Some of my favorite foods include…
Bluebell cookies and cream ice cream
Papa Johns cheese pizza
salad with a lot of toppings
turkey, cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches
trail mix with chocolate
coconut chocolate chip Larabars
oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
roasted broccoli and carrots
everything bagel with veggie creamed cheese
What are your favorite foods? Before we meet with Nutshell clients, we have you fill out a form to tell us a little about yourself. On that form is the question, “what are your favorite foods?” Recently a client told me she had not been asked that in a long time and how it was actually a difficult (but fun) question to answer.
These days food is everywhere. Not just in the cookbooks or on commercials. There are millions and millions of Instagram posts about food. And then there’s Pinterest showing you a million and one ways to prepare any specific food. Because of this, it’s really easy for your food choices to be outwardly influenced and not inwardly focused. It’s really easy to be sucked into diet culture and to then be uncertain of YOUR favorite foods. Foods that sound good to YOU. Not foods that are simply “healthy” or easy to make or “trending.” Food is personal. What truly satisfies you, may not satisfy your best friend. So maybe do yourself a favor and take a moment to ask yourself… “What are my favorite foods?”
Perhaps you’re like me and your cravings change all the time. That’s okay! My favorite food might be one thing one day and another on a another day. I like to try new foods and experience new flavors for me, it’s normal and natural for my favorite foods to change.
Don’t think too much about it! Just ask yourself, “What foods do I most enjoy eating right now?” and see what comes up. This is a great way to dig deeper into the world of intuitive eating as you explore what satisfies your taste buds so you can discover your satisfaction factor. Not someone else’s taste buds or a food what may photograph better. Social media has slowly become a place where we can find the most beautifully curated feeds full of pretty food pictures. And while that’s pretty, that’s not a realistic expectation of intuitive eating. Most of us don’t eat pretty food like that for most of our meals.
Can’t think of some favorite foods? That’s okay. Maybe these ideas can get your wheels turning.
Think about what you enjoyed as a kid.
When was the last time you ate at a restaurant? Was there foods on the menu that sounded good, but you wouldn’t let yourself eat?
Maybe take some notes when you’re out to eat next time …without staring 🙂 can you notice other peoples plates and ask yourself if that sounds good?
Is there a commercial you’ve seen lately that advertised food that looked good? Maybe a cookbook you can flip through?
After you’ve given yourself some time and space to think about your favorite foods, maybe you can begin to challenge yourself by eating some of your favorite foods. Maybe you start small. Maybe you just buy that food and then give it several days (if the anxiety is too high) before you consume the food.
Then when you do eat it, maybe you start with just a little bit before progressing onto “full” portions. When you do this – slow down and savor that favorite food so you can really taste it. Is it even your favorite? Does it taste the same as you remember or as you thought it would?
What would make it better? What sorts of emotions does this specific food trigger? It’s okay for food to be emotional. Perhaps it signifies feelings of comfort or laughter. Enjoy it! Maybe it was your favorite food until it brought a bad or sad memory. Maybe you can explore eating that food again and begin to cultivate a new experience around that food to make a positive connection.
Food is just food and it is meant to be enjoyed. We’re suppose to find pleasure in food. Sure, it’s nourishing but it’s also a source of joy and pleasure and community and culture. And if you’re still in a place of labeling good and bad foods, that’s okay to be where you’re at…but remember all foods are neutral as you work towards food peace. And while there are no good or bad foods, it is okay (and normal!) to have food preferences.
Discover your favorite foods and enjoy them. Ask your friends and your family what their favorite foods are. Because food is meant to be celebrated and savored and I think asking about favorite foods in a lighthearted, curious way can create a positive conversation around food. Maybe even ask your friends or family or significant other why that food is their favorite. Everyone’s taste buds and experiences around food are unique!
Reply in the comments section what your favorite foods are and why – I would love to hear 🙂
Cheers to eating satisfying foods!
My all time favorite food is ice cream 🙂 Usually with either some type of chocolate or peanut butter added in. Truly, nothing satisfies me at the end of the day quite like ice cream!
Megan @ A Continual Feast says
Such a simple but powerful exercise! Love this, Cody! I agree that between social media and being bombarded with diet culture, it is easy to lose touch with our food preferences. Let’s see, some of my favorites are: sandwiches, scrambled eggs, chocolate chip cookies, roasted veggies/potatoes/anything, coffee/lattes, and chili with tortilla chips!
Inês Calisto says
What a great post! Cheers to eating satisfying foods!
Although I’m Portuguese, I’ve figured out quite early in my life that my favorite foods are part of the Italian cuisine: lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti carbonara, all sorts of pizza, tiramisu and so on and so on 🙂 It fills my soul.
