Tag Archives: food

Foodie Con (or Still Not Sure If Conventions Are My Thing)

A little while ago, I was asked if I’d be interested in attending a food convention that would be happening in LA. While I’m not a huge fan of conventions (I don’t love the crowds and overwhelming feeling I get there), I thought this could be something really fun to do. The convention I was invited to was Foodie Con LA and it was held this past weekend.

foodie-con-sign

I was only able to attend on Sunday (I was busy with work and other commitments on Saturday) and originally planned on trying to go with a friend. Unfortunately, my friend couldn’t make it so I headed there by myself and was determined to make the most of my time there.

While there were some really great things about Foodie Con, I was saddened to see that when I arrived there were several empty booths. I don’t know if those people were arriving late, but they weren’t there an hour after opening. It did help to have fewer booths to try to get to, but it was weird to see the emptiness in the space.

But besides the emptiness, I did have some fun there. I still had the overwhelming feeling of being at a convention and it was tough being there alone, but I did meet some cool vendors. I didn’t try anything (my stomach was having an off morning) but it was fun to see some of the new and creative food products out there.

If I had to pick a favorite vendor, I think it comes down to 2 options. The first favorite that I met is a grocery delivery/farmers market box service called Milk & Eggs. I’ve thought about doing a farmers market box in the past, but I’m always afraid that I won’t be able to eat everything in the box (or it will include things that I know I don’t like). But with Milk & Eggs, you can set it up to be more like a regular grocery delivery. They have the farmers market samplers that are very common to see with other companies, but they also have prepared foods and other thing available.

food-delivery

Yes, they have dairy and egg products (hence the name), but they also have pantry items and meat. And some of the things I was seeing online were holiday specials like honey ham and pastas. I don’t know if I want to have something like this delivered to me on the regular, but I like having it as an option. I’ve been thinking about when I have my liver surgery how I may be restricted in lifting things for a while. So a grocery delivery service may be necessary. And I think Milk & Eggs seems like an awesome one to use that is reasonably priced and has a lot of things that I would want to eat.

And my favorite food vendor was Truffles USA. I love truffles. They are just so yummy and when I see a dish that has truffles in it at a restaurant I will usually get that. And Truffles USA is all about truffles! They do sell whole truffles (which are very expensive and totally out of my budget), but they also have a lot of truffle products for sale.

truffle-table

I didn’t buy anything while I was there, but I have a feeling that I will be making some purchases from them soon. I’d love to have some truffle oil or truffle butter to use in recipes. It may help to get some creativity back into my meals. Truffles USA also posts some recipes on their website and I’m seeing if any of them seem to be something I could and would like to make. I’ll share with you any truffle recipes that I test out and love!

There were other nice vendors at Foodie Con, but I didn’t really connect with any of the other businesses there. Some of the stuff was food I wouldn’t really eat (a lot of vegan and gluten-free options compared to non-vegan or gluten foods) and there were a few booths that were so packed with people that I didn’t feel like I could go check it out. Even though there weren’t a ton of people at the event while I was there, it seemed like a few booths were the super popular ones that everyone went to and crowded around.

Overall, while conventions aren’t really my thing, I’m glad I checked out Foodie Con. I did get to meet some cool food people and I have a feeling that I will be checking out some of the vendors to see if I want to order from them at a later time. I’m grateful that I was invited to check it out and hopefully the next time I go to a convention like this I have a friend to check it out with me!

Thanksgiving Prep (or So Little Time)

Leading up to Thanksgiving, I knew there was a lot of stuff I had to get done and I was really trying to plan things out the best I could. Of course, things never work out the way you think they will. I’m just glad I got all my prep work done before I left last week!

The main part of my Thanksgiving prep was getting the food made that I knew I was bringing. I only was bringing 3 dishes with me, but when you have a tiny kitchen making 3 dishes can seem overwhelming! Especially when I don’t have multiples of the kitchen things I was using!

