Something has happened to me. I'm not sure how to describe it. I'm not sure where it came from, and I'm not sure what it means. But it's happened. It's early afternoon on a Sunday, and I'm eating an apple.
That's not too weird, on the face of it. I like apples, always have. They're sweet and juicy and crispy. Yum, apples. What is weird is that I didn't get up this morning, putter around making small talk with Husband, and then make a massive plate of bacon-basted eggs with a side of bacon. Or pancakes (with bacon). Or beans on toast (with bacon and eggs and the occasional grilled mushroom). Or eggs benedict (with ham because sometimes you gotta get some variety with your preserved pork choices). I didn't even go all Froggy and make crepes with butter and sugar, topped with more butter and sugar.
Instead, I'm eating an apple. Not an apple fried soft in butter and then swathed in brown sugar and cinnamon, cuddled up inside the aforementioned crepes. Just...an apple. And it's ungodly good. I'm almost ashamed to admit how much I'm loving this apple. In between typing sentences, I'm reaching out, snagging a chunk of raw apple, and chowing it down like it's chicken-fried bacon with maple syrup on a wobbly poached egg, balanced atop homemade brioche.
I want to be clear: I'm not on a diet. I'm not counting calories, or fat grams, or carbs, or whatever the hell we're supposed to be counting this week. It's true that I periodically look in the mirror, compare my mental image of me with the one I'm presented with, and decide to eat nothing but tofu and brown rice until I can fit in my high school jeans. But that's not what this is about. I threw those jeans away ages ago, and I fit into the ones I have just fine. This is not about me wanting to be healthy, or skinny, or even not faintly bacon-scented (although that last one's not a bad goal, in all honesty). It's about the simple fact that for the last week or so, the very idea of heavy, starchy food has made me feel...ill.
For the first time in basically ever, I don't really want the warm soothing comfort of mashed potatoes and gravy. I want tomatoes, and carrots, and sexy, sexy broccoli. I want to feel them crunch between my teeth and spread their juices across my tongue. I want to revel in the idea of them inside my stomach. It's a lust for veggies I've developed, and I just don't know where to put that in my brain.
It's like my gut is having an identity crisis. I love me some comfort food. It's not just social conditioning; it's genetic. I'm half Scottish and a quarter French, for fuck's sake. Put those together, and you get potatoes, bread, and heavy buttery sauces washed down with something alcoholic, and that's been my culinary comfort zone for as long as I can remember. I venture out, sure. I am the chick who eats anything. But I typically prefer my "anything" to come with a side of starch and maybe some kind of roux-based goo on top.
But suddenly, this week, the very idea is cringe-worthy. I think it might have something to do with late winter. I'm tired of pots of stew and chicken & dumplings, tired of food that sticks to my ribs. It might also have to do with my thyroid medication, which is the highest level I've ever been prescribed. Maybe I'll adjust and things will go back to normal. Maybe by the end of summer I'll be wishing it weren't so hot so I can justify making a big old pot of beef bourguignon.. Maybe.
I know Husband hopes so. The other day, I made a Margherita pizza for supper and he looked in vain for the meat. Last night, we went to Joplin to have supper, and my sudden pickiness resulted in our driving aimlessly around the city looking for something that didn't give me a knee-jerk "eeeeeew" reaction. We ended up at Panera Bread, where I had a veggie sandwich and a Greek salad. Me, the girl who once lived on their broccoli-cheese soup, eating a veggie sandwich and a salad. And it. Was. Stellar.
I've always said I'd rather be a bit on the plump side if it meant I could eat good food made with love, always privately rolled my eyes at people who set themselves unrealistic dietary restrictions and torment themselves with food they hate in obeisance to the almighty American ideal of beauty. I still feel that way. Screw the American ideal of beauty, and screw people that judge me for not playing that game, for having the audacity to feel hot (at least sometimes) in my size 14 jeans. I will be busty and curvaceous, and you will respect the junk in my trunk. It's just that suddenly, veggies sound sexy as hell.
Dear gods, who have I become?!