Monday, July 06, 2009

budding foodie

I took the "Are you a Foodie?" quiz on facebook the other day and got a top score. I had to guess all the questions about foods with French names, but I guess my daily visits (addiction) to foodgawker has actually taught me about more than just cupcakes.

I was surprised at the quiz results. I know it's just a facebook quiz that could have been made by just about anyone (although, I suspect my high school Spanish teacher), but it still hadn't occurred to me that I might be a foodie. Maybe Ryan's fanatic burger enthusiasm and thirst for exciting, new food adventures has rubbed off on me a bit, but then there's also my new love for food which has stemmed from my weight loss.

Ah, weight loss. I have lost weight (note, past tense), but I still work every single day--no, every meal--to keep those pounds off. Working in an ice cream shop doesn't exactly make the maintenance easy either.

Settling into a new healthier weight sounds easy, but it's proving to be just as difficult as the weight loss process itself. Falling into old bad habits, like allowing yourself a little sugar in your tea or opting for an egg cooked in butter instead of oil, is too easy.

My solution to falling backwards has to be a continuous effort to negotiate with myself; to take a few minutes before each meal or snack to decide if, for example, a small ice cream with hot fudge or a slice of pepperoni and bacon pizza is really worth the same to me as a day full of fresh fruits, veggies, or an oh-so-lovely earl gray soy latte. These are my daily battles with food. Comfort food is such a strong and debilitating crutch. Trying to run without it is nearly impossible at times, but what I can do is re-define comfort.

Dropping the "food" from comfort is a gigantic leap, and one I'm not sure I'm totally ready for yet. So instead, how about comfort cooking? This is where the foodie buds appear. Food blogs and recipe sites (including Weight Watchers' website) are my arsenal towards building a comfort cooking base. Instead of sneaking into the fridge or cupboards to gaze over the foods there, I can turn on the computer and drool over the innumerable beautiful displays of food available. This satiates that craving the mind has for food. I fantasize about food. We all do. Think, how many times have you turned to food out of boredom? Peeking around the kitchen is not a reaction to hunger, and so the virtual food curbs the same cravings. But that's not all...

Food blogs and the like actually work to inspire me to try new ingredients and combinations. Who ever came up with roasting oranges and asparagus together must have been terribly bored, but wow.

So maintenance is about experimenting for me. The more new, healthier habits I form now, the more successful I become and the better I feel physically and mentally. My next adventure comes tomorrow when, for the first time in the four years I've lived in Sandwich, I'm going to visit the local farmers' market. The quest: to see what awesome stuff I can come home with for $20. Should be exciting.

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