The first thing I made was banana bread. This has become a tradition over the past few years and I’m glad I’m able to make it to help out. It’s a pretty easy recipe to make and I happened to have some bananas that were overly ripe that I could use. I had almost all of the ingredients that I needed for the recipe at my house (except some of the dairy and the blueberries) and it was a quick thing to put together and get into the oven so I could make the 2 other things I needed to make.

The other dishes I was bringing were dips. I made the feta dip that is a tradition with the family (usually my mom makes it but it is now my thing to make). This is another easy thing to put together, but it is something that I usually don’t have the ingredients for in my house. But once you have everything you need, you just throw it all in the food processor and it is done! The other dip I made was a white bean dip that I found online. It was another really easy thing (just white beans, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and lemon) that was a food processor dip. The only complication I had was I only have one food processor bowl. So I made the feta dip, washed and dried the bowl, and made the other dip. Between the dips and the bread, I got everything done within about an hour.

thanksgiving-food

Packing was something else I tried to plan out, but it ended up being something that I was doing while I was working the day I was going to be driving to San Diego. My family now does casual Thanksgiving and that does make things easier with packing. But because I have lost a pretty significant amount of weight lately, I’ve been realizing that many of my clothes don’t fit anymore. So I grabbed all of the things I was thinking of packing and was trying them on between customers. I guess I should just feel lucky that my work is online chat and phones and my customers can’t see me!

Between packing and cooking, I felt like I had enough on my plate. But I also ended up having my liver MRI the night before driving to San Diego. I was at the hospital for a few hours getting it done so that was a bit of a time suck. The MRI itself wasn’t too horrible. Once the IV was in and I was in the machine, it was about 45 minutes. And at this hospital, you can listen to music while in the MRI tube. They had Pandora as an option and I requested the Broadway station. All the songs that played were things that I knew, but the best moment was when I heard my friend AJ singing on the “Heathers The Musical” soundtrack in-between 2 songs from “Hamilton”! That really made me happy and forget about all the stuff I had to do to prepare for San Diego the next morning.

And because all that craziness wasn’t enough leading up to San Diego, on Monday morning as I drove to my workout the power steering in my car died. I’ve never driven without power steering before and I knew that it was something that needed to be fixed before driving down. I took my car into the shop around 10am on Monday and discovered that the power steering in my car isn’t the standard one used so it would be tough to find a replacement part. They were hopeful that my car would be fixed by Friday, but that meant I wouldn’t have my car for Thanksgiving. Fortunately my mechanic offers free loaner cars so I got one of those and drove that to and from San Diego. As I’m writing this, my car still isn’t fixed. They got the replacement part in on Friday, but it’s still not fixing it. I’m hoping I’ll get my car back this week, but at least I have a loaner car to use so I don’t have to pay for a rental.

My Thanksgiving prep did end up being a bit stressful, but it all worked out in the end. I got everything done that I needed to (plus some things I wasn’t expecting) and I had an awesome Thanksgiving trip. But my Thanksgiving recap won’t be until tomorrow’s post!

A Harry Potter Afternoon (or Enjoying Some Butterbeer)

Since my appointment with the surgeon about my liver was in the morning, I knew I’d have that afternoon free. And when I have an afternoon free, I always contact my friend Michelle to see if she wants to go to Disneyland or something. We had gone to Disneyland recently enough, so we decided that we should do another adventure at Universal Studios. And right before that day, we discovered that they were offering one of the special Harry Potter drinks as a hot version for the first time there! So we figured it was meant to be that we went to the park.

Our entire reason to go to Universal was to ride the Harry Potter ride again and to get the hot butterbeer. We decided to get our drinks first since we were both a bit hungry and wanted a snack. We were warned that the drinks were hot so we decided to find a place outside to sit and people watch while we waited for the drinks to cool down.

hot-butterbeer

For those of you wondering, yes the hot butterbeer is awesome! I really love the frozen one, but this is just as good. It’s not as sweet as I expected it to be (except for the topping which was a bit too sweet but I didn’t taste that until I got to the end of the drink) and it felt like such a treat! We just hung out and relaxed while enjoying our drinks (and discussed the craziness of me having a tumor).

