Poor Perception

I absolutely love the fact that women today are speaking out against society’s demands that we must all be pin-thin, curve-less, unhealthy twigs.  The idea that being a size 2 is okay, 0 is ideal, and that 12 is plus size just blows me away.  12 IS PLUS SIZE?!  Crazy.

No doubt, this mentality and perceived standard is damaging.  I can speak from experience – it changed my life.  I’ve experienced dissatisfaction with being 120 pounds.  If only I could get to 118, then I would feel better.  But when I hit 118, suddenly it didn’t satisfy either.  115 became the new 118.  Then 112 was the greener grass.  Then fear struck at 110, and rock bottom came (as well as much needed professional help) at 106.  And all for what?  There are SO many things that are involved in an Eating Disorder (and it’s different from person to person); however, one component is this:  Thinking that I had to fit to some societal standard of thinness in order to be a better, more accepted and ultimately, more attractive person.  What a slough of lies.  Not to mention that my satisfaction won’t be found in size or appearance but in Jesus.  But we’ll save that for another post 🙂

This photo has been going around Facebook recently, and I nearly cheered when I saw it:

Now, let me be clear on this: it’s not about being “hotter”.  It’s about being healthier, and healthy is attractive!  However, this does illustrate my point.  When did skeleton come in vogue?  When did counting ribs become the thing to do?  I understand that some people are naturally thin, but there’s a difference between genetics and restriction.  I think you can tell the difference when you look into one’s eyes.  The naturally thin person has a healthy glow.  The self-starved person has a put-on twinkle which masks a sunken countenance and a deeper emptiness.

From my perspective, there’s a gigantic emphasis on non-self acceptance unless you’re perfect (whatever your image of perfect is).  Flat tummy, tiny thighs, toned arms, button nose…the list goes on.  There’s a great post over on Recovery Bites about actually LOVING our tummies.  Guess what!  If you love something, you accept it.  Love your tummy, accept your tummy.  It’s one step closer to body peace.

Something I’ve learned this school year is that big appetites are okay.  For my sake, let me say that again:

BIG APPETITES ARE OKAY!!!!!!!

Ordering a hefty meal at a restaurant?  Sure, why not?!  Gleefully finishing it off (and maybe even bragging about it)?  Even better!  My roomies are true blessings when it comes to being examples of this.  Seriously.  (And I wholeheartedly mean that as a compliment.)

See, I used to think that I could/should always/only eat stuff like this:

source

And something like this might have been too much.

source

But now, I can sit down and enjoy a healthy meal like this:

And dig into a dessert like this:

Who’s scared of an ice cream cone?  NOT ME!

Matter of fact, I can openly admit…I adore ice cream.  Yay for $1 cones at McD’s!

As a society, our perception has been completely demolished.  So much media supports (in one way or another) the notion that healthy isn’t attractive.  That thin trumps all.  That reaching thinness will solve all your problems and in a sense, be the ultimate nirvana.  To be honest, I still struggle with rejecting this mentality, but God is faithful to bit by bit, heal my mind and my heart.  And I’m so thankful.

Here’s to embracing health and right perception!

What do you think?  Do you feel that media puts undue pressure on thinness?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Something I realized while writing this post: I don’t really have any photos of me eating.  Sure, I have pictures of food, and pictures of me WITH food, but I couldn’t find any where I actually was putting food in my mouth.  Be watching for that to change!  And for that recipe I promised the other day…. 🙂

Blessings,

Beth

 

Constructive Procrastination

I don’t want to do homework.  3 weeks in to the semester and I’m done.  Can we say senioritis!?!  😀  Never fear…I’ll manage, AND get my homework done 😉

But right now, it’s time for a post.

Remember how after Christmas break I said something about wanting to make it last longer, and I would try to simulate that by posting Christmas break recaps over the next few weeks?  Here’s post #2 of my long-awaited recap!

My mom and I have a new tradition of going to Lake McDonald on New Year’s day to take pictures, freeze our fingers and rears, and enjoy the scenery and company.  This year (year #2), we realized that our plan could be somewhat complicated.  New Year’s day would land on a Sunday, the first day of the Skier’s Worship service my mom leads at a near-by ski resort.  What to do!??!  Well go on New Year’s eve, naturally!  So poor Dad went to work, and we went adventuring!

Destination – nearly deserted lake surrounded by snow and snow-covered trees.  Oh, and it’s beautiful too.  Sign me up!

So this reflection…dual meaning anyone? 😉  You might be in an English Literature class if….

