Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Not to Say

So a weird thing happened. I lost my appetite.

I know, right? When was the last time I didn’t want food? But for the past few days--ever since that pizza, really--I’ve been quite put off by most food. I think yesterday was the absolute worst, I spent most of the day eating despite the fact that it made my stomach angry. It was sort of like a combination of heartburn and bloating, only I’m not sure if either one of them was really the cause. All I know is it is the weirdest thing not to want ALLTHEFOOD and it gives me hope that, well, I won’t be an obsessed eating machine for the rest of my life. Yay!

But I would love to get hungry again, I mean more than just the little nudges that I get which are immediately followed by a distinct aversion to food. Which might not happen anytime soon, because...I’m flying to State College tomorrow night! And that’s great, except flying doesn’t agree with my body and that was before I had all this extra water retention and bloating, so this could get interesting....

Plus reunions are stressful when you’re hyper-sensitive about your body and the people you’re reuniting with remember you 20+ pounds lighter. I mean, logically I know that I’m still the same person and they like me the same no matter what. Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind, right? Still, it’s a bit daunting when you’re afraid of getting “the comments.”

Unfortunately (for us, but perhaps fortunately for them), most of society doesn’t understand how triggering everyday things can be. They don’t have to watch what they say because, while they do think about things like weight, it doesn’t become life-threatening to them. They do not take it to extremes that land them at death’s door. Having an eating disorder gives you a very good understanding of what not to say to someone who is suffering or trying to recover. So. My advice for those fortunate enough not to know?

Don’t judge what they’re eating. Or not eating. This goes both ways. I remember once, at a family Christmas, I got a little paper bowl and filled it with vegetables from the veggie/dip platter and (of course) finished before anyone else. So I was just sitting there with a little empty bowl and somebody looked over and said, “Did your dinner fit in that bowl?” and I said yes, and they were like, “Well maybe that’s what I should be doing.”

And it’s just plain tough, trying to recover and eating so much more than anyone else and being hyper-aware of that fact just because of the nature of the disorder. It doesn’t even have to be a comment. A look is enough to make anyone self-conscious. No raised eyebrows at a heaping plate or saying “Really?” when someone gets up for seconds (or thirds, or fourths). And it doesn’t matter how you say it. “I wish I could eat like that” is essentially the same as “How can you eat so much?!”

No “healthy food” talk. It’s natural to demonize food. Our culture is practically built on it. But no, French fries will not kill you and neither will ice cream, in fact excluding every food known to be “fattening” will probably kill you a lot quicker than taking the time to learn “everything in moderation.” There’s nothing wrong with enjoying “guilt” foods. We have a category for pre-diabetics, and I’ve come to realize that probably the reason we don’t have a category for pre-orthorexia is that the majority of the population would fall into it.

No regrets. I know how common it is, after a huge and indulgent meal, to sit around moaning about how much you ate. Believe me, I do it too--even though I’m about to tell you not to--and I’m working on it. Because it’s really uncomfortable (mentally) to know that you’ve just eaten several platefuls more than anyone else and yet they’re still complaining about how huge they feel and how they’re going to get fat. Yeah, if you’re going to get fat, then what about me?! In that moment it’s hard to remember that you have such a huge energy deficit and that you need those extra calories, because ED latches on to the “becoming fat” before you can even say “Give me more pie.”

No body comments. This is the one that really gets me. I could rail about it for hours (and apologies if I do). It doesn’t only apply to those in recovery, it applies to EVERYONE, no exceptions. I don’t care if these comments are negative or positive, because a lot of them have the potential to go either way depending on how they’re interpreted. “I wish I was that skinny” reinforces the ED behavior. And then there’s the dreaded “better” comment. I know this is a tough one for me because “You look so much better/healthier!” could easily turn into “You’ve gained so much weight!” which then becomes “You’re so much fatter!” It’s a slippery slope, just don’t start down it. Now, maybe words like “lively” or “glowy” are better, but careful.

