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That’s amore

18 May

This week I’ve been playing around with pizza dough. I haven’t been posting about it because it’s. . .just pizza. I use Giada DiLaurentiis’ Roman Pizza dough recipe (yeast, flour, water, salt, olive oil) and my first pizza I just topped with store-bought marinara (I usually make my own, but I haven’t any made right now) and pepper jack because that’s the only cheese we had. Last night I did a 5-cheese blend for some calzones and filled mine with some Mediterranean Vegetable Caviar (to which I added jalapeno, olives and capers this time around) and Mags’ amazing italian sausage (which she’ll post the recipe to soon). Much as I love cheese, I think this would have done better as a vegan calzone with just the caviar + sausage. Both have very complex flavors that were overpowered by the cheese.

I have a feeling now that I can make a decent dough, there will be many pizzas coming out of my kitchen (quick, easy,makes a lot of food) so I’ll post some more interesting recipes. Later this week: chiles rellenos!

Stay tuned,

C

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10 years, No starving.

1 May

Ten years ago, I had been starving for 4 or 5 years. I had lost 1/3 of my body weight, my hair had started to fall out, and I had grown a coat of fine white fur. I could control when my periods started by how many calories I ingested. I was only 20 pounds lighter than I am now at my skinniest and, because I’d halted my growth, I was a couple inches shorter. My BMI was still in the normal range, so, had I been put in treatment, I would not have been classified as having anorexia nervosa. I have no gag reflex, so, despite my best efforts with a toothbrush, I never was bulemic. I would be classified in that murky area of Eating Disordered Not Otherwise Specified. The problem with the EDNOS grey area is that it makes it sound like I had, or have, a mild eating disorder. A little problem with food. A rough adolescent stage. I was dying. When I started starving, I was just restricting. Then, I was eating only a meal a day, and then a meal every other day. By the end, I was binging once every 4 days, and trying desperately to purge it when I binged. I wanted to eat, but I loved to starve. It made me feel powerful, and high, and I loved the feeling of being hungry. I felt as much of a physical drive to starve as I did to eat. I was ruining my relationships with my family (and my loved ones — it heavily contributed to my first breakup, the effects of which I was still reeling from on May 1st of 1999). I was miserable in my own skin.

Ten years ago today, I admitted that my anorexia was a problem, that it was ruining my life, and that I couldn’t handle it by myself. I haven’t starved a day since. I have done many other harmful things to my body in those 10 years: Eaten 4 meals every day, eaten sugar for all 4 meals, lived off caffiene and cheese, steadfastly refused to exercise (even though I love to), slept with kind of sketchy people, didn’t sleep at all, etc. Most painfully, I told it, maybe not every day but most days, that it was ugly, malformed, disgusting, unworthy, unlovable, wrong. I was not freed from anorexia on May 1st, 1999. I was merely freed from the physical compulsion to starve.

It has taken me ten years to get to a place where I am willing to work on recovering from the emotional and spiritual aspects of my disease. I could feel like I wasted that 10 years, but they were important. They taught me every day that I can’t do this alone and my disease is going to kill me.  I will have an eating disorder for a lifetime, so if the journey to recovery takes a lifetime, so be it.

I’m not celebrating 10 years of freedom from my eating disorder today, but I am celebrating that my life was saved. If I hadn’t stopped starving I would have died. Because a lot of people loved me more than I loved myself, I didn’t die. Love won. Love wins. I celebrate.

Be careful out there,

C

The Redi-Burger Experience

30 Apr

Today, I introduced Mags to the unparalleled joy that is the Loma Linda Redi-Burger. She was skeptical. I mean, it costs $8 and comes in a can. Now, she is madly in love and may never forgive me for getting her hooked. She wonders if the unnamed “spices” are really crack cocaine. Ah, the devotion of a convert. Bwuahahah.

The next morning: As if we needed further proof that I should not post when I am tired, I forgot the important half of this post yesterday.

The FC introduced me to Redi-burger when I was a kid. On sick days, I would go hang out with him at work and we would go to this little lunch counter they had in the back of the health food store. They served up the redi-burger with cheddar, green bell and onion, and it was Dad’s favorite thing to order there. I, who idolized my pops, wanted to eat whatever he ate. I was a kid who liked being sick and hanging with dad a lot more than school, so we shared a lot of burgers. As an adult, I hear a ton of stories from people who tried to go veggie as kids but their parents freaked out and made them eat meat. When I came home at age 8 and told the FC I was going to be a vegetarian, I think he thought it was a weird decision, but he supported me. As a kid I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have parents who went out of their way to support my vegetarianism. Hell, I didn’t realize I was lucky to have a dad who loved to go out to lunch with me. Now, the taste of Redi-Burger brings back those lazy days swinging my feet from the lunch counter stools and eating a burger with my pops. When I introduced Mags to them, I wasn’t sure if they were really superior to every vegi-burger on the market, or if the taste just made me feel warm and fuzzy inside because of awesome childhood memories (like Eegee’s). Thankfully, I was vindicated. The burgers, like the FC, are amazing. Thanks, Dad!

