The panic started to set in on day two.
Because twenty four hours without exercise is reasonable. Recommended, even, at least once a week for those of us who have a tendency to hit the gym as if our lives (and certainly our waist circumference) depend on it.
But forty eight? That's just a bad week.
Seventy two is uncalled for.
Ninety six is. well. Strange and unusual and thoroughly unprecedented. Would my muscle cells revolt from lack of use? Would my adipocytes start doing keg stands in a fit of sheer exuberance? And most importantly, would my brain shut down from all the lack-of-exercise-induced anxiety that was sure to be thrust upon it?
It was anyone's guess.
Truly, though I had a fabulous time at BlogHer Food and got to know some fabulous bloggers in a real life kinda way, it was also all of my worst fears combined.
No exercise. An overabundance of food, none of which I had any control over. And while I like to think I've got this eating-disorder-recovered thing under control 99.9% of the time...this was for real my worst nightmare. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that it gave me pause to fly 3,000 miles across the country to submit myself to such anguish.
But it's true what they say. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So I went.
And while there were moments of "ohmygod I'm going to come back to new york at least thirty pounds heavier" ridiculousness. I just tried to tell myself not to sweat it. To make the best possible food choices (which obviously meant eating the most glorious buttery grilled cheese at Etta's) and move on.
To let go and have fun and just. Live.
So I did. It was liberating.
And the fallout, when with bated breath I stepped on the scale yesterday? Zilch. Exactly the same as when I'd left.
It's amazing the tricks your mind can play. But even more, it's amazing how unfounded they can be.
So while I learned a lot at BlogHer Food about SEO and social media and cookbook photography. I also learned a lot about myself. My strength. My ability to overcome my own wayward thoughts. And for that alone it was worth going.
When I left I was under the impression I was going to have to come home and immediately start detoxing. But all I really wanted was pasta. And green. Lots of green. This dish most certainly did the trick. It pairs pesto with Asian flavors - cilantro, nori, tofu, and soy sauce - and lots of veggies (asparagus! sugar snaps!) so that you get that comfort food feel while still feeling good about eating a whole bowl of it. Seriously. Love.
Coriander and Nori Pesto Soba with Wok Seared Greens
Serves 4, adapted from Veggie Num Num
- 3 grams nori
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 20 g pickled ginger
- 7 oz firm tofu, broken into small-ish pieces
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp wasabi
- 10 oz soba noodles
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed and cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 lb sugar snap peas
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- For the pesto, soak the nori in a little bit of water until soft. Roughly chop the cilantro and add it to a food processor along with the pickled ginger and tofu. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup and wasabi. Process the tofu mixture and gradually add in the oil mixture so that it forms a smooth sauce. Season to taste with wasabi and soy sauce.
- Cook the soba noodles in salted, boiling water until al dente. Strain and set aside.
- Heat a nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, asparagus, sugar snaps and sesame seeds. Toss until veggies are cooked to desired consistency.
- In a large bowl, toss the soba noodles with the veggies and pesto. Season to taste with soy sauce and wasabi.