And the negative? Well, I would THINK this would be fairly obvious, and anyone with any kind of moral compass AT ALL would know better than to make negative comments on another person’s body, but I am continually appalled at how little decency people have. I’m pretty sure they teach us in elementary school not to call each other “fat,” and that doesn’t change just because we’ve grown up and expanded our vocabulary to include several synonyms for “far.” NO ONE has the right to comment on your body, not to someone else and especially not to your face. Not even you have the right to insult your body. It is a marvelous thing. You are beautiful just the way you are and you do not have to make yourself conform to anyone else’s idea of “acceptable.”

Well, I warned you. :) I do have a lot more to say on that last topic, but I’ll stop there. And really, looking back through that list, I think we’d all do well to at least try and follow them all the time. I still struggle with some of them. But society could be so much more optimistic if we turned “Oh God, I ate so much, I feel terrible” into “Yay, that was a lot of food, now I have fuel so I can get on with my day!” I mean, think about it. Do we only fill the gas tank halfway because it makes the car lighter? No! Because then you’ll be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

Oops, another digression. There are so many more things I could come up with that people say or do, meaning the best, that only serves as a trigger. I don’t blame them, I blame the sadly misunderstood nature of eating disorders and how little the medical community (community at large, for that matter) actually knows about them. And I try to remember that when I see or hear something hurtful. But I guess it doesn’t hurt to add my voice.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review: Bobo's Oat Bars Chocolate

Until now, I have never heard of Bobo. But when you’re walking through the grocery store, how can you resist buying something labeled “Bobo’s Oat Bars”? I mean, is that an awesome name, or what?

All right, I’ll be honest, what attracted me to this bar as much as the name was its generous size. It’s quite thick, and all those oats seem to be densely packed. I picked Chocolate because, well, who doesn’t like chocolate?

Bobo’s Oat Bars are natural, organic, and in this case, wheat-free. (That doesn’t mean gluten-free; they do have a separate line of gluten-free bars, though.) It’s also vegan, at least that’s what the wrapper claims. It seems to be mainly carbohydrates, although there is a decent amount of fiber.

It reminds me of a little loaf of bread--soft and easily breakable, even a little crumbly. I don’t know what holds it together, but it’s not sticky at all like Clif bars. It’s like an oat-bread. Given that, it might be messy on the go. I still can’t get over the bread thing, I’m almost tempted to eat this with a fork.

Now, for the chocolate part...well, it’s not very chocolatey. I can taste the oats more, in fact it sort of reminds me of an oatmeal raisin cookie. Only without the raisins and lacking some of the oaty, sweet flavor that I can’t quite describe but that makes me think of carrot cake. It’s also kind of dry (going back to the crumbles), but at the same time there’s a moistness to the overall thing. Sort of like bread, you could call it moist in some respects but it’s also dry...OK, I know I’m not making any sense.

I liked this bar well enough, and I was satisfied when I finished. It’s just way too light on the chocolate. No way could I convince my sister (or probably anyone else in my family) to eat more than a crumb of this. I’m afraid that the name of the product sets expectations too high that will never be met. That’s not to say it isn’t good; but if you are having a true chocolate craving, look somewhere else.

Taste: 7--not very chocolatey, more of an oat taste.
Texture: 9--like bread made of oats; crumbly and dry, but also moist in a way.
Health: 5--it’s natural and organic and non-GMO and all that jazz, but I’m having a hard time figuring out why a bar that’s mostly carbs would be healthy.
Eat Again? Probably not.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Market Pantry Monster Cookie Ice Cream

When Ben & Jerry’s released their two new Target-exclusive flavors, I tore down to the nearest store to buy them...only to find that they weren’t in stock yet. Not even a tag on the freezer shelf for them!

Since it seemed dumb to drive 15 minutes down the freeway in the dark and back with nothing to show for it, I decided to invest my money instead in some store-brand ice cream.

In case you didn’t know what a monster cookie is, it’s a magnificent conglomeration of peanut butter, oatmeal, M&M’s, and chocolate chips...I probably left something out there. I’ve never actually had a monster cookie, so I’m just going by what’s in this ice cream.

