Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dear "Normal Weight", I Hate You

Yes, I hate you. You make me feel mightily inadequate. You make me feel like my husband isn't attracted to me. You make me feel like life isn't worth living until I've acquired you. You make me feel like people are just treating me like a charity case and don't really like me. You've driven many people to eating disorders or, even better, suicide.

You make me want to go into my local grocery store with stickers that say, "Don't eat this crap--love yourself instead!" and stick them on diet items.

But I'm here to expose you for what you are: You're an arbitrary set of numbers decided by a life insurance adjustor in the 40's. Some measure for health you are.

I got sidetracked again. I put my fat acceptance books on the shelf and started worrying about weight loss again. This paleo/PCOS book put me over the top. Apparently the author felt fat at a size 9, but now that she's a size 3 she's "healthy". I wonder about the mental health of any adult woman who measures her size in juniors' sizes (odd numbers) instead of women's sizes (even numbers), but that's neither here nor there.


That's not to say that my mission to ditch sugar is ignoble--I like my feet and want them to stay attached to my body. I just don't hold out hope for losing weight while I do it. Dropping gluten did me a world of good and caused me to drop 15 pounds in a year without a shred of effort (if you exclude the effort of not being able to eat bread), but I'm still the same size (a glorious size 22). I expect to be in that size range forever. But I don't think that just being fat has destined me to diabetes--my sugar habit, on the other hand, might. 

So eff you, "normal weight". Now I'm off to find jeans that don't fall off when I stand up and ... maybe ... make some stickers ....

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Death to Sugar

I spent good money on an ebook about PCOS, which means I've got fertility on the brain again. PCOS has been of little consequence to me for years, but my biological clock is ticking loudly and telling me I'd gladly trade in the life of leisure I'd set aside for myself in exchange for a small human. Whatevs. This post is about sugar.

I came into the book knowing it was paleo in nature--no skin off my nose. I don't mind paleo, but there are things about it I don't like. After tossing the specific carbohydrate diet aside (which I don't think I ever mentioned on the Loquat), I got into the "real foods" movement, and lo and behold I feel much better. And unlike paleo, real foods says I can have beans (provided they're properly prepared). And if you think I'm going through 40 days of Lent eating nothing but shrimp, you're sorely mistaken. I will go mad. I'll gladly go through the trouble of sprouting lentils for several days if that's what makes them easier to digest. Fine. But I won't go without them. (Plus, I already have a good supply of beans-pre-sprouted-for-my-convenience from this store--socca, anyone?)

That said, this ebook is impressing something upon me that I've heard several times before now, which is telling me that there's sound science behind it. The message is simple:

KILL SUGAR.

Why? I don't feel like telling you. Read this article instead. (And if that doesn't depress you enough, read this.) But after all this reading, I decided that if there's one important thing I can do for myself, it'll be to cut back on sugar tremendously. When sleep was not forthcoming last night, I sat there in the dark, illuminated by the glow of my laptop, and massively tweaked my Pinterest board Sweet Meats. Now all that's left are smoothie recipes I can use in the popsicle maker, desserts sweetened only with fruit (bananas, applesauce, dates), or things I think I can prepare subbing date paste for honey. Meanwhile, the sugar with daily teatime has been replaced with raw honey ... which backfired terribly today, as Chris found it more delicious and used more. Silly goose. 

Here's hoping we reap benefits from this. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Husband Turned 30 and I Didn't Take Any Pictures of the Food I Made

Yes, Thursday was Chris's 30th birthday, which we celebrated in style with Darjeeling, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes. It was glorious.

I also made red velvet cupcakes, except we couldn't find natural red food dye. So they were just velvet cupcakes. Oh, and they weren't cooled before Chris got home, so they weren't frosted either. Chris like 'em just fine anyway, especially after discovering that they were superb dipped in the Darjeeling. Nom. Anyway, I've now pinned a grain-free red velvet cake recipe that uses pureed beets, so we'll be good to go for 31.

I was more freaked out about 30 than he was, but I've calmed down considerably. That's a good thing, because in April it'll be my turn to turn 30. Oh well. I just gain more respectability, right? Or does that never come? We'll see.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I Have Value (Even if I Think I Don't)

I feel a little sick to my stomach right now--and not because of the throat bug that had me down and out yesterday. I'm upset. I realize that I'm not raising children and, in 99% likelihood, never will. Nonetheless, I'm stereotyped as a clueless person who doesn't get that parenting is difficult. I know that parenting is difficult. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a parent--I get that there are joys and sorrows to it that I'll never understand. I don't understand how difficult parenting is because the only thing that teaches you is actual parenting. And I don't have that experience.

