Food Without Morals

May 25, 2010

Dude, your ED is boring

Filed under: everyone has problems,Food is hard! — by Katie @ 3:29 am

Being in recovery from my eating disorder has made me a very boring person, unfortunately.

Suddenly, I am terrified to cook. I am scared to cook because everything I like to cook, or bake, or, um, flambé? now seems like it contains a million and one CALORIES, and oh my God, of course eating that will kill me. I like plain things where I can gauge the calories, or prepackaged things where they are written out there for me.

Calorie counting, needless to say, is something I’m working on. My nutritionist gave me a meal plan to follow to help regulate my eating habits (which is something I need, considering starving all day and then binging at night is not really “healthy eating”), and I had to stop adding up the calories because it was DRIVING. ME. INSANE. It turns out my (twisted, eating disordered) opinions about what I need to maintain my weight are different from my (healthy, university-trained) nutritionist’s. BIG SURPRISE.

Right now I have been doing okay, not really using eating disorder behaviors, except, well, I can’t do parties. Parties are total triggers for me at the moment, and so I finally decided to avoid them.

This is how boring my life is. I have to say no to parties. I eat on a schedule. I spend three hours three nights a week in intensive outpatient therapy group, one hour once a week at my nutritionist, and one hour a week at my therapist’s. I am devoting a huge chunk of my time (and money; more on that later) to my recovery.

Needless to say, this is preferable than spending that same time and money on my eating disorder.

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April 2, 2010

Recovery Chronicles

Filed under: everyone has problems,Food is hard! — by Katie @ 5:26 pm

I’m sorry about the previous post. I understand that eating disorders are not really a fun thing to read about. Let me assure you that they are not really fun to talk about, either.

They are, however, necessary to mention. How many times a day are we bombarded with imagery that we are too this, not enough that; how many times today have you heard someone criticizing their body? How many times have you seen someone refuse food because, “Really, I shouldn’t.”

I teach second graders once a week. We were discussing digestion, and one of the girls said, “And if you don’t eat a lot, you get thin.” She meant this as a positive thing.

This is a second grader, y’all. And I don’t say that as in that she is too young to be worried about her weight- I say that as in we are all too  young to worry about our weight. When did I start hating myself? When did I decide I was fat? And how much time have I spent since then focusing my entire being on that hatred?

If you could channel the self-hatred of all the men and women who look in the mirror and hate what they see, we would have the perfect alternative energy source. It would never run out.

I could power my electricity for months on the sheer energy I spend praying that my thighs will get smaller.

I am not going to go into details about what recovery entails. Needless to say, it involves many gross bodily functions that I have screwed up with years of misuse. It involves constant anxiety attacks, because there is no way I need to eat that much, because my body runs perfectly fine on 400 calories.

Recovery from an eating disorder is all about relearning. It is hard to relearn how to eat normally when all the normal people seem to regard their food as some kind of enemy, as more than just food. I would just like some positive examples that I can look to.

March 30, 2010

Trying to Eat with an Eating Disorder

Filed under: everyone has problems,Food is hard! — by Katie @ 10:01 am

This is going to get a little intimate, but it’s something I need to get out there.

I’m bulimic.

Phew, it’s out there. I’ve been bulimic “officially” for about a year now, although I’ve had an eating disorder off and on for about seven years; my last relapse was a year ago, and it was pretty bad. I lost twenty pounds, I cut my calories, I threw up over and over again, I abused laxatives. I made my body the enemy, and I was determined to win.

My goal was to hurt myself, and it was easy to achieve. I had chest pains, stomach cramps, acid reflux, diarrhea. I had them during the day, but they woke me up at night, too. I became potassium deficient, which gave me leg cramps so bad that they pulled my muscles. When I binged, I ate so much that I could physically not fit any more food in my body. I purged enough that I started to lose my gag reflex, and consequently my ability to throw up. If I couldn’t throw up, I would have panic attacks. I started to schedule my binge/purge sessions so that my gag reflex would have time to recover. I would binge and purge twice a day, three to four times a week. I took laxatives at least four times a week.

And then, last Thursday, I stopped.

I don’t know if it’s for good, but I stopped.

I was tired. I was sick, and I was exhausted. I have spent the last year thinking about how wasteful I am, how much money I have spent on food, money that I can’t afford to waste. I have spent the last year wondering why I spend so much of my time, energy, money, and resources on killing myself.

And then I woke up on Thursday, and I thought, “I could stop.”

And I stopped.

Recovery is going to be a lot harder than having an eating disorder ever is. An eating disorder is easy. Don’t listen to all that talk about willpower, because that’s bullshit. There is nothing easier than giving in to that voice that says, “Who told you that you deserve adequate nutrition, you stupid, fat fuck?”

