Ode to palm oil

I love Target.  I love the big clunky red carts.  I love the Dollar Spot aisle that beckons me every time even though I rarely partake of its (varied, and often bizarre) wares.  I love the $6 “boyfriend tees” that have slowly become my daily uniform.  I love the wine cubes.  I love every soap, spray and potion that Method has ever made.

But most of all, I love that I can get a bunch of normal (and normal-sized) grocery crap that I can’t get at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and Costco.   (And I can stock up on said provisions while also filling my cart with boyfriend tees and gift wrap and shower curtain rings and sunglasses.  Yay, Target.)

For example, today I hastily snatched this from the shelf:

It said “natural” on the front, so I assumed it was like the natural peanut butter I usually get at those other stores.  You know, where you slop a bunch of oil over the side the every time you stir it and end up with a perpetually greasy jar.  Because that’s healthy and that’s what I’m supposed to buy.

But this?  Oh no.  This is like a creamy peanut spread from heaven and it is delicious.  It’s like the stuff you had as a kid.  So I looked at the ingredients: ADDED SUGAR and PALM OIL.


Oh yes.

Sometimes the less-healthy version is just plain better.

Today’s EAT: I patched together a semi-homemade Hawaiian pizza. On a Boboli crust that was also full of palm oil and lots of tasty mono-diglycerides. That had been sitting on a Target shelf for a while, probably. Mmmm.

It was grand.

Today’s DRINK: So I’m a little bit of a cheater.  Remember when I said I’d limit myself to one beer a night in an attempt to (somewhat) stem the tide of empty liquid calories flowing down my gullet (and on to my ass)?

I buy the big bottles. Then it’s still one beer!  Yes, it is! Gotta be smarter than the system.

Truly, though, I’m glad I had a pint-plus of this Smuttynose Maibock to enjoy.  Delicious flavors of orange and honey in this one, with a lovely bitter finish.  The 8.7% is barely noticeable in the mug, which means that I’m about to be knackered in  3…2…1….

Today’s RUN: Easy five miles this morning and an hour of yoga this evening.  Both were lovely.  I thoroughly enjoyed having a low-intensity day…I’m gunning for a 50-mile week and have a couple of tough workouts to get through before my rest day on Friday!

Today’s QUESTION: Of what foods do you buy the “unhealthy” version? I’m thinking I might be a convert to sugary peanut butter…I only eat it a couple of times a week, may as well enjoy it, right?  I also firmly believe that there is no substitute for a classic yellow bag of Lay’s Potato Chips!


38 responses to “Ode to palm oil

  1. Well… from the ‘grocer’ i always buy Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup- the OG one. Yeah, the little can full of sodium, I’m down.
    OR, if it I am out and the occasion is fitting, I am a sucker for Buffalo Wings. Put 20 in front of me and they will disappear in like 5 minutes.
    That pizza looked awesome.

  2. I’ve had the natural Skippy before. It’s ok. But I actually am a convert to the “healthy” pb because I prefer it to be a more “savory” treat. Weird… I never would have said that a year or so ago…

    However, I absolutely refuse to alter cookie/cake/dessert recipes. They’re “dessert”. Don’t “healthify” it. It’s called dessert for a reason. Bring on the butter and do it the way Paula Deen told you to. Respect…

  3. Cape Cod potato chips. Heaven!

  4. Coke. I snort it! I don’t rub it on my gums!

    But for realsies, if I’m drinking stoli v and coke its stoli v and coke…not diet. never diet. hfcs is disgusting, but >>> aspertane. ew.

  5. i am a die-hard messy and oily nut butter girl (i realize this sounds gross. let’s embrace the love, okay?) but did buy that same peanut butter jar one time over the summer when i was living without a refrigerator and i freaking loved the stuff…. in all its palm oily goodness. whatevs, it happens.

    my unhealthy food habit isn’t really found in any particular store bought product – i eat extremely healthfully on my own, but eat out like a bajillion times a week which kinda satiates the craving for anything junky. so there. my fridge makes me look like i’m a saint. all lies 😛

  6. hehe love target too 😉 I love any form and kind and consistency of any nut butter 🙂 Have u tried cashew? Delish!! http://www.real-nutrition-nyc.com

  7. “Of what foods do you buy the unhealthy version?”
    Hey! Somebody put the preposition in the correct place!!! GOLD GRAMMAR STAR!

    Um. Well. I’m one of those obnoxious “buys whole foods” kinda person (not AT Whole Foods, but you dig), but I will nevereverever buy lowfat anything cheese. Or cheese that pretends to be healthy. It’s my one bit of cholesterol, let it be. Same goes with baked goods. If it’s a muffin, I’m not going to go for “reduced fat” blahblah at Starbucks. First, that’s embarrassing to order, and second, they pack enough shit into the reduced fat one. So I might as well get the taste with the 30 extra calories.


      Ordering at Starbucks is embarrassing, period! I feel like it’s impossible to do without sounding like a pretentious douche. But you’re probably right, the addition of a “low-fat raspberry scone” or whatever doesn’t help.

  8. haha I love the Target boyfriend Ts! And I pushed a cart for the first time ever the last time I went to the Manhattan one. it was exciting.

    Now that I eat natural peanut butter, the sugary stuff tastes so weird whenever I have it! I now buy Fage 2% instead of 0% because it is SO MUCH MORE DELICIOUS. Does that count?

