Pomp and Circumstance

Good morning!

I write this now as an official high school graduate... Ack! It’s a beautiful and terrifying thing, and it still hasn’t sunken in quite yet. Even after the hugs and kisses and the victory cigars and the shiny new diplomas, I think the magnitude of this event is still lost on me. We’ll give it a few more weeks, I suppose πŸ˜‰

And just because I couldn’t NOT show some pictures from the big day…

Decorated cap, strewn with various baubles and ribbons, plus an un-pictured half veil!

Me and la famiglia

Me enjoying victory cigars with some kid πŸ˜‰

Important Note: As a health nut (and a health blogger, for goshhsakes!), I obviously DO NOT smoke on a regular basis… But I wasn’t about to pass up the hysterical photo opps on graduation day that one cigar offered!

And while I’ve essentially been living off of raw produce and protein shakes (nothing for me at parties but raw produce and no time for anything but protein shakes when I stop at home between events!), I have a couple of foodie shots and even a few reviews that need posting:

Review #1: “Chreese”

This powder sold at health food stores (I found it at the trusty old Whole Foods, where else?) is a vegan alternative to cheese to be used for All-American classics like grilled cheese or mac’n’cheese, sans animal products. It’s quite salty, but once diluted with water (or vegan “milk” of choice) and spread out over (whole wheat, of course!) pasta, etc., I thought it was quite good! Though I’m, as I’ve said, not a fan of making vegan cuisine that simply mimics animal products like burgers or wings without any additional creativity or innovation, there are some times you’ve got a craving for childhood comfort foods that contained those things and you’ve just got to recreate it!

Review #2: Naked Coconut Water

Now, maybe this is just the ED speaking, but I’ve never much liked drinking my calories. They add up really fast without giving you the same sense of satiety that solids can. But, over time, I’ve begun to realize that liquid calories have their place, too. Take the example of coconut water. Why waste my time on water with CALORIES? was my first reaction… But then I did some reading. Naked’s boxed variety will cost you 60 calories (again, I shouldn’t be counting, but, come on!), but you’ll get tons of potassium, some calcium, and plenty of natural electrolytes that your body needs to replenish itself. Plus, as a coconut FREAK, I absolutely loved the taste! It’s very light and faintly aromatic, but I love raw coconut and really liked this boxed version as well.

It was delicious paired with some avocado toast:

Review #3: Earth Balance Agave-Sweetened Peanut Butter

I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS STUFF! Holy Mole, I could just eat it out of the jar all day and be happy! I’m a nut butter addict, and this crunchy, lightly sweet variety is perfection in a jar. I spread it over organic brown rice cakes the other day and was in heaven πŸ˜‰

An exclusive peek INSIDE the nutty goodness πŸ˜‰

Well, that’s all for now! And, yes, I still have not posted sushi pics… Will do veeeerry soon!

<3’s

Gabriella

Advertisements

June 14, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

The Breakfast Challenge

Saturday morning I woke up, threw on some yoga pants and a t-shirt, and pedaled over to my boyfriend’s, who had the adorable idea of having a special vegan brunch πŸ™‚

Only very recently have I found the courage to tell him about my ED, trying especially hard to keep the ED apart from my own personality, in my own efforts to weed the ED out of my identity (which it should not be a part of!). My therapist was the first to suggest this, and at first I greeted her idea with… lukewarm enthusiasm, to put it lightly. But I also know that I am very reserved when it comes to my personal life (especially where my ED is concerned), and that I am somewhat obsessively independent, and reaching out for help or support can be a good thing. In fact, it is the only thing that has helped me get so far in my recovery.

So, I told him. It suddenly seemed very organic and natural, and it just really seemed like it needed to be said. For better or for worse, this has been a huge part of my life (though, again, I am trying hard to stress that this does not mean it is a huge part of me!), and it needs to be put out there between us, or it will keep growing and morphing and festering and things will get worse instead of better. I was in a bad place one day, and he asked me what was wrong, and I just told him. I finally told the truth and just stopped lying or covering up my real problems. It was such a terrifying, liberating experience.

I was nervous even as I biked over. We had decided to make vegan pancakes, and my bag was full of fresh fruit and soymilk (haha). Luckily I had found an easy recipe forΒ 5 Minute Vegan Pancakes, so it required minimal ingredients and effort πŸ˜‰

I reflected as we put together ingredients and stirred the batter… “I have not had pancakes in probably three years, minimum,” I said out loud.

“Well, you’re having them now!” And it was true– I was! Isn’t it funny how sometimes after denying ourselves for so long, we begin to feel guilty about enjoying common pleasures? And it’s true– I actually thought to myself, “Isn’t this too good to be true? Can I really have pancakes and not gain 20 pounds in 5 minutes???” Even though I knew the nutritionals, even though I’ve seen more nutritionists and specialists and read more books and magazines on food and diet than anyone would care to know, I was still afraid. It’s really sad, actually, how this slow restriction becomes a form of self-punishment. I had to bring myself back to a time when I was 6 years old:

I stirred the batter, just like I did when I used to help my mother in the kitchen on Sunday mornings.