And you know what? I did. I finally said that seven years of self-loathing is enough to last me a lifetime. I said that it is stupid to spend the rest of my life starving myself to death. I said that I can eat.

March 24, 2010

An apology + An unapologetic recipe

Filed under: Dessert,everyone has problems,Food — by Katie @ 11:34 am

Now THAT’S what I call an absence! Don’t let it be said that I half-ass things around here!

But seriously, sorry about that. See, I had good excuses, and when I ran out of good excuses, I just had shame. I won’t let it happen again, promise.

Now, let me tell you about this mystery dessert. See, I went home for a few days last week for spring break (SPRING BREAK, WOOOO), only to have it rain, which meant that I wore my pyjamas the entire time I was home (to be honest, I rarely change out of my pyjamas when I am home, so the rain was to my advantage).

This led to me surfing through my mother’s recipe box, which is unlike most Mothers’ Recipe Boxes in that my MRB consists mostly of recipes cut out from the paper, or handed down from some relative who cooked (some DISTANT relative, knowing my close ones as I do), or, very rarely, written on an actual recipe card.

This was written down as “Lazy Baklava  – Albanian Gjalpanik”. Since I have no ethnicity, I was so stoked to get to pretend to be Albanian, until I searched the internets, and learned this dessert does not exist.

I also like things that don’t exist. LET’S MAKE IT

Start with one pound of walnuts almonds. The recipe said to use walnuts, but I don’t like walnuts as much as I like almonds.

Grind those nuts! Grind them finer than I did! You want them chunky, far from nut paste or nut flour, but fairly broken down. You should grind them finer than I did; I had to stop early because I was afraid of waking my brother. It was eleven in the morning and he hadn’t gone to bed until four.

Add your nuts to a bowl, along with four cups of flour and one tablespoon of baking powder. This dough is so short that the baking powder does not make as terrifyingly huge of a difference as it might seem it would. Also, use a bigger bowl than I did. Because holy Flour Mountain.

Now, melt one pound of butter. Don’t even give me that look. Also, check out that tiny yellow flowerpot! When my mom is using her multiple pill boxes, we use that instead to weigh down our “DISHES ARE CLEAN” paper chunk.

Add the butter to the dry goods. It might be kind of hard to stir at first, but it comes together pretty easily. Note that I switched to a larger bowl, for ease in stirring.

Add the mixture to a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. This is slightly smaller than that (maybe one inch smaller, not that much), but it all fit. Flatten out the top with a spatula or a spoon. Try not to notice that there is butter pooling on top.

Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for about forty minutes. It is done when it is firm and golden brown on top.

Now, this is important. Make sure that you let this cool completely. Then cut it into squares, or triangles, or half, whatever you’d like. It is important to cut it now, because we are about to add some syrup.

Bring half a cup of honey, one and a half cups of water, and two and a quarter cups of sugar to a boil. Add in the shaved zest of half of a lemon, and let boil for twenty minutes.

While the syrup is boiling lava hot, and the gjalpanik is cooled completely, pour the syrup all over the top. You may not end up using all the syrup, I had about half a cup left at the end. What is important is to cover the entire top of the gjalpanik with the syrup while you pour, because the edges can get dry otherwise.

Let this sit for several hours. You need to allow all the syrup to soak into the gjalpanik.

This was amazing. I am not going to lie to you- it is not a baked good that can be eaten with one’s hands (however, it is awesome in a bowl with a spoon, in front of Gossip Girl, or whatever classy television show you watch). Another truth: the syrup will pool on the bottom when you remove slices. If you think this is a bad thing, then we can’t be friends.

Speaking as someone who has made baklava from scratch, only to feel murderous after three hours had gone by, I am a fan.

Lazy Baklava

For Baklava:
1 pound walnuts (almonds also work)
1 pound butter
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

For Syrup:
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
zest of one lemon

Grind the nuts well. Add to a bowl with the flour and the baking powder. Melt the pound of butter and add it to the dry goods; mix to combine. Pour into an ungreased 9x13x2 inch baking dish, and bake at 350 for about forty minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before adding syrup. Cut into whatever shape you like.

In a medium saucepan, add all the syrup ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for twenty minutes. Fish out the spent lemon peel and pour the boiling syrup all over the baklava, making sure to coat every surface with it (you may not use all the syrup). Let sit out for several hours, overnight is even better.

