Good morning! How is your Wednesday treating you so far? Mine is off to a busy start, and the first thing I’m doing this morning is linking up with Jenn to share a day’s worth of food with you!
As I pondered what the theme of yesterday’s meals was, I was reminded of how powerful food associations can be. Take, for example, the fact that I didn’t eat shaved ice, navy bean soup, or chicken salad for years after my hellish recovery from having my wisdom teeth removed, when those were the only foods I ate. I have realized that I have some similar food associations that hold strong connections to my eating disorder, but I have also seen that it is possible to incorporate these foods into my life once again, out of a disordered context.
For breakfast, I ate oatmeal with peanut butter, a banana, egg whites, and a couple of blueberries on top. Although oatmeal has become my favorite breakfast, I first started eating it regularly during the summer in which my eating disorder flourished. While I worked at camp and quietly dissolved into sickness, I ate a measly amount of oatmeal with a Barbie-sized dollop of peanut butter and part of a banana every morning, until I deemed oatmeal unsafe and swapped it for Rice Krispies with Splenda. In the year and a half since I began recovery, I have found that I truly do love oatmeal for breakfast, although I now eat it in much healthier quantities and enjoy it far more.
Mid-morning, I started to get hungry again, so I enjoyed part of a toasted maple-peach bran muffin with my morning cup of coffee.
For lunch, I packed a salad with a ton o’ vegetables, chicken cooked with cayenne pepper, garlic, and honey (try it if you haven’t), sesame seeds, peanuts, lime juice, and chili vinaigrette. I ate my salad with carrots and homemade hummus, some kettle-cooked potato chips, and part of a nectarine. Salads like this still occasionally remind me of the worst of my disorder, when I topped a pile of lettuce with a piece or two of chicken and a drizzle of red wine vinegar, but this lunch was miles away from what I used to consider a substantial salad-based meal. Recovery has taught me that nothing is wrong with eating salads in and of itself, but I now know that a salad only containing vegetables will not fuel my body in the way that it needs to be fueled. As long as I accompany my salads with other things and make sure that they include some forms of protein and fat, I am able to wholeheartedly enjoy them as meal components without feeling like I’m living in the worst days with my eating disorder.
After lunch, I ate a bite of a chocolate chip cookie and had a shot of cold-brewed coffee concentrate with a coworker, which adequately caffeinated me for the remainder of my shift. When I was finished with work, I ate this Chobani yogurt, which I had stashed in the freezer all morning. It was the perfect afternoon snack on an afternoon that was grotesquely hot. I had some time to kill before heading to the farmer’s market, so I went for a walk and read for a while.
After hanging out at the farmer’s market, where I socialized with various friends and acquaintances, admired jewelry I can’t afford, and purchased some fresh spinach, I headed home. I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients to make birthday treats for Birthday Wednesday at work, and then settled in to prepare some dinner for myself. For days, I have been wanting eggs, so I decided to scramble some eggs in a bit of avocado oil with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach. I like my eggs pretty spicy, so I added a good bit of salsa and hot sauce to the eggs, along with garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. I ate my delicious egg concoction in two corn tortillas, with a little salad on the side. Eggs on a plain tortilla was one of my go-to meals as I spiraled into my eating disorder, and in early recovery. For that reason, I haven’t been eating eggs prepared this way lately, but it was what sounded good to me yesterday. And, at this point in recovery, I found that I could eat them and enjoy my meal rather than dwell on how reminiscent it was of difficult times past.
It is also rare that I eat two salads in one day anymore, because I used to always eat two salads per day without exception, and it was not because I just loved salad and couldn’t get enough of it. These days, however, if I eat two salads it is because I am in the mood for salad and, as was the case yesterday, it is brutally hot outside and salad sounds cool and refreshing. As with many things in eating disorder recovery, the motivation for eating a salad is far more important than the act itself.
After dinner, I rode my bike down to visit my grandpa and my dog briefly before returning to my house to prepare the birthday treats to take into work today. For the desserts, I made blueberry crumble bars and ice cream cake, and I snacked on some blueberries (along with a little Life cereal) while I finished preparing them.
I did some chores around the house and a bit of yoga after I finished with the desserts, eventually deciding to call it a night and get some sleep. I was still hungry after my blueberry snacking, so I finished my night off with a piece of peanut butter toast (duh) and a couple of chocolate chips.
The associations we have with food can be incredibly strong, and I am glad that I am at a place in recovery where I am able to enjoy foods that used to feel too heavily weighted with painful memories. Although there are some foods that I have no intention of reintroducing into my diet (Splenda and diet yogurt, anybody?), I love that I have been able to enjoy so many foods in recovery once again.