Eating is slowly becoming less and less exciting and more and more monotonous and difficult. I’m relying a lot on a standard set of meals and things I feel safe and comfortable with right now. My mind is a bit of a mess so I’m not pushing myself too far from my comfort zone. I am consistently trying to eat more chocolate though because chocolate is actually just really good. Apart from that, everything is pretty static. I’m having a lot of stir-fries and salads and granola and soup and risotto and peanut butter on english muffins and cereal. I haven’t really attempted my new meal planning technique (see here) yet and get away from calories as I’m feeling pretty sensitive and think that I’d only under-eat more, though I am trying to follow the structure (and failing miserably. Eating fewer calories has somehow led to me “saving” even more till bedtime so my daily intake is even less well spread). At the moment I’m eating slightly less than before (as suggested by the dietician, not self-imposed restriction) and to be honest, since my scary weigh-in, my weight has dropped considerably even though I’m still on a weight gain amount of food. I’m guessing on Tuesday I’ll probably have to up it again seeing as I’ve fallen out of the healthy range again. I think it was just water retention because I was kinda sick and drinking an obscene amount of fluids as my throat was incredibly sore. Bloody water weight – why must you fluctuate so?
But anyway, there have been some good eats in the past little while. There is literally always good food to be found in the world. So I guess I’ll start with chocolate, seeing as I’ve already mentioned it. I really like chocolate. I’ve noticed that as I’m getting older, more and more people start talking about how they don’t really like chocolate and it’s a little sweet for them etc. Yet when offered chocolate, no one seems to decline and everyone seems to think it’s really nice. Is this some attempt at being cool? Is it cool to not like chocolate? I don’t think it’s very cool because chocolate is really great. And although posh chocolate is nice, so is crappy cheap chocolate. I really like those Lindor things and they are so sweet and full of rubbish but they are just so good. At the moment, I’m leaning towards dark chocolate more, but this isn’t because it’s better than other kinds – it’s only eating disorder logic (dark chocolate and I have to recognise every listed ingredient else it might be “too processed” and therefore inherently “bad”. My brain is stupid). Actually, I really like milk chocolate. Especially when it’s full of nuts. Advent calendars obviously help this – I have a Thornton’s one and it’s lovely. And you know what? If you under-eat as ridiculously as I do during the day, it is much easier to make up 800 calories in chocolate and porridge than it is in porridge alone. Plus it’s not even unhealthy – dairy and fat and sugar aren’t unhealthy and it’s full of anti-oxidants. People are stupid for pretending to not like chocolate. It’s so obviously good.
Next is a particular granola. I really like granola as you can probably tell from how much I talk about it. Generally, I’m pretty picky over getting “healthy” ranges with no additives and entirely organic (even though I don’t actually feel that organic is better environmentally or for your health – it’s just more likely to not have things I find scary in it), but in the past few weeks I’ve been eating Tesco finest granola and they are actually really good. I heartily recommend the winter fruits one – it’s a little low-calorie for my liking but that just means I get to eat more! It has cranberries and christmas spices and chesnutpuree and it is just really really lovely and good for the season (aka – NEARLY CHRISTMAS!). It is especially good mixed with plums and fatty natural yogurt and lots of honey. The summer fruit one is good to. I got it to replace the winter one and it is really nice, but it doesn’t hit the same heights. However, I appreciate all the freeze-dried berries in it as I really do like berries.Basically I really like a lot of foods. I had a properly immense granola the other day. It towered so much out of the bowl. It had banana and blackberries and cranberries and blueberries and honey and yogurt and it was so tasty. It’s like a huge, fresh tasting dessert. I have a lot of dessert based foods. Sometimes I must have granola and porridge for my bedtime “snack” because I’m so behind but it’s worth it.
This week, the Dad took me out for lunch and to Holland & Barrett because he did something bad. Little back story – in the first week of seriously following a meal plan, I went to Cyber Candy to buy myself chocolate purely because I was “allowed” to eat it. However, I still found it really overwhelming so only left with one thing – a peanut butter twix (costing £1.75! So expensive!). I was so excited. I showed all my family and raved about how good it would be, but not much happened with it. I’ve found a lot of foods really hard during recovery, chocolate being one of them, so I just put it with all the other stuff I was “allowed” but terrified of in a special box with all the rest of my families treat type foods and breakfast cereals. These things are all hidden from me due to the previous binge/purge cycles I’ve found myself in which led me to have absolutely no trust in myself around them. They are being slowly reintegrated into the kitchen but for now, they are mostly out-of-sight, out-of mind, but basically, I don’t see my box often and always have to ask to get things out of it. Last week, I asked for my twix – my special, expensive, symbolic twix. The mama was so excited she did a little jump. I was trying to play it down – being all cool and nonchalant – but secretly I was really excited too. It was gone. Someone had gone in my box and stolen my special twix. The mama and the brother were madly searching for it in all the boxes. I just cried. Turns out my Dad had gone in my special box and eaten it. Now there was other chocolate in my box – milky ways, dairy milk caramel bars etc. – less special chocolate. He ate my twix. I’ve shown him this twix and told him how excited it was, but he picked that. He doesn’t even like peanut butter yet he chose the twix. The twix he knew he wouldn’t like. The chocolate he couldn’t buy in Tesco. I know I over reacted but I was literally distraught. Naturally, the Dad felt absolutely awful so he tried to treat me.