I adore the rustic gathering of these rocks.  Don’t ask me why, exactly.  All I could say is that when I was a wee child, I wanted to be a geologist.  BADLY.  I would collect random rocks to the point that my parents would have to limit me.  And I ALWAYS wanted to by those shiny polished rocks at tourist-trap gift shops.  Clearly, my aspirations in life have changed, but I still have a fascination with rocks.

 

Ummmm…yeah.  I definitely still like rocks!

Photography is a certainly one of my mom’s favorite hobbies.  And she’s got the camera to prove it!

But trust me, this is no serious photographic event.

See what I mean!

Although this is a pretty nice picture.

Don’t let this fool you…I probably started giggling right after mom finished taking the shot!

And kudos to mom for remembering to bring a tripod!  Who needs a studio when you have Lake McDonald?

Seriously.

Well friends, I should probably get back to work.  Constructive procrastination can only win for so long, you know.  Although it is about time for some dinner…….AHH!

Stay tuned for a super-nifty sounding cookie recipe I recently stumbled upon!

Blessings,

Beth

A New Kind of Salad

Well, to me at least.  The new kind of salad…a WARM salad.  It’s almost incomprehensible…salad, but warm?  Huh.

Hello, by the way! 🙂

I stumbled up this recipe for a Warm Swiss Chard Salad with Butternut Squash while perusing blogs the other day, and felt intrigued.  And slightly enchanted…doesn’t that picture with the original recipe look TASTY!?  So I wrote down the ingredients (making a few substitutions for budgetary purposes) and went shopping!

And this is what I had for dinner last night!

And to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan.  At least not of the whole thing.  The kale had a nice flavor – the salt and pepper kept it simple while the lemon juice gave it a bright note.  The chicken gave it some staying power, and the cranberries and almonds gave it great texture, not to mention flavor!  And do I need to even talk about the cheese? 😉  But the texture of the kale…it just didn’t do a lot for me.  Maybe I didn’t cook it right?  I’m not sure.  So if you’re a kale connoisseur, please help me out!

First, I threw some frozen butternut squash cubes in the oven to roast.  To prep them, I simply tossed them with a little non-stick spray and S&P.

Towards the end of the cooking time for the squash, I got to work on the kale.  After bathing and drying the kale, I sauteed it with some canola oil, and S&P.  After it softened a bit, I added the chicken strips (precooked), dried cranberries, almond slices and lemon juice.

When the squash had reached the desired done-ness, I placed it in the skillet for a bit with the lid on top…perhaps I overcooked the kale?

After plating it, I added some shredded mozzarella on top.  Loooooove that melted mozz!

So while it wasn’t a total failure, I think it has room for improvement.  I found some other methods for cooking the kale — like sauteeing it with broth.  Or maybe I just needed more oil.  I’ll admit…I’m a bit of an oil-phobe.  😉

Warm Kale Salad

Serves 1

The goods

1/2 cup frozen cubed butternut squash

Salt and Pepper

cooking spray

1 tsp oil

2-3 stalks kale, washed and torn

chunks of pre-cooked chicken

1 tbsp dried cranberries

1 tbsp sliced almonds

lemon juice, to taste

Shredded cheese, as desired

The Method

1. Heat oven to 350; lightly spray squash cubes with cooking spray and add salt and pepper to taste.  Roast 20-25 minutes or until satisfactorily roasted.

2. Meanwhile, wash and tear kale.  When squash is nearly done, heat oil in pan; sautee kale until soft?  Warm? (stir often)  I’m guessing on this part 😉

3. When kale has reached desired done-ness, add chicken, cranberries, almonds and lemon juice.  Cook until heated through.  Add squash and cook an additional 1-2 minutes on low heat, covering pan with lid.

4. Plate and add cheese; add additional S&P if needed.

So that’s that!  I’d really love input on cooking kale…so don’t hesitate 🙂

I’m halfway through my first week back at school post snow-catastrophe…and I’m tired!  I could get used to NOT having class every day…uh oh!  It’s nice to not be confined to the apartment, and have something to do, though.  I think I’ll take that over idleness any day.

  Take care!

Blessings,

Beth

Twenty-Two Years

Hello, my friends!  This weekend, I had the privilege of celebrating my roomie’s 22nd birthday!  We enjoyed some delicious food, did some fun shopping, and all-in-all, had ourselves a lovely time.  What a blessing Marisa is to all of us! 🙂

Ready…set…PHOTO RECAP!

Our first stop: The British Pantry for some lunch!

This place is ADORABLE!  Our waitress was sweet and proper, with the most endearing and gentle British accent.

And then it was lunch time.  We each chose a meal, but sampled each other’s…that’s the way to be! 🙂


The Ploughman’s Plate included fruit and salad, as well as a cold pork pie, cheese, and a roll with chutney.  Delish!

