Olive Oil Poached Broccoli

Cuisine minceur burst on the scene in the mid-1970s, developed by French chefs seeking an alternative to the post-prandial food coma.  This uber-light style of cooking, embodying “less is more,” relegated butter- and cream- laden dishes to the back burner.  Chefs pared ingredients down to the bare essentials and reduced the volume of food plated at the same time, leading to the visual joke of a small rainbow of tiny vegetables plus a shrimp nearly lost on an enormous white plate.  We loved it.  Tom Wolfe’s social X-rays could easily maintain their skeletal physiques.  We paid more and more money for less and less food, thinking we were oh so wise. Continue reading

My New Rule: No More Rules

Disclaimer:  I’m writing the next few posts in response to my therapist’s suggestion this morning.  I’ve been feeling uninspired lately (hence my lack of updates here) and have also been worrying more about my eating, and she hoped that in writing about it, I’d be able to exorcise some of my food demons.  Also, she may, or may not, be reading this.  I hate writing about what I ate, what I didn’t, and how incredibly insane I can be at times about what goes into my mouth (or doesn’t) and what comes out of it (or doesn’t).  I feel like it’s shallow and boring and not thought-provoking in the least, which is what I wanted my blog NOT to be.  But ultimately, this blog is for myself, and if writing things down will help me in the long run–and I think it will–then being perceived as boring or shallow or insipid is a small price to pay.

In my recovery from bulimia, I’m trying to bring a level of “normal-ness” to my eating.  Problem is, figuring out what “normal” is couldn’t be more confusing or frustrating for me. Continue reading

Letting It Flow Through

Master yoga teachers caution against taking on others’ baggage.  When a person is empathic and able to share another’s emotional experience, it’s tempting to want to take pain away, especially if the person is someone you care about.  At the end of every class she teaches, Seane Corn presses her hands to the earth, transmitting any negative energy she picked up from her students back into the ground.  Ana Forrest flicks the negative energy away with her fingers as she moves from student to student.  She is able to feel their emotions but lets them flow through her body like water through a sieve.

I don’t suffer from these problems, because I’m relatively dense.  In classes, I can usually sense when a student is in some type of distress, but my empathic skills aren’t honed enough to detect subtle negative energy from old or hidden injuries.  And I’m glad, because I have trouble releasing it.

Over the past few years, I’ve had a number of friends come to me with problems.  To put it bluntly, they’ve dumped their shit in my lap, sobbed it out, and walked away feeling better.  And while it’s an honor and a blessing to be a good enough friend and to offer a safe enough haven for them to give up these deep secrets, I’m still left holding a pile of shit in my lap, not knowing what to do.  Sometimes I cry.  Sometimes I eat.  And sometimes, like today, I take on their pain. Continue reading

Selling Crack In The Schoolyard

Call me sentimental, but reading “Marjorie Morningstar”–and I’ve read it many times–always plucks at my heartstrings.  I know it’s not literature and it’s kind of sappy and very dated, but there are so many passages that I find moving (as well as the central theme of losing one’s youthful dreams to the point where it’s hard to imagine they existed at all).  One of those passages, the one I’m thinking of now, has Marjorie wistfully saying, “I used to live in the El Dorado,” an apartment building on Central Park West.  There was a brief period in her life when her father enjoyed financial success and moved the family to the glittering residence.  For Marjorie, the El Dorado was a magical place, a place in which nothing she dreamed seemed impossible.  And even though she only lived there briefly, she always looked back on her time there as a time of wonder.  The statement “I used to live in the El Dorado,” as her lover noted at the time, poignantly reflected her life, her waning dreams, the nostalgia of the “ago” rather than the reality of the “is.”

I feel the same way about my store.  I used to have a bakery (I always imagine myself saying this with a Danish accent, like Meryl Streep intoning “I had a farm in Africa”).  I was a pastry chef. Continue reading