Gluttony or “Just Living”?

This weekend was definitely gluttony.

Disclaimer: If you are struggling with disordered eating, I ask that you please read with caution or not read this post at all. Please take care ♥︎ 

But let’s talk about guilt over gluttony in the context of recovering from an eating disorder. I’ll start with a little fact about myself:

Before I developed disordered eating habits, I experienced guilt over eating more than I thought I should, because I felt that I was being selfish if I ate to the point of satiation. What about all the children my age who have nothing to eat for dinner tonight? My parents shut that down really quickly, but this is a real sentiment that I had when I was younger.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s prudent and good to avoid gluttony and to be mindful of our brothers and sisters who have less to eat than us. However, I know from experience that there can be uncertainty between two thoughts during recovery:

“Am I eating all this for the sake of recovery?”

vs.

“Am I just being gluttonous?”

I am neither a dietitian nor a priest, but I do know that “gluttony” is necessary for recovery from an anorexia-type eating disorder. I put “gluttony” in quotation marks because eating a lot— an amount greater than you feel like eating—during recovery from an anorexia-type eating disorder is essential for healing the mind and body. It is the only way to get yourself to reach a healthy weight and challenge restricting behaviors.

(This doesn’t mean eating until you get sick, but many of you probably understand what I mean.)

So what happens once you are completely recovered (or even 99.9% recovered)? Personally, I believe I am well past the point of “eating more food for the sake of my health”. If I eat more than I think I should at this stage of my life, it’s probably unnecessary. But am I gluttonous or “just living”? 

I think it can be argued that “just living” involves a little bit of gluttony. Most of us don’t need that extra drink or dessert, but those extra treats that put us a little over the top can be good for our mental health and social experience.

According to Google, gluttony means “habitual greed or excess in eating”. I certainly believe that eating more than you really need is not a terrible thing every now and then (if you are at a healthy stage in life). However, for ME, once it becomes habitual — once excess eating becomes…excessive — that is where I’d say I’m being a little bit gluttonous.

This is a self-reflection. I do not mean to speak for anyone else! But I’m curious to hear if anyone has similar reflections.

So let’s look at the amount of food my family and I ate this weekend.

Friday Night

Dinner at Shiki with our family friends.

IMG_2717

some bites of my parents’ yakitori

IMG_2718

squid appetizer for everyone to share

IMG_2719

gigantic mussels for everyone to share as well

IMG_2720

sushi for me!

Saturday

Back story: We and our family friends are HUGE foodies, and for whatever reason, it’s a tradition for us to go into NYC and do a “food crawl” to many different food vendors. Rule: We must walk.

IMG_2722

light breakfast (light for my standards): Greek yogurt with half a banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, blueberries, and pb

First stop: Chelsea Market! Also known as the land of “I can’t choose what to eat.”

IMG_2726 IMG_2727 IMG_2729 IMG_2743 IMG_2744 IMG_2757

We all parted ways and bought our own dishes before reconvening, but we also shared a bunch of things. Many little bites here and there!

IMG_2733 IMG_2735

little bites of a couple kinds of doughnuts from Doughnuttery — delicious!

IMG_2736

one of my favorite bites of the day: ginger pecan pie

IMG_2737

egg, ham, cheese, scallion corn muffin — totally up my alley

IMG_2739

Ben’s Mexican plate with cactus and beef

IMG_2738

I couldn’t even finish my salad after bites of all the other things!

View this post on Instagram

way too much food before noon #chelseamarket #nyc

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

IMG_2759

After Chelsea, we walked uptown towards Broadway via High Line for a more scenic route. The weather was overcast, cool, and absolutely perfect!

We watched a matinee of Book of Mormon, which is a pretty esteemed musical. It was definitely hilarious, but it was also so vulgar and blasphemous that every time something funny happened, all I could do was stare with wide eyes and a dropped jaw. I may have smiled too.

IMG_2765

I do appreciate it as a musical, however. The music is super catchy and the acting was phenomenal.

