Hi there, I’m Tiffany!
Just another wannabe food blogger here, navigating the realms of htmls, upload links, a lack of professional photography training, a lack of professional culinary training, and a lack of technical know how and savvy.
No seriously, my technical skills are extremely limited… you should have seen when I finally bought my iPhone how long it took me to compose a 3 sentence text message because I kept hitting all the wrong letters with my apparently spastic thumbs. It wasn’t pretty… (insert randoM capit.als and punCtuation into every other wor.d here)
So this will be a bit of an adventure to say the least, and it won’t necessarily be pretty, but hopefully it will be amusing, exciting, and delicious (which is better than pretty, right?)
I could go into a long rant about who I am, and get all metaphorical. I could say I’m misunderstood (who isn’t?), that I had a difficult childhood (but so does everyone, and it doesn’t mean it wasn’t still full of love and good times), and that I’m just trying to find myself (I think myself might be lost in the peanut butter aisle of the grocery store…), but I don’t think that my past is really that important for you to know. If you’re interested in knowing, drop me a line and I’ll come lie on your couch and you can ask me how everything makes me feel.
Did I mention I’m sarcastic? Get used to it…
I’ll give you the short and sweet though because if we’re going to start a relationship, I think you need to be able to at least picture a bit of me. I’m a twenty something female, from Canada (and no, I don’t live in an igloo, I *gasp* hate maple syrup, and if you asked me what team won the Stanley Cup last year, I couldn’t tell you… go ahead get out your pitchforks eh!). I’m the eternal perfectionist, which works really well in a lot of situations, and is my achilles heel in a lot of others, who was always the top student, identified herself by being the academic nerd, and who has kept her posse of friends and family close but small.
I’m an average day job worker by day, and batman by night… catwoman? Superwoman? Is there a super woman? If you haven’t guessed I’m not into sci-fi, comics, or any games that you play on a computer or xbox (hello that would require technical savvy!). No, my alterego is actually a closet, or maybe not so closet foodie whose FAVORITE (the capitals are intentional here, and very important) past time is being in the kitchen trying new things. I’m the most relaxed, most invigorated, and most alive when I have a spatula in one hand, an ingredient in the other, and my eyes glued to a recipe book, food blog, or food gawker. My dream is to eventually do some cooking training, and open up my own restaurant/cafe/bistro that has a similar focus to this blog. Healthy, wholesome food, with a bit of good old “indulgence” thrown in, with no food rules, no exercise rules, and a lot of numminess…
Sound familiar? Have you seen it before (insert name of almost everyone whose recipes appear on pinterest or food gawker here)?
Here’s the catch.
I have an eating disorder.
Yep, a good old fashioned, I’m terrified of food, anorexic eating disorder.
Seem weird since I’m actually the most alive, and most at peace when creating things in my kitchen? Yeah, I haven’t figured it out either…
See here’s the thing… you give me any recipe and I will dive in head first. The smells, the tastes, the flavors, the herbs, the creative process… it’s better than crack. Not that I’ve tried crack, so I have no reference point here. But I’d imagine that it would be better (or at least better for you!)… The tricky part comes to eating it. See I love to eat it… but I’m too scared to. A lot of the time. Or if I do eat it, it is only no big deal if I can go on my treadmill for 6 hours to make up for it.
Yep, that’s the diagnosis. Restrictive anorexia with an obsessive overexercise component.
So I’ve gone through the process. I was hospitalized (yes it was that bad) 3 years ago, and stayed there for a good 3+ months until I weight restored. Then I went into outpatient treatment, for a month before entering a residential treatment centre for another 3+ months. And I don’t regret a moment of it. Any of it. I learned so much about myself, my disorder, my likes, my dislikes, and met some amazing people (professionals, and just other patients) that have impacted my life in more ways than I can say. I went into outpatient for almost another year before taking a semester in Paris, France to study language.
I don’t regret that either…
But here’s the thing. I never recovered. Through all that I never did… I still hated myself, my body, had a denial complex in which I was still totally obsessed with exercise and eating “healthy” 98% of the time. Yes I ate finally… I just had to exercise it to maintain weight/lose it. So going to France, while wonderful, was the start of the breakdown for me.
