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?
You’re not alone. I’ve always had a picky stomach. Raisins make me gag even though my father tried, from my earliest years, to convince me they were nature’s candy. He also used milk to soothe his stomach aches, but it had the opposite effect on mine. It’s funny, I love the consistency of oatmeal. It reminds me of waking up at my grandparents’ house when I was a child. Grandfather got up before everyone and made a big pot of slow cooked old-fashioned oatmeal. Yummy, warm and comforting, served with lots of love.
Barbara, I’m delighted my post was able to recreate your Grandfather’s oatmeal for you — that’s how Domer describes it, too, but it’s just not for me. I’m on the lactose-intolerant side as well, so I avoid milk products (unless I take one of those Lactase tablets, which I have to if I want ice cream — and who doesn’t?!!)
Alas, for me it’s onions. There’s something in them that upsets my stomach to the point where I feel feel alarming ill. If they are cooked a long, long time, say, in a soup, then I can digest them. Fortunately, dried onions and onion powder don’t make me sick. But what a pain to have an onion intolerance as onions are a major flavoring in many dishes.
Poor Laurie. I don’t typically eat onions (like on burgers), but I enjoy the flavoring (like in spaghetti sauce). I guess the good thing is you can eat them if they’re cooked a long time. Anything that makes me ill goes on my “Forbidden” list!
Your listed foods are all among my favorites. I can’t think of anything that gives me problems, although I did cut back my coffee drinking a few years ago because of the acid. Many of my friends can’t drink orange juice because of the acid, and avoid tomato-based dishes for the same reason. So far so good for me!
It’s the acid? Hmm, you might be right. Many years ago, I gave up caffeine and carbonated beverages because they don’t sit well with me. But oh, how I miss a nice, cold Pepsi on a hot July day!!
Debbie, I too mind what I eat and always have. I honestly believe that your body will tell you what you need and don’t need if you “listen” to it.
The one on your list that I feel the same is orange juice. I love and eat oranges, but orange juice has too much condensed acid for my stomach. It burns.
And OMG, your story about your biology class, fruit flies and bananas would have had me not liking them as well. And speaking of fruit flies (and gnats), now that the summer months are rolling in, I noticed a few of them flying around in my apartment lately. Which is so odd because I live in a city and in an apartment on the 21st floor, so how the hell do they get into my apartment?!?LOL!
I drink iced tea, but only “green” iced tea. Regular tea (like Lipton) is too pungent for me.
And yes, I’m picky about food flavors and textures. I don’t drink anything carbonated. And as you know, I don’t eat cilantro or onions. I think they’re EVIL. LOL!
FUN and interesting post, my friend! Have a faaaaabulous weekend!
Ron, I’m giggling over the flies stirring around an apartment on the 21st floor! Would you like to borrow Monkey for a while? He LOVES chasing critters, and it wouldn’t be long before your home would be bug-free!
While I’m sorry to read you, too, have problematic foods, I’m happy to know I’m not alone in this.I think it must be the Virgo in me that’s so health-conscious. Not that I want to live here forever, you know — it’s more like I want to care for my body the best I can while I can.
We’re sending you a nice cold front, just in time for the weekend. Get out and enjoy it! xx
Nope. Sorry about your sensitivities, Debbie but I can eat anything.
Might I just say I’m pea-green with envy?? That sounds heavenly, John — lucky you!
No more horseshoes though.
I can think of is mushrooms. I know they are super good for you, and I like the flavor in soup, but its their texture that makes me gag. The only way I can eat them is to dice them really small, or puree them in soup. I discovered Thai, Indian and Mexican food in my 20s and loved it. After menopause, when I eat it, I get hot flashes all night long! So unfair!
I have to agree with you, Eliza — the texture of a mushroom is off-putting. However, since I’ve never been a big fan of them anyway, I stay away from them and don’t have to try forcing one down! I didn’t know mushrooms could cause hot flashes though — I thought they were supposed to ward those off?
No the mushrooms are fine, they are supposedly cancer fighters, keeping your cells in good order… it’s the spicy chilis and curries that give me hot flashes, lol!
I thought chilies were supposed to be good for you, too??
Yes, blood cleaners, I think. I used to tolerate them just fine before, but sadly, no more. 😦 Maybe one day again, who knows? Hope springs eternal. 😉
Oh, goodness no….lots of us have picky stomachs! I do like strawberries and bananas, but my husband isn’t a fan of either. And what I don’t like and can’t tolerate is butter! That is such a strange thing not to eat, as most people add it without even thinking about it. I not only hate the taste, it makes my stomach very upset!
Oh dear, Ann. Not sure I could bake anything without butter, ha! I’m sorry you’ve got that picky stomach, too. It’s no fun, and the older I get, the more I find that doesn’t agree with me. Hmm, I wonder if it’s the manufacturers’ fault — perhaps they’re adding more chemicals and such to our foods these days. Now I’ve got to go research that!
Debbie, your list has a few of mine on it — orange juice, for one. I also love oranges, but the acid is hard to handle unless eaten as dessert after a very full meal. So sorry about bananas — I enjoy them regularly. I have tried to like collard greens, but alas, there’s something disagreeable with them & me. Can’t imagine life without iced tea — standard 3 (or 4) glasses a day (sometimes per meal!) Hope you are doing well!
Virginia, you must be a true Southerner, with all that iced tea! Sorry you can’t “stomach” OJ either. It just looks so refreshing in TV ads, doesn’t it? I don’t eat collard greens either, but that’s because I don’t like the taste, hee hee!!
My stomach is foolproof – can absorb anything! But there are some foods I can’t eat because of the consistency – I call them “slimy”! Custard, rice pudding and worst of all for a Scot, porridge! I also can’t wash the pans they’ve been cooked in which used to drive my mother crazy. But what could I do – slimy pans make me physically ill! (Great excuse, eh? 😂)
Your mother probably thought you were making that up, didn’t she, FF? But I can totally understand how off-putting “slimy” is — maybe that’s why I can’t do oatmeal. I’ve never been able to do raw oysters for the same reason. Some things that are nasty like that I don’t even miss, though I guess we have to get the proper nutrients another way, huh? Thanks for weighing in. my friend!
This is so interesting, Debbie. I am sorry you can’t stomach these foods–most of them are my favorites. *smile* But I’ve also got eating challenges and a very low tolerance for being able to absorb fat, so this has wreaked some dietary challenges especially over the last ten years. Right now it’s possible again to eat most things in moderation. But moderation is the key.
Thank you, Kathy. I’ve found that even moderation isn’t acceptable for some of the foods I don’t tolerate. But I’ve also found there’s little point in railing over what I can’t eat, when there are so many good things I can!