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I Ate the Darn Stew!

March 25, 2011

Hola Lovies! Happy Friday!!!

I’m so glad you all like my vlog – I had fun doing it. Talking to a camara does feel a little weird, and now that I’ve re-watched it a couple of times, I just have to say: gosh, I’m cheesy!!! But I’m happy you guys enjoyed it, and now you can match a voice to my face!

So yesterday I accomplished something that I haven’t done in a very loooooong time. I ate a dinner that was not controlled, counted, weighed and measured by me cooked by my mom!  I enjoyed every bite and didn’t feel guilty afterwards!

***The rest of this post is extremely lengthy. I really needed to get this all out, and I know that it is very long. Don’t feel bad if you can’t make it through the whole thing. I probably couldn’t either. :-)***

Let me backtrack a little. (Now this might get a little wordy and confusing, so bear with me.)

On Tuesday, my mom went to the green grocers and stocked up on fruit + veg. Wednesday  afternoon she told me she bought all the ingredients for lecsó – a Hungarian pepper, onion, and tomato stew that I ate frequently pre-ED and absolutely adore. She asked if I’d eat some should she cook it, and I said yes. I though it would be a good way to start conquering my fear of eating food cooked by others. Yesterday, my mom asked if I wanted the lecsó for dinner that night (Thursday) or the next night (Friday). After much debating and argument with my ED voice, I asked her to make it for dinner yesterday, instead of today.

The link above describes the various ways to make lecsó. If you haven’t yet or don’t want to click it, I’ll shorten it and tell you how my family makes lecsó. We saute onions in olive oil. Then the sliced peppers and tomatoes are added and cooked until soft. A lot of liquid comes out, so it’s pretty much just softened peppers and tomatoes in a bunch of pepper juice. And of course, we add some salt and paprika. Then while it’s still hot, we scramble eggs (usually 2 whole and 2 whites) and stir them into the peppers.

So this in not a heavy, creamy, meaty, typical Hungarian stew. It’s very light, and relatively low in calories. It’s usually eaten with bread to sop up the juice…though come to think of it, everything in Hungary is eaten with bread. Read: potato paprikás with bread on the side. Carbfest much? But anyway, calorie wise, I didn’t have much to worry about with the stew. My amazing fantastic, accommodating, loving mother even assured me she’d measure and only use 2 teaspoons of oil, and use only 1 whole egg with 3 whites. Obviously, I had nothing to worry about.

Yet, I was still worried. I was in the car halfway to ballet when it sort of caught up to me: I was about to eat this stew with an unknown amount of calories in it. I felt my nerves and anxiety rising, and honestly, I was scared!

This is why I LOVE being a part of this blogging community. I reached out to three beautiful, strong, incredible ladies, and they all showered me with support, encouragement, and an anti-ED voice.  So Emma, Alexandra, and Sarah, thank you. Thank you for all your wise words. Thank you for being there for me when my own voice got lost amid all of ED’s yelling. Thank you for the understanding, reasoning and the reassurance that everything would be ok.

I got home from dance feeling much less anxious. (Thanks ladies!) In fact, I was excited for the challenge. I just got my bowl, took the serving spoon, and since there was nothing I could actually measure, I just served myself as much as I thought I wanted, then sat down. And let me tell you, this was delicious! The memories came flooding back with the first bite, and I was the ED-free Bryana again, the girl who loved food and didn’t care about calories.

Alexandra said something to me that I hadn’t really though of before: ED isn’t only weight. The foods you eat also matter. Up until now my main goal was weight gain. As long as I was gaining, it didn’t matter if I counted/measured. But now I realize that it does matter. I am practically weight restored, so it is ok if I don’t eat enough one day and eat a bit too much the next. What is too much or too little anyway? It all balances out in the end. So now it is time for me to learn to eat minus measuring. Intuitive eating was not an option for me for so long, just because I was scared I’d start loosing. But now I get very clear hunger-satiety cues from my body on a daily basis, and I think it’s ok to start listening to them.

