Saturday, November 19, 2011

Foods I no longer seem to eat, or miss

Once upon a time, I ate the following foods regularly. Some of them I deliberately cut down on, and some I just seem to have stopped eating. But I am rather pleased to say that I don't miss any of them (or at least not much...).

I don't intend to imply that any of the following foods are 'wrong' or 'bad', or that others should stop having them. This is really just my own curious reflection on how much tastes can change, and I'd be interested to hear if others have had similar experiences over the years.

Diet Coke and other diet soft drinks

In my early 20s, I could drink 600ml plus of Diet Coke (or equivalent) each day. I thought of it as a good way of enjoying a drink when I wasn't hungry but wanted something more than water. I also thought of it as a better option than 'real' soft drinks, with the large amounts of sugar they contain.

At some point my niggling concerns about artificial sweeteners got louder, and I started to think of Diet Coke in terms of what it actually is: a black fizzy liquid with no calories and a whole lot of unpronounceable ingredients, most of which could be better described as chemicals.

Somehow it was less appealing after that.

I didn't stop drinking diet drinks cold turkey, and for quite a long time after dropping Diet Coke I still drank other diet versions. These days, though, I stick with water, soda water or tea, and I very rarely want anything else.

Apparently Diet Coke isn't good for kidneys either. Who would have thought? [Source]

The last time I had a glass was when we went to Tasmania, and I had a Diet Coke on the plane. It must have been 6 months or so since I'd last drunk any, and I was quite surprised to find I didn't like it at all (it tasted artificial, funnily enough).

Regular / dairy ice cream

I wouldn't say that I was ever a big ice cream eater, but I probably had it weekly or so until this year. In line with my frozen yoghurt soft serve obsession, I also enjoyed it in soft serve form if available.

Since trying to transition to a lower dairy intake, I've stuck to soy ice cream and frozen yoghurt (and frozen banana soft serve), and now I can't recall when I last had the real variety. It also doesn't seem to appeal anymore, so I suspect I'll be sticking with my new alternatives for now.

Other dairy desserts

In this category comes small individual mousse tubs, flavoured and sweetened yoghurt, and other products in the dairy section that contain gelatin and various varieties of artificial flavours and/or sweeteners.

Dropping these was a conscious decision, after I realised just how many (= all!) contained gelatin. I do still have an occasional moment when I would like one - typically in relation to mousse - but the moments pass.  Most of the time I'm grateful that I've been able to find alternatives made from real food.

Instant hot drinks - hot chocolate and coffee varieties

Does (or did) anyone else use those instant sachets of hot chocolate / coffee / lattes? I remember when I first discovered them, and in my mind they were incredibly convenient. I thought they were the perfect way to have a cafe-like drink without the cafe-like prices.

They were convenient, in a sense, but the trade off was an ingredient list that I couldn't easily pronounce. These days, I have tea, higher quality instant coffee (if that isn't an oxymoron) and just splurge on cafe drinks if I want something more. I recently discovered a sachet in the back of the pantry, and thought I may as well use it up by drinking it instead of throwing it out.  However, I found it too sweet and just...not right. It's now hard to believe I used to have these drinks almost daily.

I will say that the advertising is still a little alluring [Source]

Iceburg lettuce

This might seem like a slightly odd item, and in truth I do still have it when I buy salads or sandwiches when out. However, I no longer buy this variety of lettuce myself, and I wouldn't choose it over other leaf options. These days I favour baby spinach leaves in salads / sandwiches / wraps made at home, and have the curly lettuce varieties too on occasion. Iceburg seems rather flavourless now.

                Source                                                                                          Source

I'll follow-up this post at some stage with things I now eat but didn't used to...there are rather a lot of those too when I think about it.

Have your tastes changed over time? Or have you worked to eliminate foods that you now don't miss?


  1. I agree with your iceburg lettuce- it's flavorless and plain.
    I used to drink the flavored coffee drinks that come from the coffee vending machine at work- I worked night shifts and it helped to stay awake. I couldn't even take a sip of them now, they are SO sweet and disgusting!

  2. I'm the same with fizzy drinks. I almost never have them, and if I am on a plane or somewhere that it is the only reasonable option, I have sparkling water or ginger beer. Another food/beverage I've given up on, but not on purpose, is coffee. I used to drink a lot, and really enjoy it. But then I stopped for a while and now when I have it I cringe a little, and get a belly ache. I don't mind too much, because I bet coffee isn't that *good* for you, even if it's not bad :)

  3. This is fascinating, because all of the things you've stopped eating are products that I've very rarely been into in my life! My mum was very strict about soft drinks as a kid and was always anti-iceberg ("it's got no nutritional value!"), so despite a brief dalliance with Pepsi Max in year 11, when all my friends were into it, yep, never been into any of this! Even normal ice cream hasn't been a love of mine for a long time, although yes, I still enjoy the odd Golden Gaytime :P

  4. Frozen banana softserve/ice cream sounds great! I used to eat A LOT of ice cream. But I'm lactose intolerant. And as I've grown older I've been more mature about trying to avoid dairy...and I find I'm not missing it that much either. Like you I'm not into soft drinks at all and never have been...but I'm addicted to sparkling mineral water. It's the bubbles. I do wonder if all that carbon can be all that good for you...even if there are no additives.

