I’ve been really bad at feeding myself lately. This probably has to do with the fact that I currently have three jobs, wiping out nearly every opportunity for having either a normal lunch or dinner. It’s been a big few weeks for the old Clif bar, my friends, and I’m not proud. I’m wishing I were better at the forethought/energy required for packing things to snack on that feel at least remotely appetizing when it comes time to eat. I find myself throwing an apple in my bag at the last minute and then feeling hungry and wanting anything, anything, that isn’t that apple. Problems, problems, problems.
In a similar vein, for every possible homecooked meal moment I’ve found in this wild time, I find myself craving only exactly one thing which is grilled cheese and tomato soup. Now, in terms of comfort food, a meal can’t really get much better than that. But in terms of nourishment, you’ve got a whole lot of carby cheesy tomatoey nothing going on there. Basically I’m currently trying to survive on bottled iced tea, clif bars, and the occasional grilled cheese. I’m sure some of you dear readers out there are ready to scream, “GET THIS GIRL A VEGETABLE!” Well, I’m about ready to scream that too, except no vegetable seems appetizing in the least, and busy-ness makes my pulling-myself-up-by-my-bootstraps, do-the-right-thing-even-when-it’s-hard capabilities at an all time low.
I’m sort of at a loss for what to do with myself and my food situation. I can’t think of a magic fix, the right thing to eat to take care of myself, an alternative to the grilled cheese that I want to eat every single day and possibly even eventually turn into. I think of hummus and then remember that I don’t really like hummus at all. I think of salad, but then I remember that it isn’t really filling and it requires some fanangling into tupperware and various toppings and things and I don’t have the energy for that. I remember sandwiches, but I’ve had a life-long aversion to both cold cuts and peanut butter, and I don’t really know where to go from there. For now, I’ve been snacking on green apples, processed caramel dip, and spicy rice chips and mourning the missing link of nutrition, some magic food that I would like to eat and that would make my body feel like a real, strong, human body, something that is anything other than bread and cheese. I’m not sure what that is yet. I wish it would fall from the sky like the manna from heaven. But knowing me and the grumbler I am and hate to be, I’m sure I’d turn my nose up at that too. (Shoutout to the Israelites!!)
This year, this magic crappy post-grad year, is VERY life-lesson-y, in that I’m literally trying to learn how to do even the most basic parts of life. Mostly through trial and error. Mostly heavy on the error. Things I thought I was at least passable in, like nourishment (aka, I haven’t died/wasted away yet), are this year feeling really tough and murky and suddenly challenging. WHY? It feels dumb, like I should be able to worry about bigger things than literally what to eat for lunch. As I’ve been saying a lot, too much, lately, “that’s where I’m at right now.” I’m at wandering the grocery store and not knowing what to buy, how to put together something real and healthy, how to not find myself with a pantry full of whatever that looked good at the time and now feels like nothing I want to put anywhere near my face. I’m at feeling extremely lethargic by job #3 and desperately unwrapping a clif bar, searching in vain for decaf coffee in my approximate location (they really do taste better with coffee). I’m at happily eating grilled cheese sometimes, as a gift to myself, because self-care is its own kind of nourishment. I’m at liking the idea of eating the bread of angels, but complaining about the manna from the sky. That’s all just where I’m at right now. Till I’m somewhere else, grilled cheese.
In the interim, here are some favorite places to find good things to eat, both nourishing and not.
This Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook. (I know.)