For Baklava:
One pound walnuts (almonds also work)
One pound butter
Four cups flour
One tablespoon baking powder

For Syrup:

February 15, 2010

Valentine’s Day Wrap-Up

Filed under: Dinner,everyone has problems,Food,I am going to die alone,Pasta — by Katie @ 9:24 am

So how was your V-day? Did a married woman proposition you? Did you go to a performance of The Vagina Monologues? Did you have sloppy makeouts with that dude next to you at the bar? Do tell!

Me? I made pasta and got drunk with a friend. And when I say “with a friend,” what I mean is that I got drunk and apologized for three hours straight (I am an apologetic drunk; we are an annoying breed) to said friend.

But, pasta! No one wants to hear my drunk stories. Oh, except this one! This one time I got drunk and tripped over three chairs entering a room, and then stood up and told everyone, “I’m okay! This happens all the time!” I don’t remember this, but I was told it happened so it’s probably true.

NOW PASTA. This is a bastardization of this baked tomato sauce except I made it on the stovetop and not in the oven, because the oven had no knob telling you the temperature and when I was toasting breadcrumbs in it I set off the fire alarm.

First, chop up some garlic and cook it lightly in a pan, just until it’s fragrant. Or, be like me and forget the head of garlic you just bought, and end up with a tasty, but not garlicky, sauce. It’ll still be good without garlic, people will just want to make out with you more.


THEN chop up a bunch of grape tomatoes and add them to the pot. I forgot to start off with that whole “garlic sauteéing” business, which is why you don’t see that here. I used a pint of grape tomatoes for two people; I would go with more tomatoes next time.


While you’re doing that, toast some bread crumbs! This is about half a cup of bread crumbs, from a roll that I tore into small pieces and toasted at some temperature (no, really, the oven had no temp gauge) until they were brown. Then I crumbled them into bread crumbs.


Also, set a pot o’ water a-boiling.


Cook your tomatoes over medium-high heat until they start to release juice, like this. Squish them to make them release some more juice. Really abuse these things, they’ll be providing sauciness later.


And add the pasta! Reserve some pasta water to add in here in case things get too dry; I didn’t, and the pasta was a little dry as a result. You want to stir until everything is incorporated. I think this would be tasty with smaller pasta, like farfalle or fusilli (ME + FUSILLI = TRU LUV), but I had angel hair so I used it.


Add in your bread crumbs, stir to combine.


Plate up and serve! Then, because you just made dinner and have proven you are a sane, functioning adult, get your booze on.


Man, chihuahuas really can’t handle their wine.

February 13, 2010

Peanut Butter Apple Muffins

Filed under: Breads,everyone has problems,Food — by Katie @ 2:43 am

The muffinocolypse is over with this post, promise promise. I COULD have sold out to COMMERCIALIZZZZM and done a Valentine’s day post, but considering that my V-Day plans look like this:
1) Go to church in the morning
2) Go to the “New to Unitarian Universalism” class after church
3) Drink myself into an oblivion (hey, it’ll be the afternoon so that’s okay)

I am not exactly in the Valentine’s day spirit. So, anyways. Muffins!

I based it off of the banana muffin recipe from the previous post. And, seriously? Can we talk for just a minute about my atrocious handwriting? Because I don’t know where that came from. Honest, look at my mom’s handwriting:

Man, the 1950s. Nothing teaches kids good penmanship better than Communist witch hunts and widespread discrimination against minorities.

But enough. Here’s what you need for dese MUFFINS. Except for butter and honey. And peanuts. Please note that my mother buys prune yogurt. This is the house I grew up in, folks.

Measure a 1/4 cup of peanut butter, put it in a bowl.

Add a 1/4 cup of yogurt to the bowl. It does not have to be prune, although that does not affect the taste at all (no, really, PRUNE YOGURT? It’s about a month later and my mind, it is still blown).

And you’re also going to want to put in 1/2 cup of applesauce and one egg. From a chicken. No people eggs, please.

Mix it up with a whisk (or whatever, I just am in love with whisks) and add in 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar.

Spices: Probably why I’m still alive today. 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice. I just eyeball it though, but I also have mental illness (true story! I’ll tell you some time).

Once you’ve whisked that all together, add in your flour. Stir JUST until combined, or everyone will hate your tunneled, glutenous muffins, as well as YOU, by association.

Fold in your diced apple. It should be a cup; this cup is half full. But I’m still a pessimist.

Divide evenly amongst 12 muffin greased or lined muffin cups. Or, um, ten? I only got ten, but there’s no way that twelve wouldn’t work; that just would involve a mind capable of equal portioning, which I don’t have.

Bake at 350° F for twenty minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

Oh, muffin. At least you’ll be my valentine.

