30 days…in food

Before I proceed with what my title implies; no I did not take a blogging break in order to learn lessons in food. I could attempt to recap the marvellous chapter in life that runs deeper than I can entirely fathom, but I’m not comfortable with that.. just yet. I need to quietly bask in my rejuvenated soul, to contemplate in thought the essence of what the past 30 days held. A week into my technology break  revealed an unsurprising revelation: technology in itself I can back away from. It’s the blogger’s “voices” I miss too much. I found myself visiting my favorites on the daily – even chiming in at times!

Food is a constant in whatever journey we embark on; it holds a place strongly in tradition and joy. And you can’t argue that – myself coming from a twisted relationship with it in restricting – it is something celebrated. Never mind that I snapped nary a photo of a single food item…food played a big role. As always.

A smattering of foodie thoughts over the past while:

  • Nothing like a breakfast heavy in fat to keep me going for a long time.
  • Swiss rainbow chard sautéed in butter and freshly crushed garlic – my new favourite. Of course it would not be possible without this fantabulous invention. imagesimage source

 

 

  • Taking a bite of broccoli and going “Aahh heaven”. Taking a bite of steak pizza and doing the same.
  • Consuming a huge cinnamon bun is totally fine… until the tummy starts complaining rebelling. Fascinating that the one element I love with all my heart (sugar), my body will mysteriously start hating not liking so much. Hate is a strong word, amIright? And should be preserved for humans only ;) .
  • The only thing better than a freshly baked homemade calzone? One stuffed with a spicy potato filling! Double carb whammy :) .
  • When approached on the topic of how I am fairing with my braces and whether I was hesitant to get them due to eating being limited; I am quick to state of my lack of fondness for meat etc. Yet… the past few days I have eaten more steak than when I didn’t have braces.  Because I wanted it. Weird.
  • Sitting around the dining table with my family and realising: I’m a blessed human.
  • This chocolate mousse smoothie topped with a sliced strawberry. Why one strawberry? There was only one remaining in the container, and I was at a loss at what to do with it. Because I’m a weird creature who doesn’t do berries on their lonesome. Unnecessary rambling aside; I would suggest you whip up that smoothie now and follow my cue. To die for.
  • A table of teens breakfasting at 5 AM can get whacky. Awesomely so!
  • There’s something about doughy white bread…<3.
  • Pear and peanut butter in the new “apple & nut butter” . I was a huge fan some time back, and as it goes – promptly forgot about the magical pairing. Since I am too scared to do raw apple, pear falls in as a magnificent substitute, with a little more give than crunch to its bite.
  • So I’ve been well acquainted with traditional butter croissants; usually at a coffee shop, smothered with butter and jam. Try to imagine my initial surprise at coming face-to-face with one filled with a chicken, cheesy, onion, tomato filling. I was intrigued. And sceptical. Until the first bite, where all doubts flew out of my mind. Jee willikers! Swoooon. My sister is a genius and I will probably be asking her to send me savoury croissants every day for the next month or so.
  • White almond butter is not as good as it’s robust roasted counterpart. If I am correct, white almond butter is raw skinless almonds – resulting in a smooth mild nutty flavour. Usually ridiculously over-priced I am quick to turn on my heel on our encounter at the store. Conniving human’s would go and slice of 20% on the day I step in. Still over-priced, but not ridiculously. I am enjoying it, but it does have me yearning for the boldness of the roasted kind. Hmmm now when is the next road trip?
  • Aaah I miss a good ol’ simple bowl of oatmeal without the addition of an egg. Time to get back to basics if I intend to keep happy.
  • Powdered black pepper doesn’t stand a chance against roughly crushed. That, or my taste buds are losing sensitivity – tell me I’m not the only one who eats with the pepper shaker at my side for regular sprinkles!?
  • Classical snacks never go out of fashion; I find myself returning to the trusted banana & pb staple time and again. With a newly discovered twist as off recently: a piping mug of hot chocolate on the side.
  • There’s a first time for everything, or in my case – second time… such as savoury breakfasts for AM sweet eaters. The butternut squash and sweet potato on the side balanced the spiciness of the roast chicken perfectly though. That said, there’s a good chance lunch will be a nut butter and jam sandwich. I need my fix :D .

