I’m finally back at school!  Not exactly lovin’ it 100% though, y’know?  Bio three times this week + chem midterm (which I hoped would be canceled/rescheduled) = not my cup of tea.  I suppose things will start to fall into place by the end of the week, but I’m going to miss my glory week of sleep, to say the least!

I’ve found a new study tactic that will hopefully reduce the amount of time I spend kneeling at my bed doodling and playing around with my iPod.  Yes, because whenever I start to get distracted, I’m going to start doing jumping jacks.  Yes, the evil ‘jacks that I used to do obsessively each night when DE was the dominant persona in my life.  But I am determined not to abuse them again.  Seeing as my exercise routine has been nonexistent for the past… 5 months, I think I need to start doing something little heart-stimulating again every so often.  Okay, more like every day.  :P

After I do 100 or so jumping jacks in the time that I would be spending dilly-dallying, I feel so refreshed and ready to work again.  When I was exercising obsessively and not eating enough to boot, I just felt fatigued and nauseous after jumping jacks, and accordingly, I absolutely dreaded it.  Now I actually am able to feel the little endorphin rush, and that exercise is not supposed to be a chore!  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my “break” from exercise, it’s that I will NOT become a whale if I don’t! 

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The highlight of lunch today was a bowl of ludou tang—mung bean soup, I believe?  I’m tempted to say “green bean soup,” since that is what it is literally, but that’s so obviously wrong that I won’t even go there.  ;P  Chinese-inspired because the Asian party that we were supposed to go to was canceled due to snow.  I wasn’t too disappointed about that.  ‘Twas probably just another opportunity to be totally and completely awkward with people I haven’t talked to in years…

The soup is supposed to be sweet, so I added some unconventional maple syrup to it and topped it with my precious lentil-potato crunchies for added texture.  It was the purrrfect combo of savory + sweet.  :]

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Crrruunch.

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And I just realized that practically every dish I feature in my posts is held in Asian-looking dishware.  Yup… the bowl above was from China, brought back in who-knows-what-year.  The majority of our dishware is made up of stuff bought in Japan in the ‘80s, haha.  ;]

I’m going to study now.  I’m sorry if I don’t comment as much (or at all?) this week—things are picking up again, and I don’t want to get distracted or end the night feeling “guilty” about reading blogs instead of working… I still love you all, and I will try to get the scoop on what’s what come Friday evening.  :)

Lovelovelove,
c a n d i c e

Good evening, loves!

Breakfast today was a Trader Joe’s cinnamon crumpet with butter and a German brand of raspberry honey.  I looove these crumpets—they’re absolutely divine toasted.  Crunchy on the edges and perfectly soft and warm on the inside.

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I’ve definitely used this honey before, as you can probably tell from the more-than-half-empty jar (less-than-half-full if you look at it the other way), but I never bothered to photograph it.  It seems like I’m photographing everything now, though.  o_o  Anyway, I adore the creaminess of this honey—it’s crystallized, but the crystals are minute, so it’s more like creamed honey.  Great with any kind of bread and butter.  :]

We hosted a party today (way to make it last minute, right?), and from 1 PM onward, people were just continuously coming and going, coming and going.  A bunch of pre-prepped party foods were spread out:

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These are blistered peanuts—the BEST kind of peanuts.  SUPER crunchy, super delish.

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In other words, besides breakfast, my entire day was spent snacking and munching.  That is something that I would’ve never allowed myself to do just one year ago.  Instead, I would’ve been freaking out about the lack of “real” food and scared to munch on the “unhealthy” snacks.  I would’ve been afraid to eat anything for fear of accidentally eating more calories than I was used to throughout the course of the day that would not happen if I had just eaten a normal lunch and snack.  Fear, fear, fear.  Worry, worry, worry.  For what?

My worries were, predictably, always changing depending on the situation.  On break or on the weekends, I would worry about food, calories, my weight, my appearance, etc.  I would worry about overeating due to boredom or gaining the dreaded “vacation weight” that I had heard so many stories about.  “Yeah, I gained ten pounds on this cruise…” “I gained fifteen pounds in China”—blah blah blah.  DE was screaming, You should NEVER go on a cruise, lest you come back even uglier than you were before!  Never again will you go back to China!  Those Chinese girls can eat a lot, but that’s because they’re already skinnier than you, and their metabolisms are sooo much faster than yours, yadda yadda yadda, BS like that, which fortunately, I am able to say STFU to now.

