Functional anorexia for the new year

I fell down and went boom, Mumma gave me a glass of water. You fell down and went boom, your Mumma gave you a cookie. Thus a lifetime of emotional eating was instilled in you and a lifetime of stress starving was instilled into me.

A girlfriend from San Francisco (herein SF GF) was in town to ring in New Year celebrations. We enjoyed a last night dinner of soba — a la Soba Ya in Gotham’s East Village, along Tokyo Alley as I dub it — and a first morning brunch sitting along the bar at Balthazar. In between the meals we partied *in place* in a well fitted Bond Street loft kindly invited to by SF GF’s friend whose friends were away somewhere carving snow. This celebration of these three woman and one handsome man for good measure involved five bottles of good Champagne procured by SF GF and our stunning and brilliant who is brilliantly stunning hostess (herein Stunning Brilliant), another two bottles at Stunning Brilliant’s other friend’s place up 19th Street way, and some two fingers of Patron. I have not forgotten the kick off sake box back at Soba Ya ranch. A lot of alcohol was consumed as were giggling puffs of dusty greenery. Happy New Year — may the Dogs above and who rule in our lives bring us all goodness in this 02011. I believe, I have HOPE that this year will . . .

So SF GF calls me skinny. She has said I’m like a model. She flatters. But she is sincere, in her friendship, in her sentiments. At five five and a buck thirteen* I am no model. And at my age models are long since glue affixing baby crafts made in day care. I remain petite, maybe svelte and when I stress starve from some sort of emotional event or new boy distraction, I am perhaps too thin, maybe a little FTT when stress starving lasts more than a couple weeks . . .

Either way I do hold onto this prandium ideal. And I am something of a lifetime functional anorexic. So this is about that balance that is nearly impossible to maintain at all times between prandium and functional anorexia. Don’t stress about it. If you carb binge you carb binge. If you have some sort of freaky potato chip and dip binge, well, just keep it to yourself and never ever let even the most loving of boo boo boyfriends catch you doing it. But SF GF asked me to write about it, the functional anorexic and prandium part, so I will indulge her and get me tap tap tapping at these keys on DP once again . . .

Transcribed from a moleskin penciled on the A . . .

02011 these foods i eat <<or>> prescription for a functional anorexic life . . .

Premise . . . daily prandium still applies . . . eating alone during any time. Wheel go into details in a bit. Cena — the *banquet* with friends, colleagues & familia still applies and eat then as you wish, indulgence is ok including meats, fats and starches. Exquisite vegetables and fruits, and cheeses and desserts are not to be forgotten during cena.

The bass of prandium includes . . . liquids — water, seltzer, teas, morning cafe au lait or caffe con leche, which depends on mood only but homestead preparation with skinny moo remains the same. Water – a tall glass with or without emergen-c is ok. seltzer, with or without limon or lemon our lime is okay. Mornings are fairly liquid based, especially Monday through Fridays. But occasionally is foiled by a Balthazar croissant or a Liberte yoghurt.

I [heart] cereals too — got Familia granola (though watch the granola, it is nutrient dense–best eaten at night as dinner replacement with skinny moo), hippy kap’n’crunch (PB!) or, achem, fruit loopdeedoops. Hippy bran, with organic raisins kept cool in the fridge to mimic that stale raisin texture (see raisin bran brand version for textural definition). Again, cereals are a girls go to dinner replacement and I am girl, hear me crunch crunch crunch . . .

In winter when Florida sends their pink GRAPEFRUITS a packin’ for Northern scurvy dodgers — buy big bags of them — keep them stocked through the good season (you’ll know by taste when their season ends) — and eat 2-3-4 of them a day (halved and cut loose from within their cells & scooped to eat and enjoy with a spoon; don’t forget to scrape the sides and slurp the remains). CAUTION: grapefruits may be counter indicated due to impact of efficacy when eaten with certain heart meds and birth control pills. CONSULT your doctor or RD/nutritionist before eating a lot of them. Also, if you’re FTT or wasting due to disease, may not be best for you. If none of these above apply and you’re good to go . . .

Grapefruit with liquids in morning, a glass of water, caffe will help you take control of your appetite and manage it for the day. I like liquids in the morning to force the glycogen (energy) stores in the liver to deplete. Personally, I like to drive on empty. My head works better, more sharp, more clear that way. Of course if you do physical work or the lives of others are in your hands, add a Liberte or a croissant or a small cup of granola or quick cooked steel cut oats with a quick of the wrist of NY or VT maple syrup (Note: Butterworths, karo, and syrup are NOT maple syrup)

This *functional anorexia* begins when you begin your day. Thoughtfulness applies. Set the mode for the hunger and satiety centers in the brain to follow your lead. It may take some time and some cranky days. For girls, don’t begin this when you’re already monthly-moody or flow-y. It’ll make things much much worse. But if you have a stressful day or have had an emotional day, trick your fell down boom cookie eating child within to drink a glass of water instead.