And in fact, I think I did that yesterday. I ate a pretty good quantity of stew, but since it is only veggies, it didn’t have much staying power and I was hungry 1 hour later. So I fixed my usual post-dinner snack – a pb&j, dates, and ensure plus. Then I went about preparing my oats for breakfast, but when I was done, I was once again hungry. I ate a handful of soynut/almond/craisin mix and went upstairs. When I finally laid down to go to bed, I realized I was still hungry. I went downstairs and ate an unmeasured 1/2 of banana and an unmeasured amount of nut butter. And finally, I was full. I guess that’s what a light veggie stew dinner will do to ya’, but I’m glad I listened to my body and ate more food when I needed it! 🙂

So, this post is suuuuuuuuper long already, but want to see my brekkie? ‘Course you do!

A bowl inspired by Carrie and based of this recipe. I cooked my oats the night before in 1.5 times the recommended water. In the morning, I heated it up, stirred in peanut butter, truvia, 1/2 a banana, and a chopped pear. Then I topped it with more banana, pear, and 2 chopped fudgies. Flavor-wise, this was incredible. Texture-wise – yuck! I prefer my oats thick (eat-with-a-fork thick) and I used too much water in this (drink-with-a-straw soupy) Bleh! Anyway, I will be re-making with much less water, because the flavors worked so well together.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


How do you feel about eating food prepared by others?

Oatmeal: thick or soupy?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2011 6:07 pm

    I tried the “voluminous oats trick” as I think it’s called and it didn’t work for me either. I like my oat really thick, so adding more liquid doesn’t do it for me.

    And as far as food cooked by others – I still struggle with it. It depends who as well. For instance if I know the person has a pretty good stance on healthy eating it’s not AS bad. But my dad (as an example) loves frying literally everything with hunks of butter, so when he cooks anything it’s very hard for me to eat it.

    So all that to say I can relate to your struggle of people cooking for you, and I’m so proud of you for listening to your body and eating more when you needed it. You’re awesome!

  2. March 25, 2011 6:22 pm

    Go you, Bryana, for listening to your body and eating the stew without knowing how many calories were in it! Keep it up 🙂

    I actually don’t really struggle with eating things others have made, as long as it was made by my mom or dad. They usually make things I like and cook pretty healthy, so I’m never too concerned. I know I used to be two years ago, but luckily I’ve learned to be more trusting.

    Thanks for always inspiring me to keep going with recovery! You are always so positive and upbeat, even when you’re struggling, so thank you for that!

  3. March 25, 2011 10:29 pm

    Goood job! hehe The stew looks really tasty!
    I was actually never too worried about eating food prepared by others as long as I knew roughly what it was going to be before hand. Now I’m pretty much fine with it. It’s a wonderful feeling, for sure.

    I usually like my oatmeal thick, but sometimes I’ll make it creamier for a change. Definitely not soupy though!

  4. March 25, 2011 10:54 pm


    YOU GO GIRL!!!!!! I am so proud of you for challenging yourself, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed the stew! That is also fantastic that you listened to your body and ate more when you were hungry (and didn’t measure!)! 🙂 You and Alexandra are so right that recovery is about so much more than the weight- the food is just as important. Let us know how intuitive eating goes!

    Thank you so much by the way for your sweet comment on my blog! I will definitely be reading yours regularly from now on!

    Have a wonderful weekend! Keep up the amazing work!!!


  5. March 26, 2011 5:39 am

    YAY! im so so happy for you!! those are awesome steps girl!! and YAY for the oats!! ahh.. watery is a no no for me!! sometimes I have to microwave it longer in the morning to get them to firm up more!! or just experiment with the water amounts- it took me a few times too! love the fudgies- thanks for making them!! 😀

  6. March 26, 2011 7:12 pm

    SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU!!! It’s such a scary thing to eat something prepared by someone else when you are so used to knowing exactly what is going into your mouth but when you realise that the world DOESN’T fall down around you, it’s an amazing feeling.


  7. Laura permalink
    March 26, 2011 8:45 pm

    SO proud of you Bryana! That’s a huge accomplishment, and it’s so true that it’s not just about weight. The emotional recovery and being able to have a healthy relationship with food is far more important, and being able to eat a family meal is a big step! You should be really proud of yourself

  8. March 27, 2011 10:43 pm

    That dish sounds fantastic! I am so glad you got to enjoy it 🙂

    I can really relate to the fear of foods prepared by others, I still have it to a degree, but it is a lot better. The more others prepare your food, the easier it is 🙂 That is a great step in the right direction!

    Hope you had a great weekend!


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