Last week, while I was cleaning out my room, I found my old journals.
No, these weren't the angsty journals of my youth, where I wrote on and on about what my crush was doing or if he even noticed my existence (side note: the crushes I had never did notice me....heck, most of the time they didn't even know I liked them!)
These were the old journals from my dieting days, a period of time which covered my senior year of high school through my years in law school. It was quite painful to go through them. I actually could feel the emotions oozing out of the faded, bleeding ink.
You see, I used to be dogmatic in my diets. In fact, I was downright militant.
There was no room for so called "fun" foods at all. I strictly measured, portioned, and counted each piece of food, right down the the number of kernels of corn I consumed. I kept astonishingly thorough records. There was even a time in my life when I didn't have a potato chip or a french fry for almost 2 years. I now see how deprived I was--of both food and the enjoyment in life. I mean, have you ever had thick cut tortilla chips sprinkled generously with sea salt, dipped in guacamole while laughing with a group of friends sitting outside on the patio of a restaurant on a warm summer night drinking margaritas? Those memories, my friends, are truly heaven sent.
But, there were plenty of times when these memories never really happened. In fact, I spent most nights dreaming of those moments. I didn't really allow myself to share in them. Honestly, I did all I could to avoid situations where foods would be offered which were outside of my given "plan" at the moment.
You name the diet.....I've tried it. You name the event...I avoided it. I've even turned down dates, stunting my romantic development as much as these restrictions limited my physical development. All in the name of sticking to my "diet."
I told people it was because I wanted to be a fitness model. I trained like I was going to be on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers every.single.day. I was always cycling carbs, worrying about macros, figuring out fat grams, and carrying around gallon jugs of water.
The truth? I was too scared to enjoy life. I was afraid once I began getting away from the serious routine I'd created, I'd lose track of everything I'd worked for....including my weight. Oh...and side note here...never EVER did I get buff like those fitness models. In fact, I stayed very waif like and never gained an ounce of muscle, especially in my arms. Little did I know, the daily extreme dieting and exercise regimen limited my ability to really do things like gain muscle physically and even logically reason/assess situations mentally.
So, what does all of this have to do with the waffle for today? Well, I have quite a sordid past with protein powder.
Most of the days after class, you'd catch me drinking TONS of protein shakes, and fixing protein pancakes. I'd have protein bars as a snack. I'd have protein bars for dessert. I'd even have protein bars for a meal if in a pinch. Part of me is surprised I have no kidney problems with as much protein as I consumed. The other part of me is just dang grateful to have survived protein overload and the extreme flavor distress.
Flavor distress? Yes, flavor distress. Lets be real with each other for a minute--have you tasted some of these protein powders out on the market? Blech. I KNOW cookies and cream are not supposed to taste like THAT (insert whatever explicative you'd like to use to describe the flavor). Nor is that tropical paradise/pineapple/strawberry/mango chalky concoction gonna magically take me away to a lounge chair by the clear blue ocean. Its just not.
But, I've faithfully stuck with protein powders (if that is not the definition of loyalty, I don't know what is) until last summer. I just gave them up and figured I'd be off of the powders forever. Gee, can you tell I'm an "all or nothing" type thinker???? But, I woke up last weekend oddly craving protein pancakes and had some leftover plant based protein powder, so I figured I'd turn them into protein waffles instead.
I followed this recipe here and I was surprised at how easy it was. Mix it all in the blender; whir it up; and, pour into your waffle iron. That's my kinda recipe--short, sweet, and, hearty. I mean, isn't that what little girls are made of? Maybe a few years ago I'd not have liked the whole "hearty" piece as a description of myself (or the short part), but, I am fully okay with both now.
I am also okay with talking about my disordered eating past. It is a part of me and the part I clung to when everything else in my world was spinning in disarray. In fact, I still notice when times get tough around me, I want to run back to that default setting. But, I realize by sticking so closely to a super strict routine/plan/regimen, I deprived myself of the things which make life great--family gatherings, friend meals, dates, sporting tailgates, parties, coffee chats, etc.
Now, I really listen to what my body wants each day, realizing some days it is gonna want waffles more than it does veggies. And that is completely, 100%, without a doubt OK. I know right now meat isn't appealing to me, but that is not to say I won't wake up one day in the future and want meat again. Rather than stick to a strictly crafted plan out of a magazine which takes NONE of my personal preferences into account, I'm gonna make sure to listen to my body and feed it exactly what it wants--no deprivation allowed these days!
So, as for the recipe, sub in whatever protein powder you have on hand--hemp, whey, soy, vegan, rice, pea, egg white, etc. You can't go wrong. The plantains add a nice texture to the batter and they are incredibly filling. I'll give it to you protein powder....you do keep me full for many hours. I topped with hemp seeds, cranberries, raspberries, and cinnamon. Great option if you're on the go. I bet my younger, gym rat self would have approved of this recipe. She would have grabbed these as a sandwich, made with scrambled egg whites & turkey bacon with her protein mocha on the way to class. While that's a tempting idea, I'm glad those stomaching those faux mocha (fauxcha?) days are over....and so are my kidneys!
adapted from Purely Twins