I’m coming to terms that I may never have the perfect body. I am never going to have that 6-pack or flat stomach. As I find myself committing to those exact words, I slice open my finger while making a homemade apple tart. Is this a sign?
For lunch today I had 2 cheese danishes. Yes two. But they were the best cheese danishes I have ever had and my favorite at Amandine Patisserie in Brentwood. They are a combination of fresh sweet cheeses with a light airy croissant-like pastry dough. They melt in your mouth and since it’s a rarity I am ever in that neighborhood, I got two and ate them both. Is there something wrong with this or am I appreciating culinary genius at it’s finest?
My yoga teacher always joked about the muffin top or the belly bulge as we did our ab routines, but I’ve had my own doughnut ring since I was 17 and I think that after almost 20 years, it is safe to say it will never go away and I need to finally accept this part of myself, love handles and all. I love REAL mac n’ cheese, homemade pretzels, bagels, bacon, brie, and the list goes on. When my boyfriend goes out of town I eat like a bad vegetarian, but I love every minute of it. Cheese & wine, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream.
You may be thinking why does this girl like nothing but carbs and cheeses, but let me enlighten you. About 3 years ago I was submerged into the wilderness to live as a cave person for a lame show on Discovery. After I lived off of tree sap and dandelions for a week, and those nasty weeds in swamp water; I had a whole new appreciation for food and how far we’ve come even paying homage to Duncan Hines and Pepperidge Farms. God how I loved those tiny gingerbread men with sugar sprinkles as a little girl. It was the first time I didn’t look at food in a negative way. You see, I grew up in the Shake N’ Bake generation, I missed out on homemade mac n’ cheese. Everything was out of the box or can. I never had homemade dressings or amazing cheese. I had Kraft singles and a creamy dressing out of the bottle that was not refrigerated. That’s not weird at all.
Did you know that you can make your own fresh lemonade? You actually heat up some water – add a little bit of sugar, fresh lemon juice and let it cool in the fridge. In my mind, lemonade was Snapple or some funky mix out of frozen can, which I don’t even think was real juice and was so sweet! Suddenly there is an entire culinary world I have yet to conquer and I want to make foods from scratch again, breads and pies, good cheeses, but I can see the guilt pouring out of my boyfriends face when he’s eating them with me. Our culture is so fixated on the perfect body, none of us can enjoy them. We just came out of a preservative, hormone, GMO foggy haze and we are so quick to cutting out dairy and meats like they are our worst enemy.
It recently dawned on me, that my diet for the first time consists of real unprocessed food. That is epic and a gold star in my book. It’s always cooked fresh and made with the best ingredients. It’s not fast food or McDonalds that I grew up on, it’s homemade. So am I really going to shut the door on these foods over a belly – a belly that Marilyn Monroe happily showed off as one of the sexiest icons ever?
Perhaps it’s just time to turn in those 2-piece bikini’s and sport the one piece. After all, I’m not in my 20’s anymore. I’m not skinny, and I’m not fat, I’m I guess…normal. In most cultures I’d be considered skinny, but in the LA culture where I live, my body is not perfect oh and I’m not a vegan. I guess that’s something I will have to work out in my next yoga class and until then I am surrendering to my latest buttermilk dressing journey where I make and try out different recipes (not Hidden Valley). If you love recipes like I do, join my Southern Recipe Club with Whitney Miller at Estellagrace.com