dating

Buying My Feelings

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I think it’s only just starting to hit me what an intense few days it’s been for the New York City area (and around the rest of the east coast too).  I think because I was safe and dry and went right into “how can I help” mode, I didn’t really have a chance to really feel much of anything besides grateful—and tired. But wow. I think this New York magazine cover says a lot more than I could. 

I worked a pretty quiet day at the hospital today—it was kind of eerie. My patients were lovely, but I just felt kind of…unsettled. In the aftermath of an event like this, you can give your time and your money, but then what? And then all those “what if” questions start.

So naturally, I did what any  American female worth her credit card limit would do—I went shopping. The only thing I really “need” right now is candlesticks (ironic, I know, but they’ve been on my list for over a month), but somehow, I decided that what I really needed to do was get rid of the last of my ex-boyfriend’s dishes since it’s been over a year and, well, I don’t really need them. Besides, bad energy. I’d throw them at a wall, but then I’d have to clean up the mess, and who knows what kind of karmic BS would be unleashed, right?

For better or worse, West Elm also happened to be having a sale on dinnerware, glassware, and the like, so I bought myself a few new bowls and a mug that makes me smile. At $20, this was some pretty effective retail therapy. Life’s too short not to love what you’re drinking and eating from.

I think the last time I actually bought dishes/bowls was when I moved into my first apartment back in 2006. Crazy to think of it that way, but time has this funny way of passing.

Do you like cute dishes and bowls? Do you have ex-lover’s kitchenware? Ever broken plates on purpose? 

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FNCE Envy

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There should be a rule against nutrition programs scheduling exams for the day after FNCE–aka the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, the big-ass annual event for members of The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

This year, it’s being held in Philadelphia, and apparently, some 10,000 people are expected. The speaker lineup is intriguing, and a small part of me wishes I was able to be there this weekend instead of holed up studying for an exam and nursing the ends of a cold.

On the other hand, I can’t afford it, and I’ve already got a ton on my plate, so throwing a trip into the mix would be too much right now. I also have to admit, I’m enjoying what is my first weekend without lots of plans in months.

Posts like this are the reason I make a rule of not blogging about relationships, but suffice it to say I’m enjoying having a little more guilt-free alone time right now. There have been lots of little signs over the past week that make me feel really good about the course of things,  so cheers to that.

I don’t think this is a sign of anything (though who knows, another “way to make the right choice” sign?), but I found it when I sat down at the nurses station the other day to start typing some notes:  

This was right after an elderly gentleman wearing sunglasses in the salad bar line had asked if I was a celebrity.

“Hah, hardly.”

“Well you look goo-ood!”

I probably blushed because in real life, I can be shy, but an amusing little ego boost never hurts, especially when you’re feeling a little under the weather.

Never a dull day at the hospital…I guess having crazy stories about work is better than work having crazy stories about me.

Do you believe in “signs?” Any good stories? 

Mad Scientist Activity

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When I have someone to cook for, I make an effort. If you ever come over to my place to eat, you can usually expect a balanced, colorful meal prepared with love/like, and chances are I’ll have asked about food allergies and dietary restrictions so I don’t kill you or piss off your higher power. I mean, come on, you’re talking to a gal who once learned how to make f***ing seitan to please a man. Granted, I still make said seitan on occasion because it’s delicious, but that’s beside the point…

When I cook for myself, however, which is most nights of the week, things can get a little strange. I tend to make concoctions following the general theme of “stuff I like,” which usually translates to “things I should never serve to company.” Case in point: this week, I’ve been enjoying polenta (my fellow interns’ project inspired a craving) with veggies (zucchini, mushroom, dinosaur kale and broccoli with lots of shallots & garlic, cooked in miso broth) and poached eggs. Last night I tried adding a drizzle of tahini, just to see what would happen, and I was very pleased.

So yeah…I don’t know if “lazy” is the word so much as “mad scientist,” but hey…

Do you cook differently for yourself than you do for others? What are some of your most memorable concoctions? 

What your favorite ice cream flavor says about you…

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courtesy of Turkey Hill

Confession: Though I don’t have an online dating profile (I made one once and took it down 10 minutes later because I got scared), I absolutely love HowAboutWe‘s blog, and I totally have a not-so-secret fantasy of writing a column there. It’s not that I go on so many dates that I’m any kind of authority—I just seem to have a lot of stories…I am told that “normal” people exist, but I can’t say I’ve had any sort of meaningful interaction with one. I should note, however, that in some cases, this should be taken as a compliment. Coming from me, anyway.

I could even just say snarky and/or tongue-in-cheek dietitian-in-training things about food choices, lifestyle habits and table manners. Or what about food allergy etiquette? Or what to eat before a date…Maybe one day I’ll talk about that month I was going out with someone who, like, never seemed to eat unless I said we should. This is why my sister and I have a rule never to date someone who eats less than we do—it only leads to hunger and crankiness.