Our next stop was to ride the main ride in the Harry Potter section. After my fat shaming incident, things have gotten much better and I do enjoy the ride now. I use the alternative loading area so I have more time to get into the ride, but there is no issue with me fitting into it. The ride was just as fun as it was the last time and I know it will be one of those rides that I go on each time I go to Universal.

The only other ride we went on was the little roller coaster in the Harry Potter section. It’s a cute little ride (nothing too crazy), but since we didn’t want to do too much else in the park it was a nice way to spend some time.

Besides the butterbeer, the other main thing about going to Universal was to see the Harry Potter castle lit up at night. With the time change, there was finally a chance to see that happen. But we had some time to kill before the sun went down. At least the sky looked really pretty while we waited.

sunset-at-universal

And we got to check out one of the short shows that they do as well. I hadn’t seen one of the shows before, but this was really cute (even though I haven’t really read or watched Harry Potter and didn’t know all the references).

harry-potter-show

They do character photos after the show and we had no plan to stick around for it. But then they decided that the line would be starting behind us and we realized that since we were first we might as well take advantage of it and get a fun photo from the day.

group-photo

And before we knew it, the sun was down and the castle was lit up. It really was beautiful to be there looking around because they worked really hard on making this section of the park look amazing.

castle-at-night

You get sucked into the world and it feels like the outside world doesn’t exist anymore. You get to escape, which was perfect since this was the day before the election and we were both scared what would happen (I’m still pretty freaked out now after it’s all gone down).

We walked back through the Harry Potter land to get back to the main gate to leave the park (it was only a few minutes before the park closed so we weren’t going to stick around). We went to a fun Chinese restaurant at Citywalk for dinner to wait out rush hour traffic before heading home.

It wasn’t that long of a visit to Universal Studios (we were there less than 2 hours), but it was a lot of fun. After being nervous about my doctor appointment and then in probably a bit of shock after, I needed something to distract me from my day and make things end on a positive note.

My pass to Universal is about halfway done. I’ve got about 6 months to keep going to the parks and then I’ll have to figure out if I want to get a new pass. Before this, I hadn’t been to the parks since I worked there, but now I’m really enjoying it. It’s not as fun as going to Disneyland most of the time, but this is much closer to me and I still have a great time there. I’m hoping I’ll get at least another couple of visits in before my pass expires and I have to make a new plan on what to do.

Learning Lessons (or What Being Sick Taught Me)

I’m finally feeling almost 90% better now. This past week seemed to drag on as I felt off, but I’m glad that I almost feel like myself again. I’m questioning if the residual uncomfortableness is related to my liver, but I won’t find that out until I meet with the surgeon in a week and a half. And I think that going to Disneyland was good for my mental health and that helped me to feel better.

I’m still being very careful with what I’m eating and trying to take things easier than I normally do. I don’t want to do anything that will make me feel horrible again and being cautious makes me feel a bit in control in a situation that feels very out of control to me right now.

Now that I’m almost over whatever stomach thing I had, I’ve been reflecting a bit on what good things came out of this. Obviously, discovering that there may be a cyst on my liver is something good to learn about. If I didn’t have the stomach pain, I wouldn’t have known until it was worse and it may have been a more urgent situation. And I’m starting to wonder if my stomach pain was my body telling me to get checked out. I know when my mom found out she had cancer, it was because of a suspicious bruise that wouldn’t go away. The bruise had nothing to do with cancer, but it was what got her to the doctor and to do all the medical testing. Maybe my body was doing the same thing.

I’ve been on a pretty restricted diet since last Wednesday. At first, it was just clear liquids (chicken broth and jello) and has moved to soft foods. I’m starting to eat more normally now, but I’m still keeping things a bit restricted. This doesn’t feel like a weight loss diet, but that’s what it is. I’m eating mainly fruits and some vegetables with very little meat. This is not the most restrictive diet I’ve been on, but it’s up there.

