Posted by: Judy | April 21, 2016

Personal “BUDs” starting at the beginning 2…


If I’m as successful at eating as I am at sleeping this should be spectacular. 🙄

From my earliest memory, my eating was controlled to an insane level.

Though I wasn’t diagnosed with IBS as a child, I had severe digestive problems. The doctor recommended a brief stint on the BRAT diet, Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. It worked. I ate normally, and the problem returned. NM put me back on the diet without consulting the doctor. I was kept on the diet for over a year. The only reason I was taken off the diet is because I lied. I want to say five years old, but I honestly can’t remember. I think it was before I was in first grade. I knew the only way off the BRAT diet was to lie, so I did. My digestive problems returned, but I told the adults in my life I was fine.

I wasn’t allowed to snack, even as my brothers did. “They’re growing boys.”

Food was a constant, daily battle. What I could eat, what I couldn’t, how much, when. Several years ago, I read a romance novel in which the son grabbed the ice cream container and ate from it, while the daughter snagged the bag of chips. I was totally baffled by the concept of them being able to simply take what they wanted from the family supplies. Growing up, I spent my dollar allowance on candy so I could have something when I wanted. I went to the store alone or with my sister and made my purchase while she was looking at other things. No one could know.

Even as a child, I noticed patterns. I’d eat at someone else’s home and not have stomach problems. I came to recognize a correlation between whole wheat bread and white bread. I didn’t have stomach problems when I ate white bread. I was informed that I would not be treated special, that white bread was rat poison, that if I didn’t want what the family was eating I could go without. Going without meant a scolding for not appreciating all the hard work and effort. “Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.”

I learned to steal food. It’s difficult to track the disappearance of crackers and marshmallows. Yes, I’ve eaten out of the garbage can.

The few times I attempted to eat outside the specified parameters, eating leftovers in the fridge, I was accused of stealing food out of the mouths of the other members of the family. The little container I’d eaten was going to be used with other leftovers to make dinner. I stopped. I watched little containers mold and be thrown out. More times than I could count.

As a high schooler, I was not given money for lunches. I could bring lunch from home. Whole wheat bread. I was promised money for work done that I more often than not never saw. I wasn’t allowed to go out and find a job because school was my job. The insanity of it all is mind-boggling. Breakfast was a glass of milk. I skipped lunch, unless one of my friends took pity on me. I came home after school and had another glass or two of milk. Milk is filling. I was scolded for drinking too much milk. I ate what I could of dinner. NM decided to go uber-healthy, all whole grains. Even pizza and spaghetti was made with whole wheat.

I was in Junior Miss. Really. One of the gifts were little recipe books filled with recipes from past Junior Miss winners. One was a BBQ chicken dinner. I learned to do it well. In college, I took a gourmet cooking class and excelled. I wanted to pursue the culinary arts, but “women can’t make money as cooks.” Never mind Julia Childs. I volunteered to make dinner for the family. I’d be able to eat. I was complimented by everyone eating. Suddenly, my meals weren’t healthy enough. I was banned from cooking dinner for the family.

I was 20 when I worked in Yellowstone. It was the first time in my life when I had control over my eating. I remember looking in the mirror in my dorm room and being able to count ribs. I was fat.

Short note on clothes, something I don’t think about often: I was dressed in provocative clothes, mini dresses so short they barely covered my backside, as a young tween and teen. In my late teens, clothes bought for me had shifted from formfitting to boxy. I spent my own money, when I was paid, on clothes. It wasn’t an extensive wardrobe, a few slacks, jeans, blouses. For the odd twist, I was given Gunny Sack dresses for Sunday. I often felt like I was a dress-up doll.

In Thailand, I learned to say, “No, I’m sorry, but I can’t eat that.” I had companions who were obsessive about weight. They were petite. Thais are small. I’m not. I felt like an elephant.

I went to Europe. BAM! I was encouraged to eat. People loved to feed me. They took my allergies and restrictions into account and catered to what I could eat. I was their American Princess. I was pampered. I didn’t know what to do with it. I endeavored to be gracious. I discovered a wide variety of food I could eat and thoroughly enjoyed.

