Chickpeas and Self Love

Before going on vacation, I cleansed. I spent five days drinking nothing but green juice and supplementing those with even more vegetables. In my head I had convinced myself that I had to look a certain way when I went back to Seattle. It had been six months since I last saw everyone and I wanted to prove just how great Texas has been to me.

That, right there, is a little bit fucked up.

I have a very strained relationship with my body, and while I would like to say that I have got “self love” down, I don’t. I don’t like my body a majority of the time. Some days I’m too tall. Other days my shoulders are too broad. I constantly sigh at myself, wishing I could just be a little bit more ______________.

Yep, there’s a tiny violin playing in my head too.

When I saw my mom the first thing she said was, “you look great!” and it felt so good to hear.  I have put so much weight (hehe, accidental puns) in how people perceive me, I am at that point where I’ve resorted to being a pre-teen girl; people will only REALLY love me if I’m skinny and all that shit.

Believe me, I want to change my self-image, I really do. Step one: admitting it on a public blog. Step two: owning and acknowledging those negative feelings. Step three: stop sounding so self-helpy on said blog.  Oops.

Alright, so there I am in Seattle, no longer cleansing. Instead, I’m eating fries and drinking far too much alcohol. And of course my body had a mini internal break down as it craved the 12 pounds of vegetables I had been feeding it. I also let my self-punishing thoughts creep back in, and I felt defeated. There’s something about returning home that left a bitter taste in my mouth. Of course I was happy to see all the people I love, but I fell back into these routines that make my stomach, my heart and my head confused and sad.

Pity party much?

Basically, I was wandering around my old stomping grounds feeling angry and sorry for myself. And then I spent time with my grandma. For those of you that don’t know my grandma, believe me when I say she’s one of the greatest people to ever walk the earth.

photo-2

She is my role model through and through, with a strength and acceptance of what life hands her like no one I have ever known. She’s comfortable in her own skin, made clear by her nude portraits that adorn her boudoir (yes, she calls her attic room her boudoir… she rules.)

photo-1

Sharing the day with my grandma made me realize that I can grow up to be as classy and beautiful as she is. I need to put aside all this self-deprecating nonsense and remember what she always tells me, “no guilt, no jealousy.”

Because, you see, there really isn’t room for it when you live a full life. And that’s all I want.

A full life.

grandma

* My grandma was such a babe she made it on a postcard. Total bombshell, am I right?

Thai Curried Chickpeas & Cucumber Mint Salad

Chickpeas

  • One can chickpeas
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup red onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. green Thai curry paste
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2+1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. oil

Cucumber Mint Salad

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup chopped red onions
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp agave
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped mint

I started with the cucumber salad, as you have to let things sit to soak up the flavor of the dressing. First, cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and then cut it into thin slices. Toss the cucumbers with salt in a colander. Let drain in the sink for at least 30 minutes, then tap the colander on the base of the sink to release any remaining water.

She recommends soaking the red onions, as it won’t make them as pungent. I did it because the recipe told me too, but I don’t think it’s technically a necessary step. If you do decide to go that route, soak them in cold water for at least 10 minutes.

After everything has drained and soaked, combine the cucumbers, onions, vinegar, oils, agave, pepper and mint. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cover and let stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

While that’s soaking things up in the fridge, move onto the chickpeas. Oh my god, these are SO GOOD. They are salty and spicy and literally left me licking my cast iron… I don’t want to talk about it. First thing first, make your kitchen smell like a little bit of heaven. Heat up your pan over medium high heat and add the 2 Tbsp of oil and the red onions and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Next, add in all of the dry spices (except the pepper), the Thai curry paste and the soy sauce. Add 1 Tbsp of water (I used the chick pea liquid, because… why not?)

Mix together and then add the chickpeas. Stir to mix everything together and let cook for about 5 minutes, if it gets too dry and things start to stick, just add a bit more water to the pan.

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and the black pepper. Do a taste test and add whatever else your heart desires. Honestly, these bad boys are going to be one of my new go-to recipes. So damn good. These two dishes made for a light and delicious Sunday dinner. And yes, although I was licking the pan and had a coconut milk ice cream bar I told myself, “no guilt”, because that’s the path I am on.

Thanks to grandma.

thaicurriedchickpeas

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4 thoughts on “Chickpeas and Self Love

  1. I can completely relate to you. Throughout my life i’ve always been uncomfortable in my skin. I used to be heavier, then slowly lost the weight, so much that last summer I got down to 99 pounds. At 5 ‘4″ it was a very unhealthy weight, I ran almost 6 miles everyday and hardly ate anything.
    Now I’m at 118 and healthy, but I have 2 vacations coming up in which I wont be able to workout and it scares me. I’m always terrified i’m just going to gain everything back and be fat and ugly and no one will love me.
    But working on loving myself and respecting myself is my main goal now.

    • Thanks for sharing Sarah. It’s so hard to feel anxious about something like vacation… I hope that we both find our healthy, happy selves and learn how to make it work for us- whatever that might look like.

  2. Thank you for this. It’s something we all struggle with – I hear it from my students every single day. I know it’s something I always think about before returning home; it’s hard to return to a place that *seems* unaltered and feel that you yourself have changed. When I begin to feel self-doubt creeping in – or when I feel it consuming me entirely – I try to work with the mantra “I am.” As in, I am – period. Full stop. No definition needed, because we are undefineable.

    PS I love the format of this blog. I especially loved ‘courage and spring rolls’. Please keep writing, and sharing – you are extraordinary.

    • Thank you SO much for the comment. I think that mantra really is perfect. It leaves expectations out of it, and that’s such a good thing so much of the time. Thank you for all that you do and for leading people in a practice that really changes folks views on their body. Yoga has healed me in so many ways, I have been changed and loved by yogis and am blessed because of it. I’m glad you found a place for yourself in Brooklyn!

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