Peanut Butter Apple Muffins
1 cup diced apple
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Whisk together all of the wet ingredients (this includes the sugar) except for the apple. Add in the spices and the baking soda, and then stir in the flour until just combined. Fold in the apple. Divide amongst twelve greased or lined muffin cups, and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool enough to handle, and then remove from the tin to avoid soggy bottoms.

February 4, 2010

Banana Gingerbread Muffins

Filed under: Breads,everyone has problems,Food — by Katie @ 4:42 pm

HEY! WHO LEFT A BAG OF POOP ON MY CLEAN COUNTERS?

Sorry, but we’ve been doing digestion in my Nutrition class, and my retiring-this-year professor decided we needed to spend ten minutes on why one says “elimination” and “waste products” and not “crappity crap crappington.”

I mentioned in my first post that I had been making too many dang muffins. I have a Muffin Problem. A tasty, tasty problem.

My dad proclaimed these muffins as “They’re good, sweetie!” which he says about everything I make, but he pleaded with me to take half of the batch home with me, since my mom is allergic to bananas (I know, CRAZY) and he didn’t want to finish the entire batch by himself. He then bought a giant tub of cookies at Stop and Shop, so take whatever he says with a grain of salt (God love that man and his affinity with fatty, highly processed foods).

I adapted this recipe from a banana muffin recipe I found on epicurious.com. I could search for it, but my bedtime is in fifteen minutes! How do you expect me to get my required nine hours of sleep? I am a growing girl, despite what my height and weight chart says!

Banana Gingerbread Muffins
Makes one dozen

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/4 cups mashed banana (see note)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons molasses

Note: I roasted my bananas in the skin at 350° F until the skin was black, but if you wanted to forgo this step I’m sure it wouldn’t be a disaster.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lube up a muffin tin, or use liners, if you’re one of those people.

Stir together the butter and the sugars until combined. Add in the egg, the milk, and the banana, stirring until combined. Add the molasses, stir one more time. Add the salt, the baking soda, and the spices; stir. Add in the flour and stir until just moistened. Divide amongst twelve greased muffin cups. Bake at 350° F for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the muffin tin as soon as they are cool enough to handle.

These will keep for at least a week, but if you want to enjoy one now with the morning paper, I won’t be the one to stop you.

January 30, 2010

but I won’t tell you which bus I take

Filed under: breaking up with inanimate objects,everyone has problems — by Katie @ 3:53 pm

I live in a nice little town, south of Boston, called Quincy. The only part of that sentence that is false is where I said this place is “little,” and a “town,” (and if you have ever driven in it, the nice part becomes questionable as well) because Quincy has over 90,000 people, which is perfect if you, like me, want to remain as anonymous as possible at all times.

I mention where I live because today I had to go to a training meeting for the Science Club for Girls. I am going to be a mentor scientist, which means that I, along with another mentor scientist and junior mentors, will teach second-grade girls SCIENCE. As you may know, as kids get older, the achievement gap between girls and boys in the sciences grows. I could tell you why this is, but I would need to utilize all of my Feminist Knowledge, and I am afraid that would run several pages. I once wrote a five-page paper on why women should be angry (I got an A!).

Anyways, that meeting I told you about? It was at 9:45 in the morning. In Porter Square (more on that in a moment). Whenever I go into/through Boston, I use public transportation because the secret reason I moved to the Boston area is due to my serious crush on the MBTA. I can’t explain it, especially because getting molested on the bus isn’t quite my idea of fun, but that’s just the way I am.

Because I realize not everyone is as enamored with the T as I am, let me explain why a 9:45 meeting in Porter Square is such Bad News to someone who lives closer to Quincy Center:

MBTA mapMBTA: we are SO DONE.

January 25, 2010

Five things I am good at doing in my sleep

Filed under: everyone has problems — by Katie @ 3:57 pm

I promise I don't have bangs anymore1. Drooling

2. Having inexplicable hot flashes

2a: I am including night sweats as a sub category

3. Dreaming TERRIFYING dreams in which I am late, usually to Latin class (those dreams are the WORST, and I’ve been late to Latin class before! it wasn’t so bad, I missed vocab review)

4. Sleeping in twisted positions:

4a. resulting in my waking up with more back problems

4b. resulting in my waking up with wrinkly indentations from the sheets

4bi. on one memorable occasion, waking up with the sheet twisted into a rope that was wrapped around my neck. I, um, have no explanation for this one.

5. Waking up crampy

PS: My parents have been married twenty-four years today.

Things my dad is good at doing in his sleep: snoring

Things my mom is good at doing in her sleep: that is silly, my mom does not sleep

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