Here’s my lunch!  This English cheese and tomato sandwich, with salad, was so simple, yet SO tasty.

eggs + cheese + toast & jam…need I say more?

While the fruit and quiche were very tasty, I think the scone with jam and cream made this meal!

Elizabeth’s gift to Marisa – an owl mug, named “Whobert” by the clerk at the store.

Please excuse our semi-blurry photo (and my silly expression).  There was much confusion over how my camera actually worked.  That sweet waitress! 🙂

Tea hat?  Hat cozy?  We may be in college, but we’re still kids!

We spent the afternoon spending gift cards from Christmas at the Mall.  Then, it was off to Pomegranate for dinner.  Remember this place from my Roommate Date night?  SO TASTY!

And then the food came.

!!!!!!


You can see how joyous of an occasion the food was found to be 🙂

And here’s my dinner!

The ravioli were served with a poached pear and Calvados Beurre Blanc sauce with walnuts.  I think the sauce is a reduction of white butter and some type of fruity liquor.  I think.  Whatever it was, the mapley-fruity-creamy flavor combined with the subtle walnut flavor…ah-mazing.

Rounded out by some veget-ables!

We had a lovely time, and were bid farewell by this little feller.

And then…dessert time had come upon us.

And presents.  Don’t forget presents!

At Marisa’s request, instead of cake we had chocolate fondue.  Ohhhh yeah!  For dipping, we enjoyed strawberries, bananas, pretzels, marshmallows, cream puffs and macarons.  Can we say delicious and worth-it sugar coma?!  And no, “macarons” is not a typo – “macarons” are little French cookies while “macaroons” are those tasty coconut cookies.

And now you’re educated 🙂

We didn’t have cake.  But we had cream puffs.  So we made lemonade out of our tasty little cream puff lemons 🙂  And it worked!

Here’s my first plate… 😀

Pictures are a mandatory part of celebrations such as this.  Fact!

Happy birthday, Marisa!!!!

And that sums up our lovely birthday celebration day!  Good food and excellent company…sounds like a lovely day to me 🙂

I’m hoping to try a new recipe tomorrow…not an original one, but it will certainly have a few tweaks of my own…crossing my fingers that it turns out!!

Blessings!

Beth

Media

Well hello there!  The snow has finally stopped…and replaced itself with rain.  So things are definitely clearing out around here, but boy-oh-boy is it a slushy mess!  School ended up being closed on Friday as well, so it became a true “snow week”.  I may or may not have forgotten how to do school…

The other day, I saw this Subway commercial:

 

It’s intended to encourage people to eat healthy, specifically the healthy sandwiches offered at Subway.  But I saw it from a different perspective.

When people take a bite of their burger or other fast food meal, a button pops off their jeans, or their chair breaks.  One fellow’s water bed pops, and another person’s flying button shatters a pot of coffee.  On the surface, it seems harmless, right?  Eating a burger will make you fat, thus causing your buttons to fly and your chair to break…so eat a healthy sandwich instead!  Without trying to read into a silly commercial, however, I think there’s something hiding beneath the surface.

One Eating Disorder thought that I’ve often battled sounds something like this: “If I eat that slice of pizza, I’ll get fat.”  In reality, this is quite silly.  One piece of pizza (or two or three) eaten in one sitting won’t make me fat.  I’d have to eat 3,500 calories ABOVE what I burn in order to gain a pound.  Which, by the way, won’t make me, or anyone else, fat.  But this commercial totally reinforces that notion.  So what do I hear when watching this commercial?

  “One bite of a burger, and your jeans aren’t gonna fit tomorrow!”

Huh.

I know it’s not true, and I’m far enough into recovery to do an okay job of guarding myself from lies about instant weight gain etc.  But still, it’s almost a subliminal message to the viewer…on the outside they’re laughing.  I mean, these people do look slightly funny.  But internally, maybe even subconsciously, it could be a different story.

I worry about young people seeing this commercial.  Eating Disorders are becoming more prevalent at younger ages.  Commercials like this can’t be helping.

What do you think?  Are commercials like this more helpful or more hurtful?  I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

Don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook, pretty please!

Take care!

Beth

**As a note, I don’t mean this post to be a bash on Subway – this commercial just happens to illustrate a point.

Cranberry-Orange Scones…and Snow

Guys, it’s still snowing.  They declared Seattle a state of emergency.  And it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.  Ohhhhh my.  Thankfully, the roomies and I got out of the apartment and made a trek down the hill to the store for lunch and general socialization.  It was MUCH needed.

Last night, I got my creative juices flowing and devised a recipe of my very own!  Of course the concept is nothing new, but I made up my own recipe.  Hooray!