I had to sit. In a chair. And study. For hours. And there was no formalized exercise. For someone who taught herself how to knit standing up because she’s too afraid to sit down because that will burn less and somehow more fat will end up on your ass that way (eating disorder goggles?) this was the worst thing possible. With a lack of a weigh scale, and a lack of exercise, the food restriction came back, and started the course to relapse.
I’m human. I’m imperfect.
So now… over a year later I’m at my bottom again. But I’m not in the hospital!! And I’m trying this new like, recover for me thing, where I try in an outpatient type setting to regain the weight, and recover. It’s a process, and I’m just starting it.
I found this totally amazing person when I first started this recovery process years ago, who showed me how to love food again. And I’m so lucky because now, she’s helping me recover. I feel like I won the lottery. No seriously, no sarcasm here. Because here’s what I want in my recovered life:
- No food rules. None. If I want pizza today and a burger tomorrow, I refuse to be confined to have a salad for lunch to balance it out. Because seriously, a week from now, I’ll probably have two salads in one day because I love vegetables and that is what I’ll want to eat THEN.
- No weighing or measuring food. Eventually, no portion sizes. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. If that’s 2 chicken breasts, lovely! If that’s a half of one, who cares?! There is no rule (Side note: This is not possible in the beginning stages of recovery. I’m not delusional…eventual goals are listed here 🙂 )
- Exercise does not equal food. Calories in does not equal calories out. I want to exercise and do the things I love, and not have it have a correlation with what I eat in any way shape or form. I want to be healthy and strong.
- Try everything. Anything! Go out for dinner. Be with friends. Have a day where your PVR is more friendly than your gym shoes. And be okay with that.
- A day is not a day without peanut butter, in ample amounts. True story.
- End your day with something sweet. Because it makes you happy, because it tastes amazing. And because it’s okay.
And I have this new meal plan thing that this totally awesome person gave me… one where I eat six times a day. And here’s the reality… It kind of sucks for the anxiety. I feel like I can see the weight all over me, and I’m trying to avoid the mirror because I can gain 5 lbs in 5 minutes (seriously I see it… eating disorder goggles). And not to mention, I can’t exercise right now… like at all. That’s kind of heaven because I’m no longer in physical pain every two seconds, but awful for the eating disordered brain. But it kind of rocks in every other way. I’m going to be honest here. I am bouncy. Like happy. Like insanely happy. Like I don’t need to yell at my dog for looking at me the wrong way any more (true story), and that diet coke I lived off of… I feel like I drank like 3 of them and I haven’t had any. Long story short: I have energy. And I’m not like striving to make every single meal absolutely perfect… well, I still try :), but I’m okay if it’s not because I’m actually going to eat again in three hours and eat something I like (as opposed to, well I can’t eat again for 12 hours) so I don’t feel this huge sense of deprivation and like I screwed everything up because I’ll never be able to eat those pancakes again. Seriously. Every meal I had was like the last supper for me. Everything felt like it was the last time I was going to allow myself to eat it.
Which brings me to my breakfast today!! I finally got here! Remember how I said short and sweet… yeah, not so much. But you try and sum like 3 or 4 years of your life up… I think I did pretty well!
What was on your plate this morning?
Pancakes were on mine. Yep. Specifically, these pancakes. And let me tell you, the last time I ate pancakes… probably 2 years ago. No joke. Sometime before I went to France. I was pancake overdue.
And the best part? Blender pancakes. Single Serving Blender Pancakes. Here’s the thing about me and pancakes. I’m not addicted to them. I don’t want leftovers. They’re one of those things that I could eat like once every month and be satisfied. Now this on the other hand… I have eaten a slightly modified version of this almost every day for 2 years. Is it because I was scared to try other things… yes, but mostly because it is the most delicious thing of life… other than yesterday’s breakfast, which is now a serious contender too for best thing of life…
Yes, that is a whole two tbsp of peanut butter, and some chocolate cream cheese… but I digress. Back to the pancakes.
Growing up I never really ate pancakes. I had them on occasion, and usually special occasions like holidays when I went to my grandma’s house. She made these amazing cottage cheese pancakes… which I of course topped with syrup (when I was little I liked it… I can’t understand why), and a mountain of more cottage cheese.