I get a kick out of posts like this recent piece, which decodes what your ice cream flavor choice says about you on a date. As someone who likes chocolate chip cookie dough (dark chocolate gelato wasn’t on the list!), I was amused. The only thing that rings true is that I do take a “why not” approach to life. However, I can’t remember the last time I was drunk enough to forget something. For better or worse, I’m that person who wakes up clear-headed and says, “So, um, yeah. You probably don’t remember telling me you loved me last night but…”  Okay, so maybe that only happened once or twice, but like I said, stories…

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: You are really indulgent and party your ass off. You do what you feel like doing basically all the time, regardless of what your work schedule is or what other people think. You plan stuff for your friends and get them psyched to follow your lead. Your philosophy is, “Why not?” And you’ll try anything once. Or twice, depending on how drunk you were the first time.

I also cracked up over this one…

Sorbet: You’re a liar. You don’t ‘like’ sorbet. You’re on a diet.

Or they could be lactose-intolerant!

You can read about other ice cream flavors on HowAboutWe’s blog.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? 

I Tried It: Zevia

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I used to be a diet soda junkie. Looking back, I have no idea why I liked it so much, but I even dug the metallic, artificial flavor. Even though there’s not much in the way of conclusive evidence that diet soda 100% positively absolutely will kill you (though there’s plenty in the literature about why it’s not good for you), I definitely got creeped out whenever I thought about all the crazy chemicals I was putting into my body. I tried many times to quit or cut back, but I just couldn’t do it. As My Mother the Psychotherapist always says, you have to want to quit, and, well, I didn’t. Not yet, anyway.

I still remember the moment I lost my taste for diet soda. It was a few summers ago,and I was waiting with an ex-boyfriend and his family for a ferry to Baldhead Island, NC. I’d been up since well before the sun and it was now late afternoon. Caffeine was in order. It being close to 100 degrees, I automatically forked over $1.75 for a bottle of diet coke. I took a sip, made a face, and I knew right away. This relationship was over.

You know it’s right, I think, when you don’t miss someone or something, when the absence barely even occurs to you. Clearly, I’m not just talking about soda here, but it applies. Since, I can’t really make a neat segue into talking about experimenting with other sodas or revisiting sodas past without revealing details about my first few months of single-hood, let’s move right along to the “why” of this post…

ImageZevia!  So, this stuff is another calorie-free soda, only it’s sweetened with stevia, a natural sweetener that hasn’t been proven (yet) to be harmful. It comes in all different flavors, and I recently tried the ginger root beer flavor. I have to admit, it was decent, but not enough to make me want to buy it again. I liked the taste, but I still got a headache like I do from diet soda. While I do occasionally use stevia, I can’t help feeling like it’s only a matter of time before it’s revealed to be toxic. True, maybe not the same kind of toxic as aspartame or sucralose, but still not doing you any favors. Oh dear, I feel another metaphor coming on…

At the end of the day, I’m just in it for the carbonation, and seltzer works just fine.

What are your thoughts on diet sodas? Any favorite alternatives? 

On Vegetarianism and Doing it Wrong

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In the spirit of Valentines Day-inspired dating stories that mention food, this was originally going to be an anecdotal post about what I learned dating a vegetarian—something clippy and cute but with a cautionary edge to it. I was also going to show you this picture as an illustration of how you know you’re doing it wrong…

Then I realized that what I had to say about the topic was a little, well, dark, and not so cute.

Though I wasn’t ready to admit it when that photo was taken almost two years ago, I can say now that my mysterious yoga injury was somewhat related to some vitamin deficiencies I dealt with while attempting to adopt my then-boyfriend’s vegetarian lifestyle. All I should really say about that is that some people who swear they don’t expect you to change may still act in ways that make you feel judged. The other side of the coin is that out of a desire to make our partner happy—or at least to keep the peace—too many of us, I think, try to change ourselves before checking in with our common sense about whether someone’s expectations for us are unrealistic.

Though I ended up learning a lot about how to do vegetarianism right, I did a lot wrong in the beginning. And things got a little worse before they got better. While I’d still encourage pretty much anyone to enjoy a plant-based diet, I believe that for some of us, that plant-based diet can also include small amounts of meat, fish and dairy. I happen to be one of those people—I’m strong and healthy, and all my labs are normal now. There’s also a lot to be said for being confident in your choices and not feeling the need to justify them to someone else. Stress and guilt aren’t exactly health-boosters.

What I also realized was that it’s really not an issue that’s exclusive to vegetarianism. This can apply to an omnivore dating a vegetarian or a vegan dating a carnivore—and everything in between.

Food is very personal, and a challenging part of dating is finding someone with whom your style of eating “meshes.” While many of us are secure in  who we are and have no problem just eating the way we eat (whether we’ve always been that way or have learned through experience), it’s never easy dealing with someone who feels routinely compelled to discuss why their way of doing things is superior. Has anyone else noticed that these are often the same people who insist they don’t try to impose their viewpoints upon others?

Granted, there are tons of couples with different eating habits who do just fine, and they can even influence each other in positive ways, but the operative word there is “positive.” It’s never okay to be a bully. The important thing is that if you’re healthy and you (and your doctor) are happy, you’re doing what works for you. Anyone who’s got a problem with that should ask themselves why it matters so damn much and just shut the f*** up.

And ladies, just a few words of advice: if your man makes a habit of scanning your grocery receipts looking for something to wag a finger at or lecture you about, tell him to get lost. It’s not worth fighting over. There’s someone better out there for you, and he won’t get on your case about a container of yogurt or a carton of eggs.

Have you ever dated and/or lived with someone who had different dietary habits than yours? What was it like for you?