Returning home, I couldn’t go back to the old expectations. I began hoarding food, a loaf of white bread, a box of crackers. Buying my own food was the first thing I did when I started working. I was in control of my food, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

I’ve made a lot of bad choices. I’ve made some good choices. All the things I should have learned growing up, I didn’t. I’m having to learn it now. Add in the ever-changing guidelines… it’s like NM runs the government food council. So, yes, I ignore it. I’ve watched the tennis match regarding eggs, for decades. Perfect food; worst food on the planet. I’m allergic to them, so it doesn’t matter. Food has been both reward and punishment.

NM still exercises an insane amount of control regarding my eating. I’m supposed to have a little time in the kitchen, free of the watchdogs. The only time I’m certain is mine is if they’re gone. It’s sad. I haven’t cooked a gourmet meal in years.

I’m learning to live within the insane parameters set for me. Fast and easy usually isn’t healthy, but I’m working to discover options. I can’t change them. I can change me. I will learn to eat better for me.

What is my 3,000-7,000 times a day?

I don’t want to think of food as simply fuel. I enjoy it too much. Maybe I can think of it as yummy fuel. Food is a gift from God for my good. It’s meant to be enjoyed… I don’t enjoy it when I abuse it… Hmmm… something to think about.

Since I started this rethinking process, I am eating better.

At the suggestion of ntexas99, I bought chicken and crackers, and they’re in the cupboard. I also found pre-made tuna salad I can keep in the cupboard. I keep my matzoh in my room, along with pecans and dried fruit. I have some dark chocolate covered pomegranate and Dove Promises. Here’s a shocker: I have my chocolate sandwich cookies in my room, and I only have them after a meal. An open box is not an empty box, even though I like them better than Oreos. I am improving.

I will learn to enjoy food without abusing it.

*UPDATE on Night Three. I listened to the CD going to sleep. I woke at 3:00 a.m., too warm to sleep. I opened my bedroom door, cooled off my room, and went back to sleep. No dreams that I remember. I woke up after seven hours, with my radio alarm, feeling… different. Not rested but like I’d slept. Don’t know if that makes any sense. I almost felt like I’d taken an allergy pill, but I didn’t. I felt kind of different all day. Not sure what to think. I’m using the CD again for Night Four.




  1. I’m a person that likes having options. Another quick and easy option for me has been the pre-packaged oatmeal, where you basically only have to add hot water, and stir. It isn’t the healthiest of choices, as it usually contains sugar/flavorings, but you can find plain oatmeal as well. My current favorite is the cinnamon and raisins variety. Or the maple with brown sugar. I’m also good about adding fresh fruit, wherever possible.

    One of the smartest things I’ve done for myself actually took some advanced planning. I purchased $20 worth of fresh fruit, with a bottle of pomegranate blueberry juice for blending (no sugar/no preservatives). Then I used the blender to make a dozen smoothies, which I put into plastic disposable/reusable clear cups with flat lids, and stuck them in the freezer. I added in protein powder and fiber powder, so they are like little cups of energy, and also provide something cool on those really hot days.

    Don’t know if fruit fits in with your options, but for me, having the pre-made smoothies in the freezer has been a huge time saver on those days I can’t force myself to cook or prepare anything at all. My smoothies have saved the day too many times to count. Now I usually make them 24 at a time. One day of being in the kitchen for about two hours, and I have a freezer full of options. Right at my fingertips. Ready to go.

    This time around, I had several different flavors. Green honeydew melon with kiwi. Orange cantaloupe with pineapple and banana. Red strawberry with purple grapes. And yellow pineapple with citrus (oranges and pink grapefruit). Sometimes I also do a batch of “everything all thrown together”, and it ends up being a shade of muted pink. Just after preparing all my smoothies, my freezer space looks like a rainbow. 🙂 Of course, it requires you to have available freezer space, and access to a blender. I usually pop them in the microwave for just under a minute, and that thaws them just enough to eat with a plastic spoon. They are filling, healthy, and in my case, I have another medication that I mix into them, allowing me to find a more palatable way to take that medication.

