Friday, June 17, 2011

Suddenly, Salad!

I'm not naturally health concious.

Some people are, I think. Some people were born thinking about how delicous vegetables are and how they can't wait to taste another leafy green and how carbs are not your friends. Those are healthy, healthy people.

I, on the other hand, love starches and carbs. A LOT. I can honestly say that, until very recently, if you had told me that I had some sort of weird medical condition that meant I could only eat pasta... every day ... for the rest of my life ... well, I may have kissed you out of sheer gratitude. I LOVE it, in all of its starchy wonderous glory.

Of course, this sometimes makes me ... not so healthy, shall we say. Especially since I don't eat meat.

("You're the only vegetarian I've ever known who doesn't really like vegetables," a friend once observed.  To which I replied: "I love vegetables! On pizza. Or in pasta sauce!")


So no one was more surprised than I was when I started craving salad. Thinking about the delicious nature of hearts of romaine versus spinach in a salad. Considering the sweet crunchy goodness that is a raw carrot.

I really want a salad, I thought, dreamily. And then I thought, "What the hell is wrong with me? I don't even LIKE salads!"

Of course, to say that I don't like salad at all is a lie. But traditionally, the things I love about salads are not what makes them delectable. I like bleu cheese dressing. A LOT of it. And croutons. And tomatoes (which, yay, healthy) and (when I ate meat) bacon bits. I didn't even EAT the lettuce because I don't like lettuce.

You really want salad? I questioned myself, disbelievingly.

Yes, was the answer, Yes, I really do.

Here's the thing: If you've ever had an eating disorder, then you know that one of the hardest things to re-learn is how to listen to what your body is telling you. When you've spent several years denying it anything it might want (like, you know, food), then learning to trust it, to hear it, is a ridiculously large undertaking. It's like trying to build a cruise ship out of toothpicks. It doesn't happen overnight. There are lots of hits and misses.

So I kept checking in with myself.  Salad? Really?

And the answer kept coming back. "Yes, please."

So I went to the grocery store. And stood in front of the produce. Tons of choices. So what did I want?

This is where I confess that I am sometimes sort of ridiculous. (Or you know, frequently VERY ridiculous.)

I started loading up my cart with salad fixings -- cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, celery, peppers -- when I thought, No.

I want GREEK salad. Like from Panera.  Not a dinner salad. GREEK salad.

I bought Greek salad fixings. I went home. I made a Greek salad.

Amazing. Amazingly tasty, yes, but also amazing that I listened to what my body was saying, and fed it appropriately. This could be the start of something beautiful.

I see many more salads in my future. Who knew?

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