But because of these restrictions I’ve been rediscovering foods that I love or that I forgot could be just fine for a meal. I’ve rediscovered cream of wheat (although the exact packets I loved before don’t seem to be in stores anymore). I make it with water and have a banana with it and it’s a pretty filling breakfast or lunch. I’ve had cheese and crackers for dinner one night when I was feeling a bit full and knew I still needed to eat something. And I’ve been looking at making the sautéed vegetables again that I used to have a lot when I was on the cleanse I did last year.

All of those foods are things that I could have had before, but I either forgot I enjoyed them or was so focused on other things that I wanted to eat that they just didn’t come to mind. These are all good and healthy things for me to eat and I need to work on keeping them in regular rotation. While I’m still a believer that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, there is a difference in how you feel when your calories are from a variety of foods versus a binge of one food.

I’ve also learned how to be gentle with myself. It’s not easy to take things easy, especially when you know you have so much you need to get done. I don’t want to be lazy and sit on the couch all day because that reminds me of myself when I wasn’t working hard at bettering myself. But sometimes, you need to have those days on the couch doing nothing. It was important for me to do that so I could get better and if I had pushed myself I know I wouldn’t be feeling as good as I do now.

And finally, I’ve learned to accept the out of control feeling again that I really hate. Right now because my liver isn’t healthy, I can’t take any painkillers. I hate the idea that I might be in pain and can’t take something to make it better. But I have to deal with that now and it’s been a good thing for me. I may have been taking too many painkillers for what I really need (I usually took 3-4 a week so it wasn’t close to what the maximum I could take would be). I’ve had to tolerate a bunch of needles lately. In the last month I’ve had 3 blood draws, 3 shots, and 1 IV for an MRI. And I’ve got at least one more IV coming up next week. It’s not fun, it’s not easy, and I can’t do anything to change it. So I have to learn how to accept something I can’t fix and make it the best situation I can.

While I wish I could have learned all these things without getting sick, at least knowing something good came out of it makes me feel a bit better about the situation. I know that I may need this positive thinking to continue as I do more tests on my liver and find out what a surgeon thinks needs to happen. Maybe I will learn more lessons from this whole liver situation to make it even seem more worthwhile that I had to go through something that isn’t that great. I know how easy it can be for me to get sucked into feeling sorry for myself (I had that happen when I got sick last week) and I am refocusing my energy on learning what I can from the circumstances I’m in.

An Overdue Friend Hangout (or A Medical Discussion Dinner)

There have been some friends that I haven’t gotten to see in a while. It’s a lot of issues with scheduling with all of our crazy schedules, but also time flies by and we forget how long it’s been. So when a friend of mine invited me to dinner recently and I realized it had been months since we had seen each other, I said yes right away!

This friend is someone who I used to see pretty much every week, but our schedules haven’t been matching up lately. She also had some medical things to deal with that prevented her from doing too much stuff. But we’ve stayed in touch through texting so when we got together, it felt like almost no time had passed!

We went out for Mexican food and I was a little nervous about it. I’ve been doing really well with my food lately and I didn’t want to eat too much or something that I shouldn’t (there was also another dinner coming up that I knew would be a splurge). Fortunately, neither of us cared to eat chips and salsa, so we didn’t get any for our table. Not having the chips in front of me made me feel a bit better about things since I didn’t have to stare at them or try to figure out if I should eat some. And I ordered fajitas, so I felt pretty confident that I made a good food choice and started to relax more.

Once we had ordered our food, our conversation became all about medical stuff. I was telling her about my MRI, and she shared all the stuff that she went through recently. She found out that she has the BRCA mutation (the breast cancer gene) and went through some stuff to make sure she stayed healthy. She had a double mastectomy and then reconstruction. I hadn’t seen her since her surgeries, and it was great to see her (also she looked amazing!). I’m not sharing her name because I don’t want to share her story for her, but she knows who she is and I’m so grateful that she is my friend.

She has been so open about everything that she has done so far and has always been more than happy to support me and share advice and tips. When I knew I’d be getting my MRI, she was one of the first people I contacted for advice and to find out anything I should be prepared for. She told me it wasn’t that big of a deal and let me know that I’d be fine. When she’s done additional genetic testing, she let me know so I could see if my mom did that testing. She’s not afraid to tell the truth about what she’s going through and I really appreciate that honesty.