 

I will not pretend to NOT care

I could regret this when I collapse into an exhaustion–induced coma. If there’s anything I’ve learnt about myself though, is that attempting sleep – even if we’re talking those two precious free hours – while having this passion run through my veins will prove fruitless. I almost believe that all that restless tossing and turning only expands more energy than it recharges. At least I’ve got a beautiful sunrise peeking at me through the window.

sunrise

I’ve got an upbeat recap post of sorts hanging in my draft, shedding light onto the past days of my absence. But I lack genuine motivation in putting it out there as yet. It feels wrong. It’s like I would be masking a huge part of sadness within me.. that I’ve been experiencing all this while, and continue to. I know I am not obligated in sharing my views on the happenings of the world; I have never implied that I would. The thing is, I shouldn’t refrain from pouring out my exact feelings if that is what I want to do.. Regardless of how it might rub others up the wrong way. Taking a cue from Sam’s mantra: it’s OK. What’s not okay is the bombing of innocent lives in Gaza.

Tell me – what religion condones the killing and maiming of hundreds of woman and children who possess nary a weapon to defend themselves? What religion allows the act of mercilessly rendering orphan and widow? None. We know that. Well, how can the world sit back and watch this sickening storm play out before our eyes? Or are we turning a blind eye?… afraid to speak out against -clearly- apparent injustice. I am not the first [and I will not be last] to be speaking against the monstrous rampage the Israeli soldiers are on through Gaza. Destroying homes, shelling schools filled with tiny tots, shattering lives.

Screen-Shot-2014-07-19-at-7_44_41-AMpicture source

As humanity we have evolved greatly.. the most advanced in technology, the most well educated. How can such a level of cruel ignorance exist? The worth of a human’s life has diminished to… nothing.

There are news shows refraining from revealing everything. I ask you to watch Al Jazeera (who seems to disclose the most) to at least see for yourself.

Can we, as sane caring human beings stand up for human rights? Are we going to prove that we care by talking out against a crime to humanity? Let us refresh our minds on what a war entails: when two opposing parties partake in battle against one another. This is not a war. This is oppression. As a mother in Ghaza spoke on the murdering of her young [sleeping] son, and I quote; “what did my child (or anyone in our house) do or have that they needed to fire tank shelling’s in the dead of the night into our home for!?”

pray for gazaimage source

 

Thinking Out Loud #25

Looks like 9 (okay not really!), feels like 90.. what am I??

A rather random start to a day post isn’t it? Befitting – given the theme to Thinking Out Loud, thanks to our brain-saver/hostess Amanda.  Of course I am all sorts of giddy that today is a “double-whammy” celebration :D .

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

1.  Every food that passes my lips turns to gold. I wish I was kidding. That’s the way it seems though, because how else would I have an unspoken reputation of “she who only eats healthy food”? The cookie I ate probably had beans in, the bag of chips was high in magnesium, the chocolate has antioxidants, the cupcakes‘ protein wipes out the effect of its colorants, the spinach… ulp, well. Listen up people! Can I just eat the damn food because I want it!?! Not because it does 5.5 bajillion things to my scalp and toenails, darn it. It’s like, by succeeding in diminishing myself to a dissolving bag of bones, automatically means I harness the secret to the inner workings of everyone’s body. Yech.

 

2. Oh on the topic of cupcakes! No doubt the family will be revealing some baked creation later today, but I decided it a good idea to warm up with something of my own yesterday. Alright I was inpatient. I wanted a baked goodie.

chocolate chunk oatmeal muffins

chocolate chunk oatmeal muffins

This recipe caught my eye a long while back, and a recurring vision had me back-tracking to it. I’m growing wise people – I know better than to be without chocolate, so while chocolate chips weren’t available.. I got to work at shattering a bar of 70% . Mmmhm.. guess what I had for lunch? Hint: it was freshly baked, fluffy and oatmealy, and filled with melty chocolate chunks.

 

3. I recall learning a life lesson in the mystery of needing to pee upon entering the office. Picture this: entering a fitting room with an armful of dresses, then having to abandon everything in the search of a loo. Needless to say, I was not going to even bother with deriving some message out of that. I was bloomin’ annoyed. And diseased.

I need to do this!

