Thursday, May 27, 2010

The hardest part of Intuitive Eating

About a year and a half ago, I was trying desperately to lose weight and get my "bad" eating habits under control. I counted calories, packed itty-bitty lunches to get me through nine hours shifts of caring for two dozen kindergarteners and beat myself up whenever I gave in halfway through the afternoon and ate one of the brownies laying around at snack time.

I'd dieted before, and this was actually a pretty mild, and this time around I quickly recognized something was wrong, so I talked to a counselor and she recommended I read Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elysse Resch.

In a nutshell, Intuitive Eating is all about listening to your body's hunger and fullness signals and eating what you want. It makes so much sense, and it felt so right, because this was how I lost 55 pounds over three years without trying at all. I jumped right into this new way of eating, but I have looked back a few times.

I know it sounds crazy, but learning to eat intuitively is so much harder than dieting. There are no absolutes, no hard rules, none of that stuff to "keep you on track". No foods are inherently "good" or "bad".

I've come a long way. I eat when I'm hungry, I usually stop when I'm full, I naturally choose healthy foods most of the time, I rarely guilt trip myself when I overeat, and I exercise because I want to.

The only hard part is the emotional eating part. Fitness magazines and diet books tell you to go for a walk or paint your nails or something when you have a strong emotion instead of eating. A therapist told me to try to seek another distraction, but I came across an amazing idea on a wonderful IE blog, Honoring Health:

Instead of avoiding emotions, why not try to feel them?

Well, because it's scary. It's painful. Nobody wants to go wading through all that nasty stuff, but maybe feeling an emotion, acknowledging it, and doing something about it would be better than distracting myself with a Harry Potter book or blasting music to drown things out.

If you're sad, cry. If you're angry, beat the crap out of your pillow. Let it come out, let it happen, and try to do this in a safe environment.

So this is my goal for a few days. Feel stuff instead of avoiding it, with food or anything else.


PS: If you're stuck in the tyranny of dieting, I strongly urge to you read Intuitive Eating. It's hard, but it will help you with so much more than eating habits. I've gotten to know myself better in the last two years than I have my entire life. Read it, read it, and take care of yourself.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Writing, eating, and neglecting to blog about it.

Hey guys, sorry I haven't written since...last monday? Wow. I haven't forgotten you at all, I've
commented on a lot of your blogs and I always love reading about what you're up to.

So what have I been up to that I've been too lazy to tell you about?
Writing, writing, working, editing, and writing.

Last spring, I started writing my first novel and I recently finished the first draft! Writing a book and going to school at the same time is almost impossible, but since graduation I've really buckled down and I did it!

However, that means I get to move on to the next step in the writing process: Editing and revising. I usually don't mind editing, but I've never had to edit something this big. Cleaning and tightening up a term paper or short story is one thing, but a 300 page novel? Aaaah! This isn't just fixing spelling errors or grammar issues either. This means rewriting a chapter in another point of view, writing in new scenes and maybe cutting out others, feeding in more information to clarify the plot, etc. I read through the manuscript and made a bunch of notes and a huge laundry list of stuff to fix. Overwhelming? Oh yeah.

So with all this fantastic writing going on, I admit I haven't been cooking much. My diet for the last two weeks was mostly oatmeal, veggie wraps, peanut butter toast, salads, fruit, and about four tons of chocolate.

What? Writing a book is stressful!

To switch gears here, I've learned through my work with Intuitive Eating that I tend to get extra munchy and obsessed with food and health when something else is bothering me. This usually takes me by surprise and I have to dig for the root cause, but I know I'm sitting around reading health books because I'm avoiding my book. Is this weird, to procrastinate something that brings me so much joy? Is it strange that something I love can cause me so much turmoil?
I had an art teacher that told me that our true passion will drive us crazy and we'll even hate is sometimes because we care about it so much. Does anyone else feel like that?

If I'm this nervous about editing, wait'll you see me when I'm writing query letters!


Monday, May 10, 2010

My Foodie Friday!