The first time I saw this I almost bought it, but my freezer was already filled so I decided to wait. And then I never saw it again for about a month, despite returning to Target periodically to check. But it was worth the wait because I love peanut butter so much and, well, this ice cream is predominantly peanut butter.

It’s the base. There aren’t actual peanut butter swirls, the flavor is just everywhere. And the smell as soon as you open the! There aren’t a whole lot of non-premium ice creams that use a peanut butter base (the only other one I’ve ever tried was Breyers’ Reese’s Blast!), so this was cool to see. And eat. No pun intended.

I have to say, though, that beyond that it’s a toss-up. The fudge flakes don’t really add much. They’re thin and break really easily and they’re not high-quality. I think they’re dark chocolate, but it’s hard to tell if their bitterness stems from that or just cheap chocolate. The M&M’s (which is what we’ll call them for the sake of sanity, I doubt they’re actually M&M’s because that sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen) are super hard. Like, not just frozen hard--they were that, too--but even when I let them sit out and melt in my mouth they were still super crunchy. Which is sad because I like my chocolate soft so I can enjoy the flavor.

Last but not least--the cookies. Well, they’re chewy, I’ll give them that. I guess my main problem with them was the oatmeal texture, which I really should have seen coming. But they didn’t taste distinct from the base, I never got a hint of oatmeal other than the feel of the oats in these little balls.

As far as texture, it’s fairly light and fluffy. It melts quickly. But all that is basically what you’d expect from store-brand light(er) ice cream. Still, I’d buy it again. Especially if I’m in a crisis where they don’t have what I came for and I don’t want to look stupid walking out of the store with nothing. But beyond that, too, because it really is a good ice cream.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts

Despite the fact that I have already found my true Pop-Tart love in the Cookie Dough flavor, and despite the fact that I always seem to end up hating on the crust of chocolate-based Pop-Tarts...I couldn’t resist bring along one packet of my sister’s Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts when I moved to North Carolina. (They were kind of a communal Pop-Tart box, I just say they’re “hers” because she was the only one eating them, so I wasn’t really stealing.)

So you can probably tell where this post is heading, but I’ll go on in case you’re behind. It all sounds good, right, chocolate and more chocolate. But once again, the crust fails me. The edges are crunchy, and really not very sweet as far as chocolate goes...OK, not very sweet by any standard. It’s actually pretty bitter, and between that and the dryness it’s not at all appealing.

Luckily, the filling and frosting make up for it. The filling is sufficiently gooey and more what you’d expect from something that’s supposed to taste like chocolate. It’s sort of like hot fudge, only not hot, and not as fudgy. OK, maybe it’s not like hot fudge after all. But the frosting is really, really good. It’s a lot sweeter than any of the other components, it’s obviously chocolate, and there’s something satisfying about its sugary crunch.

In fact, the middle of these Pop-Tarts isn’t bad at all. But you have to get past the outsides first, which is quite a chore. I wonder what makes the chocolate pastry so much less tolerable than the white ones, or even the Red Velvet. I’ll learn my lesson sometime...after I try them all. ;)

Pop-Tart rankings:
  1. Chocolate Fudge

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Molting Pizza-Eating Rule Breaker

My whole day has been a little out of whack, but the exciting news is that I woke up and food was NOT the first thing I thought of! Which is surprising, since I slept longer than I even usually do on the weekends. But the end result was that my breakfast didn’t end up being until noon, at which point I suppose it would be called lunch, but...who cares?

Well 3 o’clock rolls around and I’m hungry, so I decided to try Domino’s pizza tracker. OK, actually I just really wanted a pizza. And ordering online is just plain fun. I had no idea you could order a sauceless pizza...and I didn’t really believe they would leave off the sauce, so I decided to mess with them and order one.

(I didn't ask if Pete actually made my pizza, but neither of the guys at the store looked like a Pete.)
Well, they did! There is no sauce on that baby! And it was soooo good, the best part being that I ate it before 8:00 p.m., and...

...wait for it...

...I ate the whole gosh-darned thing! So THERE!! And the weird thing is, I’m not even full. Not hungry, but you’d think a whole pizza would be enough to stuff me up for a while. Apparently not. Hmm, this is interesting....

