WIAW #4 + (Unplanned) Food Exposure

This week’s WIAW features eats from this Sunday, a work day. I worked Sunday and Monday and meal prep was kind of sporadic and unorganized. Hey, it got done and I got all my meals in, so all was well.

Sunday was a brutal day. I felt like an untamed animal all day long, running from room to room trying to take care of my 4 patients. A lot was happening with my patients on Sunday so I was definitely busy. It was definitely one of those days. Let’s just say that I am on cloud 9, now that it’s Wednesday and I have 7 days off in a row. That light at the end of tunnel was calling my name.

Anyway, on to the food. Sunday was nothing special, but I think it’s fun sharing my work day eats. As always, head on over to Jenn’s blog for more WIAW fun.



Overnight oats to go. Eaten in the car on my way to work. Coffee was consumed also. This was made with one packet of quick oats, 1/4 cup light ‘n’ fit greek yogurt, spaghetti squash, blueberries, and 1 tbsp Raw Mio nut butter (future review perhaps). Topped it off with a splash of cashew milk and Walden Farms pancake syrup (obsession). Never tried spaghetti squash in oatmeal? Well, try it. Mix it in with the oats and water and microwave them together. Very good.



Salad bar for the win. This was from Heinen’s. My salad creations always end up being very large. No shame in that. This one had romaine/iceburg lettuce, a beautiful array of fresh vegetables, and a hard boiled egg white. Dressing was (my favorite) Panera ff poppyseed dressing and red wine vinegar. On the side I had a small peach and a small plain pita (not pictured)

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I try to hydrate as much as I can and usually end up chugging whatever fluids are available. If I have time I make a trip down to the main lobby to get coffee or diet coke but that didn’t happen on Sunday. Instead I stuck with lemonade mio in a hospital issued styrofoam cup.

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NOW. This. Is what gets me through my days. Always. There is nothing better in life sometimes. It has to be Stride Spearmint, though. I buy Orbit or Dentyne occasionally, just to switch things up. I chew a lot a ton of gum.

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Eaten while walking to my car after work because I was hungry and I was fading.

Grilled chicken with half of a sweet potato, steamed broccoli, and steamed brussels.

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My version of pro-froyo (protein froyo). This is a guilt-free treat and it sits near the top of my favorite recipe list.

-Half a pint of Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple (the new creamy pints are fab)

– 1/2 cup light ‘n’ fit greek yogurt

-truvia packet

-1 tbsp cocoa powder

1/3 scoop Quest chocolate protein powder.

MIX. I froze this over night then let it sit out for a bit. Topped it off with a small handful of cookies ‘n’ cream goldfish (trying to get over the fact that goldfish should not be feared), a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs, a couple of strawberries, and my homemade chocolate sauce (never gets old). This bowl of goodness tasted a little like my Menchie’s mix (but not quite). Regardless, it hit the spot.

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Moving on…

Fear Food.

Yes, I still consider many foods “scary”-I stay away from these fear foods…like they might kill me or something (what?) It seems so outrageous and silly, I know. But I have been battling with these irrational fears for years. I have a list, 2 pages long, of foods I used to eat (but no longer do), foods I wish I could eat (why can’t I?), and foods which have made their way to the bottom of the list because I’ve conquered my fear (or at least I’ve come close).

Well, this last Saturday I came face to face with a huge fear food of mine, AND it was at a restaurant, which always makes it even more of a challenge. I went to a restaurant near my house with my family and I already knew what I was going to order because it is my favorite dish that they make. I was really looking forward to it, actually. It is called the Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. Here is the dish I remember-Grilled chicken breast with sauteed roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms. I usually get it with red skin potatoes but on the weekends they don’t allow substitutions so I agreed to have it with the pasta. I was assuming it would be a red sauce which I love, so no big deal.

Glass of Cabernet in hand, bread and salad on the way–I was a happy, happy gal. Then our meals came out.