A thousand kisses from the Azores, Portugal
I would have never thought that I would say this, but my all time favourite would be Spaghetti Bolognese. I always had a sweet tooth but recently, I started to prefer savory dishes. Spaghetti Bolognese (with lots and lots of parmesan) have been my favourite meal since I was a child and even nowadays I could not think of anything I would like more than that!
This was great. Thank you so much for this!
Cody, AWESOME post. And so timely for me. I have been literally “searching” for what foods to add that I enjoy and it really is kinda hard to figure out. So, I have been brainstorming. And then you wrote this perfect post for me! I loved your list (esp. turkey sandwiches with provolone and mayo!!), and I am looking forward to everyone’s comments to get some new ideas! Thank you!
This was awesome Robyn! I love love love breakfast sandwiches but for years I never ate one because I would never be so ‘bad’ first thing in the morning — plus if I was going to have a ‘treat’ I always chose something sweet. I’ve been enjoying breakfast sandwiches more over the past year and it’s so awesome! Plus with some avocado or greens on there it’s totally a reasonable breakfast that keeps me satisfied for hours!
So glad to hear you are experiencing such freedom with food Livi!
Trista Johnson says
Love this!! My favorite foods are a mix of the “trendy” things seen on instagram, like fried eggs on avocado toast, matcha lattes, and smoothies but ALSO some classics from childhood like peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwiches (which were always the best at my grandparents house because my grandmother picked the raspberries and then made the jam), pumpkin bread, and meatballs. I also love pesto pizza- this is a nostalgic memory for me. We used to have “pizza nights” at our close family friends’ house when we were growing up. Susan would make homemade pizza- and she made a special one that was my favorite with chicken sausage, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, and feta cheese. Some sad things have happened to that family in recent years and our families no longer live on the same street. Pesto will always bring back those fun, carefree days of sharing food with people I loved.
Just writing this out is making me realize some of the emotional connection I have to some of these foods!
Ohhh man, how to choose? 🙂 I love bread (fresh baked is the best!) with butter; any combination of pasta, tomato sauce and cheese; pizza; peanut butter; oranges when they’re slightly sweet and juicy; baked sweet potatoes; vanilla/chocolate ice cream; potato chips (well, any kind of fried potato!); sharp cheddar cheese and crackers; my mom’s meatloaf (seriously) or her chicken spaghetti; roasted chicken with veg; guacamole; really good sandwiches with lots of fillings…haha, now I’m hungry.
For so long I wouldn’t allow myself to eat my favorite foods and when I did eat them I felt so guilty. Since starting IE a few months ago I’ve introduced foods back in or bought foods I saw at the grocery store that just sounded good. So far I’ve come up with cheese and crackers, Utz Pub Mix, any and all breads WITH butter, waffles (Eggo Thick & Fluffy Cinnamon & Brown Sugar are the best), Starbucks Frappacinos, pastries, chocolate chip cookies and brownies (homemade and store bought), Cheesecake Factory Cheesecakes, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (ice cream in general). I would ALWAYS deny myself dessert or any “fun foods” and lately I’ve been trying to freely enjoy them and am so much happier and I feel like I’m enjoying being with people more and sharing memories. And honestly I’m even enjoying apples and clementines more.
Shannon K says
I love this!
One of my all-time favorite foods/meals is cheese tortellini with this soy milk/parmesan-based ‘Alfredo’ sauce my mom started making when I was in middle school (I’m 90% sure Oprah is responsible). I completely overdid it on real Alfredo sauce when I was little — I put it on anything that it made sense to do so, and some things that it didn’t… — so I don’t really do the real thing unless I’m out at a restaurant and in the mood. This one is nice and light and creamy, and super delicious with tortellini, broccoli and chicken sausage!
Apart from that, here’s what was top of mind:
– Scrambled eggs, always and forever. I love them with greens, avocado and hot sauce, but one of my favorite combos is with thyme, salt/pepper, nutmeg and spinach.
– Proscuitto, fresh mozz, balsamic vinegar & EVOO, arugula and sliced tomato on really good bread.
– Tacos from this place called bartaco, with a side of their plantains, but I also love a good loaded taco salad (with a side of chips and guac)
– A salad from a restaurant back home called The Lime that has grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, avocado, and greens with a honey dijon dressing. I recreate it all the time, sometimes with salmon.
– Roasted brussels sprouts, and also buffalo-style brussels sprouts
– Butternut squash soup with a little kick to it!
– Pizza with mushrooms, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and whole cloves of roasted garlic
– Indian food
– Almond butter and jam sandwiches (lately loving Stonewall Kitchen blueberry preserves)
– Lightly salted pistachios
– Soft vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, for all the summer vibes!