Yet, when I am at school and stressed-out, my focus takes a complete 180* from food –> work.  I actually find myself thinking that I wouldn’t mind being “ugly” or “fat” if it meant that I was super-smart and could breeze my way through the mountainload of work at my fingertips and ace all my tests.  I keep wondering, whose voice is this? DE’s?  Mine?  Either way, it’s screwed up.

But in the end, I realize that it doesn’t matter. We are who we are.  Whether we love or hate ourselves depends on our perspective.  I can’t morph myself into a model or a genius, but I can change the way I view myself.  The phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is so true, though I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself as beautiful as a model or as smart as a genius (hello, modesty?).  I want to just look in the mirror and see me, a normal girl.  I want to feel like a normal girl.  I want to be a normal girl again.

2010 Goal #2: Be, and see, a normal girl again in the mirror.

… Annnd once again, I apologize for the wall of text.  o_o  I can’t seem to stop rambling once I start!

Before I go, I’ll dish out seven random facts about me for my very first blog(ger?) award from Amanda of . seek . and Tara of Grab a Mug and Go!.  :)  Thank you!

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1. My favorite genre of music is Japanese pop (but not the cutesy stuff, nor boy bands—ick).  I made my dad buy bought my first Jpop CD online when I was eleven, and I haven’t been keeping up with popular American music since.  Since then, I’ve branched out into some Korean and Taiwanese pop as well, but none can ever replace my precious Jpop… <3

2. I’m stealing Tat’s for this one—I used to be an overeater! I would literally stuff myself to the point where I physically could not eat anymore at every meal.  Not surprisingly, I was a little chubby when I was young, though I’m surprised I wasn’t overweight with all the Kraft instant mac&cheese, hot dogs, and Texas Toast I was eating.  O_o

3. I didn’t know what Hitler did until seventh grade.  Lived under a rock?  Why yes, I did…

4. When I was six years old, I began to type my own short stories about Pokémon (chicken-finger style typing, I mean).  I was so proud of myself!  :D  I wrote 43 stories from second to third grade and read them to my parents and grandparents.  They’re still in a folder on my current laptop—I’m very careful not to delete them!  It’s also pretty hilarious to read them now.  :)

5. I actively try to improve my Mandarin Chinese skills.  Technically, it was my first language, but although I can carry conversations with my dad’s colleagues (who all say my Chinese is good…), I am nowhere near fluent.  Plus, my reading/writing skills are terrible.

6. Math is my worst subject, but I go to a [nerd] school that’s focused on math and science.  WTF?  I guess I’m not terrible at it, but it’s my weakest subject relatively speaking…

7. When I was little, I would eat Jif peanut butter by the spoonful and my mom would scold me for it.  I loved it so much that I was willing to wash my own spoon so I could take another scoop… early signs of a food blogger?  ;)

Q1: What’s your favorite party food? Cheese-salami cracker sandwiches are pretty tasty.  :]
Q2: How do you handle your eating at a party?
Q3: What other languages do you speak?

I hope you all have a wonderful evening.  Rethink your worries, even just a little, and please smile when you see your reflection!  :]

… with my aunt’s family.  :(  At least it was a memorable one—for them, at least!

We went to Kobe Japanese Steak and Seafood House for dinner yesterday, one of those places where they cook the food right in front of you with fancy tapping and flipping.  Oh, and huge fires.  I was almost afraid to whip my camera out in fear that it would get burned or something!  But when I saw my cousin begin to record the procedure with his digital, I couldn’t resist…


I split a hibachi scallop dish with my sister.  It came with soup, salad, stir-fried vegetables, and steamed/fried rice.  We agreed on steamed, but it was still fun to watch the cook flip the fried rice around.  :]

I was expecting miso soup, but this turned out to be ramen noodle soup (as in, the stuff that comes in the instant noodle bowls) flecked with mushroom slices.  This was the first time in a looong time that I’ve had instant noodle soup, so it was a pleasant-ish surprise.  ;)

The salad had a peanut dressing that wasn’t very Japanese, but was pretty darn tasty.  Otherwise, it was quite uneventful—my share consisted entirely of iceberg lettuce swimming in watery peanut sauce at the b0ttom of the bowl.  Oh, the sacrifices an older sibling must make…


I ordered a hot tea, which turned out to be genmaicha, my favorite type of green tea.  The toasted brown rice adds such wonderful depth of flavor to the plain green tea.


Cooking the veggies + scallops—look at the onion volcano!


