Do You Like That Just Because It’s Healthier?

You might have been asked that question before:

“Do you eat that just because it’s healthier or because you actually think it tastes good?”

I get it. It’s true that the healthier option can leave you longing for the real deal food.

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For example, the following foods are best in their truest, non-“healthified” forms:

  • ice cream and gelato (love you, Arctic Zero, but you’re not ice cream)
  • almost any dessert, for that matter (butter, sugar, flour=♥)
  • cheese (nutritional yeast can never be a creamy brie or sharp cheddar)
  • beef burgers (turkey, chicken, black bean burgers…valiant effort)
  • pasta (spaghetti squash is a vegetable and only a vegetable)
  • peanut butter (PB2 and Better ‘N’ Peanut Butter are travesties)
  • fried fries (baked fries are delicious, but not as delicious. don’t lie.)
  • the whole egg (the chicken gave you the whole egg, let’s be courteous and at least eat a yolk or two)
  • real meat and fish (tempeh, tofu, seitan, beans— eh.)
  • sugar, honey, maple syrup (someone please tell me you sense a weird aftertaste from stevia)
  • milk chocolate (I know a lot of you love dark chocolate, but I gag on that stuff)
  • full fat or 2% yogurt (I don’t want to turn back to sour nonfat)
  • sweetened sunflower seed butter (unsweetened sunflower seed butter is like glue in my mouth)
  • cow’s milk (it’s the cookie’s favorite beverage. almond milk is second place.)

In other words, I do not plan on becoming a vegan any time soon.

But then there some instances in which I genuinely prefer the taste of a healthier food over its less healthy counterpart.

  • natural peanut butter vs. commercial brand
  • whole grain bread vs. white bread (only when it comes to sandwich bread. restaurant bread is a whole ‘nother story!)
  • plain Greek yogurt vs. pre-sweetened yogurt
  • brown rice vs. white rice
  • vegetables vs. other side/snack  (sometimes)

Of course, what I actually eat depends on the day and my mood. But I don’t force feed myself healthy foods just because they’re healthy. I’ve come to trust that my body craves what it needs. If it wants a fresh, crisp salad, I’ll eat it. If it wants a hearty meat dish, I’ll have that.

Sometimes I will be especially mindful of salt and sugar intake if I’ve been eating a lot of either, because too much of those things makes me feel like poop (physically, not so much mentally). In those cases, I might choose the less tasty, healthier versions to bring my blood sugar/sodium levels back to earth.

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I’ll stop talking about food and let you see food!

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Yesterday, I ate mostly healthy stuff, because that’s just the way the cookie (Quest bar?) crumbled.

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breakfast peanut butter banana rice pudding with Greek yogurt and chia seeds + strawberries

I was actually craving a smoothie, but I forgot to freeze bananas the night before, so I made this instead. A great choice featuring natural peanut butter and brown rice.

And because this was a pretty sweet breakfast, I wanted mostly savory for snack and lunch.

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mixed nuts — this times ten perhaps

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leftover pulled pork over salad

If I have a salty, saucy meat dish, I love having fresh veggies underneath to soak up the juices and make it taste a little less salty in my mouth.

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For snacks, I like to be satisfied with flavorful things. I chose processed snap pea crisps over the bell pepper strips I was thinking of packing. I also had half a Justin’s vanilla almond butter sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread. The hearty, whole grain bread was tasty and kept me full.

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Cheeeeese.

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More salad with brown rice and leftover chicken, because I was lazy. That’s the reason.

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Bell peppers with hummus— now I wanted that crispy freshness to cool down my mouth from the sriracha I put on my salad.

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mint chocolate chip Quest bar (still from Blend swag) with peanut butter

I know. It’s a Quest bar with stevia in it. I still like it, but it will forever only be “dessert”— with quotation marks.

This is real dessert from Monday night:

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vanilla bean ice cream with strawberries and a cinnamon raisin WB Kitchen cookie (which is pretty good, but definitely no oatmeal raisin cookie)

I’m getting some more real ice cream tonight with my friends 🙂

Hope your days are filled with sugar, spice, and everything nice!

So tell me:

Some less healthy foods that cannot be replaced justly.

Some healthy foods that you actually prefer.

What did you have for snacks yesterday? I need some new snack ideas!

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47 thoughts on “Do You Like That Just Because It’s Healthier?

  1. You bring up such a good point and I agree with your list of “healthified” foods. PB2 is NOT peanut butter and I will always prefer the real stuff. I tried it once and it tasted fake to me. Funny that you ask about snack ideas- yesterday I did not pack enough snacks for work and was a ravenous beast at night. I’ll take suggestions too!

