Posts Tagged ‘eating my feelings’

Are there people in your life who simply rub you the wrong way? Like, no matter what they do, their actions grate on you? And maybe it’s not so much that their actions grate, but that you are pre-expecting those things to irritate you, so you get advance annoyed? No no no. Let’s not talk about this; it’s steeping me further into agitation, the way scratching a mosquito bite just makes it itchier.

Sometimes I am so sick of being The Wife. Not A Wife; I love my husband and on the whole enjoy being married to him. But sometimes the Wifely Expectations make me so mad! And Wifely Expectations sounds much more salacious than what I’m alluding to. I’m talking about the thing where you wait until everyone else is served to take your own food, and then the food is cold. Or how when every spot on the couch is taken, except for the one in the middle, which is blocked in by the coffee table and four pairs of legs, no one notices and so you sit on the floor because asking everyone to move would require lots of standing up and picking up of plates and shuffling around. Or how you wake up earlier than everyone else to make sure the house is as clean and tidy as possible, even though it will be messy and crumb filled the next morning, and no one notices (although they would be sure to notice if things continued along the messy/crumb-y route). Or how when your mother-in-law (also The Wife) offers to clean up the kitchen, it is to help YOU out, not your husband because it is not his job to clean up the kitchen, it is the job of The Wife. Okay. Deep breaths. Let’s not go further down THIS path.

No Dinners This Week post, because my sister-in-law may or may not be arriving at some point today or tomorrow, and I am unable to commit to a meal that may or may not take her into account. Tonight we are having takeout from an Indian restaurant; we were ALL in the mood for it last night, but neither of the two options we could agree on were open. I still have ingredients for fajitas, short ribs with polenta, and pork with roasted vegetables that I’d planned on last week, so those should hopefully tide us over. Well. That topic is less – but not un- – fraught, but I have nothing more to say about it.

For multiple very boring and make-sense-only-to-me reasons, I have decided to make an effort to eat breakfast more consistently. And I am hoping that you will help me figure out the best breakfasts and the best breakfast times, because I am floundering around.

I will tell you, in advance, that it may seem futile to offer your own suggestions. It may seem like the kind of thing where someone asks for advice and then wrinkles their nose at everything you recommend. But I promise that I want your suggestions and breakfast insights, and that I am willing to TRY, even if the nose-wrinkling feels more natural.

I feel like sort of a breakfast newbie, so I want to collect data and go from there.

Breakfast Foods

For most of my life, I have not only avoided breakfast, but actively disliked it. I remember eating breakfast in elementary/middle school: usually Rice Krispies or a bowl of milk with a single brick of Shredded Wheat in it. Maybe Corn Pops if whomever had done the grocery shopping was feeling wild. Sometimes a toasted Eggo waffle. It was something to be endured, not something to enjoy, and I am very much an Eats for Enjoyment type, rather than the equally valid but mysterious-to-me Eats for Sustenance type.

When I was in high school, and responsible for driving myself, I did not eat breakfast, opting instead to drink a can of vending machine Coke when I got to my first period class. (I can’t imagine that school vending machines carry soda anymore, but mine did. We also had candy machines, and I ate a package of peanut butter M&Ms for lunch almost daily.)

After that, the breakfast timeline gets fuzzy… because I think I just stopped eating breakfast altogether. I am not particularly hungry when I wake up, and I dislike 95% of the options – eggs, oatmeal, and cereal being right up there with the breakfast things I despise the most. Granola bars, breakfast cookies, muffins, protein bars – none of those interest me in the least.

You might think I would be an ideal candidate for intermittent fasting, and I have tried that in the past, but I am not interested in doing it again at the moment (although that might change at some point; who knows).

During my brief flirtations with keto, I ate a hot dog every single morning, and it tasted both incredibly delicious and yet horrifically nauseating at the same time. Kind of how I imagine it would feel to be a vampire: disgusted by what you’re doing, but craving it with every cell of your being.

Sometimes, I will eat Greek yogurt with honey and granola, topped with raspberries or pomegranate seeds. I really only like this as a combination. Sometimes I will make a mango smoothie, but I admit to being a little weary of them lately. Yogurt by itself generally doesn’t do it for me – and it is very difficult to find my preferred yogurt, which is blended raspberry. Must be blended, none of that fruit on the bottom stuff for me no thank you.