My veggie portion was pretty lame after I split it with my sister… and perhaps munched on a few pieces before the camera.  ^_^;


This isn’t the most appetizing picture, but it’s the only one I took of the scallops.  :/  I actually ended up getting a piece of shrimp as well :D  Lucky lucky~ x)  These were, again, amazing scallops—really juicy and tender, and of course, extremely aromatic.  *drool*  Maybe I really don’t hate scallops after all!  <3


I loved that the steamed rice was actually a wee bit sticky instead of the hardened, loose stuff they serve at Chinese-American places.  It smelled really good, too—I adore the smell of fresh rice.  :)  (Yes, I’m a weirdo who sniffs rice.)  Also on my plate are random fried noodles that I honestly have no idea where they come from/who ordered them…  Lucky again?  They were pretty greasy and not too different from your average fried noodles.

Perhaps the weirdest part of dinner was watching the cook carve off pieces of shortening from a giant ball of the stuff.  I’m sad that I didn’t take a picture of it—at first I seriously had no idea what it was.  My cousin had suggested they were mashed potatoes.  o__o

For some reason, I honestly was not very hungry tonight.  I just could not finish my rice and mustered only about half of the noodles before I felt bloated.  Now, seeing as that I only had half an entrée in the first place, I did not eat very much.  My family began to voice their concerns, and I tried to tell them that I was honestly full, but the more I talked, the more it sounded like I was lying.  Begin freak-out on the inside.  What do I do?  How do I tell them that I’m truly full?  How do I make them believe me? etc.

Pft.  And to think that my disordered voice thought that they thought I was a fatty for finishing my food the other night—what a load of BS.  My sole question today is: What would you do in this situation?

Good morning!  Yesterday was just *boom boom boom*, going everywhere with my aunt’s family before they leave tomorrow morning.  :/  Then it’s back to the grind for me, really—aka finishing up all the homework due after break.  Boooooooo.

I’ve been going to a hell lot of restaurants lately, even eating two meals out in one day.  o_o  Lunch yesterday was at the Eiffel Tower Café (again).  My dad suggested it—he wanted to bring his friend from China to a “European-style” restaurant.  And me?  I’m all for it, man.  They even put us in a little corner this time!  It was super cozy and awesome.  :]

After a few “issues” (“I couldn’t understand a word he said”) with the French waiter’s pronunciation and fast-paced run through the specials, my dad and his friend started off with a special arugula and endive salad with gruyère cheese and anchovies.  I had a taste—pretty tasty sans olives, which I despise, though everyone else in the world seems to love them.


This was the first time in a looong time that I had anchovies, and I forgot how salty they were!  Solution?  Stuff mouth with warm, crunchy-on-the-outside-doughy-on-the-inside baguette.  Never fails.


I told my dad’s friend that he had to try the baguette, and though he didn’t give me his opinion on it, he kept going back for more pieces throughout the meal… so I’m guessing he liked it.  ;)

I snapped a picture of the baguette, and then the nice British waitress commented on my camera.  I was completely thrown off guard—actually, I expected people to eye me weirdly for bringing a big camera into a teeny-tiny restaurant and snapping tons of photos of my food.  We had a little discussion about cameras, mostly lamenting the quality of most digital cameras, and she eventually asked me for the model.  Of course, I happily told her :]

(They recognize us probably because it’s our third time going, and we’re probably one of their few, if not their only, Asian customers.  lol.)

For the main course, I was originally going to have la crêpe du jour, chicken and vegetables, but I decided I had to get the chicken chausson with couscous after hearing the waiter’s description (i.e. finally understanding what a chausson was).  I’ve never had a savory puff pastry dish, so I knew I had to try it.  :D

Voilà.



Hmmm, not bad.  Salad = good—not too oily, and a little sour from vinegar.  Couscous = fluffy and fantabulous—I think this was cooked with chicken broth or something, because it was delish.  Puff pastry = omnomnom, flaky and buttery and amazing.  The chicken inside was yummy, but a wee bit too salty.  I drank about 5 wine glasses of water throughout the meal, building up quite a tankload without realizing it.  ^_^;   The orange sauce was a fruit-based (citrus?) sauce, I believe, to go with the chausson. The combo of sweet and savory was fantastic, and the sweetness of the sauce helped tone down the saltiness of the chicken.


My dad’s friend was a newspaper photographer at one point, so he gave me some helpful photography tips.  :]

Dessert could have been the only-at-Christmas bûche de noël, but I was stuffed, probably from the buttery puff pastry.  Ah, well—there’s always next year, right?  ;)

Dinner was at a local restaurant, Willow Creek Farm.