I’m curious if anyone at the tables near us at dinner could hear our conversation. We were talking about a ton of medical stuff like surgeries, IV issues, scars, and other things that most people wouldn’t usually discuss. I’m totally used to it since growing up I heard lots of medical stuff over dinner when my parents were talking. I love that I have a friend who is able to be as chill about talking medical things over food as I am.

We did discuss other stuff besides cancer and medical stuff like my workouts at Orangetheory, other mutual friends of ours that neither of us have seen in a while, and random comments about the people watching we were doing from our table. It was a really nice dinner and it made me realize that I should do dinners with friends more often when I can.

While we had a pretty quick dinner, it was the perfect thing for me that night. I needed to have some positivity in my week, and my friend did just that for me. I have been very set in my ways with my food, and I needed the push to go outside what I’ve been feeling have been safe foods (even though I splurged a bit at dinner, my weight wasn’t affected the way I was scared it would be). And I got some great advice about the cancer screenings I’ve been doing lately and how normal they really are so I shouldn’t be too worried about them.

Still Figuring Out Meal Planning (or Will Food Ever Be Easy For Me?)

I’ve been doing pretty well lately with food stuff. It’s not something that I don’t have to think about any more, but I’m definitely spending less time every day thinking about what I want to eat or what I should eat than I used to. It’s nice not to have my thoughts always consumed by food (no pun intended), but I’m still figuring out what is right and best for me.

I know that I can cook and that I can use pretty much all fresh ingredients, but that’s not always easy for me. There are plenty of times that I realize it is dinner time and I don’t have something that I can make easily. I don’t want to risk going to the store because then I will grab everything that looks good to me at the time. So it’s important to me to have prepared meals in my house that are easy for lunches and dinners.

I’m still really loving the salads I can get from Trader Joe’s and I eat those pretty regularly for lunch (it’s easy to talk to customers and eat a salad). But I do need variety from time to time and some of my old standbys (like peanut butter and jelly) just aren’t doing it for me anymore. So I have to find other easy things to make and a lot of those things end up being frozen meals.

When I was younger, I did eat the frozen diet meals on a semi-regular basis. But honestly those meals aren’t that tasty, they have a lot of chemicals to cover up for things that are missing, they are expensive, and they aren’t a lot of food. So I’ve been exploring more frozen food options including ones that I used to consider not healthy options in the past.

I’ve been working on tracking my foods carefully and I can find ways to make the higher calorie meals work into my day. And I’m discovering that it isn’t as hard as I thought in the past. I’m not eating that high of calorie counts for my breakfasts and lunches, and if I’m not having a binge episode I do have lots of calories left for my dinner. So making stuff that I used to consider off-limits are now perfectly fine for me.

Taking away the stigma of bad foods and good foods has been really good for me. I’m exploring more food options that I never thought I could enjoy (like frozen tempura shrimp) and I’m really liking it. I’m getting more variety in my meals and that is helping to keep things from getting too boring too quickly. There are still some things that I’m trying that I know can’t be a regular part of my diet, but it’s ok to find things that are good splurge meals from time to time.

I’m eating more frozen foods than I would like, but considering the alternative for me I think this is ok. I still want to find a good balance between prepared and frozen foods and cooking from scratch and that just isn’t coming easily to me. I still get annoyed that my food issues aren’t going away as quickly as I would have liked them to, but I’m seeing progress and trying to give myself credit for it.

The baby steps of progress aren’t always easy to notice on my own, but when I reflect back on my meals for the past month or so and realize that my days under my calorie goal are outweighing the days over the calorie goal, I realize that I’ve been making progress without thinking about it or noticing. I’m still not ordering delivery food and that’s something I’m proud about as well.

Hopefully more baby steps happen to me this way and that recovery is in my future soon. It will be nice to spend even less time focusing on food when that happens and I’m excited to see what the next baby step I make will be.

Tacocity (or A Book Review And Giveaway!)