So I'm selfish because I don't have to do difficult parenting. Know what else is difficult? A miscarriage (possibly two). A failed adoption you spent thousands of dollars on. Being married 8-1/2 years without having any kids. Being too mentally and physically sick to trust yourself to parent a child who needs it (either by foster care or adoption). Forget wanting to be a parent and having to wait--try wanting to be a parent and watching that dream completely fall apart. Then live in a world where people think they're saints for doing what humans have done from time immemorial--procreating--and who think you're the prodigal son for not having children. Tell me that's not difficult.

I have value. I'm finding worth hanging out with my nieces and caring for my extended family rather than lamenting the immediate family I lack. I'm writing a young adult novel that I hope will help break down the stigma of mental illness because I always wonder how different life could've been for me if I'd realized I needed help sooner. I have a billion more novels with similar themes in mind. And I spend a lot of time hating myself because I'm not normal. But I have value. You don't need progeny to have value.

Apologies for very angry blogging. Never blog angry.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Correct Me if I'm Wrong ...

You all know I'm not a mom--especially not a mom of girls. But I am an aunt of nieces, so I do have my opinions. I follow a sort of "girl power" website on Facebook for the book recommendations (which are wonderful--either I need to do some picking already or the nieces are going to get $200 in books each this Christmas). Occasionally, though, they rub me the wrong way. Allow me to enumerate the reasons.

Their latest kick is not complimenting girls for their looks but rather for their smarts. Makes sense, but I value modesty. Isn't modesty evidence of smarts? Shouldn't we value the looks of girls who know how to dress demurely? The clothes that are being churned out for girls nowadays can be nothing short of terrifying. I know looks shouldn't be the only thing that matters, especially for girls, but the sad truth is that looks do matter for everyone--I don't venture out of the house in my PJs (this isn't college anymore, anyway). Is it really so awful to compliment a girl for dressing in a way that respects her body?

Also, is it really girl power if you're offering shirts for sale that are only available in sizes 3-5? Don't compliment a girl's looks, but do reinforce the need to have a certain body type. Makes perfect sense.

My gripe is over. Time for your input.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I Love This

I had been intending to sit down and write a post on my new skincare regimen or perhaps how well my new diet is working, but instead I sat down and watched this short film:



I love Orthodoxy, I love India, and I love these girls. :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Orange Cake!

First and foremost, the recipe's here: Valencia Orange Cake. We didn't use Valencias, but that doesn't mean it wasn't tasty. In fact, it was durn good.

Anyway, here are pictures of the process. I meant to do this in a more well-thought-out manner, but I'm running up against media fast for the week and I'm in a bit of a hurry.

Boiling the oranges (navels)

Full force boiling

Orange pulp added to almond flour mix

Baked!

The best part
Make this cake! It's shamelessly good! Next time, I'll use blood oranges for a fun flavor.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Yum

Remember how I said that vegetarian Indian food was the world's most perfect food? Even better than British food? (Many of you are staring at your computer screen, utterly bewildered by what I've just said.) Well, I've made a Pinterest board of Indian food. Some of these are serious business--this is real Indian cuisine, not adaptations for Western kitchens! Enjoy.

Chris and I are talking ... once we have money again ... of going to Chennai in India to see, among other things, the tomb of St. Thomas. It's in south India, in Tamilnadu. According to what we're reading, Tamils speak (shock horror) Tamil, but they're highly likely to speak English. And there's a good chance that if you try to speak Hindi to them that they'll be offended. All the websites I've looked at from Chennai are in English. We should get along okay. I've got a Chennai board too--be amazed at all that I've amassed.

I found a website that insisted that mustard oil is necessary for Indian cookery, but all the stuff I can find says, "For External Use Only." I don't think I'll take my chances. I've got coconut oil that'll fill in just fine.

Here are some favorites:
I love how important vegetarian food is to India. Only problem is that I'm ovo-vegetarian (or at least aspire to be--baby steps) and Indian food tends to be lacto-vegetarian ... and dairy makes me sick. But now I'm just babbling because I've been up since 3 AM. 

Love you, gentle readers. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Day: You're Doing It (kinda) Wrong

Black-eyed peas and collard greens? That would be nice here in the South, wouldn't it?

But no.

I've decided that Indian vegetarian food is the perfect food.

So we had yellow-eyed pea curry.


If loving it is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Happy New Year!

What a whirlwind, huh? Chris and I just got back from the Texas coast where we celebrated Christmas with his family. The day before festivities, we took our nieces to Moody Gardens to the rainforest pyramid--which is AWESOME now! And as much as I enjoyed sharing Thanksgiving with just Chris, it was nice to have a real family Christmas. I also got some serious writing done on the novel. We should visit the in-laws more often!

My one New Years resolution is to stop swearing. I keep being told that it's unbecoming of a Christian, but salty words continue to flow from me. So I'll take the year and concentrate on that. Screw ups will result in $1 being donated to the St. Maximus alms box. I anticipate giving away an embarrassing amount of money.

I am soooo caffeinated that I may write another post or two today, but I wanted to say happy New Year and happy St. Basil's Day to everyone!