I am glad to receive many positive responses to my plan to start a Weekend ED Series.
I do want to make something clear though.
On my last post, I wrote that I “cannot stand eating a salad or cottage cheese as a meal, or subbing real flour and butter for weird carb-free/ sugar-free/ fat-free/ vegan ingredients, or subbing spaghetti squash for “pasta”, or any of that kind of diet shit.”
Granted, by calling it “diet shit”, my words were harsh, as I am prone to be often times when I get too passionate about something. I apologize for that.
But please don’t misunderstand that as me saying I hate people still struggling with ED hang-ups. If I hated people with eating disorder issues, I wouldn’t even think about starting these series. Heck, I wouldn’t even be friends with a lot of people I care for deeply.
I have a definite purpose when it comes to sharing my experiences and story. I do NOT want it to be a boo-hoo sob story about how hard it was to struggle with my eating disorder. I do not want it to be so detailed and graphic that it’ll bring negative triggers to people. And I certainly do not want to make people who still struggle feel guilty or accused.
I’ve been wanting to share more in detail for long time. More than a year ago, actually. It’s always weighed down on my heart, to want to use this amazing blogging platform to contribute something positive. But to be completely honest, I wasn’t ready.
A year ago, I only just entered college. I was still struggling to break myself away from the anorexic image. I was afraid (okay, terrified) that people in my new environment would find out about my disorder and start judging me because of it. I wanted a change. I wanted to create a new Sophia Lee, not Sophia that Anorexic Pastor’s Daughter. Thus, it took me a long time to actually publicize this idea.
But now, I feel ready. I want to share. I want to help in any way I can, and that is just to share my story and my experiences in the most honest way I can.
Yes, my past has definitely left me some scars. But that just means that I have this burning rage against anything ED—not the person, but the disorder.
It’s hard to differentiate the person from the disorder, but that is also something I intend to clear up. There are so many misunderstandings and misinformation about eating disorders, and as someone who had to deal with these misunderstandings and misinformation, I feel a pressing urge to dispel them to whoever is willing to read.
However, I’m also human.
That’s why although I feel ready, I am still worried. Worried that I might say the wrong things. Worried that I may trigger anyone. Worried that some people might interpret my words the wrong way. Worried that I might come off as a religious freak.
Yet at the same time, if I don’t get to share, I shall burst.
Thus, I am praying. I pray for wisdom and prudence, because I seriously lack that sometimes (like, sometimes I just need to SHUT UP!). I also pray for compassion and empathy, because yeah, I lack that at times, too.
That said, let’s clear up the somber attitude with a little fun, shall we?
I went to the funnest (not a word) place the other day with my church friends. This was a very very late post birthday lunch date, because we all had October birthdays. Amanda and Christina, pretend you joined us for our October birthday celebration too, okay?
We went to Pal Cabron, a Prueblan restaurant that got so famous that it opened a new store at Koreatown:
Doesn’t this place make you wanna walk in a swagger and go, “Yo I got yer back, dude!”? This pop-up thing was hil-larious! Especially because I brought my conservative church friends here after Sunday service. Heh.
They are famous for their cemitas and clayudas. The only problem is that their menu is mostly in Spanish, and my 4 years of Spanish in high school has long been forgotten.
However, I somehow still remembered most of the Spanish food terms (where ARE my priorities?!) so I was able to translate most of them for my friends.
So what is a cemita?
Jonathon Gold described it best when he wrote on his column at LA Weekly:
“A cemita is not a sandwich that you dive into headfirst; it is a sandwich you have to sneak up on, nibbling around the edges, softening the natural defenses of the thing before you dare to attack its sweet, greasy heart. It is for these reasons that we prefer cemitas garnished with quesillo, not just for the mild, milky tang of the hand-pulled Oaxacan string cheese, but for its cushioning effect on the assault. A cemita is a sandwich that will fight you back.”
I can’t beat that Shakespearan gastronomy prose, so I’ll abridge it for you: “A cemita is a kick-ass sandwich that will make you a fat-ass.” And worth every damn calorie, so there.
Between the four of us, we split three cemitas and one clayuda. My friend Halim got La Tetanic:
Which is stuffed with breaded chicken breast, avocado, onions, acrid papalo leaves, and stringy, creamy quesillo:
Hello, voluptuous baby. Love that it came with a side of adobe chipotle:
My other friend Elaine got the La Chokolata:
Chicken with Black Mole Sauce, quesillo, raw onions. Hot diggity bomb! I LOVED the smokiness of the mole sauce.
My other friend Christina got the La Muy Muy:
Which was very much like La Tetanic, except with pork instead of chicken.
As for me, I was here specifically for the Clayuda (really actually written as Tlayuda), because I was planning to review it for my column on pizzas. I got the Coloradito:
Red Mole and Quesillo on a giant tostada. Dang. Look at how big it is compared to my face!
And holy cow. All. That. Cheese!!!
The tostada is first smeared with bean paste that has been fried with lard. And then, a lovely layer of rich, spicy red mole sauce. And then, the hand-torn strews of oozing, chewy Oaxacan cheese. Despite the richness and the size, the crust is a thin, crispy griddled tortilla, so I had no trouble finished this of myself, plus ample bites stolen from my friends’ cemitas.
Unfortunately, my friends weren’t too happy with their meal at first, saying that the food was too “different and unfamiliar.”
But after awhile they started warming up to it though. Note the change of expression:
Ah that’s more like it, Christina!
They also offered a selection of obscure Mexican sodas:
We got the Sangria Senorial and each took a few swigs of it. It had some kind of cherry-ish flavor.
Not bad. But the food was better.
The moral of the day? Don’t knock something until you get the full experience of it first. The first bite might surprise you a bit, making you feel uncomfortable at first, but after the second, third, and fourth bite, you might have found something new to savor and enjoy.
In the same way, coming back to the previous topic, please give me a chance. If you’ll be reading this weekend, please don’t read just a single section of what I wrote, or even just judge by that single post. As the word “series” will suggest, each post will just be a segment of the process of my experience in ED recovery. But I know that my experience will not be the same as others’, so I’d love if everyone can share their own personal experiences and thoughts as well.
One reader said something that I really touched me: “[We] are a warrior, a victor over ED–let’s celebrate that and help others out of it.”
I love that. I want there to be a celebration of victory against ED. However little, however small, it is a start. A battle is not won with a single arrow, but by continuous attacks, defense strategies, and support from your troop of warriors.
So. Join me. Fight on. Let’s break ED’s neck, shall we?
Question of the Day: Dude. Jonathon Gold rocks. He’s kind of my idol in the food writing community. I also love Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson (yes, she’s a writer in my opinion because the way she writes her cookbook makes me SO hungry!). Who are your favorite writers?
P.S. I have a Facebook Page now! If you think I’m remotely cool, please “like” me so I don’t feel like a loser. Heh.