100 Posts!

Yesterday’s post on Plumpy’nut marked 100 posts here on Eat With Joy. I thought of doing some version of the ‘100 things about whatever’ meme, but I think I’m too lazy and/or busy for that.

Besides, I thought it might be more fun to highlight the top 10 posts from Eat With Joy‘s brief Internet life. And so without further ado…

(Click on each title to read the full post; italicized text represents excerpts)

#10 Film Review: “The Help” and the Supper of the Lamb

“Living the gospel acknowledges our shared humanity and need for reconciliation with God and with each other. When we sit to eat together, we acknowledge our physical needs and that shared humanity (we all eat; we all excrete) while tasting just a bit of God’s graciousness. The Help reminds me again just how countercultural that Supper of the Lamb really is…”

#9 Fake Gluten-Free Girl

“Can food preferences–not just gluten-free, not just Paleo–be a way of couching disordered eating in more socially acceptable forms?”

#8 Should Healthy Living be a Spiritual Discipline?

“We DON’T need “spiritual” reasons to pursue a “healthy” diet.

We DO need a new food culture, and there’s plenty of wisdom–in the Bible and elsewhere–that’s ready to help us shape one.”

#7 Breastfeeding and Justice

“Our ability to make choices about parenting styles is a direct result of our relative economic security and privilege. But that doesn’t mean that this ability is trivial or unimportant in light of extreme suffering. In fact, I think that how we choose to live–including how we spend our money and our time (and eating’s a big part of that)–is organically connected to suffering and justice both here and elsewhere. It’s also connected to how we view ourselves in relationship to the Creator and the rest of creation.

#6 I’m 30! (30 things about a 30 year old on the 30th)

“3. Once, when I lived in Brooklyn, our house was broken into and our VCR was stolen, with my Winnie-the-Pooh tape inside. This was extremely distressing.

4. Another time, when I lived in Middle Village, our apartment was broken into and I could hear our German landlord, who lived downstairs, screaming, “I have a knife! I’m going to kill you!” Even more distressing.

#5 Am I too thin to say “accept your body”?

“…all the ads for weight loss products and programs and gym memberships and everything else. They always carry with them the promise (the lie) that YOU YOU YOU can change your body–that it’s raw material for shaping any way you desire–if only you’ll buy this, do that, have enough control, pray enough, or whatever.

#4 Injustice of Biblical Proportions

“Alabama’s new immigration law makes it a crime to appear in public without proof of your immigration status, and requires law enforcement officers to stop anyone who “appears illegal.” If you don’t have proof of legal residency when you go to pay your utility bill, they can cut off the water to your house.

#3 Revolutionary Joy…and Basil

“Finding joy in basil grown from seed returns me to a place of joyful creativity that’s not (I imagine) unlike the Creator’s joy. It reassures me that even black specks of nothing can turn into something beautiful and delicious, something that brings three generations to the table and gives them delight.”

#2 White Collar’s Woman Problem

Gina Dalfonzo’s Guest Post:

“White Collar is showing an unhealthy obsession with the current Hollywood ideal of the skin-and-bones woman. And it’s especially saddening because White Collar is so strong a show in other ways—my friend Kim Moreland writes here about how well it handles themes like justice, order, and goodness —that slick Hollywood trappings, such as anorexic-looking women, stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.”

and the #1 post?

My Audrey Hepburn Problem

“…although I admired Audrey’s humanitarian legacy and reputed grace and kindness, I was most inspired by her thinness. In the days of my Audrey obsession, her brilliant film performances were less important than the visibility of her long, lovely bones in her various stunning Givenchy and Edith Head designs.

Do YOU have a favorite post–or a topic you’d like to see more posts about? Leave a comment!

Fake Gluten-Free Girl

Are food preferences ever a way of putting disordered eating into more socially acceptable forms?

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my dad has Celiac disease, and in him, it was the really dramatic kind of Celiac, with massive weight loss, terrible anemia, mouth ulcers, and a host of extremely unpleasant gastrointestinal problems. When he was diagnosed in the mid-80s, it was after several years of invasive testing, during which it was thought by some that he must have something like late-stage cancer or full-blown AIDS. “You’re so anemic, you shouldn’t be able to get out of bed,” one doctor said.

Happily, all it took was a month of gluten-free before he regained a good 20 pounds (and his life.) But whereas today you can purchase gluten-free bread, pasta, beer, muffins, crackers, cookies, and more, back then, going gluten-free was a different story.

We ate A LOT of rice (which was a good thing. I love rice.)

And peanut-butter and jam on rice cakes (which were less good, but not bad.)

And, just once, we tried corn pasta (which was a Very Bad Thing.)

And I became very aware that my dad couldn’t eat lots of yummy things like pizza or birthday cake–not because he didn’t want to, but because he would waste away if he did.

While I was still young enough to have a healthy attitude about food and my body, I felt bad for my dad. I didn’t like it that he couldn’t enjoy the same foods as my mom and I could.

But as I got older, I saw the possibilities of going gluten-free: I could easily banish from my diet all sorts of “fattening” foods and no one could criticize me for doing so.