View this post on Instagram

"Hello!" 📘👔🙏🏼 #bookofmormon #broadway #nyc

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

We headed over to Koreatown for our post-show/pre-dinner snack. Madre and Pop suggested a Korean food court called Food Gallery 32.

I had a bite of taiyaki, which is a pastry shaped like a fish, stuffed with red bean paste. Fresh out of the iron, this thing was FANTASTIC. Crisp exterior, gooey interior, rich filling.

IMG_2772 IMG_2776 IMG_2778 IMG_2779 IMG_2780

Colby, you’d love this.

Plus a sip of Ben’s taro bubble tea.

IMG_2775

Dessert before dinner (but don’t worry, we ate dessert after dinner too).

My uncle made reservations for us at Momofuku Nishi, a trendy, modern Japanese restaurant.

IMG_2773

#minimalist

We were basically sitting on wooden boxes, but I wasn’t mad about it.

Family style all day!

IMG_2784

cold shanghai noodles

IMG_2785

some magical fried chicken

IMG_2786

butter noodles that tasted cheesy but weren’t actually cheesy

Then there was this “Impossible Burger” that we split into eight little pieces.

IMG_2782

Perhaps you are asking, “What the heck is this sad looking burger doing at an upscale Japanese restaurant?” Well, the burger is vegan (the patty at least). But it 100% looks and tastes like meat. Hence, the “Impossible” Burger.

IMG_2783

The only wow factor was that it was vegan, because otherwise, it just tasted like a really mediocre fast food burger with subpar french fries.

The main event was this 10 lb. pork roast that my uncle had to order ahead of time for our party of seven.

IMG_2790 IMG_2792

the bone literally slid right out

IMG_2789

Ben rolling up the sleeves

IMG_2787

We ate it in lettuce wraps with many delicious condiments, herbs, and sticky rice. There was a good amount of meat that we got to take home for leftovers! It was a heavenly piece of meat.

IMG_2801

Then it was time to walk our way to dessert. Our family friends stopped at Momofuku Milk Bar to pick up some cookies to go. Then we headed to Van Leeuwen ice cream. On our way though, we got distracted by a place called Snowdays, which sells “shaved cream”.

IMG_2796

It’s a frozen block of cream that is shaved. My aunt shared her black sesame shaved cream with coconut and mochi with all of us. Pretty unique! It’s like ultra light ice cream.

IMG_2797

Had to take a picture for ol’ Disney Channel’s sake. Did anyone else watch Wizards of Waverly Place?

Finally, Van Leeuwen. Ben and I shared three scoops (I was greedy. We definitely should have just gotten two scoops). I chose ginger, honeycomb, and vegan banana nut. They were all so good! I couldn’t choose a favorite.

IMG_2800

Obviously, humans don’t need this much food (unless you burn calories like Michael Phelps). I did feel gluttonous (especially with that ice cream at the end), and I do not condone eating like this every day of course, but it happened, it was a wonderful time with family, and I am grateful for all the food.

So tell me:

Have you ever struggled with discerning gluttony vs. “just living”?

Have you ever done a “food crawl”?

What are you doing today? Happy Labo(u)r Day!!! 

Advertisements

Five Minute Friday #2: Less Protein, More Carbs?

I don’t know if I believe in seasons anymore.

Yesterday it was almost 60 degrees, and today there is snow.

idunnodoctor

[source]

It has been both a beautiful and messy week over here. I won’t type too much, but I do want to preface this week’s Five Minute Friday vlog.

This week I’m talking about one part of my nutrition project, which involved recording everything I ate and drank on a typical day of eats. I also used the course’s diet analysis software to calculate my daily goals for calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients based on my age, weight, height, and activity level, and then entered my “typical day of eats” data to find out how my diet measures up to my goals.

So here’s what I thought about it all!