I licked the bowl, just like I did when I was 6 and didn’t know what a calorie was. And enjoyed it.

I smiled as the batter hit the pan and sizzled.

I laughed when I tried to flip my disobedient pancakes.

I ate. First the safe fruits, savored the tart grapefruit and the tangy kiwi and the sweet banana slices. Then one bite of a golden pancake. Then another. With a drizzle of maple syrup, no less.

He may or may not have urged me to take the first bite on purpose. He may or may not have told me to take the last bite on purpose. And he may or may not have been lying when he claimed he was full and left the last bits for me to finish. But it is OK. I’m still here. I didn’t gain 20 pounds. I ate pancakes for breakfast and didn’t explode or turn into a hippopotamus.

Perhaps the most challenging part of these victories is maintaining them. Even though I probably only took in 100 or so extra calories at breakfast, I couldn’t help but struggle with the urge to restrict later. Anyone come across that problem? It’s like, “Great, I did it!… Now let’s go back to square one.” It’s so hard not to skip lunch, skip snacks, not make up for things at dinner and so forth. It’s a challenge every day to convince myself that I am not a better person because of all the restricting I managed. I choose instead to focus on the victories and not the failures. I am bigger than my eating disorder. I am not a number on the scale, or a dress size. I am a person, for chrissakes! It’s time I start treating myself like one.

My body is a temple, not a slave

— A beloved, borrowed affirmation

<3’s

Gabriella

PS: As for the pancakes? Delicious! Non-vegan boyfriend even claims they are better than milk ‘n’ egg hotcakes πŸ˜‰ In other words, go make them now!!!

April 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Holy Happenings

Oh, my bloggies, how I have missed you!

It’s been a long, long time. Too long. We I have some serious catching up to do!

I’m afraid that, as I explained in my last post, available pictures might dwindle out as my camera is broken 😦 Β  Β It was brand new at Christmas, gorgeous (and not cheap!) Nikon, lens decided to act funky. Ah, well. There’s always the warrantee, right?

AND the refrigerator broke! So I have been living off of the few things we can cram into a mini fridge (for when I run off to college, hehe), Amy’s soups, and brown rice. The freezer obviously died too, so I had to really quickly finish all the previously frozen edamame beans and Boca burgers. *Phew!* We’re in week numero dos. This is not OK– I want a freaking salad! But, hey, I’ll manage Β  πŸ˜‰

OK, now for the stuff you actually want to hear:

Israel? Incredible! What a wonderful experience to be able to have! I had never been to the Middle East before, and this was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the rich culture of this oft-dismissed part of the world.

My favorite things, Israeli edition? In no particular order:

1. Being able to ask and learn first-hand about the Arab-Israeli conflict

2. Seeing adorable little old Jewish men sitting on park benches

3. Falafel——-> I ate it at least every other day! It was nerve-racking, I admit, for it is a *gasp* fried food! but in the end I was proud of myself for sucking it up and going out and just living… Especially considering it was delicious!

My little brother (isn't he cute?) noshing on what was by far the best falafel we found!

Incidentally, the best falafel place in town also had the cutest falafel cook in town! πŸ˜‰

4. The genuine friendliness and openness of the people there. I went half-expecting to face some trouble as an American, but was completely proved wrong! People were so sweet and kind to us, even going as far to giving us free things, like…

5… Arabic coffee! Strong and so good (and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even drink coffee anymore for stomach problems– it made me want to start drinking it again!)!

How cute are the little shot glasses?

6. Hummus— I had it at least once a day! One day I even had it at every meal Β πŸ˜‰ Β I had been nervous about finding appropriate vegan food, but was very happy to find that many staples of Israeli cuisine are completely vegan! I traveled armed with a guide to vegan-friendly restaurants and even a sheet that said “I am vegan” in Arabic and Hebrew, but I did not once have to use it! Though it was incredibly scary at times, this forced me not only to try new, interesting foods from another culture but to really push against my own fears and force me out of my comfort zone. I tried wonderful new things like orange soup (yams and carrots) with homemade whole grain bread and quinoa salad with grilled eggplant, but I also was required to do something I haven’t done in at least 2 straight years and many times before then: trust my intuition. I had to go by what I thought was an appropriate serving size and by what actually satisfied me– which (seeing as I am completely out of practice!) was actually really difficult! Of course I fear overeating, but I also have to directly contradict the omnipresent desire to restrict, restrict, restrict.

7. Looking out on a synagogue from a church in Nazareth while I could hear the call to prayer from the mosque. The beautiful cultural diversity is amazing and so refreshing!

The mosque of Jazza Pasha in the old city of Akko

Hair covered!

8. The incredible natural beauty of the land:

9. And the natural beauty of the local males Β πŸ˜‰

And just to finish it all off, I must include one more foodie pic donated by the (really cute) waiter at a restaurant we went to one night. After agreeing to take a picture with me (I claimed I needed to prove to my Jewish friend back home that Jewish boys can be cute!), he brought out this beyond adorable arrangement:

Apparently it says “Enjoy!” in Hebrew (not that I can verify this!), which I think is a perfect note to end on Β πŸ™‚

Goodnight my blogging beauties!

<3’s

Gabriella

March 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.