We had lunch at L’Hirondelle in Walthamstow. I got a chicken tikka and roast vegetable baguette with a massive slice of chocolate gateaux with strawberry cream. Nom nom nom. Unknown calories as well! It was seriously tasty. Plus the shop is really cute and it has one of those big old brass coffee machines which I find quite entertaining. Lovely coffee, tasty sandwich and a cake I could write poetry about. Totally worth it. Then he took me to Holland & Barrett and got me another Blackfriars flapjack (cappuccino flavor! So good) and a new cashew butter. Lots of cashew butter this week. When will I get over nut butters? I’m not sure I ever will. Holland & Barrett sell some absolute rubbish but are the best place to go for high-calorie “healthy” foods. High-calorie and safe? Score. Everyone should get those flapjacks. And obviously the nut butters as well.
Also – I had an epic Costa experience last week. I had eaten really poorly that day as I saw my psychiatrist at 11:30 and she weighs me so I couldn’t bring myself to eat before that. Home for breakfast at 13:30 then running off to uni at 14:30. Basically, I’d had breakfast and that was it. I needed the calories desperately. So I got A FULL FAT PRALINE AND CREAM LATTE WITH A STICKY TOFFEE MUFFIN! This is craziness for me. I really went all out. I never ever let myself have food like this on this level. Full fat latte? – Nah, I’ll have skim. Excessive cake? – I’ll have the one with fruit so it feels a little healthier. Not that day I didn’t! You do not want to know how many calories that “snack” was but seriously, I completely loved it. And I loved that I did it. I had high calorie foods with basically no “worth” attached to them in my head. They were just nice and easy and kept me going. Basically what food should be if I didn’t listen to the constant re-negotiations in my head over what is and is not acceptable.
PB&J! I’ve been having this more and more recently. It seems unnecessary to me to have two different spreads on a slice of bread. I don’t even like having butter with my jam. However, after all is said and done, America was right and peanut butter and jam are a match made in heaven and can heal all emotional wounds with their salty-sweet-stickness on a lump of soft, comforting carb. Just thought I’d share the fact that now, very occasionally, I have two spreads on my english muffin or toast. It’s ridiculous for me. Unheard of extravagance. I like it though.
I know I focus pretty heavily on the sweet treats, but my diet isn’t all sweet (honestly!). My diet is actually pretty balanced and I think most people would find it too “worthy” for their tastes. Eating all of this sweet stuff helps me avoid some of my biggest fear foods whilst upping the calories. Sugar helps me avoid fat and fat is what scares me the most. Although a lot of it is fatty, it’s not like lamb or white sauce or korma or minced beef or roast potatoes or chips or bread or pastry or butter or oil or cream or sausages or a whole load of other things. Basically, sweet foods are the only way I can get my calories in because I’m scared of all the savory high calorie foods. Christmas is sending chills down my spine as the prospect of a full roast dinner without having starved myself for weeks in advance so I could “earn” is entirely new and uncomfortable. I need to get a grip on my ability to eat meat. And condiments. I really want to feel ok eating bread sauce (because it is the best one obviously) and stuffing and yorkshire puddings and pastry (for mince pies obviously) and double cream (for on my pudding). There’s a time limit on this now. I’m still a wuss over so many foods. I just don’t feel like they are “acceptable” in my diet and would be “unhealthy”. I hate my brain.
There have been some good savory things though. I made a lovely couscous with roast vegetables, chickpeas and pomegranate seeds recently, I’ve been trying my luck again with turkey to get some more meat in my diet, I brought some garlic infused olive oil and it is amazing stuff. I’ve become a bit of a garlic fiend recently – garlic oil, garlic pepper, fresh garlic and garlic granules tend to go in most of my food. I wouldn’t get to close to me right now but it is worth it. I think love for garlic and being a smoker go hand in hand. Every smoker I know uses obscene amounts of garlic and chilli – they can reach your taste buds when delicate flavors are often missed. I do love garlic though. Possibly too much.
One really not so good eat though that I don’t think people should bother with is Sainsbury’s sweet harissa hummus. Seriously underwhelmed. It’s so underwhelming it gets its own paragraph.
Final food shout out to my dinner! I’m eating it now (really late as usual). Tofu, squash and broccoli curry with white rice! I haven’t had white rice in a very long time, but in an effort for less fibre (still a major issue – it’s got to the point where I only get fibre from fruit, veg and cereal, none of which I want to give up. Hmph) I thought I’d give it a go. It isn’t bad, but I’m still uncomfortable. I’ll be more rational about it in a few hours once the immediate anxiety has faded. Why is my brain so rubbish at being alive sometimes?The curry is super nice, but then again, my cooking is always tasty.So yeah – Still lots of eating. I’m getting kinda stuck in my ways now though so any advice on better food ways forward would be useful. I really have to get my act together and start challenging my fears but everything is so entrenched. I really don’t know where to begin on how to pull my ridiculous eating rituals away just to have what most people have naturally – an easy time around food.