I need to do this!

picture source

 

4. Proof of an excellent recipe is in it’s flexibility. As – I have discovered – is the case with this fool-proof formula for cake batter oatmeal pudding. It was one of those recipes instantly filed in my brain for a rainy busy, bumper-to-bumper day. Tuesday with its string of appointments called for a first meal that delivers. I got more than I bargained for; in both taste and satiety. I was slightly apprehensive at first, given that I was transgressing from the original guidelines: using 1 cup of coconut milk, excluding the coconut flour, and the coconut. My sweetener of choice was about a tablespoon of honey stirred through immediately after mixing the egg in.

breakfastTopped with smooth peanut butter – I am totally envying the big man with his CRUNCHY form. Oh.my.goose. This was incredible. The texture had me swooning! I usually never experience a strong sense of fullness while consuming breakfast, but seriously – I was stuffed toward the end and fridged the rest for a snack later in the day. It served as a good token of trust; my body is more than capable of telling me when it’s had enough. That said, this is now on my regular rotated breakfast list.

 

5. I underestimated my level of love, and ultimately the time-span of polishing off my first box of oatbran. After a short period without, I am happily reunited. Allow me to throw a photo of yesterday’s breakfast at you..

breakfast-oatbranI’m loving a little coconut oil stirred through post-cooking. This particular bowl was layered with yogurt and cinnamon, topped with strawberries, honey and peanut butter.

 

6. I woke up to the most gorgeous email I could ask for! The lady herself may be residing across the wide, blue ocean – but she makes a pretty great impact in bringing a smile to my face [if it's in hiding] or enabling my existing one to grow :) .

smilingpicture source

 

7. As off this weekend begins the most marvellously important -busy- month of the year for me. I want to be “there” every single second.. experiencing with all my senses. I’ve spent some time reflecting on things; thus concludes my decision to step away from the magnetic pull of technology, the blog world as well. 32 days maximum. Not having any blogging schedule, I’d like to take this opportunity to let you lovely humans know I will miss you something crazy… aaaand I hope I will be missed too ;) .

 

Until then. Happy days!

Back to the riddle I started off with: what am I?

 

Don’t forget to miss me!!

 

 

WIAW..all in a day

I am what I’d call a spontaneous blogger. Blogging without a schedule ensures I am always enjoying the chance to share with others the insanity residing within my soul. And of course I love subjecting others to my incessant rambling :) . That said, it was last a minute choice (as is my usual) to share Sunday’s eats at the world-renowned party her fabulousness Jenn never fails to throw every week.

WIAWbutton

Allow me a confession before proceeding: I actually failed to photograph every meal on Sunday.. but I’ve got most of it, since I instinctively felt compelled to capture all the pretty processed fare, which comprised the majority of that day’s fuel. I am not intending to advocate or encourage tons of  “junk” foods. I am all for as healthy a balance as one is comfortable with. The only reason I was never majorly into fast food was because I wasn’t craving it back-to-back. Well what happens on a random day when mainly “unhealthy” sustenance sound appealing? While this day is not a regular occurrence, it is a day I am proud off as it goes down in history as a successful day of following my intuition.

Starting off the day with a wholesome breakfast makes me tremendously happy..

oatmeal- breakfast

Regular -magical- oatmeal bowl

Pardon the recycled pic; just doing my bit with the whole eco-friendly thing. Our yogurt-well having run dry meant the bowl was a little sadder than usual. Black coffee [in hiding] on the side.

Shopping is not complete without a coffee date/ Mum & daughter QT

Chocolate Chai steamer

Chocolate Chai steamer

This was as delectable as it appears, if not more so. The upside to having braces I guess; reaching out to “adventurous” drinks to satisfy the sweet tooth teeth. I would aptly describe this potion as a spicy hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and tons of cinnamon.

Part of lunch on the way home..

bbq puffs

Crack <3

Crunchy chips are out of the question — but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Anyone acquainted with the addictiveness that is sweet & spicy bbq puffs?? I may have munched my way halfway through the bag (serving size be damned), settled at the back of a van – with the wind in my face :) – for the trip home.

Lunch at home was quick and uncaptured: a hummus multigrain tortilla wrap with a side of [well] cooked broccoli.