I’m so excited for today’s post! Not only do I have an amazing book recommendation for you, but I’m giving away a signed copy too! I recently had the opportunity to read “Tacocity: Los Angeles” which was written by my friend Rob Gokee. I’ve known Rob for a couple of years through various friends. He’s an amazing composer, big user of twitter, and obsessed with tacos! I feel like almost every picture he posts online is of tacos.

So when he started mentioning that he was writing a book about the tacos of Los Angeles, I wanted to read it! I’m not a huge taco person, so if I’m going to go get a taco somewhere I want it to be the best. And since Rob tested out dozens of taco places for his book, I know any place he recommends is going to be one of the top spots to go to.

Rob gave me a copy of his book to read (full disclosure, he gave me a free PDF version to review but the review is all my own) and I was very happy when I started reading it.

Tacocity

Obviously, I knew that the book was going to review taco places in Los Angeles, but I didn’t know much more. I was happy to see in the table of contents that he actually breaks down his reviews geographically so you can look at the area of Los Angeles that you happen to be in. Where I live in West LA, there aren’t a ton of awesome taco places. But while there were some familiar names in the West LA section I loved seeing that there were some places I hadn’t gone to yet and I immediately added them to my list of restaurants to try.

West LA

For each of the restaurants that Rob reviews, he includes a little bit about each place and what they are best known for. He also gives some tips about what to order, when the lines might be shorter (or in some cases if you should go to the outside line or inside line), and sometimes advice on parking which can be tough to find in LA. I loved hearing his stories about what he tried at each place and all the photos that were in the review section made me want to go have everything!

After the reviews of all the taco places around LA, there is a recipe section with some of Rob’s favorites. As you all know I’m working on trying to cook more at home, so I hope to soon have a recipe post for you all of me trying one of the ones from the book! This mole taco one might be the one I have to make because I keep coming back to the picture from the book and thinking it looks incredible!

Mole Tacos

I think this book is perfect for anyone who lives in LA or might be moving to LA soon! It’s a great guide to amazing food in the city and I think even people who have lived here their entire lives will discover a new restaurant in the book. And even if you don’t live in LA but love tacos, this is a great read from the recipes in the back as well as giving you inspiration for a LA taco trip (I’m sure if you tweet at Rob he can help you plan a taco crawl).

Now for the fun part! You can enter to win a signed copy of “Tacocity: Los Angeles”! There are a ton of ways to enter this time (just make sure you leave a blog comment as that is the required entry). While most entries are only one-time things, you can tweet every day for extra entries! Rafflecopter will randomly be selecting the winner at the end and you will be getting a signed copy of the book from Rob!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and I can’t wait for you all to read the book too!

PS: There will be a book launch/signing for “Tacocity: Los Angeles” coming up on August 22nd from 5:30-8:00pm at Salazar (one of the places Rob writes about in the book). I hope to see a bunch of you there!

With The Good Comes The Bad (or My Vyvanse-Free Weekend)

Overall, my weekend was pretty amazing. I had so much fun shooting “Single Parent Date Night” and even though the night shoot was tough, it was the greatest time ever! It’s been a long time since I’ve had to be up all night (and even longer since I’ve had to do it to act), so planning out my weekend was a bit weird and I really did try my best.

Even though I had to work early Saturday morning, I went back to bed after work to get some extra sleep in. And I made no real plans on Sunday because I wasn’t sure how I would feel or if I’d get any sleep. And I also readjusted the medications I take each day to plan for the all-nighter.

I was able to take most of my medications as usual. But I skipped taking Vyvanse on Saturday because I didn’t want to take it in the morning since I wanted to go back to bed after work and I didn’t take it in the afternoon because I honestly forgot. And since the time I got home on Sunday was the time I usually take my first Vyvanse dose, I skipped that one too. And since I skipped the morning one I skipped the afternoon one too on Sunday.

I know I’m supposed to take a break from Vyvanse from time to time, but this was different. I didn’t take the break because I wanted to, I took it because I needed to for the weird schedule I had over the weekend. I thought I had prepared myself for taking the break, but the planning wasn’t enough. And it actually backfired on me.

