April 13, 2024 by Molly Patrick

Foods in the wild

.One of the easiest ways to avoid the addictive foods spiral is to not bring addictive foods into your house. It’s low-hanging fruit because it’s something you can control.

Sugary foods (I’m not talking about fruit), processed foods (I’m not talking about tofu or tempeh), salty foods (I’m not talking about miso), and high-fat foods (I’m not talking about avocados or cashews) can trigger addictive eating behaviors because they fuck with the pleasure center of the brain.

Living in an “ingredient based household” as Brittany’s teenage son called it (check your Love Letters from March 30 if you missed it) can be a huge relief for people who are prone to addictive eating habits.

Let’s say you stock your fridge with brown rice, roasted squash, cheesy sauce made from carrots and potatoes, prepped lettuce, kale, and collard greens, toasted pumpkin seeds, pinto beans, tahini-based salad dressing, corn tortillas, fruit, plenty of fresh veggies, and baked tofu. That, paired with removing the addictive foods from your house sets you up so that the easiest and quickest options are also the ones that are the least addictive. Sure, these things may not light up your pleasure center like a skating rink on neon night, but they will nourish you and get you back to baseline so you can rock a plant powered life.

The blessing and the curse of ridding your house of addictive foods is that you also have to commit to cooking healthy food. Instead of relying on frozen pizzas, boxed mac and cheese, microwave meals, packaged snacks, canned soup, and store-bought cookies, you will have to rely on yourself to shop for ingredients and then cook them so you have food ready to heat up when you get hungry.

This can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s the price of admission for safeguarding yourself from addictive foods in your home. And once you get used to having tasty, batched food made from whole ingredients ready to go, you may never want to go back to anything else.

Having sugary processed foods in your home isn’t wrong or bad, and you aren’t wrong or bad if this is what you’re eating. You are just as awesome and whole when you’re eating potato chips as you are when you’re eating massaged kale with chickpeas and quinoa. Quinoa doesn’t give anyone special “worthiness” points. It just gives you more nutrients.

I know what you’re thinking: “Okay, Molly, sounds great, but what about all the other humans in my house?” It can be tricky, but it is doable. If your humans are not on board with your crunchy, quinoa ways, let them know they’ll need to buy their own processed foods and to please keep them out of plain view. My partner lovingly asks that I stash my chocolate out of the way so it’s not easily accessible. If it’s out of sight, it’s often out of mind. I’ll never stop buying chocolate, but I definitely don’t mind storing it in the back of the cupboard. As a side note, I always buy 70% dark chocolate or higher because anything less triggers cravings I prefer not to have.

This doesn’t address all the easily accessible, addictive foods out there in the wild, but it does address the food closest to your fingertips most of the time. Start with this and then allow the ripple effect to do its job.

Talk to me about one addictive food you can stop bringing into the house, and one healthy plant based item you’ll make this weekend. Share in our Facebook group using #ForagingForIngredients


Molly Patrick Quote

Get the weekly Sweary Saturday Love Letter like what you've read above

Written by ex-boozer and ex-smoker, Molly Patrick that will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.


Not for those offended by the F word.