I hope everyone else had a great weekend! Mine started early on Friday. Every once in awhile, my mom gets together with her sisters/cousins/whoever else wants to come. I go sometimes, but you know, life is busy.
Now that I don't have school, I took a day off work to go with her. Friday started with a cooking class in Midway, Utah hosted by Leslie Smoot who is an amazing chef and food stylist. We also had a guest pastry chef show us how to make a berry tart, which was amazing!
They gave us all these cute little tarts to sample. I'm not into making pastries, but maybe I'll try making this someday. I'll put that one waaaay on the back burner.
This is a little more my speed. These are a few of Leslie's creations, fresh green bean salad and Italian bread salad, which has a fancier name but I don't remember. These were both delicious and I plan on making them, then I'll share the recipe and let you know how it went.
Leslie also spoke about the nutrition benefits of various fruits and veggies and how our bodies and appetites work with the seasons. We crave fruit in the spring because it cleanses our bodies of all the heavier foods we've been eating all winter. This makes sense, because I've been tossing back mangoes and strawberries like a madwoman for the past month.
We had to leave a little early, and I was too shy to ask for a picture with Leslie. Oops! She is starting a website with her sister called Bona Fide Foodie, which is all about eating fresh, local food, so when it gets going, I'll leave a link.
I scrapbooked the afternoon away with my mom and aunties and we hit an early dinner at The River Horse in Park City.
Park City is a beautiful resort town that's trying really hard to look like Switzerland, but I think it's cute.

Ok, The Riverhorse. This place is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I was kind of nervous because it was really expensive, but I would have paid more. Photo time:

Cherry-walnut bread: amazing with or without the honeybutter.
A gift from the chef, marinated eggplant salad on a home-baked chip. I don't think I've been anywhere with an actual chef, let alone was who sends out complementary treats!
One happy Kellapillar!
My entree: Chilean seabass with roasted beets, mashed sweet potato and truffle buerre blanc. Major foodgasm.
Even the menu was gorgeous.
Our "dessert appetizer", another gift from the chef. Peanut brittle and homemade chocolate truffles!
I'm not a big cobbler person, but this wild blueberry cobbler was to die for. Mmmm..
I couldn't finish everything and I took quite a bit home, but it still tasted delicious a day later in a cardboard box. I don't think I've been anywhere with take-home boxes that weren't styrafoam!

I just realized it's time for me to go to work! Oops!

Later Bloggies


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

From The Very Hungry Kellapillar.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Veggie Garden Pizza and Graduation!

I love pizza and I happen to be married to a pizza fiend. Instead of measuring the cost of things in dollars, he measures them in Little Caesar's five buck Hot N' Readys.

"That costs four pizzas!"
"If we cut back on X, we could save six pizzas a month."

You get the idea.

The other night, I had a vegetable drawer full of stuff that needed to be used, so I whipped up a whole wheat pizza crust from the recipe from Better Home and Gardens, slathered on some homemade pizza sauce and piled on every veggie I could find.

Here she is all decked out in eggplant, mushrooms, sweet peppers, spinach, arugula, garlic, and onions. I used real cheese because I haven't yet found a non-dairy cheese I like and I'm a little leary of cheeseless pizza. Another adventure for another night.

10 minutes later at 350, I added a little black pepper and some grated parm, and here it is:

I thought it was amazing, but Sam was a little disappointed. "Where's the meat?"
I guess I need to go buy Sam some meat, because I've forgotten for the past few months...

Oh well. This is a great way to use up random veggies. You can just buy a pizza crust, use a mix or find a good crust recipe online or in a cookbook. This one was only ok, but I think my yeast might be a little too old. I'll try again another time.

And...I graduated! It's really weird to NOT be a student anymore. I jumped right out of high school and into college and worked right through without a break, so this newfound freedom, delicious as it is, is kinda scary.

But I'll get over it:)

My parents (The Hungry Mommy and Daddypillar?) and paternal grandparents. This is where I get my good looks, intelligence, etc. :)

I love my Sam!
Have an awesome Monday!


Saturday, May 1, 2010


I've heard this term tossed around a lot and I always thought it was kind of silly. Either you're a vegetarian or you aren't. The more I think about it though, I acknowledge that there's a whole lot of difference between a non-vegetarian who occasionally eats fish or a salad with some goat cheese and a non-vegetarian who eats meat three times a day and washes it down with a big glass of chocolate milk. The difference is huge, so why shouldn't it have a name and be considered a separate eating style?
I've been toying with vegan cooking and eating for a few months now, and I love love love it. I still eat whatever Mom cooks when I visit though, and I might order restaurant meals with a little meat, egg or dairy. My diet is largely plant-based, but I do still include some animal products, so I guess I fall into the camp of "Flexitarianism," and I think I'll stay this way for awhile. I think I've found a nice balance for me that feels good to my body and doesn't trigger my obsessive tendencies, as veganism tends to do.
What do you think about flexitarianism?