Nothing else much is new, except that I’m molting. Apparently that’s totally normal, as your skin gets enough nourishment to start regenerating again all the dead stuff that’s been there the whole time comes off. I currently can’t scratch an itch in public or else people would think I’m snowing. It’s quite gross, when I wash my face--after I shower, mind you--all this yellowish gunk comes off and it’s even worse than when I go to the barn and ride in the dusty ring. Oh, recovery.

OK, now I’m full. I think it took about 30 minutes to actually hit me. So we’re good for at least another hour, I hope, haha. But I am super hyper now despite waking up tired (how does that even work??) because I broke a rule!! I broke a rule! Haha, it feels so cool!

Ben & Jerry's Target Exclusive Peanut Butter Jam Session (An Ice Cream Review)

If you remember, it took me three tries at three different Targets before I found any of Ben & Jerry’s new Target exclusive flavors, and then I only found Rockin’ Blondies. Well, I was near a Target yesterday after going to the movies, so I took advantage of the chance and picked up the new Peanut Butter Jam Session.

This is “Peanut Butter Ice Cream with a Crunchy Peanut Butter Swirl and a Raspberry Swirl.” It really is supposed to be PB&J in a pint. As a kid, I ate a few PB&Js, but more often than not I ditched the J. But I did enjoy them. The only problem here is that I don’t like raspberry much.

Still, new and exclusive flavor and you got me, B&J. Both swirls are visible just under the surface, and the smell is primarily peanut butter. I’m not picking up any fruit whatsoever, which is comforting.

My first spoonful really illuminated the difference between this swirl and the usual peanut butter swirl: I got a chopped-up peanut. It’s just like the difference between creamy and crunchy in the peanut butter aisle, which I guess isn’t a surprise. The amazing thing was that even though I couldn’t really see or taste that I was eating peanut butter swirl, the peanuts confirmed it.

The jam seems to be smeared all over; it’s in almost every bite, but it’s not overwhelming. Oh sure, there were a few pockets of raspberry that completely took over everything with their tart fruit flavor, but that only happened to me once or twice. And, to be fair, the same thing happened with the peanut butter swirl, only I found those occurrences to be heavenly. Pure peanut butter goodness, but you could still taste the individual peanuts in there as well. The peanut butter started coming in much thicker spurts about 1/4 of the way down. In fact I hit a couple spots that my spoon got stuck in, because the peanut butter was so thick.

The base is a very smooth, peanut butter flavor. In fact it matches the taste of the swirl (sans peanuts), the only difference is that it’s a little milder and more prone to turning into jam when the raspberry starts getting stronger. But overall, everything here works in harmony. I ended up enjoying it more than I’d expected; it’s a really good replication of the classic sandwich. I might actually buy this again, if I get in the mood and I’m close to a Target. The good news is that I live close to a Target.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kroger Deluxe Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Ever since becoming an avid Ben & Jerry’s fan, I have lamented the fact that I became a fan long after the limited-edition Snickerdoodle ice cream had come and gone (like, a couple years too late). I love snickerdoodles and I love ice cream and above all Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, plus until now I had yet to see snickerdoodle ice cream in a store. It was just majorly depressing.

But my all-time favorite store (a.k.a. Kroger) came to the rescue! And on top of being snickerdoodle ice cream, it’s also cheaper-than-brand-name ice cream, so I just scored double points picking up this carton.

I really wish Kroger would put descriptions on their containers because that would just make life so much easier. I suppose they’re thinking we ought to be able to guess what’s in snickerdoodle ice cream, but really, there are so many variables. Are there pieces of cookies? A swirl? Is the base ice cream cinnamon flavored or snickerdoodle flavored? I mean, come on, I’m dying in suspense here!

OK, I know you are too, so I’ll help you out. Yes, there are actual cookies inside this container. I was so excited when I saw them. For the most part, they’re small, about the size of a pencil eraser, with a few larger. They’re crumbly and probably would be crunchy if they weren’t immersed in melting dairy. It’s hard to get a read on the individual taste among the ice cream, but they are fun in terms of texture and, well, they’re obviously snickerdoodles. I like ’em.