 

For some reason – I cannot for the life of me imagine why ;) – the family wanted to treat me.

red velvet, vanilla, coconut, strawberry froyo

red velvet, vanilla, coconut, strawberry froyo

I entertained the idea – for a good solid 5 min. – of suing the company for NOT being equipped with a flavour that even closely resembled something “cake batter-y” or “chocolate-y”. Oh and I doubt there’s a creature out there who opts for froyo sans toppings? Braces would do that.

A one-two punch of salt, to soak up the sugar(?)..

Chip & Dip!

Chip & Dip!

Jumping jiminy crickets! I was missing out all along! Why didn’t you tell me how stupendously phenomenal regular fries really are?! Okay so you tried, I’ll give you that much. Coated in salt, THEN slathered in sweet chilli sauce because… ketchup is overrated I despise ketchup. My taste buds are just incapable of getting past that icky-ness. I assumed I was alone on that.. thank goodness for laat lammetjies coming clean then ;) .

Honestly, I expected myself to be freaking out by now… I mean, I am at a good place with honouring cravings and such – yet without the excuse of “extreme hunger” to fall back on and blame – I had to accept that I really wanted all those treats. In one day. That I was not craving my usual suspects.. and that I am not above “fast food” now and then.

A bedtime snack of a banana and a few spoonful’s of peanut butter straight from the jar occurred, which frankly – seemed rather mundane to bother playing with for a photo shoot.

 

Happy Eating folks!

 

Do you prefer to “schedule” in treats, or eat as the craving hits?

Ketchup: love or hate?

Ever had Chip & Dip? Gosh they make thee best fries ever! What would your dip of choice be?

 

 

 

Grief can take a toll

We are familiar with how a callous develops right? Repeated chafing on a tender spot and the skin grows a protective hardened layer. A recent tragedy has had me contemplating deeply… I’m pretty certain that my heart is nurturing a callous, stemmed from repeated exposure to grief. I don’t want to give the pretence of a hard life when I am utterly blessed, but I am on a journey to better my understanding of the complicated human I seem to be… and I have a heart–callous that’s preventing “me” from coming through. I don’t believe I myself am a callous soul (well, I should hope not) – rather I am beginning to recognise a change in my response to grief – from the person I recall myself to be at a time I remember – before I delved into an eating disorder, when everything became fuzzy and days were a blur.

I hate to sound like a right old drama queen, but for as young as I am; I’ve had my heart broken too many times to count. I’ve always loved hard.. the problem with loving hard? Hurting hard. And at some point in life, as long as you love – you’re bound to hurt. First was my Gran, the only grandparent I was blessed to have met in my lifetime. When I lost her, it felt as though the grief was insurmountable to overcome. A similar sensation with my instructor/therapist/mother-figure. Yet time heals wounds of the heart, but not without leaving a scar.

All the creatures! To other humans they were just pets, just animals. To me? A soul is a soul. Once you connect and bond, there’s no looking back. At least that’s the way it was. Glimpses of our lives entwined flash before my eyes.. it’s all just a memory, but the stab of pain in my heart is fresh and vivid. With animals it’s even more of a delicate, unpredictable situation; your heart is at stake on the constant. By the chance of a eagle stealing my adopted hand-raised starling “son” as its lunch when he follows his “Mama” on an outride … by my old boy J rearing up in play and hooking his foreleg in the iron gate, and I feel every ounce of pain as he screams in terror and thrashes wildly, my heart shattering into a million pieces as I watch helplessly… by a dog attacking my orphaned lamb and having to acknowledge the painful reality of the only option being euthanizing… by the bull calves I reared and bottle-fed to be overcome by hormones and suddenly too lethal to be around… by the time I was brought to bid goodbye to a solid friendship, having become too weak to handle such magnificent strength. I loved with devotion, only to be broken.. I loved again, and broke again… and again. Then I stopped loving with such an intensity, my heart built up its protective layer.. now even when it loves, it doesn’t give it all away. I don’t exactly feel as though I’ve got a say in the matter. However, I am suddenly strangely aware of my internal battles. At a recent passing of a family member, I felt like a pillar of strength amongst the grieving. But I was hurting of course – a notably lesser degree than I am accustomed to. It’s almost like I’ve grieved myself out.. cried myself dry, and have succeeded in convincing my mind of the hidden goodness in every tragedy.

grief quotepicture source

I wouldn’t have been too concerned, but with my instinctive detachment from both humans and animals (the warning signs engraved in my brain: love, but be careful) is resulting in a gaping feeling deep inside. I am stepping out of the shadows of my eating disorder, and the heart wants to love.. wants to connect. But the callous has grown tough and resilient; a firm reminder of what grief feels like.

