“Not my favorite…but it isn’t offensive to my tastebuds.”

In writing posts for the blog, I tend to jump around a bit in who each post is geared towards within the recovery spectrum. I hope this post will be especially helpful to those in the early to mid phases of recovery.

A few years ago, while making peace with calorie containing drinks, I set a food challenge for myself to drink a sweetened iced latte a day. At the time calorie containing drinks added stress to my life. I wanted to be able to enjoy them without fear/guilt, but drinking them was racked with guilt. With foods that are fearful to you, the only way out is through. There is no way to make peace with the foods you fear without eating the foods you fear.

When ordering the lattes each day I found that sometimes I’d order them and they were overly sweet for my tastebuds’ preferences. Something that helped me when a drink was overly sweet was reminding myself that while this isn’t the sweetness level I would have chosen, it isn’t offensive to my tastebuds. Yes, it tastes a bit like what I imagine rocket fuel would taste like with a level of sweetness where I can’t taste the coffee at all, but sweetness doesn’t taste bad. It’s not my favorite, but it’s not offensive. Our bodies can process sweet things, it tends to be the mind that gets in the way

I was thinking about this last week as I drove through one of my favorite restaurants in the Heights, as I do most weeks. I got my kolaches (aka sausage wrapped in a slightly sweet dough, for those of you who don’t live in Texas) and an iced latte and drove off. When I sipped my latte I noticed it was not in fact an iced vanilla latte and was instead a iced lavender latte. I typically think lavender flavored things taste like soap, but I took a couple sips and realized, it’s not my favorite but, once again, it is still drinkable and isn’t offensive to my tastebuds as the soapy taste was only ever so slight.

Are there any one liners around food, exercise or body image that you’ve found helpful in your recovery? The term “this isn’t my favorite…but it isn’t offensive to my tastebuds” also comes in handy when a meal isn’t a gourmet experience or isn’t as satisfying as one hoped it would be.

I hope you are having a good week. See you guys back here next Wednesday!


  1. This is great. When first going through recovery I definitely felt like everything I ate had to be “worth the calories.” If I didn’t love what I was eating it was like I was wasting something. Now, probably in large part thanks to your post on every meal not having to be a gourmet experience, I have made peace with less than ideal meals or with things I don’t love but that do the job of fueling my body without panicking, I just move on with my life. It’s not a one-liner, but thanking God for the food in front of me, acknowledging the great blessing that daily sustenance is has really helped me. Only the really privileged have the luxury of turning down food–and what a wasteful thing that is, what an arrogant thing, to think that any food is beneath me or not good enough or not “healthy” enough. When I order something out and the order isn’t quite right and it’s something I would normally struggle with eating (especially sweet/fried/more processed things) I acknowledge that it is good for me to eat it (it’s fueling me, stretching my limits, and helping me grow/let go of a food fear), I thank God for the gift that it is, and then I move on with my life! This helps not only when I’m going out to eat but even when I’m at home and the fridge is bare and I have to rely on pantry food (typically lots of carbs!) for a day or two until I make it to the grocery store. And to be clear I’m not saying that it’s ever wrong to send something back if your order is wrong! But it has been a good way to challenge food fears for me.

    • I really like that concept of “no food is beneath me or not good enough for me.” Thanks for sharing, Kelly!

    • I really like the concept of thanking God. That has helped me a lot too. Thinking of food as a blessing rather than a curse. 

    • Kelly-

      Your first two lines really resonate with me. I remember only treating myself to an iced latte and dessert once a week, so it had to be *perfection!* Hoo, that’s a lot of pressure to put on a poor cookie. God forbid the shop was sold out of my favorite, or it was overbaked, or our plans changed, and I totally spiraled. I’m thankful that food is food is food and I can eat and move on.

  2. Food is food. I still say that a lot to myself when I catch those gremlins starting their nonsense in my mind! Whether its pizza or a salad or cereal, I need food to fuel my body. Those 3 words have helped me so much over the years.

  3. A one liner that’s been helpful for me is “My body knows how to process this” and remembering that all foods are just macronutrients regardless of whether they are donuts or potato chips or carrots. 

  4. When I read this, the first phrase that came to mind was “it gets you from point A to point B”. Sometimes food just needs to be functional. Work was stressful yesterday and I didn’t want the added stress of making something (which probably would have been tastier but would take more time), so I reheated leftovers and topped them with hot sauce. I was full for a few hours, kept working, and made a delicious  dinner with my boyfriend later on. 

  5. I love this. A good reminder to myself is, “I need energy-dense foods.” In my pre-IE days, I tried several diets that had a heavy emphasis on huge amounts of produce and not enough of any other food group, and that really shamed a lot of commercially produced and packaged food. I’m someone who needs a lot of food in general, and when I am not eating enough foods that are rich in carbohydrates and fat, I am too hungry and low on energy (just like anyone else, I’m sure). When I eat the foods I really want, I feel energized and satisfied. Remembering that those formerly feared foods actually have a really important role in getting me through the day is so helpful.

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