Kitchen Teamwork

Hey, guess what!  IT’S THE WEEKEND!!!!

This week has been quite busy, but…we’re one week closer to the end of the semester.  This is a bitter sweet thing.  Sweet because, uh, hello?  Who DOESN’T have some a TON of joy over being done with classes?  But it’s bitter because I’ve been blessed with the greatest roomies a girl could ask for.  Why is that?  Because in my time of need – in the time when my eating disorder returned with a vengeance – they jumped on board and buckled their seat belts. They could easily have wished me well and hoping that everything turns out…somehow.  But they didn’t do that at all.  Not only are they supportive and kind, they’re joining the fight in the heat of my Eating Disorder battle, doing what they can to help me snuff out Ed.  They’re holding me accountable to eating enough, and seeking out information to better help me.  They’re cooking and eating meals with me.  They model what normal, everyday eating looks like.  They model finding joy in food.  And it’s a beautiful and delightful blessing.

A few days ago, I told you about how I would be cooking and eating dinner with a roommate as often as possible.  Well, after two weeks of working with this system, I am pleased to say that it’s going well, I’m eating better, and we’re enjoying cooking together!  Mostly, I cook with Elizabeth, which is a blessing in many many ways, but one that’s particularly wonderful?  We have very similar tastes!  No conflict over leaving the peppers out of the casserole…no worries about offending the other because “I don’t like super spicy!”  It just works, and it’s delightful!

Last week, I didn’t document our nummy eats, but here is what we made:

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Spicy Tomato and Turkey Soup with Ditalini, from Iowa Girl Eats, was our first kitchen project.  Except we skipped the “spicy” part, and we didn’t use ditalini, but the idea was the same!  Super easy and bursting with flavor, this soup is filling without weighing you down.  The base is simply chicken broth and tomato sauce – carrots, onion, beans and turkey, along with pasta give it some staying power.  And of course, a salad rounds it out nicely.

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Next up, Chicken Paprika from Eat Live Run!  The recipe also includes directions for homemade dumplings but…we weren’t quite that motivated 😉  But I promise, whole wheat penne certainly does the trick!  Otherwise, we stuck pretty close to the recipe, the only exception being the substitution of Greek yogurt for sour cream.  It mostly worked, but the texture was a bit different.  But that smokey, rich paprika flavor still came through, and the creamy sauce infused the chicken with great flavor.

  This week, I remembered to wrangle my camera to the kitchen and document a bit of our dinner-time delectables.

Our first item of business?

Guys, this recipe is easy, tasty, cheap, filling…what more could a college kid ask for?  And it supplied leftovers for one night, plus one more serving for the freezer!

And a cracker and butter topping?  Can’t be beat.  Even if it’s a little soggy, it tastes good!  Would you like to know how to make it?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

The Goods

~ 3 cups cooked chicken breasts (We used 3 from a bag)

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz plain yogurt (not Greek)

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1/2 onion, chopped

~15 ritz crackers, crushed

a dollop of butter

The Method

1. Cook chicken breasts with onion in some olive oil, then dice the chicken

2. Mix soup, yogurt, and poppy seeds

3. Combine soup mixture and chicken; pour into a lightly greased baking pan

4. Melt butter, crush crackers, then combine; sprinkle over chicken mixture

5. Bake in 350* oven uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and crackers are crunchy

6. Serve with rice and a green veggie

Salad was my side of choice – topped with ranch, tomato and avocado.  Delish!

Now, I do have one more recipe from this week, but I think I’ll hold off until the next post – I don’t want to overwhelm!

I know this post sounds quite upbeat, and while I do feel VERY good about this new, more aggressive approach, there are certainly challenging times.  Like when that Ed voice tells me there’s too much on my plate.  Or when I see my dear cooking partner (Elizabeth) pour more olive oil in the pan than I would have.  Or when Elizabeth unexpectedly butters my bread, and puts more butter on it than I would have.  But guess what.  The “too much” food on my plate gives me more energy.  The oil and butter taste good.  I’m getting better nutrition than I did on my own.  And cooking with someone else is WAY less stressful and WAY more fun!!  I’m a blessed gal.

And I will enjoy the food set before me!