May I introduce you to my Cranberry-Orange scone?  With Greek yogurt.  And chocolate.  And Bisquick!

I mixed Bisquick, brown sugar, soy milk, dried cranberries, vanilla, Greek yogurt, margarine and orange zest to get this lovely dough.

It was a bit of a guessing game as to proportion of wet to dry ingredients, but you just mix and go and see what happens 🙂

After mixing, I separated the dough into four blobs and placed them on a VERY lightly greased cookie sheet.  And yes, “blobs” is a technical term.

Pop them in the oven for a bit and….

TADA!

Then, a little chocolate drizzle and we’re in business.

The Bisquick seems to make the scone lighter than regular flour, while the yogurt keeps it moist.  The dried cranberries add a nice tart flavor which pairs SO well with the bright citrus.  Light, soft, slightly sweet…the vanilla really shines through also!

Like how it kinda matches my plates? 😀

Cranberry-Orange Scones

The Goods (Yield, 4)

1 cup Bisquick (I used the Heart Healthy variety)

1 tbsp brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup dried cranberries

2 tbsp soy milk (I used plain, but use what you have)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp margarine, softened

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp orange zest + a small squeeze of juice

2 tbsp chocolate chips

Method

1. Combine all ingredients and mix well

2. Divide dough into 4 equal sections; place on a lightly greased cookie sheet

3. Bake at 400* F for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned

4. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave.  Spoon into a zip-lock bag; snip a TINY hole in one corner and pipe chocolate onto scones

I bet any dried fruit would work well with this.  Dried blueberries with lemon zest?  Dried mango with macadamia nuts?  Or try fresh or frozen fruit.  You just might have to adjust the baking time accordingly.  Also, different types of chocolate would be fun to experiment with.  I used semi-sweet because it’s what I had (and I was NOT going to risk my life driving in the snow to the store for white chocolate!).   And it’s even simple to make vegan!  Just use soy/coconut/almond yogurt and a vegetable based buttery spread.  At least I think that’s how it works 😉   Let me know if you come up with any good combos! 🙂

And with that, I’m off!  It’s probably time to figure out some dinner.  And then, the roomies and I are watching “The Help”

The question of the day…will there be school tomorrow?

Blessings,

Beth

 

OH!  Have you “liked” me on facebook yet??  Just look for the link on the side bar.  Thank you, ever so much! 🙂

And Still it Snows

Well folks, the snow kept coming…keeps coming…and we were blessed with another snow day.  So it’s Wednesday and we’ve had no school this week.

IT’S LIKE BONUS CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!!!!!!!

But then again, I’m a little scared of what the rest of the semester will be like.  I mean, if God is giving me three extra days off to rest and catch up on homework….yikes.  So the best thing I can do is be thankful for the time and make good use of it.  And I think relaxing (and doing moderate amounts of homework) is making good use.  Yeah?  Yeah?  Yeah.

Anyways.

This whole snow-in-Seattle thing is still so bizarre to me.  There’s maybe…oh..6 inches out there and it’s like the world has stopped moving.

There were no cars on the street that runs in front of campus.

There were only a few cars in the chapel parking lot, but they had been sitting there for a couple of days.  It’s tricky getting up the last little hill to the apartments sometimes.

Even the little neighborhood right next to my apartment was all tucked away, keeping warm and safe.

But clearly, I wasn’t concerned about keeping warm since I bundled up and went for a walk.  30* ain’t bad!   And I miiiiight have gone crazy if I hadn’t gotten out and stretched my legs.  And truthfully, being active makes eating a much pleasanter experience.  Even though I’m doing pretty well with eating disorder recovery, I have my sticky spots, and exercise is one of them.  I feel so much better if I can get some exercise in.  It’s a two-edged sword: good in that I’ve developed an exercise habit which will benefit me in the long run…not-so-good in that it’s difficult to take a day off.  But…one bite (step) at a time.

So my face got kinda wet, and I could hardly see out of my glasses.  But I’d say the walk was still worth it.  🙂

On the agenda for tonight: make some dinner, try an experimental recipe I’ve devised, and perhaps watch an episode of something.

Tomorrow…snow day?  I guess we’ll see!

Aaaaand, I just got the notification…all classes before 4pm tomorrow are cancelled.  So that’s 3 snow days in a row, plus no school on Monday due to MLK day.  OH MY GOSH!

But it’s supposed to start raining and warm up a bit tomorrow, so perhaps we can actually do something…go somewhere…ANYTHING!

You see, I’m going a bit stir crazy. So maybe another blog tomorrow 🙂

Blessings,

Beth