Drew Barrymore says she's over alcohol and Hollywood diet culture: 'I have enough demons inside to deal with'

Drew Barrymore says pickles and late-night Chinese food are among her favorite things to snack on. (Photo: Getty; designed by Areta Gjicali)
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Since her first role at age 5, Drew Barrymore has starred in classics like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and heart-warming rom-coms like The Wedding Singer. But under the glamor of all that is show business, the beloved director and producer is just like anyone else, eating late-night snacks straight from the jar.

"I'm a pickle enthusiast," Barrymore tells Yahoo Life. "I have these weird pickles that showed up in my fridge — they're the best pickles I've ever had and I just want to put them on pizza … I sat hunched over the kitchen counter eating pickles last night, thinking, If I just had a slice of cheese pizza to go with this."

The pickles in question? They're from Millport Dairy, a family-owned brand out of Leola, Pa. that operates a farm stand in New York, N.Y. But Barrymore's love of all things pickled doesn't stop there — relish has become one of her go-to condiments.

"I love to take Quorn nuggets and dip them in relish … like a sour [relish], not sweet," she says. "I don't like sweet pickles."

Barrymore, a self-described flexitarian (someone who eats primarily a vegetarian diet, but occasionally eats meat) spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her work promoting Quorn meet-free products, which have become a staple in her house since she took on the role of Chief Mom Officer (CMO) for the company.

"I love to dip my Quorn nuggets in the same thing I would for a hot dog combo," she adds, "onions, mustard and relish."

In her role with Quorn, the beloved star will lend her culinary expertise to help develop new products, create recipes and share content on how to incorporate more meat alternatives into mealtime.

It's a great gig for Barrymore, who's fond of trying new foods and recipes on her talk show The Drew Barrymore Show. "We sometimes do weird food combos with this young chef, Eitan Bernath," she says, "and we pull headlines from people's weird celebrity food combinations. It's one of my favorite things to do on the show."

As for her own weird food combinations, one in particular comes to mind. "When I eat my mac and cheese, I have to have massive amounts of black pepper," she says. "Not like powdery pepper, I want it at crack-my-teeth-open level. It becomes like a pepper mac and cheese."

In addition to trying out-of-this-world food match ups, Barrymore is always excited to try new recipes from her co-host, Ross Mathews. "Ross has his Rossipes — neither of us have the propensity to be rail thin, that is neither of our genetic make-ups," she says. "So like, give me a jicama tortilla or a lettuce wrap … I love when he brings his Rossipes to the show because I have to eat like that too."

After decades in the industry, Barrymore's relationship with food has remained very much grounded. The 47 year old says he has no time for the dietary restrictions Hollywood pushes on women and girls inside and outside of the spotlight. "I never subscribed to Hollywood diet culture," she says. "I've actually rebelled against it, probably much to my own detriment."

Barrymore says she refuses to allow the unrealistic beauty standards of the film industry to shape how she feels about herself. "Especially the messaging to young girls," she explains. "I was a young girl getting that messaging and I just said No. No, I can't. I won't."

"I have the same issues every other human does when they get dressed, look in the mirror, aren't working out enough or are eating too much, there, I relate," she continues, "but vanity and Hollywood and fashion? It's such bulls***."

But Barrymore believes many body image messages have changed since she was a child actress, something that's helped her foster a more well-rounded perspective her two daughters, Olive and Frankie.

"Now that I am … raising kids, I realize how important nutrition is, which is something that was not my messaging growing up," she says, "but when you see how much it has to do with mood and healthy growing? As a parent, it's so eye-opening, it's shocking."

Barrymore has shared in more than a few iconic kissing scenes throughout her career and says there are definitely foods to avoid before the big shoot. "I think Adam [Sandler] made the joke once that I had tuna breath, but I didn't," she says. "He was just making a joke. But you should avoid garlic and fish before a kissing scene, and always brush your teeth first or he'll make a joke that you smell like tuna, even if you don't and he's just kidding."

After long workdays, Barrymore says take-out is her go-to treat. "My reward for working a 16-hour day the other day was ordering Chinese food at 11 p.m. at night," she shares. "I woke up so swollen, I didn't even recognize myself, but it was delicious ... It was so good, I loved every minute of it."

While others may pair a delicious night of take-out with an alcoholic beverage, Barrymore explains that she's given up alcohol. "I don't drink alcohol," she says. "I promise, it's what I'm doing in my real life, so I love finding cocktail alternatives because I still enjoy partying with my friends."

From spiked drinks to unattainable standards, Barrymore is letting go of all that doesn't make her feel her very best. "I just don't want that stuff to make me feel bad," she says. "I have enough demons inside to deal with."

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