One more recipe, coming your way soon!

Blessings,

Beth

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Have Your Ice Cream…

Have your ice cream and eat it too!  That’s my theme today.

Last night, I had a slight inkling that cookies n’ cream sounded good.  Really good.  It’s one of my favorites, after all!  But I forgot all about it until this morning.  Whilst browsing Pinterest, I saw this:

Cookies n’ Cream scones, from Baking Bites.  And I remembered my craving.  And it came back in full force.  I could almost taste it!

A status update on Facebook garnered a text from my roommate, encouraging me to go get me some ice cream.  She said, “Listen, right now you have no reason to avoid eating something that will make you happy.  None.”  But I made excuses anyways.

I’m eating lunch.

It’s more fun to get ice cream with someone else.

I’ll just wait till tonight until you can come too.

Except I kept thinking about that darn ice cream.  And I felt antsy and cranky. I decided to get out of the apartment (and into the GLORIOUS weather!) and walk down to the music building to practice for a bit.  During my little stroll, I decided to face my ice cream decision head on and ask…”What are you scared of?”

Well, I rarely eat ice cream before dinner.

So.  Is there some kind of law about that?

What if it’s really hard to eat dinner because I know I’ve indulged already?  What if eating ice cream now makes me want to restrict?!  Maybe I’ll have salad for dinner…

Is there any difference in eating ice cream before or after dinner?  It’s not like pre-dinner ice cream has more calories.  You won’t suddenly become fat.  Promise.

But what if I want dessert after dinner, except that I’ve already had ice cream?

So.  What’s wrong with having two sweet things in one day?

But what if someone sees me?  Is it weird to go get ice cream alone?

Uhhhh…wow.  That’s a lie straight from ED!  People get ice cream alone ALL the time!  Have you ever seen the Dairy Queen drive-thru?

 

By this time, I was feeling a bit hungry.  And I couldn’t stop thinking about cookies n’ cream.  So I came home from practicing, grabbed my wallet and got in my car.  Destination: Baskin Robins.

I wasn’t the only one there.  There were a couple of ladies slowly slurping down their double scoop waffle cones.  And the high school kids in front of me excitedly grabbed their double scoop waffle cones.

“Can I help you?”

“Uhh, yeah, could I get a kids scoop of cookies n’ cream please?”

$2 later, I’m back in the car, carefully setting the cup down and hoping it doesn’t melt before I get home.  It’s 55 degrees after all!  But all was well – a few minutes later found me walking up to my apartment, getting ready for some ice cream.

Melty, creamy, sweet…perfect for this sunny and warm day.  Even though it was a little scoop, would I be able to finish it?  After a couple bites, I knew the answer. 🙂

I love how the cookie chunks are soft – not soggy, but not crunchy.  I love how there’s always a couple bigger chunks, too.  I save them for last.

I love the smoothness of the ice cream, and how it gets soft and melty, perfectly blending the cream with the cookies.

This really hit the spot.  I’m not cranky anymore.  I’m not antsy anymore.  My body asked for something, and I listened.  Listened and acted.

I took a few moments to think about how I handled ice cream in the past.  I’ve always liked it.  It had a place in the freezer at home just about all the time.  Post ED diagnosis, I could generally do alright with ice cream.  A blizzard or cone here and there…a bit at home after dinner.  No prob.  Last spring, I downed a pretty good-sized scoop of good ol’ cookies n’ cream one afternoon – and I did the same after a long hike this summer.  I’ve got some work to do, folks.  But it’s ice cream.  Ice cream work can’t be that bad! 🙂

And it’s not as though I don’t like ice cream.  I can certainly eat it.  In the words of CJ over at Happy, Healthy, Whole…”Fake it till ya make it!”  Just gotta reach the point of pure enjoyment NOT laced with guilt.

Marisa will be home soon, and we’ll make dinner together.  I’ll eat veggies.  And rice.  And meat with sauce.  And I’m quite sure it will taste good.  And if I have to, I’ll write on my hand:

“It’s not like pre-dinner ice cream has more calories”

Go eat some ice cream 🙂

Blessings,

Beth

 

Asking For Help is a Brave Thing

Hello friends!