    Glad to hear that you’ve expanded on your options. It’s hard for me to relate about the food being controlled all the time. That had to be a frustrating and unkind way to go through your childhood years. But I’m sure that your present circumstances throw all sorts of triggers and red flags around, so any way you can find to put yourself back in control, is bound to help your overall state of mind and level of contentment in your life.

    We both are looking for quick and easy solutions to try to eat healthier, perhaps for different reasons, (and some of the same reasons, too). One of the things you’ve helped me be able to do is have a bag of chocolate in the fridge (presently, it’s Cadbury mini eggs from Easter, which are gluten-free). The small bag I purchased probably had about 20-24 eggs, and I’ve managed to have only one or two per week. Similar to your cookies. I allow myself one, but only if I’ve managed to make healthier choices during the week. Kind of like giving myself a shiny star for doing well. And surprisingly, the bag sits there untouched, rather than disappearing all at once. So that’s progress.

    I also took a few mis-steps recently. I love ice cream (so much so, that I could probably eat a half gallon a day, if given the opportunity). So, for the past year or so, I just opted to not have it in the house. Can’t overdo it, if it’s not there as a temptation. Well, recently I allowed myself one of those small containers of vanilla ice cream. Which I did manage to stretch to four servings, but my intention had been to make it stretch at least twice as far. So the ice cream experiment was a bust. Just too tempting. So now I’m back to just eliminating it from my options. Having the frozen smoothies helps, in that it still offers something cold, and sweet.

    I enjoy reading about your own choices and options, even though our circumstances are different in that regard. For the longest time (a couple years, at least) small red apples were my go-to snack, (and sometimes meal). But digestive issues removed raw apples as an option now, although I can still have applesauce or other types of cooked apples.

    And soup. Canned soup has so much added sodium, so I always try for the low sodium ones. When I find them on sale, I usually buy several. My personal favorite is chicken and stars. But I don’t know about the gluten/wheat content, since that isn’t one of the things I look for when making my choices. For me, it’s about keeping the sugar content low, and especially the salt content low. Here’s to finding healthier options, so that we can make choices that help us get where we want to go. 🙂

    • I keep cold cereal on a shelf, Lucky Charms and Rice Crispies or generic versions. A little of the Lucky Charms acts as sugar to the Rice Crispies. 🙂

      Oooo the fruit smoothies sound yummy. I’ll have to try those.

      I cannot have ice cream in the house. An open container is an empty container. I’ve tried individual servings, and it’s amazing how many trips I make to the freezer. Best not to have it in the house. I have it “out” once in a while so I don’t feel deprived. 🙂

      I keep Carnation Instant Breakfast on hand. Really short is add to milk and done. If I have time, I add a frozen banana and blend. If I have it on hand and have time, this week I’ve added some frozen raspberries and blueberries to the banana, CIB, and chocolate coconut milk. Best milkshake ever. 🙂 Have to be home alone for that one.

      I’ve added the individual fruit cups. More expensive, but I don’t have to refrigerate after opening. Oddly enough, I think I’m eating healthier.

      • I like the idea of finding items that can be in your pantry that don’t require refrigeration, yet still provide a healthier choice. Although my fruit smoothies (made 20-30 at a time now) require a couple hours in the kitchen, and plenty of freezer space, it has become the single most effective thing I’ve done. Whereas before, I would often reach for that bag of cookies, or a box of pudding, or tortillas with cheese and lunch meat, now I have various colors of smoothies already instantly ready, at my fingertips. It has been a very successful alternative.

        Like the idea of CIB added to milk. I do sometimes run out of milk, but having the packaged oatmeal pouches has been another good substitute. Also, when my sister visits, she uses that French Vanilla coffee creamer, and invariably there is some remaining when she leaves. I’ve started pouring it into my “little tiny ice cube” tray and freezing big dots of coffee creamer (about the size of a marble). When I make my oatmeal pouches, I add one dot at the end to help cool it down, and to add sweetness and milk flavor. That one was a home run. So now I almost always have creamer dots in a baggie in the freezer. She prefers the sugarless kind, so it usually has Stevia versus sugar, which is okay by me. Still adds a touch of creaminess and sweetness. I’ve never like butter in my oatmeal, so the coffee creamer dots turned out to be just right.

