What a way to start the day! Oatmeal that gives you a big smile first thing!
I was looking at the list of "fear foods" that Sam and I compiled over the weekend, and realised what all the foods had in common- NOT the calorie or fat content, but the fact that I enjoy them. I don't trust myself around the foods I really like because I have this intense fear that once I start eating them, I won't be able to stop. I should point out that I have no evidence whatsoever to support this belief, but there is this very real fear that I won't be able to control myself if I give myself unconditional permission to eat these foods.
And so I stick to the same old things, occasionally trying something new (different flavour, different combination, different brand) but for the most part, rarely branch out from the things I trust myself to eat in a controlled way.
There is also something to be said for the level of guilt I have when I DO enjoy what I have eaten. I have come a long way in managing to eat beyond the minimal amounts I ate during my lowest points, but I still struggle with the idea that food is more than just a life-sustaining substance. That it can and should be enjoyed. That it's okay to want things- let alone, need things. I go back and forth in my head about whether or not I really NEED something and it's virtually impossible for me to even contemplate wants without any valid reasoning behind it.
I can justify eating my "safe" foods because for the most part, they fulfill a certain criteria- either a decent whack of protein or fibre, a hefty dose of vitamins or minerals. It's hard to eat something with a lower nutritional value purely because it tastes better. I'll pay double the price for a yogurt that I hate, just because it has 5 calories less and 3g more of protein than the one I really want.
It's absurd and although a lot of the time it makes eating easier (less anxiety/more predictable), it's not how I want to live my life.
From social occasions to every day life, food IS essential for survival, but it's more than that. It's a way to let your body know that you respect it, that you deserve to be healthy and nourished through both all the chemical reactions that take place when you digest food to your taste buds. Food is more than just fuel. I have accepted the fact that NOT eating is not an option. Now I want to learn how to enjoy food and see it as a source of fuel, energy, LIFE- but also pleasure.
So that's a goal to keep in mind.
Anyway, back to the list Sam and I made. A couple of days ago, we took on the "liquid calorie" challenge. Today was BUTTER.
I think it's a pretty British thing- if you order a turkey sandwich here, it's pretty much guaranteed to come with butter as opposed to the US where mayonnaise is standard. In hospital, toast was always served with butter (in the US, we had peanut butter, cream cheese or butter). Even burgers are served with butter instead of mayonnaise half the time! It's something I have never really eaten- growing up with a mom on a never-ending diet, it was never on our sandwiches at home and I guess I always saw it as somewhat unnecessary. But I have to admit, I DO like it. Not in huge quantities, certainly not on peanut butter sandwiches (which yes- is pretty common here!) but on toast with honey? Or on a turkey sandwich? Hell yes.
So today was the day Sam and I did our butter challenge together...
I think malt loaf is a British thing too? I never saw it in the US. It's kind of a cross between raisin bread and fruit cake. And yes, it's good with butter! I have never bought a tub of butter in my life (!) and didn't want to go there today, but this met challenge criteria.
It was REALLY good! The malt loaf is dense and chewy, and I microwaved it to melt the butter in...mmmm... Great snack. Do i feel guilty? Kind of. My brain is tied up in knots trying to figure out what the purpose was of eating it. Being my schedule "snack time" isn't cutting it- so am going to hold onto my earlier ramblings about food that tastes good is also okay to eat. Not every snack has to have 50000g of protein or 800g fibre (owch- that one might hurt :P ). Taste is now coming into the decision making process when I choose my foods and this tastes awesome. So a good enough reason, right? (uh...little reassurance here?)
What are some of your favourite tasting foods/meals? (BONUS POINTS if it's something I can manage to cook without burning my apartment down/giving myself food poisoning!)