More and more, I’m seeing and understanding that a loving slap in the face isn’t such a bad thing.  Sure, it stings, but if it brings about some change, it’s probably good, yes?  Yes.

In my last post, I talked about some things I’ve been dealing with lately, and the possibility of spending some time in an inpatient eating disorder center.  Which, by the way, certainly fits the description of a stinging, but healthy slap in the face.  Yesterday, I had a discussion with a professor that led to yet another figurative whack.

And what was that whack?  Well it went like this:

-I tell the professor that I’ve been struggling this semester, and have lost weight.

-After asking some other questions, the professor asks who my roommates are.  I tell him the name of the one he knows.

-He borrows my phone to call her.  Yes, you read that right.  To call her.

-He tells her that I need some help, and he’d like her (and my other roommates) to eat and/or prepare meals with me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing.  Team work on meal prep and planning is going to be great!  Last night, cooking with one of my roomies was SO fun!  But it was a slap because it proved that I need help.  What a revelation, eh?  😉

But there are a few things that make asking for help comparable to walking a tightrope.  Or skydiving.  Or really, doing anything that would give me a need to be brave.

The ED voice. 

The moment someone offers to help or the moment I think of asking for help, it’s:

No, don’t ask for help.  It’s not that bad.

If you ask for help, you’ll be such a burden.

How could you impose on them by asking for help?

Things like that make it really scary to ask for help.

But what a liar that ED voice is.  My head knows those things aren’t true, but my heart has trouble believing.

*Now, hear this.  I’m not writing about these things to fish for attention or affirmation.  I write these things for the sake of being open and with the hope that if someone else is experiencing thoughts like this, they will be able to recognize them as lies.

Pride

Pride is part of the human condition…as in it’s NOT unique to eating disorders.  However, it certainly plays a role in the struggle to humble myself  and ask for help.  And sometimes, it takes bravery to let down a facade, built in pride, to be humble.

I think,

You know, I can do this on my own. 

If I can’t do it on my own, I won’t be able to do it at all. 

I’m the only one who can actually make the choice for me to get well…I can do it without help. 

Ha.  Yeah right.  This attitude hurts every person around me who WANTS to help.  It pushes away their kind and caring words and their attempts to do something for me.  It laughs and shrugs off any attempt for someone to show concern over the small amount I’ve chosen to eat at a certain time.  My prideful attitude tells God I don’t need him to help me recover, and throws all of the ‘helps’ he’s provided right back in his face.  And maybe, just maybe, my prideful attitude makes it more difficult for me to ask God for help. 

That stings.  After all, because Jesus lived as a man, we can approach the throne of God boldly so that we can receive grace and mercy in our time of need (my paraphrase of Hebrews 4:14-16).

God gave us fellowship and community in order to hold each other accountable and lift each other up.  God gave me roommates who love and care deeply, but I have to accept their help and allow their gentle correction and guidance.  We need each other – for fellowship, for support, for correction, for help.

Take a listen to this song.  It’s not the greatest quality recording, but I think you’ll get the idea 🙂

We were meant to have open hearts, but in fear, we lock them up; we don’t want to get hurt.  But, by the grace of God, we’re given each other to unlock our hearts.  The key is “each other.”

May we all be brave enough to ask for help.

Blessings, friends!

Beth

The Hurts of Healing

Hello, friends!  Happy St. Patty’s Day, and happy Saturday!  This week lasted a million years, I think.  Two midterms, several assignments, AND the fact that Spring Break the week prior made a senioritis-spring-fever-producing concoction.  Only 6 more weeks until finals, not that I’m counting…. 😉

In my Spring Break recap post, I mentioned that I had some excellent conversations while at home.  Excellent, but challenging.  To a quite high degree.  Actually, the difficult conversations began the afternoon before break.  To summarize:

I’ve been advised to consider more aggressive Eating Disorder treatment.  I’m not necessarily in immediate danger, but my weight has been trending downwards, and there’s definitely some concern.  This could mean a short inpatient stay.

A stinging reality of healing,

The evening that I arrived home, I was able to  talk with my parents about the next step in treatment.  I was thankful to talk to them face to face!  In this conversation, I had freedom to be  open about how I feel – stuck.  I know I want to change – to be healthier – but I’m struggling to progress.  At first, they were just as shocked by the notion of inpatient treatment, but they became more accepting as we talked.