On special occasions, I can handle a Big, Traditional Breakfast. You know. A frittata. A breakfast strata. Belgian waffles. Pancakes and bacon. French toast casserole. But those are special occasion breakfasts, not everyday breakfasts – at least, for me.

Once in a great while, I will make myself an omelet or scramble myself an egg. But this is very rare, because eggs typically make me queasy.

I am not ever going to eat a banana.

Today I ate a jar of honey-flavored Oui yogurt, which is delicious and not something I can gear myself up to pay for on a daily basis. ($1.59 per jar! And, yes, the jars are perfect for regenerating scallions on your windowsill, but I already have six of them.) I also had some fresh raspberries, leftover from my daughter’s breakfast this morning. (In addition to the raspberries, I made [“made”] her a chocolate-chocolate-chip muffin, which she used to LOVE and now refuses to eat because I accidentally let her see the package and now she knows it contains vegetables. Why do we teach children to read?)

Carbs are great. I love carbs. I love an English muffin with butter and raspberry jam. I love a toasted bagel with butter and salt. I love toast. But most days they seem too heavy to bother with. And they often seem, somehow, to start the day off on the wrong foot. They sit like a lump in my stomach, for one thing. But I also feel – perhaps imaginarily – that I get hungrier faster when I start out with carbs. Who knows. It could be the result of Big Keto, filling my newsfeed and my brain with the dangers of blood sugar spikes etc. etc. Or it could be a real phenomenon. Or maybe I crave a bagel on days when I am already hungrier and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

Everything I read stresses the importance of PROTEIN! in the mornings. But I don’t really like protein, I guess is the issue. I already mentioned my aversion to eggs. I do love a slice of bacon, but microwave bacon is about as appealing as frying up bacon every day (i.e. not appealing). My morning keto hotdog would probably do a lot more harm than good, considering I am no longer doing keto. And I REFUSE to eat peanut butter, all due deference to those who love it.

I am also not opposed to eating lunch for breakfast. Many a time have I warmed up some leftover soup or tacos at nine in the morning. But then what am I supposed to eat for lunch? Problems, problems.

Breakfast Timing

Usually, I wake up, start my tea brewing, unload the dishwasher, and then drink my tea – all between approximately 6:30 and 7:15 in the morning.  Straight out of bed, I am almost never hungry. In fact, the idea of food makes me nauseated when I am still trying to wake up. (“Why are you staring at the floor, Mommy?” Carla asks me, as I space out, trying vainly to rejoin the realm of the living.)

But then I like to exercise right after I drop Carla off at school, which means that I am exercising on an empty stomach. (“The #1 Absolute Worst Thing You Can Do For Your Health!” according to several Instagram diet and exercise gurus I click on too often.) If perhaps I should be waking up earlier, then I need to find a different family, one that has fewer night owls.

Also, it is weird to eat breakfast without tea, but I rarely want a second mug of tea so early in the day. Hmmm. A paradox.

I have been experimenting with delaying my tea until after drop off, and drinking it with a little breakfast. This seems to work well: I am hungrier at that time, at least. But it does mean that I feel less inclined to exercise. Well. One thing at a time.

Breakfast… At All?

Okay, who knows. Maybe I am trying to force myself into a pattern that just doesn’t work for me. I acknowledge that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” could very well apply to only a portion of the population, and that I am an outlier. Maybe I really need to embrace my tremendous enthusiasm for lunch, and give up on breakfast all together. Maybe having reached a Breakfast Experimentation phase in my life is an indication that I have too much time on my hands.

But for now at least, the Breakfast Experimentation phase persists. And in my quest for reliable, enjoyable breakfast foods, I am really curious about what YOU eat for breakfast, and any other breakfast-related topics.

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Well. Today is the day. We have voted. Carla is home with me; her school gave everyone a day off to ensure the teachers and staff could vote. I am filled with a buzzing, nervous energy as I am sure so many are. Let us hope I can channel it into cleaning and walking on the treadmill rather than into eating leftover Halloween candy. But either way, we will be gentle with ourselves.

We have sunshine today and mild temperatures. Perhaps I can cajole Carla into going for a long walk through the leaves. (She sees this unexpected holiday as a chance to watch TV.) Perhaps I will spend the day cooking. Perhaps I will curl up with the newest Robert Galbraith book (we can discuss the internal wrestling of enjoying artwork by deeply problematic artists another time). Perhaps I will chip away at a holiday gift guide post I have been working on. Perhaps I will watch more episodes of The Mindy Project, which is a balm. Who can know yet where this day will take us.