The base is tough to describe. It really reminded me of the overall taste of Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns, which has a caramel base, along with the cinnamon components. So I’d say it’s cinnamon, but a very sweet cinnamon, which would account for the notes of caramel.

This stuff is slightly denser and creamier than the other Kroger flavors I’ve tried so far, since those were frozen dairy desserts and this is actually legitimate ice cream. It’s still lighter than premium brands, but it’s really good quality for a store-brand ice cream. The only thing I would add is perhaps a swirl of cinnamon streusel, similar to Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns. I absolutely loved this flavor, and you can bet it’s coming back to my freezer!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Target Exclusive Rockin' Blondies (An Ice Cream Review)

I have been on the rampage looking for the new Ben & Jerry’s Target exclusive flavors. I first heard about Peanut Butter Jam Session, which in all honesty didn’t get me excited at all because of the whole raspberry swirl part. But then the next night saw me rushing out to Target at 9:00 because I learned that the second flavor was Rockin’ Blondies: “Buttery Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Blonde Brownies and Butterscotch Toffee Flakes.”

It took me three different Targets and tons of after-work rush-hour traffic to finally find this flavor (they didn’t have Peanut Butter Jam Session, so I just bought two of these), but finally, here we are! I love toffee as an occasional thing, and the same holds true for blondies. Plus these are both completely different mix-ins for Ben & Jerry’s (although the since-discontinued Maple Blondie flavor did include these blondies).

The first thing I did was try out the base because I have a love affair with brown sugar. Which meant that my expectations were a little high, so I was disappointed in that it tasted quite similar to (though not exactly the same as) their sweet cream base. The second thought I had was that it was also a lot like their caramel ice cream, only...not quite that either. It falls somewhere between the two and has a softer consistency than usual, lending to a buttery feel. It’s a great background for the butterscotch to come.

Starting out, they seem to have given the most emphasis to the toffee. It’s seriously everywhere. It’s a lot like the standard chocolate flakes except that these are thinner and obviously have nothing to do with chocolate; they do indeed carry a rich, butterscotch taste. Given that my experiences with toffee have been almost entirely with Heath bars, these were a bit of a shock for me because (besides the obvious fact that a Heath bar is coated in chocolate) they don’t get stuck in your teeth. They’re crunchy but they’re really very easy to chew. They don’t get rock-hard from being frozen, unlike what sometimes happens with the chocolate chunks.

And, last but not least, the blondies. It took me digging through over a quarter of the pint before I saw any hint of them, but once I got past that initial buffer zone they started cropping up a lot. The toffee was still dominant, but these certainly made themselves heard as well. They were certainly my favorite part, with their chewy consistency almost like cookie dough. Unlike my recent experience with Half Baked, there were no crunchy brownies here! That said, I prefer the taste of regular brownies over the butterscotch of these blonde brownies, but just the fact that these are hardly ever used in ice cream, and that I hardly ever get the chance to eat them, brings a novelty to them that makes them even more enjoyable.

I’m always going to say I wished there were more mix-ins, especially the blondies, but really, this is a pretty awesome flavor. So unique, even for Ben & Jerry’s. I definitely don’t regret buying two pints, and I’m not even bothered about not being able to find Peanut Butter Jam Session. And I’m *almost* not jealous anymore about the core flavors they get overseas. This one is up there in my list of favorite B&J’s flavors.

Take That!

Sorry guys, I just need to get this out there...*Warning: use of explicit language*

It is not quite 6 a.m. and I woke up hungry, ate a cookie. Tried to go back to bed. Still hungry. So I ate two more cookies.

It feels quite exhilarating and scary all at the same time.

FUCK YOU ED I will eat what I want when I want and calories do not matter!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blue Bunny Fat Free Caramel Toffee Crunch (An Ice Cream Review)

On my first shopping trip in North Carolina, the day we set up my apartment, I spent so much time gawking at the freezers, trying to decide which new ice cream to try, that my parents both left for other parts of the store. But I had to narrow it down to two or three choices, and it was tough. Blue Bunny Fat Free Caramel Toffee Crunch made the cut.