Cravings

I prided myself in my oblivion to cravings; unable to comprehend how anyone could experience a specific “craving” for a particular food. What is this cravings you speak of? I’m above that. Turns out.. cravings were actually out of my league, due to it’s flame being distinguished under my need for power(<-said in my best Zira imitation) control, resulting in stringent rules and regulations in the simple act of eating.

Its hard to believe that – after attempting to fight it for some time – I’ve come to the point of being quite literally, a dangling puppet to my commanding cravings. You can only substitute cream cheese on toast for milk-tart (when it’s bloomin’ staring at you) for so long. So I would say, if you don’t crave anything ever… be concerned. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, yesterday – a simple glance of these bars at Amanda’s sent my craving responsiveness into overdrive. Perhaps partly down to it being that time of the month (squeee yay!), but boy I had it baaad. I lazily tried to entice my mind at petty -speedy- replacements, but it all fell flat in my mind’s eye. Ultimately, not too long after: this happened..

granola bars

Mmmhmm yesss, I am a slave to my cravings.

It’s not always smooth sailing though. Today, for some reason unknown to man; had my arteries twisted in an anxious knot. I was hungry, AND I was craving a thingymabob that I could not pinpoint. This usually is a slightly disastrous state for me to be in, and like other times, my instinctive uncontrollable response was to eat all over the place. In a space of four hours I dined on some pasta, roasted butternut, a taste of peanut butter, some chocolate, a bite of a donut…then a little more pasta. I’m not going to lie, I was not the happiest with my less than ideal setup. I would have been pleased if I had followed some structure or pattern, instead of throwing caution to the wind and mixing everything up. What helped in quelling the anxiety from blowing my mind was the satiety that followed. Surely, such a content response meant that I had in fact done the right thing in honouring mind and body? All I wanted was to be satisfied enough to carry on.. and that’s how events unfolded. I felt good, I had eaten enough – albeit “loosely” – and I can get on with my day without obsessing over something I should have eaten.

 

Do cravings dictate what you eat?

Ever crave a “thingmabob”?

 

 

 

 

 

Aunt Suzy

Aunt Suzy, Aunt Flo; its apparent we hold a great degree of respect for her(!?).. justifiably so too, as periods require a great degree of respect from ourselves to our bodies in order to function optimally. You can determine where my thoughts are going – head for the hills before I gross you out if you feel it necessary ;) . Honestly? I’m not sure how smart of a move revealing my brains contents regarding this matter out loud would prove to be. What I do know is that I’m sick of entertaining discussions on this with myself, and why should I when our fantabulous Thursday host will gladly tolerate all sorts of randomness?
Thinking-Out-Loud

I was blessed with my first period sometime after my 12th birthday, and proceeded to have a healthy operating system for about 2 years before things went MIA – under the pressure of anorexia – for +4 years. I took for granted the problem-free arrival of Aunt Suzy every month like clockwork, while I would observe other’s dealing with major tummy cramping and an overall unwell feeling. till it's gonepicture source

I had assumed all along that a return would be instantly celebrated,  but on the contrary I am boggled. Which states the obvious fact: I do have a period. For the fourth time at least. No I was not holding out on you guys on a milestone in recovery.. I was simply driven to confusion by the overall scheme of things, unsure if I was actually having a period. I had no idea that it could be so complicated, having not come across anyone’s experience on this as being anything other than straightforward; either having periods, or not. Lacking in realness and intensity (unlike what I had grown accustomed to in those years), I would believe that it’s my body’s attempts at returning to a normal “program”.  Its here every month.. well, the past four months and all the signs seem to align to what a genuine period is like. I think. I didn’t expect it this month to tell the truth; as ignorant as I am off my weight and the scale, I’m smart enough to be “aware” of a little loss of flesh- a combination of worry, busyness and the discomfort following the braces. I would put it down then to a spontaneous stint of laziness that cut down physical activity to daily living, not a step more. And what do you know? She comes around this month again.. still very “polite” and unusual, but I’ll take it.

Ladies, I would LOVE if you could chime in on any experience you’re willing to share in giving a better understanding of periods returning!?