Good Enough to Eat, Indeed!

12 09 2010
As you may have read a few weeks ago, I pre-ordered a book in hopes of winning a lunch date with one of my favorite authors Jen Lancaster and her BFF Stacey Ballis.  I did not win a lunchtastic day with Stennifer, but I did get a consolation prize of having ordered a really good book. 

Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis is an emotional feast of great characters and wonderful sounding food.  The main character is Melanie, a woman who has recently lost half of her body weight only to have her husband leave her for a big woman right after she opens her own carry-out healthy cafe.  Most of the story revolves around the ‘bad’ foods she wants vs the healthy way she’s trying to be.  There’s a love interest, wonderful friends, and lots of growing up for the 40-year-old ‘fat girl’.  It’s pretty great.

The whole back of the book (like the last fourth of it) are these great sounding recipes.  They’re based on the recipes in the book like the birthday banana cake and then following them are a healthy recipe version.  I haven’t tried the recipes yet, but they sound amazing.  I especially want to try the fried chicken; the secret in the book is poaching it in buttermilk THEN frying it so it’s cooked through and crispy instead of burned outside with a raw inside.  The banana cake also sounds awesome, so I’ll be trying these recipes out as soon as I can gather the ingredients and convince Penguin that he should try something other than Hamburger Helper and spaghetti. 

Interspersed with the life and the wonderful recipes is the whole fat girl in a skinny body thing.  Mel never sees who she is now.  She’s constantly fighting (and occasionally losing) the urges to binge on unhealthy foods and skip her workouts.  She battles her insecurities over her new body in ways she never had to worry about her old body.  She (and I assume, by extension,  Ms. Stacey Ballis) liken the urge to compulsively eat to an addiction, which it is.  I especially like how Mel thinks that you couldn’t expect an alcoholic to take one drink 3-5 times a day but not completely fall off the wagon,  or a drug addict that has to take just a few pills three or more times per day but never more.  That’s how it is with food though.  You have to eat 3+ times a day but not to overindulge.  It’s hard both in the book and real life. 

I am a fat girl.  I admit it.  I eat things I shouldn’t.  I almost never exercise.  I’m not healthy, but I’m not completely unhealthy.  I’m still relatively young (though swiftly approaching 30) and time hasn’t relegated me to diabetes and heart disease, yet.  I feel the press to eat better and exercise more.  I also feel a little helpless, because most of my problem has nothing to do with what I eat or what exercise I do, but instead are the result of a medical condition.  It is very frustrating, since I can diet and exercise and actually gain weight.  Most of the time I give up and decide to eat whatever I want.  I hate the looks I get when I eat real food.  I spend 36 hours a week with a handful of tiny women in the health care setting.  They eat their Lean Cuisine or salads and low cal yogurt and talk about jogging.  I eat home-made lasagna, mac n cheese, PB&J, Hamburger Helper, and cheesecake.  I don’t care anymore.  Some day I’ll get my medical stuff all figured out and then I’ll care again.  Until then, I’m being happy being me and savoring my home-made cheesecake with relish.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pics of things I cook.  Visual feast! Bon apetit!

Apple Pie

Spinach & Bacon Quiche

Pumpkin Bread & Muffins

Apple Cake Lasagna

Cheesecake

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