See, I liked their Fat Free Brownie Sundae a lot. And I love toffee, but it’s not a flavor I keep around a lot because no one else eats it. And you have to be in the mood for it; after a while I get tired of it, too. So it had been a while since I’d had toffee and it just sounded good, especially at 90 calories per serving.

I didn’t get around to taking pictures until I was halfway through the carton. But what you see here is pretty much indicative of the rest: a pretty decent caramel swirl, considering it’s fat free, and toffee pieces spattered throughout. I’ve noticed that fat-free ice creams tend to harden up after a few days open in the freezer. This is no exception, but if you let it sit out before eating, you can’t even tell.

The base ice cream is the same as that used in Brownie Sundae: very sweet, but in a chemical, obviously fat-free way. Personally, I like it, but it’s certainly not natural and some people will be turned off. Or maybe not, because it’s not the main taste here; the caramel and toffee cover it up quite nicely. It’s saltier than just plain caramel, and I almost got a nutty vibe from the toffee. But that might have been my taste buds going out of whack. The toffee is really prominent--more so than the caramel--so you better be in the mood.

The caramel swirl isn’t gooey; it’s more of a stiff swirl, almost the texture of a peanut butter mix-in. But, like the ice cream, it softens as it warms up. The toffee pieces aren’t totally crunchy, they’re a little soggy. They actually reminded me a bit of chewy granola bar pieces, and they do stick in your teeth. Depending on your toffee preferences, that’s could be either good or bad. It means the flavor lingers longer, but it can be annoying and less than satisfying when you’re expecting a true crunch.

It still amazes me that ice cream can even be fat free, let alone ice cream with caramel and toffee in it. It sounds like it would be questionable, both taste- and texture-wise, but Blue Bunny pulled it off...considering that it’s fat free, this stuff is good. When the toffee mood strikes me again, I know where I’ll go.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Careful What You Wish For

It’s been a Ben & Jerry’s couple of days. Ever since I learned of the release of two new Target exclusive flavors on Monday night, I’ve been looking for them. Well, third time’s the charm, and after 1) rushing out at 9 o’clock Monday night when I saw the news and being unable to find anything at my usual Target; 2) getting stuck in terrible traffic on the way to a different Target yesterday after work and still coming up short; and 3) getting stuck in even worse traffic on the way to and from yet another Target this evening, I finally met with some success.

I found one of the two flavors, admittedly the one I really wanted. This is Rockin’ Blondies: brown sugar ice cream, blonde brownies, and butterscotch toffee. YUM. (Yes, I bought two pints and I do not regret it!)
It’s a shame they’re replacing two of the other exclusive flavors, though. Well, I could care less about Berry Voluntary, but Brownie Chew Gooder? Nooooooo....

Second revelation? Actually, I think I really discovered this a week or so ago with Americone Dream, but I wasn’t positive because it’s been so long since I’ve looked at that container closely however, see Chocolate Therapy, which thanks to ED I know to be 240 calories per serving... now 250! And then I started thinking about it and I think my last pint of Cinnamon Buns (two-ish weeks ago) said 280, and I’m almost positive it used to be 290. It’s been a while since I’ve bought a pint of Chocolate Therapy, but maybe this relabeling happened about the time the design started turning pink (does anyone else remember, the lettering started out purple?). I asked B&J’s about it and they said they’d look into it for me, but until then, YAY 40 more calories for me--umm, not that I ate the whole pint or anything.... ;)

Now that’s all well and good and lighthearted, so here’s the thing. I’ve stopped sleeping. Like, at all. I think I might be getting hungrier and that’s the root of it, that I’m having trouble responding to that hunger because, well, frankly it’s quite scary. Last night, I think I just couldn’t fall asleep because, in spite of eating (no joke) 2000+ calories right before bed, I still wasn’t quite full. And that made me anxious which just exacerbated the situation. Because my weight hasn’t budged for at least a week (or at least it feels that way) and I feel like I should respond to the hunger because that’s how this is supposed to go and I feel guilty if I don’t, but then it gets all crazy perverted and I get anxious if I do eat something.

