“Nothing” Food

Here’s what’s in my fridge as of this morning, April 25, 2012: 3 packages of Shiritaki Noodles, a quarter-full bag of shredded carrots, a half-full bag of spinach, a container of grape tomatoes, five crimini mushrooms, a near-full container of Daisy Light sour cream, half a bottle of shiraz (it’s one red wine I like chilled), leftover tofu and veggies from yesterday’s Mad Mex fajitas, a couple bottles of salad dressing, some light string cheese, condiments (the holy trinity: ketchup, mustard and light Miracle Whip), a container of light butter, and a half dozen eggs. And a jar of horseradish and some tahini. There might also be some strawberry jelly and maple syrup in there, too, now that I think about it.

Clearly I need to go to the grocery store, but – along with some cupboard staples and a few things in the freezer – I have food enough for me for a day or two. Seven years ago, if I opened my fridge and saw Shiritaki noodles, spinach, mushrooms, carrots and tomatoes, I’d have said, “There’s nothing to eat in here!” and promptly picked up the phone and ordered what constituted real food at the time: pizza and cheese bread sticks.

Old Me didn’t completely avoid “nothing” foods. I’d eat fruit. I loved strawberries, blueberries, and apples, especially when they were surrounded by a pastry shell or sat atop a big bowl of Neapolitan and covered in fudge sauce. I liked veggies, too, but their little tiny portions got shoved to the side of the plate, nearly buried under a mound of cheese potatoes or some breaded chicken or pasta monstrosity. Eat a salad for dinner? Sure! As long as there were plenty of French fries, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing on top!

Sometimes Old Me pops in for a visit, and for a moment, I see the world through her eyes. This morning, when I opened my fridge, the first thing I thought was, ‘There’s nothing in here.’ But as quickly as that thought came, that thought dissolved, and I saw the eggs and cheese and I imagined an omelet. Old Me would have been halfway to Eat ‘n Park for pancakes. I saw the spinach and tomatoes and planned lunch. Old Me would have debated whether to drive through McDonald’s or Wendy’s for lunch on her way to the grocery store. I saw veggie soup and one lone veggie burger in my freezer and that will be dinner. Old Me would have bought all the fixings for manicotti and garlic bread.

I’m not dissin’ Old Me. I give Old Me a lot of credit. Sure, she can be annoying sometimes, especially when she whispers, “What’s one more piece of chocolate? Go ahead, Lynn, you deserve it.” But even though she put away a lot of chicken nuggets back in the day, she eventually took off her blinders and saw the contents of the fridge and gave “nothing” food a chance. So later, in her honor, I’ll raise a glass of shiraz and thank her for making me who I am today.


11 thoughts on ““Nothing” Food

  1. The reference “old me” makes me stop and think because far to often I think the “old me” is front and center but when I really give thought and think back to the real “old me” I can see how far I've come. So often now when Mike and I are driving from or to somewhere and we are hungry we will think about stopping but almost always we end up coming home and cooking something, omelettes are our favorite night time quick meal 🙂

  2. The old me is still there and comes out with a vengeance sometimes. Looking in a mostly empty fridge can trigger that for me, but most times I am okay fixing up something light.

  3. Those “old Me habits” die hard and can resurface at a vulnerable moment. I like the way that the “new you” cooks. I'm always amazed at what you can concoct in your kitchen. It's healthy, but also delicious and creative!

  4. We had a refrigerator meltdown a month or two back and ended up starting at ground -0-.

    I am amazed at how little I added back (and there are still 4 of us living at home, soon to be 3, they keep disappearing on me).

    We tend to eat stuff until it is gone and have very few condiments these days.

    good post.

  5. I just stumbled across your blog and it's sooo inspiring! You look gorgeous, oh my god!

    Theres one thing that I'm puzzled about though; on the front page, it says “Lynn Haraldson: writer, grandmother and loser”.

    You won against obesity and proved that determination is all that is needed. You, dear, are a fighter, and therefore a winner.

  6. Lynn, I've been following your blog for a while, but haven't commented before. This post struck a chord. I've been mainatining a 100 lb. weight loss for four years and sometimes I'm still shocked by the difference between then and now. I think “Old Me” never really goes away. People often tell me I'm a different person, but I think I'm the same person just doing different things. It's a continual journey of discovery for sure!

  7. Lynn, I just bought the Joy Fit Club book and saw you in it. I have been following your blog for awhile, but you have given me the courage to start my own weightloss blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Great post! My wife and I struggle with the same thing. We see perfectly good food, and then declare that, “there's nothing here to eat”! Of course that was just our way to justify eating out.

    I'm glad that old you and old us are able to see things differently now, and we are all new people! I still struggle from time to time, but it's much better than before.

    Thanks for sharing!

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