It was, no doubt, warm and toasty inside.  :]  The decor is apparently supposed to emulate an “American-style inn” from colonial times?  It has a really earthy, rustic feel to it.  It’s a good reminder that I’m technically in the countryside, haha.

We started off with some bread with two kinds of butter, regular and strawberry.  I’ve had strawberry butter before—it’s pretty damn tasty!  I LOVE flavored butters, almost as much as I love flavored (sweet, not savory) cream cheese.  :D  I didn’t have a slice, though, because I was still kind of full from lunch!  :|


No offense, but I don’t think this can beat baguette.

Everything on the menu looked tantalizing.  *_*  I wanted to get everything!


There was actually a big sign in the front advertising the filet mignon, but I didn’t take a picture of it.  :(  It was amusing in a weird way…

Drinks:

That water jug was so heavy! o_o

After much contemplation between gnocchi, butternut squash ravioli (MUST TRY NEXT TIME), and pulled duck salad (!!!), and other goodies, I chose the seared sea scallops.


I’ll be perfectly honest here—I didn’t choose this dish for the scallops originally.  I was intrigued by the various sides (besides spinach, lol), which included pancetta, parsnip purée, and sweet potato gaufrettes.


I consulted with my cousin about gaufrettes, and he described it as some sort of “little cake”?  Anyway, I wasn’t expecting sweet potato crisps.  But they were delicious anyway, and I ate all of ‘em.  :D


Oh, and I just looked up pancetta on Wikipedia, and am delighted to know that it’s cured pork belly.  That stuff is incredible, seriously.  Actually, everything about this dish was incredible, sans the spinach, which was just… spinach.  To tell you the truth, I never really liked scallops before.  I always found them tough, rubbery, and virtually flavorless, but now I realize that they must’ve just been prepared in an unappealing way!  The waitress told me that the chef recommended the meat to be medium-rare, so I went with that, and boy am I glad I did!  These babies were juicy, savory, tender, and transformed my outlook on scallops entirely.  I’ll still be wary of them because of the tendency to overcook them, but OMG… I was totally not expecting to adore them.

The parsnip purée was surprisingly delicious, too.  I don’t know what they put in it (I should’ve asked…), but it was freaking amazing—buttery (well, I wonder what one ingredient was) and just a tad sweet.  I’ve never even eaten a real parsnip before, but if this is what they taste like, then I need to go buy some.  Like, now.  And purée them to a pulp with my new blender.  :]

Good things aside, I can’t deny that this dinner threw some disordered thoughts into my head post-meal.  I finished everything on my plate, and my mom and aunt commented that I could eat a lot, that I finished my whole meal, etc.  That old voice started to talk to me:

Look, you finished the WHOLE THING, you fatty!  You’re going to get so fat from this.  Even your mom and your aunt noticed!  FATSO!  Why didn’t you leave a few bites on your plate?  We should have a three-bite rule—at LEAST three bites must be left on your plate when you finish eating!

I thought about that last bit twice, and then I told the voice to f-off.  It can’t pull me down anymore.  Just going over those ridiculous thoughts makes me realize how truly stupid they are.  I encourage all of those who are struggling with these same thoughts to try to replay them in your mind and really try to listen to what ED/DE is telling you.  For example, leave three bites on my plate for every meal I eat?  WTF?  What if I’m hungry?  What if the portion is small, like tonight’s?  Why the hell should I institute such arbitrary rules?  Why should I take away my own freedom?

So I ate three damn scallops.  So I ate some spinach and a thin layer of parsnip purée and three 1-centimeter cubes of pancetta.  So what? It’s not like I’m stuffing myself till my ribcage explodes or eating so fast that my stomach hurts (poor cousin).  I’m treating my body well.  I can eat out during the holidays—I can eat out, period, and not worry about calories and fat and weight.  As long as I trust my body, I can do anything.

Sorry for the little speech there—I’ll get off my soapbox now.  ^_^;  Alright, ladies, I’m off—I hope you guys have an amazing day!

Q1: Do you like olives?  If so, is there a food that most people seem to like, but you don’t?
Q2: What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
Q3: Have you ever disliked something the first time, but liked it the second time?

I’m getting addicted to the shutter-clicky noise of the camera.  It’s just so satisfying for some reason… Every click leads to a pretty pic.  :]

Santa was super nice to me this year.  ;)  Besides the camera, I also received iPod speakers (!):


miscellaneous chocolates and candy canes

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the blender from auntie and uncle :]

Godiva goodie bag (err, mug)


and best of all…


A GIFT CARD TO TRADER JOE’S!  :D  My parents know me so scarily well, I love it.