I asked them, “So, are you supportive of sending me to a center if that’s what needs to happen?”  My dad’s response:  “If you were I drug addict, I’d send you to rehab.  It’s the same idea.”

Relief.

In my routine doctor visit, I found out that I weigh several pounds less than I thought.  Ouch.  I’ve been doing “blind weigh-ins” for months, and while it worked to get my focus off of numbers, well…it didn’t work out so well in the long run.  In terms of weight, I’m literally back at square one – at diagnosis weight.  Dang.

Another sting, but given the situation, it couldn’t be avoided.

That afternoon, I had a meeting with my dear mentor.  I expected sympathy and support, in light of recent events.  Sympathy and support showed up…by way of a figurative slap in the face.  Which, by the way, was a very good thing.  I asked my mentor for advice on inpatient treatment, and her response left me speechless.  Because sometimes, the most loving thing a person can do is reach across the table and punch you in the nose.

Basically, she told me to think about how what I’m doing now will screw up my life in the future.

“Do you want to have healthy babies?”

yes.

“Do you want to have strong bones, a healthy body?”

yes.

Of course, my mentor will support whatever decision I make, but she wants me to really think about these things.  Hard.

This little bit of healing in our conversation came with yet another stinging reality.

And these are the hurts of healing.

Change doesn’t happen without some discomfort.

Just like gold can’t become pure without a lot of heat.

Just like children experience aches and pains as they grow.

Just like stitches hurt when you get them, but provide better healing of a wound.

I asked my parents to think of my ED like a gash on my arm.  We could bandage it up with band-aids and neosporin, and while that certainly wouldn’t hurt – and in the long run, would help – it would be a lot more affective to just go get stitches.

Sometimes, you have to experience discomfort in order to progress.  In order to heal.

There are a lot of words here, but I wanted to give a little update, and mostly, ask for your prayers.

Now, to leave you on a more hopeful and happy note:

I DO question why I’m dealing with all of this.  But I’m reminded:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Stay tuned, friends, for updates, and for info on some of the tools I’m learning about!

Take care,

Beth

P.S. If you have questions about any of this, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

Pizza Pizza!

Who likes pizza?  This girl!  And probably most of you, too 🙂  I made this pizza a couple of weeks ago, and just had to share.

In the past, a meal like this may or may not certainly would have struck fear in my heart.  “Carbs and cheese and FAT, oh my!”  While I still struggle with allowing myself to eat enough, I’m not nearly as scared of that pizza anymore.  Guess what!  Carbs = energy.  Cheese = calcium.  Fat = healthy in proper quantities.  Take that, ED! 😛

The other day, when this pizza craving struck, I took stock of my groceries: I had some leftover sauce and cooked ground turkey to use up before heading out on Spring Break, and what better way to use it than this?  Not only did it fulfill my pizza craving, but it kept me from wasting food, AND it fed me dinner for a couple of nights!  Oh, and did I mention how easy it was to throw together?  ‘Cause it was a piece of cake…er, pie.  😉

First, I mixed up a quick Bisquick crust – and I do mean quick.  Bisquick + water, people.  That’s it!  I tossed that in the oven for a little pre-bake while I rounded up the rest of my toppings.

Some mushroom pasta sauce

…precooked ground turkey

…shredded cojack cheeeeeeese

…and some chopped up roma tomatoes, and we were in business!

A quick 12 minutes in the oven gave me enough time to throw together a quick salad, and then *ding-ding-ding*…it was dinner time!

Ohhhhhhh yeah!  Look at that lightly browned crust, the melty cheese, the CHEESE!  The crust definitely didn’t taste like a traditional yeast crust, more resembling a biscuit (huh, imagine that!), but it still tasted great.  The sauce soaked into the crust just a bit, and the toppings worked together quite well.  Can’t beat oven-roasted tomatoes!  Or homemade pizza, for that matter.

Serve it up with a green salad and a tall glass of water, and you’ve got it made.  College-kid dinner, for the win.