The waitress placed a plate in front of me that I didn’t recognize at all. Instead of red, all I saw was white. White is an uncomfortable color. White on pasta means creamy, buttery, cheesy. I steer very clear from these words on a menu. NOTE, this is a very personal choice. Believe me, I wish I could be normal and order an alfredo dish or a cheesy dish without getting hyped up.

I told the waitress I thought it came with red sauce?! Also, the chicken was barely recognizable. I am used to it being a full chicken breast, not diced up and covered in a heavy white sauce. Either she messed up my order or they changed the dish completely. She walked away and didn’t even bother to ask if I wanted something else. My mom tried to ease my anxiety by stating “It’s just a light sauce! It doesn’t look heavy to me at all!” Anyone with eyes could have seen that this was a bowl of heavy, cheesy, calorie laden food. Thanks anyway Mama.

Dad was a little more straight forward. His words-“Oh well, gotta eat it now cheech!” I could tell that he was annoyed by my reaction. He sometimes doesn’t realize that I still have a lot of anxiety around certain types of food. I feel bad. I think he just misses how I used to be-the good eater.

I simply said “I can’t eat this. I don’t like white sauce, I like red sauce”. Alright that was a horrible excuse, I’ll admit it. I started to feel a very familiar sensation. Heart racing, butterflies in my stomach, knees shaking. I haven’t felt that kind of anxiety around a meal in quite some time. It is a real, physical feeling. I kept eating my salad and sipping my wine-hoping that the wine might loosen me up. My dad kept giving me a look of disgust and I knew that things could get ugly if I didn’t just start eating. I finally threw in the towel and took a bite. It was nothing special. But it also tasted very good. It was a taste my mouth hasn’t felt in a very long time. I never eat alfredo based pasta dishes. If my mom makes a fettucino alfredo, she makes it “light” for my sake. She uses skim milk and pasta water and she cuts the amount of cheese down. There is a huge difference between her version and the typical alfredo. After a few small bites my dad finally said “Alright enough, I’m tired of watching you just stare at it. Let me have some. You are absolutely nuts Maria. Just eat it”. I gladly handed him my plate. But then I realized something. How could something that is so irrelevant cause me so much anxiety? Honestly, did I really think that this one meal would cause me to blow up like a balloon? I started thinking about how normal it is for people to order this kind of meal on a regular basis, with no repercussions. So why am I any different? Also, I know that I have a little bit of weight to gain so this kind of meal was actually what my body needed. I hate the fact that I have so many “fear foods”. I am waiting for the day when I can look at my list and see a check mark next to each food item. I see people eating normally every day, enjoying whatever kinds of food they are craving. These people stay the same size. The food doesn’t just magically cause them to morph into another being.

After a few bites of my meal, I calmed down. That anxious feeling went away and I started feeling something different. I felt normal. I felt human. I realized that in that moment, I was surrounded by good things. I was in the company of 3 amazing individuals, with delicious food and drinks, and a live band playing classic rock in the background. That is the life. That right there is being in the moment. I ended up eating about 1/3 of the portion and took the rest home for someone else to eat. The rest of the evening ended up going very smoothly. I spoke up during the meal and said that I was sorry for my reaction to my meal. I said that this was way out of my comfort zone but that it was something I had to overcome. My family was very supportive and my dad then said “You’re doing good, just eat what you can!” I felt 10 times better after that statement. I stated that “Enough is enough-I need to just to this, I need to try new things. This won’t hurt me”.

I kicked ED’s ass that night. It felt amazing. It was hard but now it’s over, and guess what? I’m still alive. I am certain that one day I will no longer have so many irrational fears when it comes to food. I have come a long way since my darkest days, and I know that even brighter days are in my forecast. Normalcy is such a good feeling. I have been feeling it a lot lately.

That night taught me many things. One thing that I am sure of is that I still have work to do. I have to fight even harder than before. Now is the time.

This is my time.


4 thoughts on “WIAW #4 + (Unplanned) Food Exposure

  1. Yay!!! You conquered a fear. I know exactly how that feels, and the victory over those fears is amazing. 🙂 THank you for transparently sharing your thoughts. Keep ticking them off…. 🙂 I can tell you personally that it’s worth it. And your family sounds amazing!


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