Saturday and Sunday ended up being 2 of the worst food days I’ve had in a long time. I honestly can’t remember the last time my food was as bad as these days were. I’m not sure if Saturday was also bad because of stress and Sunday was also bad because of exhaustion, but it doesn’t matter. And it didn’t help that our dinner break for the shoot was at midnight and we ate pizza (I was hungry otherwise I would have skipped it). Fortunately I didn’t feel too sick on Saturday, but Sunday felt like a food hangover all day (and continuing to eat “bad” foods didn’t help that feeling). The one good thing with all the bad food choices was that I really wanted to get delivery food on Sunday for dinner, but I managed to resist that and went to the grocery store for a better choice.

I don’t want to completely blame the lack of Vyvanse on these bad days, but I did feel a difference in my body even mid-day on Saturday. I wasn’t feeling as strong as I’ve felt recently and I just wasn’t able to focus properly (Vyvanse is also an ADHD medication so I guess it’s been helping me focus and not just helping me with the eating disorder). I really hated how I felt and I wanted to be in a positive mindset because of the filming that night. I think the excitement of the filming did help a bit, but it still wasn’t quite right to me.

While I’ve been wanting to believe that the Vyvanse was helping me, I never was 100% sure about it. I knew that there was a bit of difference in my life, but I’ve also been doing a lot of self-improvement work lately so I thought it could also be that. But spending the weekend off of Vyvanse really did prove to me that it is working and that it is the right thing for me to be on right now.

I was back to my normal medication schedule on Monday and eating did get better that day. I think now I’m back to being on track but of course my scale is reflecting my bad choices and that stinks. I’ve been making so much progress lately and it does feel like a giant step back. Eventually I’ll get back to where I was and I just have to be patient with myself.

Even though this was a really bad weekend with my food and recovery, the good really did outweigh the bad and I wouldn’t change anything about my weekend. But I did joke to my co-star (and writer of our film) that the next collaboration we have needs to be something that shoots during the day because the night shoot was so crazy for me.

Finding My Way Back On Track (or A New Balance)

I have been doing pretty great with my food lately. I’m cooking a lot at home now. Most of my meals are pretty boring, but I’m ok with that. I’ve found that with the boring food (like veggies and a turkey burger) I don’t get as bored with the food as quickly as I do when I make fancier things. I’m not sure why that is, but I can totally eat a turkey burger every day without issue when I can’t eat 3 days of leftovers. I’m aware that I might be in a bit of a rut and I’ve been trying to remember other things that are easy to make (and I can make 1 serving of) for other meals, but I’m pretty good with how things have been going for a while.

But then last week, I got off track pretty badly. Fortunately for me, being off track now is not as bad as it was before. I’m still not ordering delivery food (although I was craving Chinese food the other day) so if I want to eat “bad” food I have to go out and get it. So those bad days are not as bad as I know they could be. But they are still pretty bad and I’m still having issues coming back from them.

This time, my bad days lasted a couple of days before I was able to pull myself out of it. Ironically, it was the meal at the Hollywood Bowl that got me on track again (even though that meal wasn’t that great). I’m not sure what triggered me to get back to what I should be eating, but I am grateful that it happened. It did have an effect on the scale, but because I’ve been doing better lately my bad days were a weight that was my good day weight in the past. I’m almost back down to where I was before the bad days, so that’s a relief for me.

I know that it’s totally normal to have good days and bad days and that they have to be balanced out. That’s totally normal for everyone, but since I’ve never really had normal eating habits it feels really weird to me. I’m trying to remember that slip-ups are a part of life and they don’t have to make the rest of my day/week/month just as crazy food-wise. It’s a new system that I’m trying to figure out and it’s still very foreign to me.

Sometimes I do wonder if living alone makes things tougher on me because I don’t have someone to use as an example, but then again when I had roommates I actually had worse eating habits than I do now. With roommates (and none of them that might be reading this are the ones I’m talking about), I found it almost impossible to cook or use the kitchen. There were never clean plates or dishes and the kitchen was such a mess that all I wanted to do was grab my food and get out of there (again, any of my past roommates that would read this, know that this isn’t about you). At least now, all the messes in the kitchen are my own and I try to do my dishes every night (or the next morning if my evening gets too full).