– Carrot cake
– Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and also Smitten Kitchen’s white chocolate sea salt oatmeal cookies.
Amber @ Bloom Nutrition Therapy says
I absolutely love macaroni and cheese. It’s funny, because to me the BEST Mac and Cheese is the kind that comes right out of the box. I think it’s because it DOES remind me so much of when I was a kid. It never gets old for me and sometimes I could totally make a meal just out of Mac and Cheese. Another favorite is cheesecake. I always love cheesecake and can never pass it up. The Cheesecake Factory is my go-to!
This is SUCH a great exercise! It is fun, thought provoking, and even a little challenging as I reflect on what foods I truly enjoy and look forward to eating throughout the day. As I am working towards creating a better relationship with food and parting with disordered eating habits, it can be difficult to decipher through which foods are a favorite for their safety and which I really do love. I think both are a little blended for me right now, but I’m trying to be gentle with myself though this transition as I am actively introducing new fun foods to my meals. I would say a favorite for me right now would be Perfect Bars, or really any nut butter eaten in any way (thinking a smoothie loaded with all the goods). I will always love dark chocolate and really enjoy it as a way to end a meal. I too love pesto as someone mentioned above, whether slathered on a pizza crust, drizzled over pasta, or as a marinade for baked salmon.I recently visited Tatte Bakery at the Fenway location (wishing you a warm welcome to the city from a fellow Bostonian!) and tried their nougat, which was absolutely delicious! I would have never thought to try it, but so happy I did. I am always looking to your blog for new and exciting ways to incorporate a variety of foods, so thank you so much as always for your inspiration!
Such a fun concept! Some foods I love: Gnocchi, chocolate soft serve ice cream, smoked Gouda with crackers, bagel egg sandwiches, roasted broccoli, White Cheddar puffs from Trader Joe’s, dark chocolate covered pretzels, baked potatoes, chopped salad with Italian dressing, salmon cakes, and biscuits and gravy (Which I only eat like once a year when I crave it)…
Summer Rae says
Thank you for sharing! I loved this post!! My favorite foods right now are: French fries, potato chips (always… something about potatoes), curry vegetables topped with tuna salad and ice creeeeeam. I have eaten the vegetables with tuna salad for the past MONTH! It is absolutely delicious and I can’t get enough. I love the spicy, fresh flavor with the creamy, rich tuna salad. (My Mama always tops it with a couple of crumbled chips, yuuum.) It is so satiating and makes my body feel so happy! Thank you for asking… so fun to share your loves with others.
I hope you and your sweet little family have a blessed day!
This side of Heaven,
Emily at The We Files says
I love reading everyone’s favorite foods! This is still tough for me. In this moment, I think the things I enjoy are very much my childhood favorites: macaroni and cheese, chunky oven-roasted potatoes, and cake! A new favorite of mine is roasted brussel sprouts.
I just had a hard go of it recently recovery-wise, so I think working on my list is a great idea. Thanks for the lovely read.
Oh man. Really good French fries. Fast food French fries. Ketchup!
Any kind of peas or beans cooked with onions and tomato and garlic and spices.
Stovetop popcorn with sriracha.
Peanut butter. Roasted peanuts.
Summer squash sautéed with onions, salt, and pepper.
Fresh ripe tomatoes. Garden green beans. Basically everything that grows in the summer where I live (Alabama).
I really want it to be summer now!
Chocolate. The darker the better.
My sister Helen’s chocolate chip cookies.
This simple Thai curry vegetable recipe with fish sauce, chili sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar + the creamiest, not-lite coconut milk.
Pretty much anything with tahini sauce.
Tart, crunchy apples. Really sweet, juicy grapefruit.
I think that about covers it 😂 FOOD IS SO GOOD!
Thanks for the great post Cody. I am in the depth of a relapse and working closely with my dietitian to get back on track physically and mentally. Favourite foods seems like a frightening thing to think about right now but I thought I’d give it a go and show that negative voice of mine, that ‘enjoying’ food is healthy! So here we go: pasta with tomato pasta sauce, avocado, risotto, roasted veges, crumbled fresh fish, museli, icecream, sultana cake made by mum…well most of the things mum makes. She is an amazing cook..
what a fun post…and as you said – something we do not think about often enough. A good exercise to get us out of the ‘shoulds’ of eating!
Some of my favorites…..whole wheat bagels with coconut and fig butter, dry roasted cashews, black bean burger with roasted sweet potatoes and brussell sprouts – all roasted veggies, soup, ice cream (with a warm brownie or on a cone), homemade chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, black bean, cereal/oatmeal, ginger chocolate, hummus, all things in a bowl with all the foods mixed up 🙂
What a fun question! Just yesterday I was thinking about what foods are always on my grocery list, so it kind of ties in. Although I can’t say what is always on my list is always are my favorites but they are staples, none the less.