Extra Easy Pizza

Adapted from Betty Crocker

The Goods

1 1/2 cups Bisquick mix (I used the “heartsmart” variety)

1/3 cup very hot water

Your favorite pizza/marinara sauce

toppings of choice

CHEESE

 

The Method

1. Heat the oven to 450* and grease the pizza pan.

2. Stir together the bisquick and hot water (beat about 20 strokes) until a soft dough forms.

3. Press dough into the pan, then bake for about 2 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.  Cover with sauce, then arrange toppings as desired.

5. Bake 12-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and bubbly and crust is lightly browned.

 

This pizza couldn’t be easier!  And as far as creativity in toppings goes…you’re limited only by your imagination.

Go forth and make pizza!

Blessings,

Beth

P.S. Don’t forget, you can now keep up to date via Facebook!  Just click here to “like” Make Food Not Body War 😀

 

 

The Joy of Spring Break

No joke, Spring Break is one of the fastest weeks of your life.  It felt like it was time to pack up and get back on that airplane just after I landed!  But there’s no sense in fussing over the speed at which break flew – that certainly won’t bring it back!  Instead, I’ll remember how much fun I had and remind myself that there are less than 8 weeks left in the semester…thank the Lord.

Break was filled with family time, cooking, bowling, double dates, church, nice meals out, scenic drives, shopping, a lovely lunch date, homework and…*drum-roll*…relaxing.  It’s been awhile since I’ve gone so days without a tummy ache!  I think that’s a sign of chillaxin’ 🙂  Also found in my break were excellent conversations – all uplifting, but some very challenging.  More on those in another post…I’ve written several serious posts lately, so it’s time for something more lighthearted! 🙂

I didn’t take pictures of everything, but I did capture a few moments!  First up, the scenic drive.  Flathead Lake is gorgeous, no matter the season or the weather.  Sunny?  The water is blue and clean, framed by snowy mountains and outlined in pine trees and rocky beaches.  Stormy?  The water’s white-capped fury is breathtaking yet frightening, the gray clouds reflected in the dark water.  We got a mixture – sunny but windy.  Have a look!

Here’s the cloudy look, minus the whitecaps.  But would you look at those mountains?!

And true to Montana weather, the sun came out a few moments later.  It amazes me that looking a different direction will provide an entirely different looking mountain range.  And people say there is no God?  Crazy.

And then there was cooking.  Hooray!

First, I made some biscuits.  They’re just a simple buttermilk biscuit, using this recipe.  The only change I made was that I used all purpose flour rather than white whole-wheat.

Super easy recipe – mix dry ingredients, cut in butter, add buttermilk, knead, then roll out and cut!

I baked just a few of them, then froze the rest in a ready-to-bake form.  Easy peasy!

One evening, I went over to my bestie’s house to make some festive shamrock cookies.  And chat, but that’s a given.

Chelsey had everything out and ready to go when I got there.

After mixing up a quick dough and letting it chill for a bit, we got to cuttin’ cookies.  We had two different shamrock styles and…an elephant.  I found the elephant in mom’s bag o’ cookie cutters at home and thought “eh, what the heck!?”  And Chelsey said “bring it!”  So we made shamrock cookies AND elephant cookies.  Then, with the leftover dough, we made little twisted circles.  After baking them, it was decided that they looked like poo…so it must have been from the elephants!  I swear, we ARE adults…

These chocolate mint cookies, finished with a chocolate coating, were tasty!  You can find the recipe here at the Taste of Home website…although it looks like you have to be a member of their website to see the recipe.  Or you could pick up the February/March copy of the magazine 🙂

Who likes brownies?  How about if I add peanut butter?  Yeah?  I thought so 🙂

Basically, I took those ingredients….

…and turned them into this!  I followed this recipe, except instead of using the frosting in the recipe, I just made a simple “drizzle” with powdered sugar, peanut butter and margarine.  SO tasty!!

I kept myself busy in the kitchen.  After these brownies, I made some Irish Soda bread.  It came out a little tough, but I may or may not have used a little too much buttermilk….oh well…live and learn, right?

Instead of making one big loaf, I made two little ones.  Ain’t they cute?!

