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WIAW- Conquering Fear Foods Edition

Posted Dec 21 2011 4:30am

Good Morning!

Yet again, this community has both amazed and inspired me regarding Monday’s post. I know there are tons of people out there that can relate to my words, but actually reading other reader’s inputs on this sort of issue is just awesome. I appreciate your responses of course, but what I enjoy even more and am consistently moved by, is how much YOU all put into your responses to my writing. I am thoughtful about what I write as well, and I absolutely love and look forward to other people sharing their own inputs as well. So as always, thank you my dear friends.

And now it’s time for another edition of What I Ate Wednesday! This weekly Wednesday tradition is only possibly due to the great efforts of Jenn blogging over at Peas and Crayons. Thank you yet again lady :)

Fear foods… gah. Seriously, what does that really mean? I fear certain foods… but why? Why is this?

I suppose it comes down to the ever-present fear that this one particular food (whatever the “scary” item in question is) is somehow going to eventually lead to weight gain. I completely understand that taking a bite or taste of something that I do not deem healthy, will not automatically add 10 pounds on my body. Yes it feels like that sometimes, but physically/scientifically it is just not possible!

For me, the belief is that I will have some of this fear food, then I will have more… and the will-power to stop will temporarily diminish. Or, I will consume something that is very high in calories/fat/whatever, and it won’t fill me up which will lead me to eating more than I usually do, taking in extra amounts of calories, and THAT will lead to weight gain. Even more, is being scared of tackling a fear food too often, as suddenly it will “show up” on my body in the form of gross, lumpy fat.

Sigh.

So yes, gaining too much weight is the fear. But didn’t I JUST talk about how I really need to stop giving such a sh*t about that? It is easier said than done of course, but being conscious of the fact that I MUST somehow let go of my too-thin body is an important and vital step.

It’s really difficult to both see and feel my body changing before my eyes… the physic and size I worked so hard to get down to. Oh wait, but then every other positive aspect of my life was ruined as a result, and I was a sad, angry, empty shell of my former self. It’s going to happen whether my eating disorder self likes it or not, thank you very much. There are certainly going to be days when I wake up and just feel like hurling myself out of a window because of how horribly I feel about my body.

Hmm that’s nice… because now instead of sacrificing all that was once good in my life, I am sacrificing my too-thin body and the “safety” of my schedule, routine, and foods, to heal and regain myself completely.

And this brings me back to the theme of this posts… conquering fear foods. I mean if gaining weight in order to fully recover is a necessary aspect and this is definitely non-negotiable, then I ought to do it with food I enjoy, don’t you think? Yes  :)

I can’t even tell you the number of things I have “given up” over the course of my experience with an eating disorder. The list grew increasingly smaller every few months, when my illogical brain would suddenly declare that “this” food is no longer appropriate for me and will make me gain weight.

So let’s see… ANYTHING fried had not touched my lips in years, legit, full-fat ice cream, any baked goods with normal amounts of butter/oil, pizza, BREAD, cereal, milk, meat (except for white fish and tuna), potatoes, eggs… Well actually you know what? It got down to where the only items I felt safe eating were fruits, vegetables, and one sweet potato with non-fat plain yogurt at the end of my day… a true highlight.

Since then I have introduced several of these items back into my life and it’s been glorious. However, I wish I could say that all of the “fears” are gone around all of these (pizza for example back in August!), and that I finally believing and understanding that eating them won’t make me fat. Nope, still working on it. I have come this far and yet, the illogical thoughts linger.

The only way to defeat such disordered ideas, rules and thoughts is to continue challenging yourself to prove them WRONG. That in fact, you will not completely lose control if you try and incorporate new foods into your daily life, and and of course, your weight will not shoot up at an alarming rate. But again, I am trying not to care anyway!

I promised and challenged myself that once I was home, there would be no excuse not to break out of the routine of my eats while at school, and replace them with new and scary dishes I had been avoiding. And that is exactly what I have been doing… attempting to quiet the disordered voice in my head telling me to STOP eating such “wrong” foods, and go ahead and do it anyway!

This is WIAW, conquering fear foods edition :)

Remember when I discussed my love with egg sandwiches and how eggs have been a NO WAY food for years? Yeah, I threw that one out the window.

I look like I have gigantour hands... ha

In this sandwich: whole wheat toasted English Muffin, one egg, 2 egg whites, one wedge of Laughing Cow original cheese, a few slices of tomato and copious amounts of salt and pepper.

Oh GAWD I die! This was just so freakin delicious. Like it’s hard for me to describe exactly. I just remember sitting at the table, trying to eat it slowly and was just about freaking out about how good it tasted… I honestly felt like shedding a tear when I finished it (in about 2.5 minutes) because I never wanted it to end! Thankfully, I can eat one everyday now… and it’s A-OKAY.

I have obviously been to the Whole Foods near me several times already, and I stumbled upon something at the Trail Mix bar that certainly was delightful!

That is a date rolled in shred of coconut! I don’t exactly know what kind of dates they are using, but these were some of the best ones I have ever tasted. The coconut (btw- fear food… saturated fat, oh my!) only added a subtle hint of flavor which is fine with me, as I am consistently “iffy” with coconut… can’t decide if I truly like it or not haha.

