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.

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some bites of my parents’ yakitori

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squid appetizer for everyone to share

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gigantic mussels for everyone to share as well

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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

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

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

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Ben’s Mexican plate with cactus and beef

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

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way too much food before noon #chelseamarket #nyc

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Colby, you’d love this.

Plus a sip of Ben’s taro bubble tea.

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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.

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#minimalist

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

Family style all day!

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cold shanghai noodles

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some magical fried chicken

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butter noodles that tasted cheesy but weren’t actually cheesy

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

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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.

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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.

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the bone literally slid right out

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Ben rolling up the sleeves

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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!!! 

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Behind the Scenes #4: Christmas in NYC, Food Tour, and Game Night

Hi guys!

I hope you all had a joyful and blessed Christmas (or a lovely day off if you don’t celebrate)! My family and I certainly lived it up. Our celebrations have included a lot of these three things: laughter, prayer, and FOOD.

I know that a lot of people, including me, have post-Christmas blues, but the 12 days of Christmas have just started! Go buy your loved ones two turtle doves and partridge in a pear tree today. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding them, right? 😉 Plus, there’s still New Year’s to look forward to!

Well the last few days have been packed with fun, so I’m going to take you behind the scenes to check out the shenanigans (and my random thoughts about them)…

Thinking-Out-Loud

Hooray for Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud link-up!

1. This year was our first Christmas in New York in about four or five years. We’ve been in either Canada or Florida for the past few years, so it is wonderful to be staying home with just the four of us this Christmas! I actually told my dad before we left for Canada, “I miss having Christmas at home in New York.” Well, I guess my wish came true! Just not quite in the way I would have expected…

2. Christmas at home meant an obligatory trip to NYC to take in the Christmas experience! We decided to go down on Christmas Eve to see the tree and do a little “food tour.” What is a food tour you may ask? You see, we went on this crazy food adventure with our family friends a few Thanksgivings ago, in which we just stopped by a bunch of restaurants (mostly dessert places) to try different things. I remember we ate at a Mongolian restaurant for dinner and then went to several places for dessert: a famous cheesecake place, Pinkberry, a chocolate cake place, and Rice to Riches (rice pudding). It’s excessive, spontaneous, and oh so fun to do once in a blue moon. We also just have a little bit at each place too, or else we would probably explode.

This year’s experience: (I’ll show you just what I ate. I’ll spare the extra pics of what everyone else ate!)

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Shared yen-ta-four soup with mom at Wondee Siam for lunch

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Rockefeller Tree!

[Insert down time at Barnes and Noble]

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Cereal milk soft serve at Momofuku Milk Bar— I had always wanted to try this place! The cereal milk tastes like what it’s called. It might be meh to some, but it was totally up my alley.

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Okay this is not mine. It’s Ben’s dessert at Ben Ash, which was a completely spontaneous drop-in. The biggest ($10!!!) piece of red velvet cheesecake EVER. I kept telling him not to finish it because I worried about his health. He didn’t 😉

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Visit to Times Square, since we’re too wimpy to go for New Year’s. In our defense, we like to be able to move around and go to the bathroom freely, thank you very much.

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Last stop of the night: the best Halal food in the city. We always go to the most popular location, which is at 53rd and 6th. There is always a super long line! I shared a chicken and rice plate with mom. Hit the spot like no other.

At least we were walking all day, right? 😉

3. My family didn’t really do formal gifts this year, but each one of us treated the family at one of the above restaurants. We also just counted any gift given in the month of December as a Christmas gift. Some may say that’s no fun, but it worked for us this year! I also made a card with coupons for my family:

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I do most of these things already, but the coupons will allow my family members to ask for the favors on demand. Uh oh.

And Ben made me this cute card:

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Lots of jokes in this card. Thanks, Penguino!

4. You’d think we would be tired of food by Christmas day…Nahhh. The second part of my gift was making lunch for the family after Mass:

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Baked French toast and a set up of all our leftovers to make brunch tacos

5. Catch Phrase is the best game ever. All four of us played it last night, and we totally got an ab workout from laughing so hard. Even though we only have the junior version, it’s still fun!

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An example of what was said:

Ben: “What is this? (does robot) Domo arigato.”

Dad: “Mozart!”

……No.

But he got it right after that. 😉

6. I’m currently playing Connect Four with Ben and I could not be worse at it. I just lost the first game in about 2 minutes.

Just kidding, I just won with FIVE in a row. BOOM.

…And I just won again! I don’t think I’ve ever won this many times in my life! Seriously.

7. I made granola bars randomly yesterday, following this recipe loosely. To be honest, I really just wanted to use up a some of my salted almond butter. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I just don’t enjoy it nearly as much as my other nut/seed butters. However, they certainly made these granola bars mighty tasty.

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8. I should really start my homework today. *dramatic sigh*

9. I think that’s enough from me. May your days be merry and bright, folks. You rock. ❤

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“And the Word was made flesh…”  —John 1:14

So tell me: What did you do for Christmas? What is one of your favorite things you gifted to someone else? Have you ever played Catch Phrase before?