Healthy and beautiful
“I was talking to your mom earlier, and we both agreed you look good. You’ve lost weight. But I’m a father, I worry about these things…you’re not doing anything drastic are you? You’re still eating right, right?”
I couldn’t help but laugh at my father’s questions two weeks ago, known as I am for my love of food and my somewhat-obsession with all things chocolate. But in retrospect, I realize what a major fear this holds for both of my parents, as well as parents across the nation. Eating disorders are a national pandemic, and worse still, they’re so hard to pinpoint.
People assume that anorexia and bulimia can easily be discovered, as they compare symptoms and signs with the predispositions television and movies create, but in reality, things are never as simple as they appear. With commercials advertising skinny and beautiful women who have the waist-size of a toothpick and men muscled from head to toe, television advocates an unrealistic society. It’s hard for a person to come to terms with their own body and feel comfortable in their own skin; I know that there have been several moments where looking in the mirror, I didn’t appreciate who I saw, even hated my reflection sometimes.
What I’m trying to say here is that, even though television tries to depict it another way, I am healthy. No one should be afraid to admit that they had a large dinner, or that they actually eat three meals a day. No one should feel the need to aspire to an impossible size—size zero is not a size, therefore, it should not exist. No one should feel obligated to count the number of carbs in every piece of food they consume—it’s just not healthy.
Try to think beyond the stereotypes. Try to find the beauty in yourself because I promise you—it’s there.
I’m not saying that no one should ever diet again, and we should overindulge ourselves in food. I’m simply saying that eating normal portions of food, allowing an unhealthy snack now and again, and preparing or buying meals that are good for you is what we should all try to be doing throughout our lives.
Love yourself because you’re worth it. Shatter the false representations society is trying to represent as perfection, for you are real. You are normal, so don’t let anyone else tell you differently. And if you find that the act of eating itself is becoming too complicated, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or the ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associate Disorders) hotline at 630-577-1330.
On that note, below is a 30-minute, low-fat meal from Taste of Home for you to try out and renew your sense of self: healthy and beautiful.
Lemon-Thyme Chicken, served with Rice with Summer Squash
Prep: 10 min. Cook: 25 min. Yield: 4 Servings
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Set aside 4-1/2 teaspoons for sauce. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture over both sides of chicken.
- In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in oil over medium heat for 7-9 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
- In the same pan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add thyme and reserved flour mixture; stir until blended. Gradually stir in the broth and lemon juice, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.
Rice with Summer Squash
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 25 min. Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook carrots and onion in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, rice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 13 minutes.
- Stir in yellow squash and zucchini. Cover and simmer 6-10 minutes longer or until rice and vegetables are tender.