Be careful out there

-C

I’d rather be cooking (sort of)

7 Apr

There haven’t been any new recipes from me in a few days because I haven’t actually cooked anything for a few days. Partly this is because I have a ton of tasty leftovers, and partly it’s because other crap has been going on. Saturday night I came home late and we ordered pizza (Fresca has a yummy Veggie pizza piled super-high and a soy mozz option),  Sunday I went to a family BBQ (I made “chicken” salad out of a boyfriend burger,  half an avocado, some walnuts, etc. and wrapped it in a tortilla for my entree) to which I took a rainbow version of Alex+Ivy slaw, with added red onion, tri-color peppers, radishes, carrots and fresh cilantro. It was well received by the carniverous family. I’ll take pics if I remember before I eat it all. Last night we watched the Red Wings game with the in-laws, and we got food LATE as we were driving home. I was tempted by Taco Bell but got Subway instead (the addition of spinach has really upped my Subway love). I ought to have made something and taken it over there, but I was overcome by a) laziness b) wanting to “fit in.”

Tomorrow night the Boyfriend’s little bro turns 21 and we have another LATE dinner (I might eat before?) then all weekend is family in town, so lots of eating at restaurants that super don’t cater to veggies. This is a lot of info to show that, as usual, I’m thinking about food a lot, but life is sort of in the way. And while I prefer to eat food I made myself, I love being able to go to family BBQs and harangue the FC (my pops), yelling at the TV with my brothers-in-law over hockey (GO WINGS!), etc. I may check in here with emotional stuff during the high-eating-out-occurences week, though, because it wears me down. They don’t have roasted brussels sprouts at the places my family eats. : ( Or, if they do, they’re dressed in bacon.

I hope your week is filled with tasty recipes!

Be careful out there,

-C

Tell me your stories

1 Apr

Yesterday, over minestrone, the Illustrious Mamacita opined that, as a recovering binge eater, she never tasted or smelled or experienced food until she got into recovery. She said she often forgets, still, to be a part of the eating experience in a sensory way, ie: smelling the food as it cooks, appreciating the colors of the ingredients and the textures in her mouth. I replied that I thought Mags and I were more aware of those things because we had been deprived for so long, but Mom countered that she thought no one practicing any disordered eating could truly appreciate eating for it’s own sake, in part because we are incapable of being in the moment while we’re starving or bingeing. This has been bouncing around in my head all day.

I certainly am less in the moment and less associated with reality when my eating is disordered. I have spent many, many years overeating as well as undereating, and I certainly ate many things that were not only destructive for my body but also not particularly satisfying taste-wise. I am unquestionably more aware of food now, in part because I must be. I am certainly more able to appreciate how food makes me feel physically because I am less obsessed with how it will make me feel emotionally.

I have  always said I had a love affair with food, but was my love affair with the taste of food, or with the effect food could produce? There are certainly foods I loved dearly for their taste, and no longer eat because they are dangerous. Am I, like a true food addict, looking at this in terms that are too black and white? No matter how similar our emotional and spiritual diseases are, we all have differences in our relationship to food. No one’s unhealthy marriage is the same, so to speak.

Anyone out there in internet-land? Mags? Illustrious Mamacita? What’s your experience with waking up to the beauty that is conscientious, healthful eating that is physically fulfilling?

Be careful out there,

-C

Female bits

24 Mar

The illustrious mamacita worries about the title for this blog. She worries that, due to the word VegAna sounding a great deal like the medical term for our favorite part of the female anatomy, we will drive off or alienate men who might otherwise be interested in our topics. This is in no way our intent. We know men are both anorexic and vegetarian. We want them to participate in the discussions here, and feel welcome. We, however, are not men. We can no more speak to the experience of being male and anorexic than we can to the experience of being African American and anorexic (new studies show African American women are more likely to be bulimic, and we think there should be voices representing their struggle, but we are not those voices) or Russian and anorexic (Mags is Polish, which is not the same). We can only write about being young women who are vegetarian and anorexic. Our femininity and sexuality are inextricably tied up with our eating disorders and vice versa. To us, a great deal of our lives have been spent identifying, not as female or eating disordered seperately, but as femaleeatingdisordered. eatingfemaledisordered. disorderedfemaleeating. All the decisions we have made in regards to how to dress, as women; who to date, as women; how we see ourselves, as women have been influenced by our eating disorders. In recovery, we begin to become women who happen to be eating disordered, but we will never not be women. We, in fact, are grateful to be. We celebrate that favorite part of the female anatomy, and hopefully someday ALL the bits of our female anatomy as precious and necessary.

In brief (which I never am), we like men a great deal and welcome their participation. We do not want to scare them away by making this appear that this is a blog FOR women. It is, however, unapologetically a blog BY women, and therefore about being female.

We hope not to alienate anyone, but we can only represent what we are.

Be careful out there,

-C