Repost/Update: I originally wrote this post in July 2017, and enough has changed in the DC coffee world that it's already time for an update. New establishments have quickly become favorites, and one or two favorites have shut their doors. Plus, I'm hoping 2018's warm weather is just around the corner, which means iced coffee/cold brew sipping season is almost here!
Let's be honest, coffee makes the world go 'round. Well, it at least makes my world go 'round. I am far from a coffee snob, but I love nothing more than sipping on a cold brew in the summer or wrapping my hands around a warm mug in the winter. I don't need anything fancy; basic coffee with a splash of skim, whole, or almond milk hits the spot.
A few years ago, DC got its act together in the coffee department. This city saw a boom of new and independent coffee shops, cafes, bakeries, and roasteries open their doors. Suddenly, we all awakened to the greatness of better quality beans. Don't get me wrong, I will happily gulp down my Dunkin' Donuts, and sometimes pop into 7-Eleven even with other options in the neighborhood, but the increased variety in coffee date spots is welcomed.
I'm tired. I'm mentally done for the day. I don't feel like I have the energy to write, yet I'm sitting here typing away anyways. Why? Because I had a rough 45 minutes this afternoon that has left me with burdensome guilt. I need to move on; wake up on a brighter note. What was so terrible? I'm embarrassed to say because my brain knows this guilt is silly; I did nothing wrong. Yet, my gut screams something else.
I was starving at 4:30, a perfectly normal time to get hungry considering I ate lunch at noon. I had spent the day turning down free food in the office, and just couldn't anymore. I started with some delicious Persian rice left over from a lunch meeting, then I moved on to a chocolate biscuit that had been calling my name, and ended with a scoop of java ice cream.
I'm frantically typing because I want my realistic body to win this fight. I want to go to bed knowing it's okay, and I want to show kindness toward myself. Maybe my afternoon meal wasn't the healthiest, but I'm probably the only person who cares. Why do I care so much? There's no good answer. I'm still afraid of gaining weight, although that fear is gone most days. I hold myself to unrealistic standards, which most likely stem from my own thoughts, and the thoughts of diet culture around me.
But I promise, I'm in a much better place than I was years ago. I should be proud of this. I rarely have these binge moments any more. I haven't tracked my food in years. Two years ago I threw my scale away, and now only weigh myself on occasion at the gym. Every day I get better at letting my stomach dictate when, what, and how much I eat. But no one is perfect, although, let's be honest, the desire to reach perfection is what causes food anxiety in the first place.
Where does your brain float to when left alone? Mine is always thinking about food: how much I enjoyed breakfast, contemplating snack choices, deciding what new recipe I want to try next. Most of this thinking is fun, but for once, I would just like to turn this part of my brain off. It's exhausting. I just want to think about something else. I'm so jealous of people who "forget to eat" because they are focused on other things. Don't get me wrong, I want to eat, I just want to know what it's like to not always be thinking about food.
I'm tired. I think I'll go read my book now.
Have I ever explained how obsessed I am with the Olympics? Like the kind of obsession that makes the world stop turning for two weeks while I spend every night engrossing myself in figure skating, skeleton, and yes, even curling. There's just something about world wide sports camaraderie that makes me feel all warm inside.
Anyhow, as promised, I'm finally getting back into a "new normal" meal planning routine, one which focuses on dusting off the cookbooks on my shelf, and revisiting old favorites on my Pinterest board.
Some of you may remember that our beloved CSA (community supported agriculture) closed up shop a few months ago. To say I was simply sad is an understatement (full post here). David and I had spent three years picking up our box of delicious produce each Friday, and I had spent three years building a weekly menu based on the Thursday email listing what we could expect that week. I like to think I'm a flexible, go-with-the-flow person, but this change illuminated that I'm more of a creature of habit than I thought.
I've done it again. I've said yes to too many things, and now my calendar is beginning to look like a pet monster I didn't ask for. Except I sort of did, because I said yes to everything.
Quick! You completely forgot that Aunt Sally and her family are joining your holiday table this year, and you don't have any gifts; what do you do? You could go stand in line at Target with the rest of the last minute shoppers, or you could spend 45 minutes throwing together one of these delicious recipes.
It's that time of year where we all sit back, and reflect on the good, and not so good of the previous 12 months. While taking time for serious introspection is helpful, I want to focus on something much more important. Food. But not just any food. I want to reflect on the dishes that truly stand out from a year of eating out, and traveling. I indulged in some amazing food this year, like the smoked turkey sausage from the Greenmarket Farmers Market, and velvety ice cream from Trickling Springs Creamery. It's impossible to highlight every bite I took, but when I think back on 2017, here are the dishes, snacks, plates, and desserts that immediately jump to the top of my mind.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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