Then . . . Fruits a plenty — in season, cultivated near to you in sustainable growing conditions is great. Do check with your local Ag department website for greenmarket and growing season schedules. But who doesn’t love a binge of exotic luscious fruitas from some faraway place. Got Central Coast cherries or meyer lemons or New Zealand kiwi?

Binge. This is an important word to me with fruit. To binge on fruit makes us regal, not fat. I remain the biggest fruit glutton I know and I am not fat, nor diabetic. Go ahead and eat a lot of fruits. Same for vegetables. Same approach as above per fruitas. Eat a lot es mui buena.

We have liquids, grapefruit, fruitas and vegetables.

By midday — for me is between late noon and three pm — comes prandium. Lunch. Oh, if I’m working though, as in at a job, I take lunch early, around 11:30 instead.  Prandium is for one as in eaten alone or with oneself in the place and time of ones choosing and need. This is adopted from a Roman Republic idea of prandium. Go ahead and eat with others. But if they eat McDs or consume large quantities of HFCS, prepare for the questions and snickers. With prandium the foods of today are actually not altogether different than the Roman foods of then (Those who read Latin and have access to primary sources see Roman Republic sumptuary laws).

Simple, solitary and frugal.

Pleasure and sustenance.

My new-old favourite protein is the sardine. Protein, fat — omega-3s — good for cells, especially muscles and brain. Here’s my plug (though I don’t get paid for it) . . . King Oscar brand whole lightly smoked in water or olio. A whole can, with a squeeze of fresh limon (or squeeze bottle less preferred but is OK) is nice. This self-diagnosed cracked piper addict does not take cracked piper on her sardines. No explanation why. She does eat them with her beloved now-dubbed hint of salt Triscuits.

Fats and dairy include avocado (limon, cracked piper, mashed if mushy ripe, or sliced if less so, a la Mexicana (or Gringa version) con cilantro et al for a guacamole if you so desire. Though prandium or functional anorexia is not about desire. Pleasure yes. Health and sustenance yes. Desire no. Well, perhaps in longing for the where oh where is my muse. I digress . . .

A general shopping list to keep the larder well stocked would include . . . sardines, triscuits, variously cured olives of your preference from the olive bar, jars of roasted red peppers and pepperoncinis, various cheeses, — goat is great; hard cheddars are shown in studies to decrease the bacteria in mouths that cause dental caries — fruitas, vegetables, endive, dry figs and dry dates and dry apricots (I prefer those with sulfates eegads!). I know crusty bread, what I believe was a precursor to crackers, is common. But bread is a slippery slope to a carb binge. Triscuits. Or choose your cracker. Achem, perhaps not r i t z.

Plates for lunch are composed thoughtfully. I have a thing for three, nine and prime numbers so I count some random prime number of olives or triscuits or cheese slices or figs, whatever I’m in the mood that day. This trick works well for me with portion sizes. No globbing onto big dinner plates. Use bread and lunch plates. Thoughtful. Composed. There is an aesthetic involved. You’ll see it when you create it for yourself. If you bring prandium for a functional anorexic to work or school, invest in some really good pieces of some sort of Tupperware containers. Then guard them with your life from roommates, boyfriends and coworkers . . .

Some tricks or snacks that speak more to functional anorexia and less to prandium but go hand in hand . . . dry nori is zero calories — it is crunchy and salty, the one-two savory mouthfeely punch. If you have a good Asian market, try out the various brands available in the cube shaped containers with black lids. I don’t know their names; they’re written in Japanese. I do go by aesthetic of the label and that has worked for me. Don’t eat them in one mow down. But that might take some discipline. Then also, sip a cup of chicken broth — real, not canned. If you have a good grocer with some local batched chicken broth as I do with Fairway, you’re golden. Pink grapefruits. A cup of tea.

At dinner, if you’re alone and at home, just go with more prandium foods. Or make a big fat salade. These are my all time favourites that I make . . .

Not your French aunt’s summer salade niçoise—A salad for all seasons

Une grande salade

Again, when you’re eating at cena — at table with friends and loved ones, or even with oneself at the bar at Balthazar, eat what you will enjoy and share with these people. It creates intimacy and community. And we all want these things, and deserve them.

As the seasons change, some of these foods and ingredients will change — the local produce and even the exotic produce has its seasons. The core will stay pretty much the same though. Perhaps do some sort of assessment of what is stowed in your larder and fridge. Write some lists of foods you like to eat. Consider their merits and their makeup — protein, fat, starch, fruit, vegetable, mineral, liquid. I write these lists every year, or twice a year in my Good Books to remind me and also helps when I haven’t bean eating a lot — it serves to motivate and inspire and to trigger the hunger centers. If you’d like me to take a gander at what you’ve written or what’s in your larder, or to go shopping for or with you, I’d be thrilled to. Just holler and I’ll bee there . . .

Ah, one last thought . . . This is framed within the traditional three daily meals plan. I do snack. But I don’t abide in or support the five or six small meals a day routine. Most folks I’ve met who do that, well, eyeball estimate of their BMI puts them in the 25+ category.

Bon appetit..


* This would be an accidental lie. I am no *buck thirteen*, More like a buck twenty-two.

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