WIAW: Fear Foods and Fun Finds

I haven’t participated in a WIAW recently and I thought today might be a good time since surprisingly I have incorporated several things into my diet that I have never, or are at least not typically, consumed.

Before we went away I had a few specific goals in mind; enjoy a glass of wine, authentic pizza, and enter the breakfast buffet with an open mind (I had a past European a.m. meal issue that you can read about here.)

Wine was included in the package we had on our ship, and I really do LOVE a glass of crisp white on a nice summer day, so I had no excuse not to let myself have one.

I won’t post the photo after the backlash of the other day, but I can assure you I did have a few social drinks in the after-dinner lounge. It was as delightful as I remember and I am hoping I can continue the tradition now that I am home.

*On a side note I was totally a cheap date because about ¾ of a serving and I was buzzed. Not such a bad thing I suppose ha!

The pizza goal I took to a whole nother level. I think I had pizza every day and I was ok with it because things are a little different overseas.

There is no extra cheese, but more tiny balls of fresh mozzarella melted perfectly on a bed of veggies marinara and herbs. The crust is thin and crispy, and most times come in a single-serve portion.

After 8 hours of walking around Rome, biking the coast of Palma de Mallorca, and overall just having fabulous adventures on-shore, pizza was the greatest lunch option ever; wonderfully balanced and more importantly satisfying. I even tried to make my own version at home…

Ok, definitely not AS good as in Rome, but the fresh cheese, basil and swiss chard that came in my CSA box this week helped a bit 🙂

It was also a very different sauce base than I normally use, but I think it absolutely enhanced the flavor.

I have told you I use this website before but if you haven’t already please check out www.skinnytaste.com.

I actually made her crock pot Minestrone and used it as my sauce, making a few alterations to thicken the broth (no diced tomatoes, but instead pureed, tons and tons of fresh basil, and no pasta since I knew it was going on a crust.)

Make the Minestrone! It will not disappoint!

I have to take a moment here and discuss what REALLY makes my at-home version significant to my recovery.

Two reasons in fact…

1. I actually used cheese.

The dairy product was always an “unnecessary” waste of calories in my mind, but to a girl who loves salt and has the bone mass of a grandma, I don’t know how I could have ever thought that. Thank goodness for fresh varieties they have at the market, local farms, and even in some nicer grocery stores, because although it is still somewhat “scary,” it really is delicious.

2. The cheese was not diet.

I now and forever will LOVE my Laughing Cow Wedges. They make things fabulously creamy and help concoct a mean tuna salad, but beyond those and 75% fat-free Cabot, cheese did not make typically make an appearance in my kitchen.

In an effort to get over the negative thinking and categorizing food as good and bad, when Ryan and I were at Trader Joes last week we bought the fresh mozzarella used to make my pizza, and also the individual size medallions of goat cheese.

I had never tried goat cheese but read about it a gazillion times on Caitlyn’s blog. The serving size made it a little easier to handle and the flavor is phenomenal. What an awesome addition to the lunchtime salads that were getting so mundane.

AND my hair might even stop falling out for incorporating some healthy fats…BONUS!

Baked goods are another MAJOR genre of food that I never really kept at home for fear if I even tasted ONE I would need to eat it all, but after getting 3094836 zucchini from my weekly CSA Ryan started talking about zucchini bread.

I used to LOVE zucchini bread as a little girl, and that might be an understatement.

Ry started telling me of the fond memories he had with the loaves his grandmother used to make him, so since I had a weekend to myself I thought I would get busy in the kitchen.

Again I turned to Gina’s recipes since I have never found one I didn’t like, and made her Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins.

Since I did not have very many chocolate chips in the pantry, I used half peanut butter and half chocolate. Absolutely a winning combination.

If you have an abundance of the green squash, please make these in addition to the soup. Trust me, they are both amazing.

Although this is still a “lightened-up” version of the treat, it was an incredible feat for me to use butter and the actual amount of chips in this recipe. Normally I would strip things down to the lowest possible caloric content if I knew I was going to consume any, but I am very glad I didn’t. They were great for a pre-walk snack this Saturday, and were delicious with some Plain Chobani and a little TJ Sunflower Butter.

And now that I have rambled for a long time, there are a few other products added to our kitchen (and actually taken on our trip as fuel for fun!) that I felt I had to share.

They all get a big big big thumbs up in my book and if you are looking for some new options, you should definitely give these a look:

Luna Fiber Strawberry Peanut Butter

ALL the Wholly Guacamole Salsas

Kay’s Naturals Better Balance Snack Options

Ok, I am done now, I promise 🙂

Happy Eating!


16 thoughts on “WIAW: Fear Foods and Fun Finds

  1. Hoookay so I have been reading your blog and following along ever since you got back from your trip, but have not been commenting… I am sorry for that CJ, but please know I have been reading!

    I know you are going through A LOT right now to say the very least. I know I could sit here and type to you all great motivational sentences, “you can do this,” “It is possible,” “just keep fighting, stay strong!” But they don’t seem to make an overall difference… you definitely have worthy victories, such as with these fear foods and being on vacation… the cheese and such, which I am quite PROUD of you for, a step in the right direction! But as I have been reading, you are having a tough time right now, so what is it going to take?

    While those motivational methods are helpful, I know you have heard them one billion times over. I get that this is hard, I get is sooo so much and CJ, please do keep fighting, to bring back the cliche saying. I am having a tough time right now too, but I assure you, my life is getting better with my efforts, and yours can too!

    Think about what it was like before all of this happened to you, you were care free, enjoyed food, thought about it, liked the taste, but not much more than that. This was not the burden, you were not controlled by your fear of losing control, or losing your identity as the “thin” and in shape person. Imagine that life, and think about what your existence is like now, it’s miserable and I know this because I have been there, heck I am there some days now… when the size of my body is almost too much too handle.

    But I keep on going, because the other choice is a life where obsession on food, weight, calories, exercising, CONTROL, planning… is one I am not planning on partaking in. I can’t stand it anymore, I am tired of being unhappy and scared all of the time, and I have a good idea you are feeling the same way.

    I am sorry about this long ass comment, I just wanted to get my words to you, because I know you can do this. It does SUCK the big one, but I am here right along side, taking back my life, as you are capable of doing too.

    • Tessa you are too sweet. I always read your posts and feel like we are the same person. It is so hard to break out of these habits, routines, give up the control that we feel we need in order to live, when really what we need is to just surrender and LIVE. I am here for you always and thank you thank you thank you for being so kind and supportive!

  2. Call your uncle. Make plans with him for this coming weekend- you need to rally all of the supportive people in your life right now and i suspect he will only ask why it has been so long since you last spoke. He sounds like a kind soul and someone who just might not know how to help you. Big hugs go a lot further than you would think.

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