So when I do make pancakes, I’m kind of still a novice. In my whole life of pancake making, I think I’ve done it less than 10 times. So a blender pancake, throwing all the ingredients in a blender is up my alley. How can you screw it up? Unless you forget the little rubber liner at the bottom of the blender… This has happened before.
I have kitchen malfunctions. Like my quiche the other day… You know when you blind bake a pastry crust with dried beans to weight it… there’s a reason they say to line the crust with parchment paper. I have no photos (I wish I did, because it was quite funny), but suffice it to say that although I managed to scrape out probably 95% of the beans, we had some crunchy surprises when eating. No harm no foul, we’re still alive!
So I never really thought about how scary pancakes can be… I mean you get past the ingredients fairly easily, but then the cooking process. I mean she says spray your pan every time in between batches. That means you use oil and a lot more than I’m used to. But then I had to think about how if I didn’t do it, it would probably result in what happens 95% of the time when I try to make pancakes:
- I stand there like an idiot looking at it with confusion. How many bubbles should there be before you try to flip it? Is that sturdy enough to flip?
- I decide to flip.
- Pancake is drier than the sahara on the bottom, and is stuck to pan.
- Pancake turns into crumbles and literally 12 pieces that I have to chisel off. AKA gross and no longer pancakes.
- Pan starts smoking. I start swearing. Pan goes in sink. Out comes the oatmeal.
Pancakes and I have a love hate relationship. It was time to make a change.
So I sprayed my pan. Between every pancake… big achievement! And They flipped and came out beautiful! Side note: I bought this spray from whole foods- St Francis Herb Farm coconut oil and butter ghee- because I will not use Pam or those artificial sprays. Seriously recommend! Coats so well on anything, and gives a little coconut taste 🙂
Now my palate is a little different. My favourite topping is yogurt. But dietician’s challenge was to try it with some peanut butter and granola. Granola and peanut butter on pancakes? Two of my favorite things, but I’ve never thought to put them on pancakes..
It was pretty delicious. Going into my repertoire for sure. But I had to go classic too. Except I realized afterwards that my yogurt topping is specific (who knew?!) It’s always lemon flavoured! Does anyone else have specific flavour combos for things? Like some things just taste better with specific flavours! Rice Crispies with peach yogurt, Bran flakes with vanilla, pancakes with lemon… coffee flavoured yogurt with anything because it is DELICIOUS!
So I went in the fridge all happy only to become incredibly sad and realize we had no lemon yogurt, because I haven’t eaten lemon yogurt since the last time I had pancakes because the lemon yogurt has twice the fat of the regular, and ED doesn’t like the numbers with that at all. It’s a work in progress.
So I had to branch out… peach mango. It was surprisingly good. Not lemon, but decent. And this granola thing… liking the texture! It’s been a while since I had granola too.
And then I had raspberries. It’s summer and the produce is amazing right now! Got to take advantage. Although the meal plan said nothing about fruit, so I sat with the bowl of raspberries for like 30 minutes trying to decide if I was being a pig by eating it. Thankfully awesome people tend to answer texts at ungodly hours (I’m a morning person!) and tell you it’s okay to eat the fruit.
Like I said, work in progress. And a journey. A journey I invite you to take with me.
What will this blog look like?
- Well for starters, not every post will be this long. It’s an intro, deal with it.
- Fear Food Fridays- get ready for a section on fear foods. We had that in the residential centre. We always dreaded Fridays because we knew the foods would be particularly difficult. I don’t know what this will look like exactly but stay tuned.
- Recipes. Lots of them. Hopefully eventually some of my own, but also a lot of my favorites from other places.
- Nutrient/Ingredient Day. Some day a week (I have to figure out a cool name first :P) will focus on a specific ingredient or nutrient and why it’s good for you. Focus on the health, not on the fear.
- Other stuff. This is not just a recovery blog. It’s a celebrate life blog. Celebrate moderation, happiness, things that bring joy and fun. Books I love, places to see, things to do… all important in a healthy lifestyle.
- We’ll see! I’m new at this!
So there you have it. I hope your breakfast was as delicious as mine… and now that I’ve killed 3 hours writing this, I have to go and make a snack. Happy Nibbling!