A few notes first:

  • If talk about calories or macronutrients is triggering for you, I recommend you skip this vlog today. ♥︎
  • I cheated— the video is not under five minutes. This was actually my second take, and I still couldn’t get it under five minutes!
  • I say at the end, “Just because some nutritionist or some nutrition program tells you what you should be eating, as long as you’re as balanced as you can be…that’s all you can ask for.”
    • Clarification: PLEASE DO listen to your licensed nutritionist (RDN, LDN). They know what they’re doing. I obviously don’t. My point is that even RDN-approved softwares and diet analyzers are not end-all-be-alls. The computer/calculator does not know YOU in person.

video link here in case it’s not working!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

So tell me:

Do you feel better when eating more of a certain macronutrient?

How do you feel about the big protein hype?

What are you doing this weekend? Studying, working, and Super Bowl partying!

99.9% Recovery

I don’t think I quite intended Daily Moves and Grooves to be a blog focused on eating disorder recovery.

I wanted this blog to be about healthy food, fitness, faith, and my life in general. However, given the fact that my past eating disorder is what ultimately gave way to the whole “healthy living blog” world, that part of my life almost necessarily made its way into the theme of my blog.

It’s not always easy sharing my eating disorder stories and struggles here, but it’s been a humbling and motivational journey (all thanks to YOU) blogging about recovery— the good days and the bad days.

DSC_4941

one of the first meals I ever posted on my blog

A few weeks ago, a reader emailed me about how she feels that there are very few truly recovered/recovering people. She {reasonably} wondered: Is full recovery even possible?

DSC_7894

real ice cream and gelato // no protein, no stevia // all fat and sugar, all goodness

I thought this particular reader brought up a great point. It seems that many recovering people restore a great relationship with food, only to turn their obsession towards exercise or “getting big”. You may or may not have drawn this conclusion yourself if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, but I can tell you that I’ve struggled with that myself.

picstitch

I like to think that I am 100% recovered, but in reality, I am closer to 99.9% recovered. I feel like this is where a lot of people in recovery stay for a long time, if not, for the rest of their lives.

The truth is that we do remember calorie counts for many foods. We do care about what our bodies look like. We do want to have control over something.

photo 2

that extremely proud moment when I ordered an entree of gnocchi (aka pure carbs) at an Italian restaurant // I still sometimes have trouble ordering JUST pasta these days

Don’t get me wrong— caring about what goes into your body, exercising, and being mindful are all good things. There is balance, and I know many people who live truly balanced lives— not merely in their actions that everyone else can see, but in their minds as well. It’s certainly not easy to reach this point for anyone, so I think that it will always be especially difficult for people with history of an eating disorder.

picstitch-3

Now, you might be thinking: Isn’t occasionally worrying about food and exercise what people are supposed to do to be truly balanced anyway? Why should that be classified as 99.9% recovered?

Well, you’re right. Normal people should be mindful of nutrition and exercise. It’s called health. But they don’t really worry about it. In MY case at least, food and exercise choices are sometimes driven by judgements on my own body image or old habits that resurface.

photo 1 copy

More often than not, I don’t care about calories, I eat what I want, and I can skip a workout without any problem. However, there are days when eating more or skipping workouts doesn’t come easily or without thought.

Maybe you can reach 100% recovery, or maybe you have! I am so genuinely happy for those who do. This post is just my two cents based on my experiences, and I have concluded that I might be at 99.9% for a while.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

That being said, I believe that it is okay to live 99.9% recovered. As with any temptation in life, even though we feel like eating more/cutting down on exercise/etc. is difficult at times, that does not mean that we lack the strength to make the right decisions for our bodies.

It’s a cross that we bear, but it’s a part of who we have become.

Again, I want to thank you all for being so supportive and loving, even in my times of weakness. In 100% honesty, I couldn’t get through to this point of even 99.9% recovered without you. I thank God for your love every day.

So tell me:

If you’ve struggled with disordered eating, do you feel like you are 99.9% recovered?

Do you think people can truly reach 100% recovery? Or have you?

Any thoughts at all!

WIAW: Finally Balanced

Hello, friends!