I’m trying to keep myself accountable for my food choices and I’m doing ok with that. Even on the worst days, I’m still maintaining 100% food tracking accuracy. I’m not always tracking where I can see the calorie counts, but I’m writing down everything I eat in an app that allows me just to write the food and track any feelings I want to put down. I’m not hiding from what I’m doing like I’ve done in the past. I have to confront exactly what I’ve done every time I have a bad day.

Finding the balance between eating foods I’m craving but still staying on track is tough, but each time I find a new way to keep myself accountable helps and makes me feel like recovery is possible. It’s also made me think about what recovery will actually look like for me, and I’m finally letting go of the idea that recovery means no more bad days or cravings. That’s not ever going to be my reality, and letting go of that idea that has been in my head for years (and decades) is tough. But it’s also made me much more hopeful for what my recovery will look like and the idea that I might be closer to it than I thought.

Home Cooking (or Getting Into A Routine)

I haven’t really written about food on here lately. Meals used to stress me out so much and I knew I needed to work on it. So many nights I would either forget to go to the store to get groceries or got home so late that I was too lazy to cook. So I’d order delivery food or get some take out from a quick service type place. I know that I wasted a bunch of money (and ate a bunch of calories that I didn’t need) doing that, but I just couldn’t get into cooking.

I tried cooking a bunch of different times and different ways. I thought meal planning would work for me, but I ended up losing inspiration or not feel like eating what I was supposed to eat that night. Bulk cooking worked for a bit, but I got really bored with it and if I didn’t have time to bulk cook I couldn’t seem to get back on track. I would hear about what other people would do, and it would seem so simple. But for so many reasons I just couldn’t get into cooking. A lot of it does have to do with the amount of work and cleanup required to make a meal for just me, but that really is laziness.

I knew something needed to change and I set my monthly challenge in March to be to not get delivery food for the entire month. The last time that I ordered delivery food was actually in the middle of February and I’m happy to say that I haven’t gotten delivery food since. I have gone out of dinners and I’ve gotten take out from places like Chipotle or a salad place, but since delivery food was the bad habit I wanted to break I’m pretty happy that it’s been this long since I’ve gotten it. There have been a few times where I’m feeling super lazy and think it would just be so easy to order something in, but I have been working really hard at keeping easy to put together foods or ok frozen dinners at my house for those nights. While frozen dinners aren’t the best option, they are significantly better than anything I could get delivered to me.

My cooking hasn’t been anything too crazy. Most of my dinners have been a turkey burger and some veggies like broccoli or sweet potatoes.

Healthy Dinner

If I start cooking the potato in the microwave and finish it in the toaster oven, I can put that meal together in less than 20 minutes. I also do make more recipe type dinners from time to time. A lot of time I make meatloaf because it’s pretty basic to put together. The last time I made it, I did about half meat and half chopped veggies so it made a lot of meatloaf for not as many calories.

Meatloaf

I make meatloaf in muffin tins so it’s easy to portion out and put some aside for leftovers for the next day or so. After the prep work, there’s not that much cleanup since the muffin tin is a disposable one. So I’m usually able to clean up while the meatloaf is in the oven and I don’t have to worry about cleaning up after I’m done with dinner.

I have no clue what really got me to cook more often. Nothing really has changed in my life, it just happened. But I think a lot of things in my life have happened that way. I would have been trying to kick a habit that I didn’t like for years (like chewing gum or drinking soda) and then one day it stops and I don’t really think about it. I don’t missing chewing gum at all, but there are the rare occasional times that I do miss soda. Fortunately, that craving goes away pretty quickly so I’ve been soda free for several years now.

The same thing happened with cooking. I was trying to force the change to become a home cook for a long time. And while I would get into a habit of it for a bit, it never stuck. This time, it just feels natural and right for some reason so I don’t see any reason for me to stop. I do still have so many changes that need to be made about my food habits, but I’m so glad that I’ve been able to make this change now and hopefully other changes will fall in line too.