Still rolling with my love for a salad at lunch, but with a new addition this week. It seems I cannot get enough of EGGS :)

This was my usual mix for a salad- spinach, mixed greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, and shredded carrots… but with a new-for-topping, a fried egg. Well that was most certainly a fantastic choice on my part. Once the veggies were prepped, I placed the cooked egg on top, and then cut through it to release the yolk and allow it to ooze throughout the salad. Of course, the “scariest” part of an egg is the yolk, so embracing this fear was difficult at first, but delicious in the end :)

I enjoyed this so much, as the yolk could be tasted in every bite! I also added peanuts and a bit of cottage cheese into the bowl as well and let me tell you, there were so many flavors going on here that it was overwhelmingly awesome :D

On the side I had a Cortland apple with a smear of a new-for-me almond butter…

Earth Balance Almond Butter! This was an impromptu buy at WF, but a great one! I am always on the lookout for new nut butters (that are not over 10 bucks, I mean come on now) and this might be a new favorite!

Snack:

I busted into my mini-clif collection and enjoyed a Blueberry Crisp one,

I was also in a baking mood that afternoon (actually wait, I am always in that mood), so I whipped up some of these bad boys for a party I attended later that night.

Saltine bark with a chocolate/peanut butter layer and sprinkled with crushed peppermints!

I have made this many times, before (and have presented it on zee blog ), but I enjoy completing this recipe so much! It’s a very easy one, and the treats turn out consistently well. Plus, you can customize them however you want to, and also depending on the season.

For example, I used a combination of semi-sweet and peanut butter chips for the layer over the saltines because I ran out of semi-sweet chips.. so the PB ones were added also and what a great idea that was! The peppermints obviously show some holiday flair, plus you know I am crazy for a chocolate/peppermint combo right now.

Like I said, I have been making this recipe for YEARS now, but this is one of the few times recently that I have actually tried what I made. Yet another fear food conquered… one compiled of buttery, sugar, fatty, chocolatey goodness. No regrets or guilt at all (well at least I am trying to convince myself of that), and that is the way it should be!

Once again later that day, I was in a cooking/baking/creative mood! I decided to try and make something new, while also throwing my fears aside to later consume what I would be baking.

Focaccia bread! <– Cheese, oil, bread…. yikes, yikes, yikes. But pizza/bread/focaccia is a food I have been missing out on way too much in my life these past years. I am a fan of sweets, but I also LOVE a nice hearty piece of bread toasted with melted cheese, butter, copious amounts of seasonings…. drool.

It was time to evade the fear of this particular food, while also trying my hand at baking bread, something I don’t do too often. And it came just fine :)


Well it kinda looks like pizza more than focaccia… but whatever it was wonderful.

Here is the recipe I used for my Focaccia creation: (adapted from here )

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
  2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

I had a slice with a hearty vegetable stir fry cooked in olive oil (yay healthy fats), garlic, and some rosemary for a spice. I forgot to take a picture when they were plated together though… whoopsie :(

A serving of Kemp’s Frozen yogurt- Moose Tracks!

This is one of my favorite flavors of ice cream/yogurt, so I was psyched to try it. Verdict= fantastic! I have had Kemp’s products before, but have only ever gone for the “non-fat” frozen yogurt flavors. I mean those are good and all, but obviously I need to keep getting those essential fats in my diet, and if this is a way to do it, well then so be it ;)

So there you are, in this case Sunday’s eats! And yeah, a lot of anxiety raging through me that day and I did my best to ignore and deal with it. I had also gone on a run in the morning, so re-fueling from that was essential. Yes it was not a difficult or far run, but I felt good on it for once, and I don’t want to fall back into a constant state of desperate fatigue ever again.

It’s both terrifying and thrilling when I consume foods that are abnormal for me. Scary for obvious reasons and ones I talked about above, and thrilling because I know how much of a giant step this is toward recovery. You have to take chances, conquer fears, and be truly uncomfortable in order to get better… but it’s so WORTH IT. I will keep shouting this out until I am completely better and am able to believe what I write with all of my heart.

I will be completely honest with you and say sure I have my doubts still. But my will to thrive once again and live are emotions that are so much stronger.. and I am sticking with those.

I would love to hear from you…

-Do you have any foods that are just completely uncomfortable to eat… emotionally that is? Why would you say this is the case with particular food(s) in question?

-Are there foods that are emotionally difficult for you to have because of the chance of over eating it? For me, that is the case with foods like the focaccia and any sort of gummy candy.

-If you are a nut butter fan, what is your current favorite flavor/brand? Earth Balance for me right now, but I am pretty sure I will go back to my beloved Justin’s and Barney Butter soon!

-Have you ever made your own bread/pizza before? How did it turn out? I don’t know why I am slightly intimidate by yeast… but I am!

-What kind of flavor combinations for “bark” do you enjoy? If you have never tried any, go make/eat some now please :)

-Best thing you ate recently!? <– Necessary question! And please link a recipe in the comment section if you have one you would like to share.

Have a great rest of your Wednesdays! :D

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