Chapter 7: Why is this Year Different from All Other Years?

They say that the most successful artists are the most troubled individuals. I’m not saying I’m the Van Gogh of blogging, but I feel like I’ve had less to say over the last … god, more than a month and a half?! I last checked in on June 30th, when I stopped recording in my food diary. Since then, I haven’t seen my nutritionist, and I haven’t written a blog post. Is something happening? Is food less of an issue for me? Am I starting to become the “normal human being” I referred to in Chapter 6?

A coworker recently told me she read my whole blog. “What happens next?!” She seemed genuinely interested and excited, which was actually really cool and flattering. But I wasn’t sure what to tell her. What’s happened in the last 6 weeks? If something had happened, wouldn’t I have written about it?

My most heartfelt posts have come from moments of great empowerment or pretty bad struggling. I’m happy to say that I haven’t struggled too much in the last month and a half, but I also haven’t felt that empowered. I suppose a neutral middle-ground is preferable to food being a such a “thing” for me. But do I need to be all emo in order to write something significant? Did I need to say good bye to juice cleanses in order to get my creative juices flowing? (That might be a really bad pun, but I kind of can’t resist it.)

While I may be less troubled, I still have a lot to say. A lot to share, because so many people deal with the same issues that I’ve dealt with. I know this because people have told me so and because I see or hear it literally every single day. My experience over the last year has made me feel REALLY empowered (ooo! I do still feel empowered! 😊) to share my message and story with others, and all that jazz.

Until I host a motivational blog-reading, much like Carrie Bradshaw’s book reading event on Sex and the City, but a more successful version, in which people don’t ask for their money back and wonder “why we’re even here,” I can only reach all of you beautiful people through thehungryclementine.com.

I think this less troubled, neutral middle ground means that I’ve come a really long way. And I catch myself doing things on a daily basis where I’m like, “Yeah girl! You totally wouldn’t have done that a year ago!” Kind of like those #tinywin moments in the Crystal Light commercials, but mine aren’t always about downsizing. Mine are usually about upsizing.

Thus in order to try to inspire others, I’d like to share examples of these moments in future posts. Today, though, I’m going to share a recipe, because those are always fun./In the hope of inspiring you in some way, I’ve shared some of those moments below.

Why is this Year Different from All Other Years?

  1. I eat bigger meals: This morning I ate a homemade banana oat bar (recipe below!) for breakfast with a schmear of almond butter. I grabbed a Greek yogurt, too, but wasn’t hungry after the bar. In the past, I would’ve nixed the yogurt and done a little happy dance because my small breakfast filled me up. TODAY, however, I knew that this breakfast would not, in fact, fill me, and I would have been hungry shortly, so I ate the yogurt. Former me would have continued with small meals and happy dances and likely pigged out tonight or tomorrow. Think about substantial meals as insurance that you won’t overeat later. And really small ones as increasing the chance that you will.
  2. I allow myself dessert: Monday at the hospital (I began my internship on Monday!) I sampled a couple petit fours and 2 bites of lemon meringue pie from the kitchen. Normally I would’ve said, “I’ve blown the day, so I can eat more crap and just be ‘good’ tomorrow.” Nay nay, my friends! Instead I considered these treats a part of my lunch and stuck to my eating schedule, with a snack a few hours after lunch, and still allowed myself a sweet bite after dinner that night. I didn’t eat a crazy big dessert to “finish off” a bad day of eating, nor did I deny myself dessert because I had already eaten some that day. I just downsized it. I guess that was a #tinywin.
  3. I eat the damn burger: A few months ago I was on my way home and my nose stopped me in my tracks. You know when you walk by a bar that makes really good burgers and your knees kind of buckle underneath you? (Sorry, vegetarians). I couldn’t get the burger out of my head. I resisted at first. Went home and made myself a healthier bread/protein dish: a sunny-side up egg on whole-wheat toast. All the while, I thought of the burger but pushed it away. Alas, I took two bites of the sandwich and threw it in the trash. I wasn’t enjoying it and knew – just knew – that I wouldn’t feel satisfied after dinner, which would have led to kitchen grazing and much nibbling. I ran out of my apartment to the nearest Five Guys and got the Little Cheeseburger and a Coke Zero. Craving satisfied. Ask me about the next time I walked by a bar selling burgers. My knees probably buckled. But I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.
  4. And the pizza: I used to cry inside when I walked by New York pizza places because they smell SO EFFING GOOD, but I didn’t allow myself to eat a slice. Inevitably, on a binge-y day, I would buy two slices and eat them super fast, leading to a burnt tongue and regret. The last time I was that kind of hot mess was over a year ago. Since then, I’ve enjoyed NY pizza several times (especially when they offer whole-wheat crust 🙌) but as a dinner, and not a meltdown. Again, sometimes you need to just give into the craving in order to reduce the craving.
 took this to show my dad how "working girl" I was one day this summer, in my office clothes "grabbing a slice" on my way home from work. It's a really bad pic, but it's also funny, so, here you go.

I took this to show my dad how “working girl” I was one day this summer, in my office clothes “grabbing a slice” on my way home from work. It’s a really bad pic, but it’s also funny, so, here you go.

I’m not suggesting that you eat all the sweets and burgers you want. Nor am I suggesting super-sizing meals to prevent feeling hungry. I hope that what I am conveying is balance. Neither extreme, but peppering a balanced diet with indulgences and allowable cravings in moderation. These are just a couple examples, and more will come! Now, though, the recipe for this morning’s peanut butter banana oat bar, below!

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Bars

Serving size = 1 bar. Makes 16 bars.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 2 medium banana, very ripe
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

IMG_4553

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Note: I had to play around with time and temperature. A friend suggested 10 minutes at 375, but I have a convection oven, which is more powerful, so I did 325 for about 15 to 20 minutes. It worked, but next time I’m going to try what she suggested.
  • Mash the banana.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed (spoon, hands, whatever floats your boat).
  • LIGHTLY spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Spread mixture into a baking sheet. Note: I legit don’t have a baking sheet because I’ve only used my convection oven, so I can’t tell you what size is best, and for that I apologize. I made only half of this, and my mixture spread to about 5×7″.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before removing from the sheet.
IMG_4557

This is actually the apple cinnamon version I made later. I kind of ate all the banana ones before snapping a shot. So this is the idea, but the banana ones are about 2 shades darker.

Nutrition Information (per 1 bar):

  • 150 calories
  • 9 g fat, 1 g 1 sat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 70 mg sodium
  • 14 g carbohydrates
  • 4 g sugar *This recipe used pre-made peanut butter, but next time I’m going to use the grind-your-own, which will reduced the sugar content
  • 3 g fiber
  • 5 g protein

Serving Suggestions:

  • On-the-go breakfast bar (grab 2!) or 1 as a snack
  • Substitute it for oatmeal, eat alongside an egg or Greek yogurt
  • Warm in the oven, and serve with frozen Greek yogurt, honey drizzle, and cinnamon
  • OR pick up fro-yo flavor of choice, save money on toppings, head home and warm up a bar to eat it with

 

 

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