  2. I most definitely prefer full fat ice cream and yoghurt. It tastes so wrong any other way…. But I would have veges and hummus over chips and dip any day ❤
    And your eats look great (as always!) 🙂

  3. I prefer almond butter over peanut butter.Frozen yogurt over ice cream.Fried fries over baked (but i tell myself otherwise 😉 ) i actually love the taste of healthy stuff 😀 loving the look of your eats! 🙂 xxx

  4. Haha you’re so right. Arctic Zero is not ice cream. And a black bean brownie is not a fudge brownie. But I like to try and balance out things where I can. And I really do prefer veggie burgers to the real deal. I’ve been pretty lame with snacks and have just been eating granola or date balls.

  5. There will never be a better alternative to ice cream or old school desserts. Sure, some of them are pretty decent on the regular, but when the craving hits? Nothing replaces the real thing. And I have to say that I’m super happy they haven’t made a “better than almond butter” or “ab2” yet 😛 I’ve never had the de-fatted PB before, but ugh… it just sounds all sorts of wrong.

  6. Haha Arctic Zero is soo not ice cream but I have been eating a lot of Halo Top lately. It’s not *quite* like regular ice cream but honestly it’s so good, it still satisfies me. And while I love PB2 in smoothies, it could never beat the real deal eaten from a spoon 😉 haha

  7. I can completely relate to the healthy foods you listed being the ‘better’ version! JIF peanut butter is not nearly as good as natural peanut butter. Just grind those babies up and hand them over! No need for extra salt, palm oil, ect. I also wholeheartedly agree about whole wheat bread. It has so much more character than white bread. I truthfully can’t remember the last time I had a since of Wonder bread. It’s been years… As for replacement foods – Arctic Zero = good, but not ice cream! I was craving ice cream last Friday night and just decided to go with a pint of chocolate + peanut butter Arctic Zero and, of course, it didn’t satisfy that craving and I ended up binging on actual peanut butter not long after. I need to allow myself these little cravings because I regularly binge on other things (causing more caloric/metabolic damange) than if I were to have just eaten the ice cream!

  8. A thousand times yes! Before recovery, I convinced myself that I like PB2 better than real peanut butter. no no no no. That stuff is disgusting. Sometimes the real deal is better than the “healthier” version. For example, I bought an Arctic Zero a couple weeks ago to “be healthier” but I finally came to terms that it just isn’t as good as real ice cream. However, I do prefer lightened up popcorn (like Trader Joe’s Lite Kettlecorn) to the stuff that you put in the microwave.
    You are doing so so well! ❤

  9. I totallly agree! I do eat Artic Zero on occasion. For me, it’s like a slushie. But it is NOT ice cream.
    I prefer brown rice over white rice and normally whole grain bread on a sandwich over white. I like the texture! EXCEPT if it’s something like a tortilla. Whole grain tortillas are nasty!
    I grew up drinking skim milk, but my dietician makes me have 2% or whole. She said I could also have soy instead. So I prefer soy milk because of the consistency. Even though nutritionally it’s about the same as 2%.

  10. This is a great write up. It’s so true about things being “almost” there but they still leave you hanging for more. The one thing that I’ve found over the years though is that even though I’d like to trust my body to know what it wants (and I definitely do if it screams salad) but there are times when I am so tired that my body is just looking for energy and a way to stay awake and if I won’t give it sleep then it tells me I need food. I’ve come to realize that Mom was right a lot of those times when I was little and she would say, “You’re not hungry you’re just tired.”
    Now after all these years I’ve found out that I have sleep apnea and that I have not only been sleep deprived but oxygen deprived so that along with my body telling me to eat chocolate because it gives me quick energy my weight battle has been difficult but will hopefully improve. Now the trick is to tackle the bad eating habits I’ve acquired over the years.
    Having said all of that “the real food”, in moderation, is exactly what we were intended to eat. Our bodies aren’t made to deal with foreign/chemical substitutes. Reining in our taste buds to match our physical needs is a big issue these days. In a society with so much and is yet, not very active but we’re still told to eat and eat and love our food but stay slim (but media doesn’t necessarily show healthy and slim to be the same thing) it is often difficult to stay focused on what we truly need.
    Now I’m wandering on several tangents here but you stirred a lot of thoughts for me. Thanks!

  11. SO many important points brought up! People always seem to think that those who eat ‘healithily’ are exceptions to mankind who are able to force themselves to live life eating ‘lesser’ delicious versions of food for the sake of being healthy and looking good. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Of course our taste buds change as we adopt different eating patterns, but somethings will forever taste good only in their original form.
    Full fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Always!!!
    Butter vs. anything that is not butter.
    However I also do prefer whole grains over regular, and homemade healthified desserts over store bought cakes and such, there a tad too bit sweet for me!
    You know what you need to try Allison? Figs and cheese ❤ That is my new go-to snack.
    I loved all of your food pics, especially the brown rice in your dinner, such perfect stickiness!!!