It feels as if I have not done a What I Ate Wednesday post in ages! That just means I’ve been accumulating way too many food photos on my phone, and I need to finally share them with the world. All my friends who witness me taking photos of my food ask the ever-famous question: “Is it going on the blog?!”

Yes. Right now.

I’ll be the first to admit that I self-stalk on Instagram. I look back at my feed and reminisce on memories of high school, home-cooked meals, and how bad of an Instagrammer I was three years ago (pointless selfies for dayzzz). The thing that really got me though was how much my eating has changed in the past two years. If you were not aware, I struggled with disordered eating habits just a couple years ago, and I started this blog in the midst of my recovery.

When I was scrolling through my own Instagram feed, I realized how much the quantity and substance of my meals has increased over time:

Two years ago, my dinner would be a salad with some peppers, berries, and cheese. That’s it. I’m not saying that having only a salad for dinner is bad, but I knew that I was hungry for more, and I didn’t honor that.

One year ago, my dinner was usually a bowl of whole grains, one piece of protein, and a vegetable. I was satisfied with that. I ate desserts more often, but sometimes with guilt.

Half a year ago, I would add some more healthy fats like avocado and cheese into my meals. Maybe a little more peanut butter in that oatmeal. I was satisfied, but still cautious with the new additions. I did eat dessert without much guilt at all though.

Today, I don’t always have whole grains, but I try my best to eat them more often than not. I eat red meat. I make my desserts a la mode. I eat *gasp* TWO tablespoons of peanut butter at breakfast on most days.

And you know what else about today? I’ve never felt better in my life. It’s taken me a lot of time to truly internalize that food=fuel. I could have said it all day long in the past, but I would still keep the general thought of calories in the back of my mind. Here in college I have no idea how many calories I’ve been eating, but whatever the average number is, it seems to be working out for the best!

WIAWbutton

Linking up to Jenn‘s weekly food fiesta!

With that, why don’t we get to the food, eh? 🙂 Here are just some of the things I’ve been enjoying this past month:

Bringing more peanut butter to the table…

picstitch-2

Clockwise from top right:

scrambled eggs + potatoes + ketchup + apple + unpictured bowl of granola with milk // whole wheat French toast with pb + my favorite cottage cheese concoction + glass o’ milk // whole grain blueberry pancake with pb + the usual + glass o’ milk // oatmeal with jam and pb + the usual

picstitch-9

Dorm breakfasts: Greek yogurt with banana, honey and cinnamon // oatmeal with vanilla protein powder, banana, cinnamon, and pb

Non-meat options…

picstitch-5

whole wheat roasted vegetable calzone + salad with hard boiled eggs // fish with sweet potatoes and summer squash // bean stew with polenta + salad // crispy baked fish with veggies + salad

Meaty options…

picstitch-4

“Shepherd’s pie” with mashed sweet potato // grilled chicken over a kale panzanella // bone-in, skin-on chicken + mashed potatoes + collard greens // Asian salisbury steak with soba noodles

Comfort food…

picstitch-6

whole wheat sesame chicken pizza // whole wheat spaghetti bolognese // eggplant caprese stack // brisket + mashed potatoes + roasted root veggies

ALL the plants…

picstitch-7

salads (which are often accompaniments to a main dish) // moroccan veggie stew over couscous

Desserts of course…

picstitch-8

“brownstone” chocolate cake (best chocolate cake EVER) // bananas foster crisp a la mode (holymolyamazing) // free chocolate chip cookie a la Catholic Center missionaries // gingerbread cake a la mode

I’m eating more than I ever have, but I only feel better when I am nourishing myself properly, despite temptations to eat like the girl next to me. Have I thrown nutrition out the window? Absolutely not. Do I stress about whole grains and squeaky “clean” eats at every meal. Heck no. I feel like I am finally balanced.

Well that was a long WIAW. I guess I just wanted to make up for the lack of WIAW’s these past several weeks. 😉

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!

So tell me:

Has your eating evolved at all?

What is your idea of a balanced diet?

What is the best dessert you’ve had recently?

P.S. Have you entered the Arctic Zero giveaway?