Breakfast this morning was light—another deconstructed banana hammock.  This one was topped with peanut butter, cinnamon, the last of the raisin container, pepitas, and a dollop of whipped cream.  Is it weird that for whipped cream, I only like fat-free Reddi-Whip?  I find the “regular” and “heavy” versions too cloying and “buttery”-tasting, but the fat-free kind is light and sweet.  Mmmmm.  I eat that stuff straight from the can, no shame.  ;)



This one isn’t backlit… HUGE difference.

Many of the blogs I’ve been reading up on lately have discussed topics pertaining to the lack of freedom around the holidays that one has (or should I say, does not have) when dealing with EDs or disordered eating.  A couple of years ago, I was in this trap as well.  Hell, my goal wasn’t even to enjoy the holiday, the break from school, and the wonderful company—it was to not get fat. Holiday feasting?  Nada. DE thoughts were rampant:

Eat as little as possible, so in case everyone eats a big dessert, you’ll have “spare calories” (whatever the hell that means) for it.

Do jumping jacks every night to burn off all the calories from the “feast.” What?  WHAT FEAST?!?!

I look back and I wonder how the hell I could have ever been so ridiculous.  1000 jumping jacks?  Every night?!  What kind of sane person does that?!  I think about all of the times when I could have been socializing with family I hadn’t seen in months, or enjoying some delicious holiday cooking, when instead, I was worrying about my weight, my figure, and the damn calories in the food.

Last night, I was eating some TJ’s popcorn macadamia nut clusters (something like that), which are basically clumps of caramelized popcorn and macadamia nuts.  It’s sweet, but it’s damn good.  My cousin and I ate it while watching Spiderman.  As I munched and crunched on the rich, buttery goodness, I thought about how just a couple of years ago, I would never have let myself even have a bite of the popcorn that late at night (it was around 11 PM).  Not only would I have been scared that I was going to overeat, but I would have also thought that I was going to get fat overnight from eating it.  Fat from a few measly pieces of (delicious) popcorn.  How ridiculous!  I would have pulled out the fat-free caramel popcorn that my mom also bought at TJ’s and maybe ate a few pieces of that, but last night, I was able to look at the fat-free crap, scoff at it (it tastes fake and gross), and stick my hand into the jar with the full-fat, yummy stuff.

In no way am I trying to make myself seem above all of those who are struggling with this.  Rather, I offer my full support and sympathy, because I have been through this.  I know what it’s like to have ED/DE shouting, and I know the sick feeling of being pleased by refusing food.  I know the constant worrying about weight and calories, especially around the holidays, and I remember too clearly the fear foods.  I am proud of all of the ladies who pushed through this and conquered their ED for the holidays this year, and said “screw you” by picking up a fear food and trying it.  It honestly gets less scary the more you do it.  Trust me!

Q1: What fear food(s) did you conquer this holiday?
Q2: Favorite type of popcorn? I think my answer is pretty clear, haha.
Q3: Anyone braving the hoards at the mall today for some sales? I know I’m not…
4: Don’t forget to enter Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Wild Bar giveaway!

Alright, I’m off for today.  Thank you for all of the sweet comments about the photos—I’m still practicing, and it really encouraged me! Have a wonderful day!!!

There’s a girl who walks past my house every morning.

Regardless of what type of inclement weather hits us up on the hills, she walks.  I see her at 6 AM on a weekday morning, just walking and walking and walking.

I saw her today.

I like to think that I don’t judge people.  But this sort of behavior just hits me in the face—it’s impossible for me to overlook this as “normal.”  I see her walking, and I feel like I can practically read her thoughts:

I have to walk everyday.

If I don’t walk everyday, I will get fat.

If I don’t walk enough everyday, I will get fat.

Damn the weather.  How the hell am I supposed to walk?

She walks anyway.

Am I jumping to conclusions?  Am I being blinded by my disheveled, disordered eating-repaired mindset?  It’s very possible.  But I can’t shake the memory of those terrible voices every time I see her, hammering insults at me.  If she really is in the same rut, then I can’t sympathize enough with her.  But that alone isn’t enough.

Please don’t feel like you have to do this.  Please stop torturing yourself.  Please focus your attention elsewhere.  Please . . .

I wish I could warn her about the trap she’s fallen in.  I wish I could pull her out of that trap.  But I can’t…

lost and walking
through a snowy wood
blinded by white torrents
deafening voices
blank skies
not a crack of light
seeing no one
hearing no one
helplessly wandering
through a snowy wood