Finally around 3:30 in the morning, after reading through websites and listening to tons of music, I finished off my brownies. I just got up off the couch, shoved the last of them in my mouth, and actually said out loud, to the dark kitchen, “AHA! So there!” And then went back to bed and after a little while I finally must have fallen asleep.

I made a conscious effort to add an extra hundred calories at work today, and that made me slightly uncomfortable. But by the time I got home I was absolutely ravenous and exhausted all at the same time, which was really not a good combination. This is terrifying. I know what I need to do (and that is eat until I’m popping), but the trouble is doing it.

Since I started this all-in recovery, I’ve been jealous seeing what people eat with “extreme hunger,” as it’s called. I’ve been waiting for it to hit because I too want to have a completely crazy unbelievable day of eating. Until now I’ve just been plugging along happily enough at 3,500-4,000 calories but not feeling any real need to go above that. Sure I could have eaten more, but without the physical need (i.e. growling stomach) I (or my disorder) couldn’t really justify it. I have wanted extreme hunger from the very beginning. And here I am faced with it and scared out of my wits.

I need to ignore the fear of inflating like a hot air balloon and listen to my body and give it what it needs. It’s been through hell and back and it know what it wants and it damn well deserves it. It’s just my mind that needs to catch up to that thinking. I need to have faith that an enormous amount of what I eat will go toward repairs, not entirely weight gain. I know I need at least another 10-ish pounds before I can reasonably say I’m near my set point, and I know that most of what I’ve gained so far isn’t even “real” flesh, it’s water retention. But none of this seems to work to convince me that it’s OK to go far above 4,000 and that I will not lose control and become a roly-poly blob.

Jeez, sorry, I really did not mean to turn into such a Debbie Downer.... And I was all excited over the Ben & Jerry’s, too! Oh well, tomorrow’s a new day and a new chance at a huge breakfast! I know I need to just bite the bullet and give in. That’s what recovery is about, surrendering control to be in control, finally. It’s just hard to look at it that way sometimes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You Know, Facing Fears Can Be So Delicious

I’ve been wanting to post something meaningful for a while, but life got the better of me lately and I haven’t had the time. I think the last day was...Saturday? Wow. I have a legitimate excuse for Sunday, though: Peter competed in his first-ever horse show!

I don’t think I’ve wanted to be back in Pennsylvania more than that day, but I got plenty of updates through Facebook, so I sort of got to “see” it. All I can say is, my sister has done an amazing job training that pony!!

In the meantime I’ve kept my kitchen stocked with some type of chocolate/sugary dessert. When I finished the Reese’s Puffs muffins, I opened a package of chewy Chips Ahoy! with Reese’s cups in them. I finished those off for a snack the day after I opened them, so I made brownies (on Sunday). OK, technically I cheated here because I didn’t have oil, so I used applesauce instead. Which isn’t totally overcoming the fear, since it’s safer than using the real recipe.

They were pretty good, though not nearly as good as the “real” kind. So I got kind of bored with them quickly. Actually I still have them, and I only made half the box (in an 8x8 pan), so that’s saying something because usually if there’s chocolate around I’m all over it. Despite the fact that I still had the brownies at home, I ended up at Food Lion for bread yesterday and came home with that, plus these cuties:

Which means that when I came home I had (mini) cupcakes AND brownies in my apartment and I didn’t have a meltdown. Yeah, that probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I was proud of myself. :)

So--today. Still have the brownies. I ate all the cupcakes (had three at work this afternoon). I could have just went with the brownies, but that didn’t feel nearly adventurous enough. So I baked a pan of Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Chunk cookies. Now these really annoyed me because Betty Crocker does not measure well, and she led me to believe that there were 3 x 18 = 54 tablespoons of mix in that pouch...SHE LIED TO ME. Which would be fine if she accidentally gave me more, but that was not the case. Sigh. (I only know this because, again, I only made half the mix.)

