I took this week as a time to reflect on all that has gone on between the last time I was home, in December. It seems as though the more things change, the more they stay the same. For instance, several months ago I rediscovered the art of intuitive eating. Yes, the art. I found myself much more relaxed and less anxious when I was forbidden to exercise, thus I ate more of what appealed to me-- oh, the irony in it all. I find myself working towards the same goals as I had been.
In efforts to reestablish the 'love' aspect of my love/hate relationship with cooking, I've decided to document various recipes, or in my case- kitchen experiments, every week. I must challenge myself more as I grow quite bored with monotonous, mundane and safe meals. As I strive for more intuitive and mindful eating, I believe the most crucial action is to listen to my stomach and taste buds. I must ask, 'What do I savor? What am I in the mood for at this very moment?' And, in turn, I must answer truthfully and abide to the cravings.
There were several recipes I challenged myself with this week. Saturday night, my dad and I were feeling spicy and decided to express it in the kitchen, through the beautiful art of cooking. I must mention the anomalous relationship my father and I share with food, at least in comparison to the one with my mother. Some of the most memorable moments of my life include learning from my dad's passion and skills in the kitchen. His multicultural acceptance, stemmed from travels abroad, are reflected through food. For example, he cooks the most delicious and authentic (at least I think so) paella and Cuban bread. I've always admired and taken interest in his artistic abilities, and thus have made great attempts to bond over our shared passion for cooking. He and I share a similar interest in succulent ingredients, piquant spices and mellow cheeses :P. In fact, we always joke about creating our own Food Network show. My dad is most definitely my 'go-to' person when I'm in need of anything food-related advice. In any case, this past weekend I put on my chef's hat and embraced the kitchen, with more confidence than usual.
Warning: none of the following pictures were taken by me.
My "masterpiece" included a quesadilla stuffed with beans, roasted vegetables, jalapeños, a salsa verde, sprinkle of a 4-cheese Mexican blend baked in the oven and topped with my father's (phenomenal) guacamole recipe and salsa.
Though Saturday's meal was quite satisfying, Sunday brought new cravings... Italian to be precise. Italian food is one of great fear and difficulty for me, though I won't detail the specifics. Nonetheless, with my sidekick by my side, I felt invincible and ready to face my fears.
This recipe included:
sauteed onion and garlic in a tad of olive oil, spinach, white wine (not so full-bodied), diced tomatoes, various Italian herbs to taste, whole wheat spaghetti and grated Romano cheese for topping.
And I actually savored each and every bite. 'Who woulda' thought?!'
The confidence augmented as my faith in food, and my father, also increased. I didn't gain 10 (exaggeration and dichotomous thinking?!) pounds overnight. On the contrary, I woke up still satisfied but anxious for the next day's challenge. Due to the lack of peanut butter consumption this week, my taste buds screamed for the entice salty sweetness. On the car ride home from a family session, the light bulb in my head beamed and I conjured a quick, 10 minute Thai recipe.
The 'peanut sauce' included a mixture of creamy almond butter, water, soy sauce, dabs of sesame oil & hot sauce and a drop of fresh lime juice and smothered steamed vegetables inside of lettuce wraps.
I have always been more of a baker, perhaps because of my strong attraction to dulcet foods. Today I embark on a new cookie recipe with great hopes and expectations, as I experiment with white chocolate chips (Side note: I've never, ever been a white chocolate fan).
We'll see how they turn out...
Although I am excited to display a variety of ethnic, flavorful recipes, I continue to have no desire to post my daily meals. This blog has always been a venue and means of escape from the daily, and many times overwhelming, activity I endure. When no one else understands the minuscule triumphs and tribulations I face, I know I can find immediate comfort at the keyboard (both the computer and piano)-- writing never lets me down. It's a form of personal freedom as it frees me from the mass identity I get lost in everyday. Writing has been the most consistent and beneficial therapy throughout the recovery process, thus far. Therefore, only the most sincere and raw thoughts spill from thoughts through the fingertips and onto the screen, and meals are not included.
What's more, my mother and I went shopping and I tried clothes on, 'modeled' the outfits in front of full length mirrors (my arch nemesis) and mom, and bought several new outfits with contentment and satisfaction. Whoa. To elaborate on a somewhat comparable topic, I have given great thought to the controversy that surrounds weights and numbers. Though weight tends to be synonymous with recovery, it is not the be-all-end-all. Many times, friends and family (those without eating disorders) evaluate my progress in simulation with the numbers, and quite frankly, there is much more to recovery. Thoughts, feelings, moods and behaviors all work together with the execution of coping skills and strategies; Yet, the intangible measures are so abstruse, that they often go ignored by others. The most difficult challenge I am currently faced with is acceptance and balance, as I am often trouble by thoughts of bad body image and the anticipation of continued weight gain. I must remember to trust my body, remain consistent with the meal plan I have been given by trustworthy professionals and disregard triggering statements and actions of others. My body knows the weight it's meant to be at, and though it fluctuates, I must trust the process and stay truthful to myself, the caloric intake I need (right now) and the flavors I crave.
This spring break has been wonderful thus far, but I still have plenty to internalize, rationalize and write about.
"Writing eases my suffering... writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence."-- Gao Xingjian
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