Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat. For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else. ~Samuel Johnson, English writer
Call me strange, but I’ve spent decades minding what I eat.
Long before it became popular, my mom transitioned us to a heart-healthy menu that I continue to follow as an adult.
But over time, I’ve noticed there are several things I just can’t eat. Some upset my stomach; others I don’t care for for a variety of reasons.
Here are my five top problematic foods:
It’s summertime, and groceries everywhere are advertising strawberries.
This luscious, juicy red fruit is packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. It’s among the most popular berry worldwide, flavoring everything from breakfast cereals and jellies to lunchtime salads, Jell-o, and healthy snacks.
But I can’t eat them.
It’s not the taste of strawberry that turns me away; it’s the feel of one in my mouth.
Those tiny seeds remind me of a man’s beard-stubbled chin, an image I just can’t overcome!
2) Orange juice
I LOVE oranges and eat one most mornings (despite their expense).
Oranges are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re low in fat and promote heart health while protecting against diseases like cancer and diabetes.
Wouldn’t you think orange juice would be a suitable substitute? Especially on mornings when you’re running out of time?
Not for me.
It upsets my stomach every single time I drink it. I don’t know if it’s the pasteurization, the extra sugar, or something else, but rather than fight my gut, I’ll just stick with the real thing.
Another commonly-found fruit is the cheerful, yellow banana.
Packed with vitamins and nutrients that might help with weight loss, heart health, and digestion, bananas can be added to breakfast cereals, eaten as a snack, and used as a sugar substitute in baking. They’re one of the first soft foods introduced to babies.
What’s not to like?
Well, when I was in high school, our biology class had a segment on fruit flies (something to do with genetics, I think). We prepared a mushy medium of well-aged bananas so the flies would grow; then we were supposed to examine their tiny red eyes and stuff. Every morning, smelling the odor of rotten bananas in that classroom turned my stomach.
I’m surprised I passed the course.
Still, bananas look interesting, and occasionally, I’ll give them another chance. I peel one, bite off a small piece, and try to swallow.
Nope. It lodges in my throat and back out it comes!
Gluten-free oats are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, leading to healthy benefits like lower weight gain, blood sugar levels, and risk of heart disease.
My son Domer has been talking up oatmeal for a while, so despite my never desiring to switch to it from cold cereals, I decided to see what the buzz was about.
Yuck, still unconvinced. While the flavor was excellent, the consistency was unpalatable and gummy. When I want oats, I’ll reach for the Cheerios box.
5) Iced tea
Whether you call it “iced tea” or “ice tea,” this refreshing beverage is drunk world-wide and is practically the regional drink of the American South.
Every refrigerator holds a pitcher (the sweeter, the better); it’s served in most restaurants and convenience stores; and I imagine it’s healthier than carbonated soft drinks.
But while I can drink hot tea to my heart’s content, I dare not even sip the cold version.
Why? It doesn’t agree with me. And I hate fighting stomach issues.
So … am I alone here? Anybody else have a picky stomach?