They sure did come out nice and golden!  I followed this recipe, except I omitted the raisins, and cut the baking time to 30 minutes.

Sadly, I failed to take pictures of my final kitchen project.  Blame it on fatigue and hurry…both are accurate!  Good thing Dana over at My Little Celebration (where I found this recipe) takes LOVELY photos!

These Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins were divine!  Moist, dense, sweet (but not too sweet)…so tasty.  I want to make them again.  Right now.

Well, this pretty much covers the things I photographed over break.  Coming to you soon shall be a simple pizza recipe and reflections on some of the conversations that took place over break.  Such good conversations.

Take care, friends!

Blessings,

Beth

 

A Lunch Date

Hello, friends!

Spring break is a lovely time.  Being home, free from lots of homework, no terribly demanding schedule…love it!  Okay, maybe I don’t love the homework part, but you know…it’s less stressful 🙂

My dad works early in the morning and later in the afternoon, and because mom works at a school (during the day, obviously), I get to chill with Dad during the day when I’m home.  Today, we had a little lunch date!  Dad suggested we go to Coffee Traders, a local “hot spot”, and let’s just say…no complaints from me!

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Coffee Traders is a cafe and coffee shop (shocker!), featuring locally roasted coffee, and a relatively healthy menu with quite a few locally sourced ingredients.  For lunch, the cafe has a “soup and sandwich/wrap” kind of menu, but “sandwich” is a broad term.  A basic turkey sandwich?  Sure!  Tofu wrap?  Why not!  Burger?  You betcha.  As far as soups go, veggie chili is always on the menu, and you basically can’t go wrong with any of the rotating choices.  Fresh salads, quiche, burritos…and the baked goods.  Ohhhhh man.  Basically what I’m sayin’ is that you need to make a little trip to this place!  You won’t be disappointed 🙂

You may have noticed that I’m quite the soup-lover.  For evidence, just take a look-see at my recipe page…proportionately, there’s a lot of soup.  So naturally, when deciding what to have for lunch, my attention went straight to the daily soup board.

After deliberating between the clam chowder and the vegetable barley, I settled on the chowder.  Creamy but not tooooo creamy, this soup had tender clams, smooth baby red potatoes and the perfect amount of celery and onion.  I didn’t love the red pepper chunks, but I could pick around them 😀  The salad served as a great light and fresh contrast to the creamy soup, and the bread…so tasty.  Oh, and don’t mind the onions off to the side…I always forget to ask for them to be left off!

Dad opted for the manly burger.  No, that’s not what it’s called on the menu.  Yes, this is what I just decided to call it 🙂  I didn’t taste it, but let me tell ya, it looked (and smelled) good!  And dad approved.  A side of fruit rounded out his meal nicely.  Yay for a tasty lunch!

From an eating disorder perspective, this would seem like a pretty successful lunch, right?  Right.  I mean come on…clam chowder?  Do you realize how creamy this stuff is?  In making my meal choice, I thought to myself “You know, there’s probably a good amount of calcium in that soup, so I’ll order a cup”.  But that’s where the little issue arose.  I ordered a cup.  The cashier wrote down “cup“.  But friends, they didn’t bring me a cup.  Scroll back up to that photo.  Look close.  That’s a bowl.  A bowl of creamy chowder.  I didn’t panic, but I certainly experienced a big ol’ moment of uncertainty.

And then I dug in. 

No, I didn’t eat the whole bowl.  I ate quite a bit of the stuff out of it, leaving mostly broth (and red peppers!) behind.  But I ate it.  I didn’t make a fuss.  I mentioned the mix-up to my dad, and then we went on with the meal.  I could feel that ED voice flinging arrows, though.

You should have gotten the vegetable barley.  At least then, the BOWL wouldn’t have been so bad.”

But the chowder sounded good.

Why didn’t you just the sandwich and salad?  Then you wouldn’t have even had to worry about this.”

I didn’t want a cold sandwich.  It was snowing, after all!

So.  I managed to eat and enjoy my lunch despite ED’s nagging.  And anyways…how dare ED barge in on my lunch date with my dad!

And guess what!  Later in the afternoon, I had a little snack.  And so far, I’m okay 🙂

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

Blessings,

Beth