They JUST came out of the oven, so I haven’t been able to try one yet, but lordy do they smell heavenly! And the batter was just amazing...the great thing about living alone is that no one cares if you lick the spoon and then go back to mixing. Or if you stick your entire head into the mixing bowl when you’re done to make sure you get all the batter off the bottom.

So I have a better idea...why don’t we freeze cookies instead of baking them? Then we wouldn’t have to wait for them to cool, and they would taste like cookie dough, which we all know tastes better than cookies. Oh, wait...that raw egg thing, right.

That’s it in the food queue for now. BUT I have to put in a word on water retention: it’s back. It really went down over the weekend, and I have to wonder if it’s because I slept later into the morning. Well, I stayed in bed later. I haven’t been sleeping very well. It also could have been the cooler weather on Saturday. It was really quite funny, I spent all of Friday night peeing it out instead of sleeping, and I woke up (for the final time, haha) feeling deflated! But yeah, now I’m back to being slightly sore and my butt is definitely firmer than it should be given its size. :)

Even with all those fluctuations, my weight has not budged in over a week. At least judging by my body/clothes. Maybe I’m just not hypersensitive to minute changes anymore, but I don’t think that’s it. I think the gain has stalled, which has me slightly worried that I’m not eating enough because I KNOW I’m not at my set point yet. But I’ve been eating tons, closer to 4,000 than my 3,500 minimum. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m ignoring my hunger, because by now it’s such an ingrained habit that I can do it and not even realize what’s happening. And I’m still having trouble remembering that “obsessing about food” = “hungry” even if my stomach isn’t growling. I just don’t want to miss my body telling me to EAT and having that prevent my body from repairing my muscles and joints and pathetically brittle bones.

Ahh, I didn’t mean to get down here. I guess the answer is simple, right? Just eat! Speaking of which, those cookies might be cool enough by now....

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Half Baked (An Ice Cream Review)

It’s about time I tried Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked for real, since I’ve already had the Froyo version multiple times. And I tried to scoop out the petrified version in the freezer back home in Pennsylvania that’s left over from spending my meal points...two years ago. Which doesn’t count, because I could hardly even scratch the surface.

This was sort of an impulse buy, in that I already had several perfectly good ice cream in the freezer, but I was out shopping (like I do everyday now, haha) and you know I just can’t not walk down the ice cream aisle. And you probably also know that when I walk down the ice cream aisle, I can’t not pick out something to bring home.

I think it’s perfectly sound logic, especially since it got this pint of loveliness into my stomach. Here we have “Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Creams mixed with Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Fudge Brownies.” See that? Not just cookie dough, but gobs of cookie dough. Now that’s the way I like it.

So basically this is a cross between B&J’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Having never had the latter, I can’t make comparisons there, but I can say for sure that the chocolate components are a watered-down version of Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Whereas that flavor has enormous chunks that could equal a normal-sized serving of a brownie, the biggest one I got in here was about the size of a quarter and not very thick. And they were crunchy. I have no idea how you could put brownies--even overcooked brownies, which these obviously were--into ice cream and have them be crunchy, it’s just beyond my comprehension. They were also a little tough, and while they tasted fine and brownie-ish, they just weren’t much fun. I’ve had better

The cookie dough was the saving grace. It was soft and easily cut through with a spoon, just like the base ice creams. Even in spoonfuls without visible cookie dough chunks, I was getting a cookie dough grit (and I love cookie dough grit!). These chunks are bigger than the brownies (for the most part), taste just like eating a tube of cookie dough, and have the perfect hint of brown sugar. Basically, they’re everything you ever wanted in cookie dough. If the chunks in the actual cookie dough ice cream are even bigger, I need to hook myself up with a pint right away.

I haven’t commented on the bases yet because they really weren’t all that exciting. They were the standard creamy, super-dense and delicious Ben & Jerry’s fare, but beyond that.... The chocolate wasn’t deep or complex or anything other than Ben & Jerry’s chocolate. And the vanilla more often than not got lost in the chocolate, which is a shame because I’m one of those weirdos who, given the choice, will pick vanilla. Still, just like the Chocolate Fudge Brownie, this is MUCH better than the froyo version. Just maybe not enough to make it back into my crowded freezer.