do as well with 100% whole wheat. I grind my own flour and I’m trying to work through some of my favorite recipes and switch them over to 100% whole wheat. Lots of trial and error!

  4. I agree with Heather that Chocolate is real food. Honey is real food to but that doesn’t mean we should be consuming a cup a day. Chocolate in small amounts without tons of additives is good food. What trips me up is fried chicken.

    • Hi there Ray. I edited my post to reflect the real trouble for me and chocolate. Definitely is real food and I give thanks to Mesoamerican culture whenever I eat it.

      I miss fried chicken so much. Used to be that I’d get KFC or Popeyes, but it always made me sick a few hours later. Not fun.

    • When I was pregnant, I had a period of time when I really craved fried chicken and Popeye’s was the only place I went that had the texture and flavor I needed at the time. Now I don’t think I could stand it.

  5. It’s really important to know where your chocolate comes from! The Ivory Coast that supplies half the world with cocoa uses child slave labor to farm the cocoa plants. Sad but true!


  6. All sorts of condiments are in my fridge and I use them for cooking. I try to find healthier and more natural alternatives, but they’re still there. Especially hot sauces. I have all kinds of bottles in the door of my fridge – hot sauces, Worchestershire, different kinds of mustards, ketchup, mayo, salad dressings (slowly working on doing all homemade dressings), Asian condiments. The list really is long!!

  7. Chocolate is my down fall as well. I also have a love of Monster energy drinks. I cut out soda, but something about the tart sweet of the Monster appeals to me so very much. Thankfully they run about 3 bucks for a 16 ounce can, so I can’t afford them more than once or MAYBE twice a month. Trying to cut them out totally though. I just started brewing Kombutcha and Water Kefir, hoping one of those has the taste I am searching for. My money is on the Water Kefir at the moment.

  8. Kraft Mac & Cheese. Seriously. Love the stuff. I never really liked the real thing, even though that’s all I had growing up. I also have to chase Doritos and Cheetos out of the house when my husband brings them home. I don’t actually like them when I eat them any more, but they’re still hard to resist.

    And take out Chinese food and pizza. I can make ok versions at home, but you just can’t mimic the awesome awfulness of cheap Chinese or cheap pizza using real food. I can, however, mimic the highly processed taste in hamburger helper chili mac. Is it sad that I’m really proud of myself for that?

    Just a heads up, Kinder Eggs are called Wonder Balls here. Not sure if they still sell them, but you’ve probably seen the commercial- “oh I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder, ooh, what’s in a Wonder Ball?”

  9. I’m going to have to go with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese here…

    I know it’s not real food. But I still can’t resist having it on occasion in all of its gloopy fake cheesy glory.

  10. I can definitely agree on that chocolate is real food, especially if it is organic and not too loaded with sugar. Not everything that can’t be picked off trees or from the ground is bad. It has some research suggesting that it has health benefits too.

    Another thing I like is coffee and I drink a few cups every day.

  11. Great post! I love that you shared your experiences. I feel like such a hypocrite with the diet Dr. Pepper. I don’t remember the last time I had one. It’s probably been several months. I used to drink them pretty regularly. However, to this day, if I walk past the cold drink aisle at the grocery store, I can feel my gaze drift over and linger on the bottle of “refreshing” diet DP.

    I think I am finally getting strong enough to move past the urge, but it’s amazing how we all have our vices and the things that we struggle to let go of, even when we know they’re bad for us. It’s just part of being human, I guess! 🙂

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