I will be the first person to admit it. I have a profoundly strange relationship with food. I think a lot of us do, which is a shame. Food should is glorious. Good food is a celebration. Yet we treat it like the enemy. And what's worse, this is nothing new. I have always been weird about my daily bread.
Actually I have no issues with bread other than I probably shouldn't eat it at all. I love bread. In any form. Bread is yummy. But I get fat when I eat bread so I make a monumental effort to eat very little of it. And I mean the effort of abstaining from eating bread truly is Monumental. Bread is so hard to resist. The fragrance alone is heavenly. I used to make all my own bread. It is a rare thing nowadays because if I make it, we will eat it. So instead, I am pretty darned successful, at least most of the time, denying myself the loveliness of bread. So sad.
And I find that I spend FAR too much of my time every day thinking about food in some way.
This is kind of how it works for me.
Everything regarding nourishment is, well, largely dependent on the day and my food-mood at that particular moment.
Some days I am not hungry. I'm just not. I consider eating when meal time rolls around, but nothing appeals to me. So I open the refrigerator a thousand times, reject every possibility and move on to the pantry. Nothing looks good in there either so I shrug and do something else instead of eat. Eventually I will break down and eat something just to fuel the machine but I am less than enthusiastic about it.
Then there are the days when I am anti-hungry. Which is bizarrely weird. On those days I am not just "not hungry". When I am anti-hungry the mere idea of food makes me a little queasy. Oh I'll still cook for Tim and anyone else in the house on not hungry and anti-hungry days. But I just cannot make myself eat any of it. Even if we go out to a restaurant, I will just keep everyone else company without placing an order for myself because on those days, food just seems kind of gross to me.
And then there are the other days. My hungry days On those days I make up for the other two. When I am having a hungry day, I simply cannot fill myself up. No matter how much I eat, I'm still hungry. I can start on the left side of the kitchen, eat myself around to the right side, burp and then go out to dinner. Yes I know, disgusting right? But it happens. At least it happens to me.
On any day, I would prefer to eat mid-day rather than end of day. I just don't feel good afterwards if I eat dinner. I will eat dinner-type food, just earlier in the day. Tim however, really enjoys dinner. So I cook dinner for him but I don't usually eat it because I know that if I do, I will suffer the consequences. Poor Tim. But he is used to my wierdness by now.
Part of the reason I usually do not eat dinner is because of the end of day meal thing but it's at least a little bit because Tim's meals are centered around meat. I am not a fan of meat the vast majority of the time. Most of the time just the idea of meat is in the "ick" column to my way of thinking. And yet, every once in awhile I'll get a craving for beef. Once or twice a year I will say, "You know what? I could really dive into a good steak" And Tim will grab his keys and say, "Get in the car" and then we are off too a really nice steakhouse. Even more rarely I hear the siren call of a perfect hamburger. The upshot of all this carnivorous activity is that I end up feeling sick later. My body just doesn't do" meat.
And then there is the Sam-fact that I prefer to eat small things. That sounds silly. But it's true. If I make a sandwich (there is that doggone bread again!) generally I will eat half of it. Sometimes only a quarter. Wrap up the rest and in a few hours eat another little bit. Then later still, another little bit.
Which is why things like M&Ms or oyster crackers or a dish of mixed nuts are perfect for me. I can eat a couple and then go off to vacuum the house. Eat a few more and change the sheets. A couple more bites and I'm ready to run errands. All without the M's, crackers or nuts going bad. They can sit in their little dish on the counter top and I can graze as I walk by. Cold food gets warm. Warm food gets cold. Some things melt, other things congeal or wilt. (eww gross) M's, nuts and Oyster crackers just sit their quietly waiting for me. Nice.
Then there is the rather indelicate fact that I happen to have a very delicate tummy so I must avoid spicy foods, acidic foods, high potassium foods (etc.etc) or I will be miserable for hours. Lactose intolerance insists that I avoid most dairy or at the very least it requires some very serious planning.
Usually at the beginning of the week I make myself a large green salad. Just several kinds of lettuces and some cucumbers. Very simple. Every day this salad serves as my main meal. I might add some boiled egg or some sort of beans (kidney, garbanza, etc) or, if i'm felling very brave, I'll cube up some lovely mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with basalamic reduction and voila...dinner! or lunch! Or more likely a combination of the two. Dunch/Linner! Boring boring boring. But it works for me.
I suspect that some of this weirdness originates with the fact that, like far too many women, I've spent my entire life trying to be thinner. Sometimes more successful than other times. And it wasn't just because I wanted to look like the models in the magazines, on TV and in movies. Nope. I grew up in an era where there was one specific standard, just one, and everyone, I mean EVERYONE nudged every single girl toward it. Teachers, doctors, neighbors, scout leaders, total strangers, and even our peers felt it necessary to offer unsolicited advice to who anyone who didn't fit the mold. There were a lot of very non-helpful suggestions and constant reminders that we didn't measure up. It was about all pushpushpushing us to look a certain way. As it so happens, that is not the way my body has ever looked. So the message really said, "you aren't good enough the way you are".
Well, I can't blame everything on societal subliminal (and sometimes not so subliminal) messaging. I have to take some responsibility myself. Y'see, I have an overactive sweet tooth which trips me up now and again. Oh it's a powerful thing that sweet craving. Frankly, most of the time I would rather have dessert than dinner. I cannot eat both. Apparently I have a very tiny tummy because even if I only eat a small part of a meal, I'm far too full later to have dessert. And yet that is the only part I really want. Still I know that the actual meal is much better, healthier for me. A smarter choice. BUT the smarter choice isn't what is going to satisfy me. It's not what I'm craving. it's not what I want Such a dilemma. Oh I've given in. It's true. There have been times when Tim and I go out to eat and he orders some lovely steak and steamed veggies with Cesar salad and baked potato. And I'm eating pie. Just pie. Nothing else. Yup. I confess. And what's worse is that I only regret it if I have trouble buttoning my pants the next day. If it wasn't for the pants buttoning issue, I'd have dessert for dinner every day :)
I'm a pretty fair cook. I enjoy every part of it. Planning the meal, preparing it and even presenting it. But most of the time I don't want to eat it. Unless of course, it's food that is very bad for me. That stuff I love.
So there it is. My food confession. What's yours?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.