  9. Mmm, Skippy Natural is the BEST peanut butter. I’m not ready for real PB’s, but I definitely cannot go back to regular JIF! Good find!

    Also, yes. Target is the best 🙂

  10. I don’t even go for Skippy Natural. We eat Great Value Smooth PB at my house. Other unhealthy staples: Sam’s Choice Salsa by the case, Sweet Baby Ray’s, and enough Heinz Ketchup for a small army.

  11. Um. I’m trying to think of any foods of which I buy the HEALTHY version. I like to get bad food disguised as good food. I do love the TJs chocolate cherry soymilk ice cream. Does that count?

    When I was younger, I naively thought only malt liquor came in the “bomber” size. Discovering that craft beer also comes in that size was a turning point in my life.

  12. Target and I have a fabulous relationship. I visit the big red bulls eye 1-2 times a week. I love their clothes, the dollar spot, buying personal hygiene products, cosmetics, shoes, you name it!

    Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce, Open Pit BBQ sauce, Heinz Ketchup (DH refuses to eat any other brand), sugary “kid” cereals and those tasty full fat flavored coffee creamers are all staples in my house!

  13. Ok, deep breath…..time for the confession.

    I love fake coffee creamer, the ones that are all “flavored-up” and you buy in the refrigerated section. I cannot bring myself to look at the ingredients list.

  14. Beth @ Will Run for Books

    I eat that same peanut butter – while it isn’t as healthy as the true “all natural” ones, it is better than the regular ones. It’s a compromise for my fiance and me.

    Like Marci, I’m also a fake coffee creamer addict (although I’m trying to work on this) and I love me some Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper.

    (hides face in shame)

  15. Yum, I could go for some of that pizza.

    I discovered Peter Pan Whipped Peanut butter a few years ago and it was love at first bite. I can’t always find it, so when I do I buy a few jars. Tastes like regular peanut butter, but you can get away with using a little less since it’s easier to spread and doesn’t tear the bread. Seriously, it’s (totally over-processed) awesome stuff. I agree, natural PB is just not as good.

  16. I can’t think of anything I buy in the “healthier” version..I just buy what I like to eat and for the most part, that’s not processed stuff. But I do eat Lean Cuisine for lunch daily. It’s cheap and takes 3 minutes to microwave after I let it thaw all morning. And then I eat it at my desk in 2 minutes. This is quite the life I am living.

  17. Butter. It’s Kellers or nothing, I don’t care how bad it is.

  18. Diet pop. I can’t help myself. I have one a day. 🙂
    Oh, and cake! Don’t try to make “healthy” cake – it’s cake, for goodness sake. Eat it and enjoy it!

  19. “I buy the big bottles. Then it’s still one beer! Yes, it is! Gotta be smarter than the system.” Hahaha 😀 We buy the “unhealthy version” of almost everything. We buy full fat sour cream, mayo and ranch, etc, but I think they taste better and are full of less crap. My H even insists on 4% cottage cheese, but I tend to prefer skim or 2 % of cottage cheese and milk. I guess our motto is usually that we eat what we like, but we try to work it off!

  20. I actually love Skippy Natural and buy it whenever I can’t find decently cheap peanut butter without any added crap. At least it doesn’t have trans fat, and relatively low sugar and palm oil compared to the other “classic” peanut butters. Also, I dislike most light beer.

  21. Diet Sun-Drop. I gave it up (plus any other soda) while training for Thunder Road. It’s as fake as fake can be, but awfully delicious!

    And if I have coffee, I do enjoy the ‘faux’ coffee creamer….

  22. i’ve heard that skippy natural is the way to go. i really should pick some up sometimes. skippy has my heart in general.

    and you work that system. sounds like something i’d do 🙂

  23. Bummer! I love that kind of peanut butter. What a shame.

  24. Light beer is a crime. If I’m going to drink, I’m going to draaaannk. I would prefer it not taste like well-hyrdrated piss. The darker or the hoppier, the better.

  25. Hahahaha – sometimes the “not-so-healthy” version is so much better…
    And it’s worth it to consume it once in a while!
    Definitely good for the soul, haha 😉

  26. You don’t like the PB from Whole Foods (where you grind it yourself?)? That’s the only PB I like now. I’m over-coming my taste aversion to PB after 4 years, but I still can’t stand the smell of regular PB. Bleh

    Um, I still drink HFCS when I drink regular Dr.Pepper, but don’t drink much of it. And I come cookie time I’ll be partaking in some HFCS and hydrogenated vegetable oil. 😦

  27. I’m with Lisa’s hubby on Cottage Cheese-to me there’s a drastic change from 4% to 2%-gotta stay with the 4%. And I’m surprised no one said this, but 2% or whole milk is leagues ahead of skim-I can’t believe I used to buy skim, but will never again!

  28. This week I ate tater tots for the first time in about ten years…don’t really know what possessed me…but both my husband and I felt like crap an hour after eating them…now I remember why I eat whole, unprocessed foods. And real butter, cheese, etc–none of the low-fat junk.

  29. Do you have a target credit card? The automatic 5% off every time you use it might be my favorite thing about the checkout line. The cashier tells me the amount I owe, I swipe my card, and voila, the amount that actually charges is 5% lower.

    As for the unhealthy version, I stay away from chemicals wherever I can, even if they reduce the sugar content, etc. While the real thing isn’t great in the sugar category, at least my body can process it!

  30. I want to wear those g.d. target shirts everyday for the rest of my life. Baha just realized I’m wearing one right now….shocking.

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