When you start to think about it…it’s tough to decide!
High on the list is dark chocolate, avocado, dark chocolate espresso beans, margherita pizza (or a naan cheese pizza), a breakfast bowl w/ roasted sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs, avocado, & crumbled bacon, Ruffles and Deans french onion dip, salt & vinegar chips, guacamole, sushi (especially salmon & avocado), almost anything Mexican, soft, warm chocolate chip cookies…
These lists are amazing. What a great idea for a post. Listing/thinking about my favorite foods is a hard thing for me right now, but seeing people write out their favorites is so encouraging and helpful.
This post has me legit drooling. Some of my current faves: choco chips straight outta the bag, thick-crust pizza, toast with pesto, chia pudding with shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and maple syrup, Brussels pan-seared in buttah, burgers with crispy bacon, and tahini drizzled on everything.
emily vardy says
Something I don’t think people realize is that in an eating disorder some of your favorite foods can also be your biggest fear foods. I like what you said about challenging yourself to eat your favorite things – it was definitely a struggle in my recovery to even admit that I liked some of my favorite things, because my ED had said they were “bad” for so long.
That being said, I’m with ya on the bagels. Carby and toasty = mmmm.
Claira Wilson says
I have just returned to what I would deem “normal eating”. I ate everything for a year, and these are the things that stuck: vanilla ice cream, peaches, bean burrito with cottage cheese (my fav childhood snack), plain yogurt with a pumpkin muffin, pizza margherita, smoked Gouda, avocado, banana smoothies, Dahl, grilled cheese, stir fry, Graham crackers with milk, sourdough bread, English muffin w/ poached eggs, and trying some new flavor!
So many foods I thought I loved I don’t (pb) and so many foods i used to eat I hate. Lol. So glad I’m over that.
Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off says
Such a refreshing and interesting post, Cody! Some of my favorite foods are peanut butter, pumpkin bars, banana oatmeal, pancakes (pumpkin, banana, or blueberry), sushi, apples, mangos, roasted sweet potatoes, and thick smoothie bowls.
I loved this post! Thank you! It was interesting and exciting through recovery to explore what foods I truly liked, and differentiate them from what I had just talked myself into liking because they were ‘safe’ foods. Here are some that I found:
salted caramel anything
any of my Mum’s soups
Israeli salad (with hummus, of course)
cambozola…can’t buy it in Australia :'(
Armenian nutmeg cake (weirdly specific but true)
It’s such an amazing experience to find joy in food again after so long, and discover foods you really love. I’m coming close to being fully recovered I think, but it was good to really think about my favourite foods again and compare them to what I thought I liked earlier on 🙂
Thanks for the great post!
Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar says
Yay for this reminder, Cody!
My favorite foods. Wow. Egg rolls. I love egg rolls. Pizza, especially my mom’s homemade pizza. Raisin bran with walnuts. Random, I know. Egg salad with good mayonnaise. Really good toast with melty butter. Chicken pot pie. Roasted brussels sprouts. Hamburgers with lettuce, onion, and mayo.
Love this post! Thanks, Cody! My favorite foods include – good European-style bread, chocolate cake, ice cream, bagels, roasted veggies, kitchen sink salads, quiche, and scones 🙂
Tricky to answer while pregnant because it changes from day to day but the constants are:
Toast with butter
Fruit of some sort
Oh I love this post. I tried for a while to cut out a lot of my favorite foods because I had started a job where many of my colleagues were very diet focused and I felt like they were judging my lunches, etc. I ended up gaining a bunch of weight because I cut out a lot of fats (peanut butter, avocado, olive oil, butter, etc.) and almost all animal products so I ended up eating wayyy too much (mostly carbs) because I never felt satisfied even when I was uncomfortably full. It was so freeing to reintroduce some of my favorite foods and to feel satisfied and comfortable after meals. I’m still working on it but this blog has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration. My favorite foods include:
peanut butter + red currant jelly sandwiches
chocolate chip cookies
avocados (especially guacamole)
pasta with lentil “bolognese” sauce + parmesan
a scone with clotted cream and raspberry preserves
This is so fun! My favourite food is liver and onions with boiled potatoes 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 It’s been my fave since I was born (and apparently my mom got strong cravings for it when she was pregnant with me, but couldn’t actually bring herself to eat it – she hates it!). I always feel rejuvenated after eating it (I’m constantly anemic). I’m also passionate about fruit, pancakes and bread. 🙂
Riley Marcus says
Great list Robyn! I personally love fried foods myself. You might wanna try out some recipes and maybe you might find your next favorite food in the process. Here are some fryers to get you started https://www.eathealthyandthrive.com/best-air-fryers/