(Now, it sure SEEMED like each time I ate something with gluten, I got a stomachache. But that the discomfort was making its way from my head to my gut was not so clear.)

And so, I began 7 years of gluten-free. It didn’t make me lose weight. In fact, I think it may have contributed to weight gain in some ways. For one thing, the gluten-free foods that were available by then tended to be very dense in calories. And for another, the constant deprivation I subjected myself to (by not providing myself with adequate gluten-free substitutes, say, in my college cafeteria) led to craving and overeating later. Plus, my eating was always out of synch with the eating of those around me. I was all out of touch with my hunger and with the social nature of eating.

{And I STILL got a lot of stomachaches. Go figure!}

Periodically I would wonder if the gluten thing was “in my head.” But the anxiety over opening up the whole range of gluten-containing foods was too great. I thought I would gain huge amounts of weight and eat uncontrollably. It seemed safer to keep bread, pastry, pasta, cake, cookies, and tons of other things off limits.

nowadays, of course, "gluten free" doesn't hafta mean "cake free." But try THIS gluten free cake first. It's delicious!

After giving birth to my first child, though, I found that I no longer feared food.  I felt brave enough to introduce oatmeal into my life. (I know; how daring of me, right!?) From there I moved on to include bread, pasta; well, everything, really.

And my stomach felt fine; if anything, it felt better.

So what’s the point of this story? “Eat gluten?” No, not exactly.

one gluten free celebrity (Gwyneth Paltrow)

It’s just this: I’ve noticed that more and more people are going gluten-free (including some celebrities) and while I absolutely, positively DO know that some people–with or without “official” diagnoses–can’t tolerate gluten and feel tons better without it (like my dad–see above!–and the lovely Gluten-Free Girl, and some very dear friends) But I’m still kind of wondering if, for some people, this grain-rejection may just be like mine–on some level, yet another way of restricting food and/or masking an eating disorder.

another gluten-free celebrity (Zooey Deschanel)

What do YOU think?

Can food preferences–not just gluten-free, not just Paleo–be a way of couching disordered eating in more socially acceptable forms?

Do you worry when friends suddenly foreswear whole food groups?

(By the way, in case it wasn’t clear in the above: I went gluten free–consciously or not, mostly NOT–to mask an eating disorder. So before someone messages me to say that I’m insensitive or judgmental or don’t understand the reasons for going gluten-free, please, please, please understand that I understand. And I’m not judging.)

(Swiss) Chocolate Roll Recipe (Gluten Free!)

(plus a powdered-sugared cat.)

he insisted on being right there with me as I was making a powdered sugar mess. oops.

When I was a little girl, my very favorite snack cake–the kind that comes wrapped in plastic–was the Swiss cake roll. (Is there also a brand called Yodels?) I don’t think I had them very often, but I sure liked them. I liked the way they looked, and the texture created by many small layers of “creme” and cake.

Because my dad has had severe celiac disease since I was 5–and has thus been totally gluten-free since then–we tended not to have much in the way of packaged junk food; we didn’t want to exclude him, and as a side benefit, it probably kept me and my mom healthier. In the days before people started going gluten-free as a ‘lifestyle choice,’ there weren’t many packaged cookies or cakes, breads, or pastas.

What there were in abundance, though? Little old church ladies, eager to make something that the good Reverend could have at potluck. And so they pulled out their cookbooks, these ladies; they tested modifications, and they would proudly bring their offerings to church with a little sign in their spidery old script: “for Pastor.”

One of these cakes was especially delicious and noteworthy, made by the very same Mrs. S to whom I’m bringing Fannie Farmer dishes. In fact, the recipe comes out of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook (11th ed.), and it is delicious, even if your taste buds and tummy are accustomed to gluten. And it is not nearly as difficult to make as you might think. And so, the recipe!

Chocolate Roll

Butter and sprinkle with cocoa powder a jelly roll pan about 10 x 14 inches. Preheat the oven to 350F. Separate:

5 eggs

Beat the whites until stiff. Mix and beat in, a little at a time:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa (I recommend Dutch process)

the yolks should be looking like this before you fold them into the beaten, stiff whites. Beautiful color and texture, no?

Without washing the beater, beat the yokes until very thick and FOLD them in. Spread evenly in the cake pan. Bake until the cake shrinks from the edge; about 20 minutes. Turn out onto a cloth (NOT terry cloth!) sprinkled with

confectioner’s sugar.

Cut off the edges of the cake if they’re crisp. (If not, leave them.) Cover the cake with a slightly dampened cloth and allow to cool. Spread with

1 cup heavy cream, whipped, lightly sweetened (~2 tablespoons), and flavored with vanilla or rum.

Roll firmly but gently, and place on serving dish with the fold underneath. Sprinkle lightly with confectioner’s sugar. Serve with chocolate sauce.

I glazed mine with chocolate sauce, something Mrs. S never did, but it made it hard to cut. Better to serve the sauce on the side, I think.

(But it’s also good plain.)