  12. Agreed with all of this. Arctic zero and all of those other fake ice creams are just sad to me. Real ice cream is one of my favorite foods and I would never replace it with something that tastes 1/100 as good. I also have quest bars sometimes as “dessert” but then also have real dessert too. Like yesterday I had one after dinner but I had already had a milkshake 🙂 We are food twinsies in a lot of ways (except I love dark chocolate but I will forgive you for that one).

  13. That’s a good one and I’m glad to see your long list of non-‘healthy’ [but healthy for the soul] preferences. Ice cream. nut butters, regular chips versus reduced-fat [and nasty-ingredient-filled] ones, … Yes! And we also agree on brown rice versus white. Despite my family believing else it’s really a taste preference for me and the same goes for pasta. White doesn’t really have a taste in my opinion. Makes eating with the family a little harder, though, but we’re trying to find compromises.

  14. Justin’s vanilla almond butter is my crack!!! Its like frosting only more perfect. I love it on cold OIAJ ❤ and I totally agree with you on what you said above. Most things are much better the way they should be. Like a PB jelly is wayyy better on classic soft bread than Ezekiel or rice cakes. Let's be real. And real mac and cheese…. GUH. Panera's is my jam 😉 Highly recommend it.

  15. Really enjoyed this and now you got my wheels turning in my head ☺️
    Pb2 and Arctic zero🙈 don’t get me started!!
    But on the other hand I love having meals with veggies and I love cashew milk (still love dairy milk too though!!!) Quest bars are delicious but it’s not a real brownie or cookie!!
    As for snackaroos I’m on a huge pretzel kick-chocolate milk and cereal-and little snack plates with cheese and fruit and olives and turkey with maybe some crackers or a hunk of bread (ok that sounds like a meal but guatever😉)
    Love you girl! Have a great day!

  16. I actually agree 100% with which foods you prefer healthy vs. non-healthy. For example, generic peanut butter just tastes SO sweet to me now after getting used to the natural kind, and I like that brown rice is more flavorful and nutty than white rice. And nothing can replace full-fat ice cream 🙂

  17. I actually have no desire to try that artic zero “frozen dessert” .. It’s like calling frozen bananas ice cream just because the texture is similar. I also have a problem with the walden farms sugar free syrups. That is not maple syrups and as a Canadian I can vouch for that argument haha! I’m not sure if I would classify nuts as being healthy compared to something else but I do love them, especially walnuts! I always choose dark chocolate over milk too!

  18. Totally agree with EVERYTHING on your list. I HATE STEVIA. It tastes like chemicals & leaves me craving real sugar afterwards. I will never understand why people sweeten things with stevia instead of using a little natural stuff – like honey or maple syrup. Live a little!

  19. I actually have a post I need to discuss with you. You’ll be proud. As I am about this- YES. x 10000. I tried the s’mores quest bar today. I kind of died a little inside but not the kind of ‘death’ everyone on IG is referring to.

  20. I totally agree that some foods cannot be replaced with a healthier option… ice cream! also nut butter vs pb2. which are both ones that you mentioned. 🙂 Some snack options I’ve been loving lately are Noosa yogurt w/ a little granola on top. SO GOOD. the coconut is amazing.

  21. Healthy foods that I prefer… Hmm. I usually like non sweetened peanut butter over JIF, but when we were in Alaska in December, we had to buy either one or the other, and everybody else wanted JIF. I realized that JIF is pretty good :). I do like plain yogurt better than sweetened, but I do like Chobani fruity yogurt flavors, ’cause I have a sweet tooth. And you just can’t replace ice cream with a lower-fat version. Fro-yo doesn’t even measure up. 🙂 God created cream for a reason. 🙂

  22. I think it also depends on how you define healthy – for example I believe meat is healthier than tofu, full fat dairy is better than low fat and the whole egg is always best! it just shows you how this thought can be full of different interpretations and that’s cool as we are all different!
    I adore kale and will pick it over everything. A freshly squeezed juice will always beat a soda! And dates will beat any candy any day in my eyes!

    • That’s a great point, Jen. A lot of people believe that the most natural, often full-fat versions are the healthiest because they are the least processed.
      I agree with dried fruit over candy! They’re still so sweet, and I love how they pair with nut butter 😉

  23. Pingback: Sunday Wrap Up- 6/14/2015 | Sweetly Petite

  24. I absolutely love this post!! You bring up such a great point. And you are so right in that there’s nothing better than just some regular, old fashioned icecream and full fat peanut butter/almond butter!

  25. Such a loaded question. For me, I can’t really stand avocados… But I don’t know the unhealthy counterpart to those. I missed ice cream, but have to stick with dairy-free options; I’m so glad to have Steve’s Ice Cream and So Delicious to choose from.

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