    I find it interesting that rabbits aren't meant to be fed iceberg lettuce...because it is so nutrient empty.

    Good on you though for giving up those things!!

  5. oooh I love banana soft serve too! I havent made it, though, in too long!!!!

  6. Yes, I suspect those coffee vending machine drinks are probably similar to my coffee sachets! It's odd how much you can get used to things that later seem horrible!

  7. Yes, and I bet a lot of caffeine addicted people are envious of you too :) That's an interesting shift, in part because I've heard a few other people say similar things. It makes you wonder what we are developing a tolerance to when drinking it regularly (which I still do...).

  8. It sounds like your Mum had a sensible approach :) And I'm impressed you followed it into adulthood without any deviations, which in truth is what I did - we didn't have soft drinks or regular ice cream growing up either (although iceburg lettuce did feature). Mum's are always right I suppose :P

  9. I didn't know that about rabbits! How disconcerting that we continue to be fed it.

    Also, I am exactly the same with sparkling water - the bubbles add something wonderful. I hope the carbon isn't too detrimental because I would rather not give that up!

  10. I still like iceberg for the texture in certain things like tacos, but I agree, flavour wise the various other lettuces win out. I also grow butter lettuce, a curly red lettuce, rocket and spinach and I love that I can just pick a few leaves at a time from them for my salads.

    The big thing I don't eat now is lollies, not for any health reason, I just don't like them. I don't think I ever really have, but all the other kids did so I ate them too. I think my eating these days is more about what I like rather than what people in general like (if that makes any sense).

  11. I never liked lollies either (except for liquorice, and particularly liquorice allsorts) :) I generally stuck to chocolate, and still do! I like your stance though - and the sound of your lettuce patch. Very nice!

  12. interesting that you say you didn't even like diet coke on the plane - one of the occasional times I drink sweet fizzy drinks most is on planes because they settle my stomach - mostly I like ginger ale these days - but the fizzy drink we have most is soda water

    I stopped eating a lot of the brands of yoghurt that have gelatin after getting back from the uk where most yoghurts are vegetarian because I get annoyed that they don't need to add it - but I miss the convenience of these brands for a snack to take to work.

    I still love iceberg but only have it occasionally and am more likely to have spinach or rocket - re those chocolate drinks I loved milo as a child - though it was a treat - but now I couldn't imagine drinking it - I like sweet herbal teas if I want a sweet drink

  13. Iceberg lettuce is a whole lot of nothing isn't it. Taste buds have definitely changed over time. I discovered I loved unhulled tahini recently, I thought I hated tahini!
    Bubbly mineral water is also something I've stopped myself drinking as even though I love it, I didn't want the added plastic bottles... (with a small mineral water allowance only for pregnancy :-)

  14. I keep meaning to make it again - it is so incredibly good!

  15. Soda water seems to be popular indeed :)

    I also find the differences between UK and Australian yoghurts odd, and frustrating. I find the UK generally has more options and flavours too, and they do make for easy snacks. Maybe one day...

  16. Now I'll have to try tahini, as I think I hate it too!

    You are good with the plastic bottles. I'll confess to feeling a bit indulgent paying for bubbly water in plastic when the regular variety flows from a tap...but I do still do it. I'm glad you're allowing for pregnancy needs though :)

  17. I gave up Diet Coke a couple of months ago - I still miss it, but know that I'm way better without it!

  18. What an interesting post! Really made me think. The only time I drink fizzy drinks, is if I'm out and someone wants to buy me a drink and I usually opt for something like grapefruit juice and soda. I am not keen on fruit juice either, it's all too sweet. I gave up sugar in tea and coffee many many years ago and following on from that my taste in drinks changed completely.

    The other way round, the bitter and sour foods I couldn't bear as a child, olives, strong pickled herrings and things like that, I now am very fond of. Our tastes definitely change as we get older. I read that children have far more sensitive taste and smell awareness than older people in general, which suggests that it is something to do with our brains as much as anything else. You often hear people complain that food doesn't taste the same as it did when they were kids; maybe it doesn't because it has changed ( e.g. sweet corn is sweeter, apple varieties are very different too, again bred for certain flavour characteristics) but maybe it is in part because we are older, if you've ever smoked that disrupts your sense of taste, or had a brain injury - that can do it too.

  19. It's a hard adjustment though isn't it? Congratulations on dropping it!

  20. Thanks Joanna - and quite delightful to read how your tastes have changed over time too. I think you're right in that we do have genuine taste shifts as we age, and that does fit with so many of the stereotypical differences between children's and adult's tastes.


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