At the heart of my reluctance to become a food blogger, chef, cookbook author, or anything else relating to cooking is the ultimate question… will food blogging make me fat?
Do I really want to embrace my love of food in such a way that it becomes part of my identity?
To be a food blogger means I have to think about food every day. Try and test and develop recipes. Research and read about food. Pour over ingredients and cookbooks and food blogs. I have to open myself tasting, cooking, baking… and yes.. eating!
In other words, I’ll be doing exactly what I’ve spent the last 10 years or so trying to avoid.
More accurately, trying unsuccessfully to avoid— focusing on eating.
I’ve never been diagnosed, but it’s pretty clear to me if I don’t have an eating disorder, I definitely have some “issues” when it comes to food. I’m not alone. It’s estimated that one out of every five women struggle with a food related issue.
I’ve run the gamut of food “issues”. Both eating to soothe and not eating out of emotion (I’ll teach him, I’ll lose 20 pounds and…”) I’ve fasted and binged, and if I weren’t so adverse to vomiting in general… probably would have purged too. I’ve eating in private, snuck food, hoarded and hidden treats. I’ve over exercised, definitely under exercised, and everything in between.
On my 21st birthday I wore a size 10 and weighed 155 pounds. I thought I was fat then. Now I consider this my “healthy goal weight”. Once I was almost 100 pounds more than that healthy weight.
I gain weight when I regress to my natural state… bookworm with a love of cooking, dining and good food of all types. I’m happier than a clam (mmm…clams…) playing video games, watching movies, and basically all things sedentary.
I lose weight through dedication, hard work, and limiting some of that wonderful, lovely food I enjoy so much (specifically all things high in carbs and low in value, like white flour, sugar, potatoes and rice).
So opening my door (and my soul) up to focusing on food seems like a very risky proposition indeed.
Will focusing on creating food porn daily make me fat? Will surrounding myself with visual and olfactory cues about food make it more difficult to fight the urge to dive into the entire pan of gooey cinnamon buns? Possibly.
Then again, perhaps through these exercises I can learn to have a healthy relationship with food, the struggles it’s caused me, and my path to finding balance (I’m not quite there yet).
So starting today I’m flinging open the door and letting the food in!
One of my staples when watching my figure is the chicken breast.
I’d buy a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts, and the first thing I’ll do is cut them all in half. Did you know most chicken breasts have gotten huge? One of them is often 9-10 ounces, which is double what you should be eating at a meal.
I’d keep them in this delicious simple marinade, then throw them in a pan or on a grill to cook (just two minutes a side) whenever I need a protein boost. The secret is in pounding the chicken breasts, which makes them cook in a flash while remaining tender.
I just finished eating one over a bed of crunchy romaine lettuce before writing this. And if I’d been a better food blogger, I’d have taken pictures! So I grabbed this shot out of my archives. Good thing I spend a LOT of time taking pictures of what I’ve been eating.
This recipe has served me well, hopefully it will you too!
Simple Lemon Dill Grilled Chicken
package of boneless skinless chicken breasts
Cut the breasts in half along the width to make two thin breasts, then lightly pound a little flatter.
Place in a bowl with the juice and zest of one lemon, a healthy sprinkle of salt, 1T of dill and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Toss until coated and place in a sealed container in your fridge. It will keep uncooked for two days.
For on demand chicken, when ready to eat, heat a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, then cook uncovered for just two minutes a side. Or fire up the grill and cook them all at once. They keep a day or two longer if you cook them.