I’m sitting on a bench in Nice, France with a tub of popcorn taller than a bottle of Smart Water. It has 3 different kinds of chocolate mixed in. This popcorn below to be exact.
And would you believe me if I told you that I’m writing this blog post old school style, pen and paper? Well I’ve got the chocolate smudged notebook to prove it. All because this moment needs to be captured. This moment of food freedom. A moment I never thought I’d get back. But the truth is, these last few weeks I’ve been eating my way through Greece, Italy, and France and it’s as if I never had an eating disorder at all. I used to log my gummy vitamins in My Fitness Pal. Now I eat chocolate popcorn before 11 AM.
But I can’t just talk the talk – it’s not how I do things here. I gotta walk the walk, or rather, show you how I chomp the chomp 😉 with all these amazing dishes. Food is part of life, we should be making dang sure that we enjoy it.
1). Pizza in Rome, Italy
I just have to start with this pizza. Because it was my 1st meal in the 1st city of my solo travels: Roma! Would you believe that I actually got to enjoy it in my own private room on the 2nd floor of the pizzeria? Just me, my Kindle, and some authentic, Italian grub. Nobody there to make sure I ate. Nobody had to. I felt free.
2). Dolmades in Santorini, Greece
You may know these delicious things as stuffed grape leaves and lemme tell ya, I had them everywhere in Santorini. And all of them had one thing in common – aside from being so fresh and tasty. They were all covered in pools of olive oil. Oil that as recent as a few months ago would have made my anxiety surge. And a few years ago would’ve been cause for a full on panic attack. But this time I saw dolmades and olive oil for what they are – food. Nothing more or less. Nothing to bemoan or praise. Food is neither evil nor divine. Don’t give it the power to be.
3). Pasta in Cinque Terre, Italy
Back to Italy. How could I not? It’s seriously full of culinary masterpieces. And this pesto pasta is no exception. I’m usually not a huge pesto fan, but it’s what the tiny towns of Cinque Terre are known for and I wanted to give it a try. Smart decision. These may look like zoodles (zucchini noodles) but they’re so much better, trust me.
4). Savory Waffle in Paris, France
The thing about this waffle? I really wasn’t hungry for it. It was early and I was looking for a small snack to tide me over before my train from Paris to Nice. Before I learned how to ditch food rules, I never would have allowed myself something so dense at 8 AM. But you better believe I dug right into that doughy, flaky waffle topped with smoked salmon, fennel, and cream sauce. Because I make the rules now, not ED.
5). Speciality Chocolates in Interlaken, Switzerland
Everything is super expensive in Switzerland, so you may opt to spend all of your money on Swiss chocolate instead of souvenirs. No? Just me? I only had 2 days in Switzerland, but I still managed to hit 7 different chocolatiers. #TFW
6). Hot Chocolate in Paris, France
Speaking of chocolate, I know Switzerland is supposed to take the cake (heh, get it??) but I can’t award that title so easily. Not when this hot chocolate exists at Le Cafe Flor in Paris. Hot chocolate used to be another thing that I never let myself have. Overcoming the fear of liquid calories was too strong and I always managed to talk myself out of it. But everyone online raved about this thick, creamy hot cocoa and I was determined to get my hands around a mug. Needless to say my belly and my inner recovery warrior were thrilled.
7). Pad Thai in Nice, France
Pad thai in France? “Cay, we’re judging you.” No, wait please! This dish was damn good and what’s more, an opporunity to practice intuitive eating. When I ordered it, I planned on saving half for dinner to avoid spending more money later. But after eating about half, I realized I was still hungry for the rest so I finished it. Always listen to your body because it will always know more than the plans we make for ourselves. And intuitive eating is the best way to promote and protect a balanced relationship with food.
8). Gelato in Florence, Italy
You knew I wasn’t going to leave out gelato, right?! I had it every day while I was in Italy. Sometimes twice a day. With 0 regrets. These flavors were nutella and coconut. My other favorites were Tahitian vanilla and mango / lime Mmmm!
That’s all the food porn I’ve got today, but I want to end by saying – if you’re struggling to overcome anorexia, orthorexia, a binge and purge cycle, or any other disordered habits please know that:
- You deserve to enjoy food. It is culture. It is creativity. It is so much more than numbers you can track.
- Full recovery is possible. The kind where you forget that you ever had an eating disorder. The first time it happens, you’ll forget for a few hours. Then a few days. Then before you know it, the days of thinking about EDs turn into months and those months turn into years. Keep fighting.
- I am here for you. Always. My inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org or my DMS at @healthyezsweet are always open.
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