This week’s dinners are all about comfort and joy, ease and nutrition. With the exception of paprikas, I’ve got protein, carbs, and veggies in abundance in each meal on the list. Best of all, these are filling, delicious foods I look forward to, no matter what. Today is Tuesday, so we will have tacos. Gorging oneself on tacos is much more soothing than one might expect.

Dinners for the Week of November 3-8 (Election Week 2020)

  • Tacos

I am also planning on making some apple crisp. If there is a more comforting dessert, I don’t know what it is. Plus, the work of peeling and chopping many apples promises catharsis.

Hope and well-being and so much love to everyone.

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Well, yesterday’s sunshine has been washed away by an hours-long thunderstorm that woke me at 6:00 am and seems to have settled right over my house for the duration. It is very dark and wet with intermittent startling bursts of lightning and the grumpy follow-up of growling thunder and I am trying Very Hard to tamp down my School Is Actually Starting Anxiety. So I am retreating into happy memories – forcibly, this time – and still dreamily eating my way through my childhood summers. The food nostalgia is real strong, folks. 

Let’s talk about food! 

Today, for Labor Day, we are having ribs (it will be very fun and soggy to grill them if the downpour continues) and lemony potato salad.

(As an aside, potato salad is one of my Family Tradition Foods. We had it several times a year when I was growing up: New Year’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Fourth of July, Labor Day. My mom makes the BEST potato salad – it’s got a mustard base so it’s a nice sunny yellow, and it’s speckled with little bits of pickles and celery and red peppers and also – hork – hard boiled egg. My mom performs some sort of magical chopping technique on the egg so that it becomes dust and I barely even notice it. The potato salad is amazing and when I go to visit her, she makes a big batch of it and I eat it for breakfast. There is NOTHING that beats my mom’s cold potato salad for breakfast, you have to trust me. But even though she hand-wrote a copy of the recipe for me, I cannot make it so that it tastes the way her potato salad tastes. There must be something special she does, or maybe she doesn’t measure the ingredients as exactly as the recipe implies, or maybe she includes some sort of special ingredient like – hork – love. Whatever it is, I cannot replicate the flavor. So I have found my own potato salad recipe that I love but which tastes NOTHING like my mom’s. So even though it is Tradition to eat potato salad on Labor Day, it doesn’t really feel like tradition, because we’re not eating the traditional potato salad. Have I used the words tradition and potato salad often enough to create semantic satiation?) 

(My family is still sort of floundering to find our own Family Tradition Foods. Even for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we haven’t really settled on specific meals that are so good we want to eat them every year forever and ever amen. And that’s okay! I think variety is wonderful! But I also have such fond food-related memories of holidays growing up. The foods we ate at specific times throughout the year took on such significance – and eating something like my mom’s potato salad can bring so much warmth and happiness flooding back that I would love to create the same kind of thing for Carla. Of course, there’s the added hiccup that Carla doesn’t EAT anything, so…)

(Family Tradition Foods must be a thing for other families, too, yes? Do you have any that you remember with fondness? Or horkitude, I suppose – I’d be interested to know about the Special Food your dad made every September First that only he liked to eat, or, like, the hot dish Aunt Violetta used to bring to every family barbecue that you all pretended to love, but would dump behind the shrubbery at the earliest opportunity, or whatever.)

Back to the Labor Day holiday pigging: my husband made these AMAZING brownie crinkle cookies for dessert. We may have eaten some yesterday already. You know. To make sure they weren’t poisonous, and weren’t going to ruin the holiday or anything. They are so fudgy and delicious. You should make them immediately. 

Here’s what else is on this week’s menu. Spoiler alert: it’s full of comfort food.

Dinners for the Week of September 7-13

As I have already mentioned, several times, Carla is starting in-person school this week. She goes to a very small private school that has expended significant money and thought into how to make in-person school work safely for all involved. We feel hopeful and grateful and that this is the best decision we can make for our family at this time… but I am still nervous. Any and all distractions, especially but not limited to food-related memories or your dinner plans for this week, would be MOST welcome and appreciated. 

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