        Do you eat yogurt? I almost always have yogurt in the fridge, and will mix in 1/4 cup of granola cereal, the chunkier the better (for my preference). I also keep dry cereal – my two “go to” cereals are generic Rice Krispies, and Crispy Wheat and Raisins. Any kind of raisin bran works, but my preference is the one that doesn’t get so soggy in milk (but it also has a higher sugar content, so I use it sparingly). And you probably do this one already, too. The cheese and cracker packs, or peanut butter and cracker packs. The dollar store also has sugarless cookies (6 in a pack). For 12 individual packs of 6 cookies each, it’s only $1 at the dollar store, so that’s another one that doesn’t require refrigeration.

        Another thing I do is make a baby spinach salad, with shredded carrots, sometimes shredded purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and whatever else I happen to throw in. Add fresh sliced strawberries, and also throw granola cereal in the salad. My preference has always been Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing (Kraft light), with fresh ground pepper. But you have to be prepared to eat it every day for 5-6 days to avoid it going bad. I tend to make 1/2 as much as I used to now, and end up with extra spinach (used in omelets, or sandwiches in place of lettuce),and usually means I also make a container of coleslaw (primarily shredded carrots and purple cabbage). But it’s another way to prepare almost a week’s worth of meals, with minimal effort, one or two containers in the fridge, and quickly served up once the initial prep work is done.

        Just curious. I think you mentioned you have a small dorm style fridge in your room. Have you thought about getting a full-sized fridge in your room? For the freezer space and fridge space? In your situation, assuming you have room for one, I would think it would make sense. A larger fridge/freezer (even if you go for “camper sized” or “smallest full sized fridge”), plus a microwave, and that allows you not to have to be in the kitchen for every meal. Options. Just wondering. When one of my sisters stayed with me, she wanted a fridge in her room, so I bought her one, and even thought at the time I thought it was very odd and weird, over time, I realized she needed to have the comfort of not having to worry about “sharing” foods. I was always respectful about never dipping into “hers” versus “mine”, but she still needed that added layer of privacy, so that her fridge could have whatever she wanted, and she never had to worry about anyone else ever borrowing, looking, throwing things out, etc. We adapted. Anyway, it was just a thought. May have already asked you that question before. Not sure.

        Heading off to the shower. Need to hit re-boot on this day (again). Tried going for a short walk this morning, but still in my grumpy face. Maybe the shower will help wash it away. 🙂

        • Most of those sound yummy but can’t eat. I’ve done the packaged crackers and cheese, but discovered I ran into the problem of eating one after another. Don’t know why I binge on them. No oatmeal. No eggs. I miss eggs. I have to be careful about how much fresh fruit or veggies. My fridge is actually a small fridge in my storage room, that’s were I keep my extra milk, cow and coconut, extra cheese, sandwich meats, freezer space with my frozen fruits for my milkshakes, frozen dinners. As to adding a micro or anything electronic to my room, I’m already at my electrical limit. My bedside lamp dims when I run the printer at the same time. 🙄 I like the idea of those dots. I’d like to do that to lemon juice for chicken soup.

  2. So much of your mother’s controlling sounds like mine: control over the food and not being allowed to have a job. When we used to visit my parents, my husband and I would sneak food into the guest bedroo, because there was never anything to eat in my parents’ house and they would keep really odd dining hours (even when their young grandchildren were around — they’d want to take a late dinner reservation and said, “Oh, we don’t mind if the babies fuss during dinner.” Uh, how about the fact that the BABIES clearly minded?!?!)

    It’s just sad that grown-ass adults would be hiding food so we wouldn’t go hungry. I’m glad I don’t deal with that garbage any more. And when people visit me, I have a house stocked with everything the guests like if I know what they prefer.

    • Well, now we know we aren’t crazy. We can back each other up on that. 🙂 When I visit my friend in Cali, she always has food she’s purchased just for me. I usually give her a gift card to a restaurant or grocery store to say ‘thank you.’

      • Your post reminded me of when I stole some of my 1st grade teacher’s homemade sugar cookies. I’m still ashamed of it, but I felt so — starved both physically and emotionally. 😦

        • 1st grade… heartbreaking.

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