As some of you may know, when I was a teenager I basically starved myself. When I look back at pictures of myself during that time, it’s just like oh my God. Why did I think I looked good?
I thought it was so cool back then that you could see the outline of my collarbone so perfectly. That I looked so taut and toned and lean… now I just look at those pictures and see a skeleton. Why did I think that was good? Why did I think that was healthy?
My weight and mental outlook were unhealthy any way you look at it, but on top of that I had internalized most of the diet advice of the day (late 1990’s-early 2000’s). Fat was still thought to be the main contributor to weight-gain, and saturated fat the devil.
The newest research has shown that isn’t really true– that fat is not bad, and that if anything weight gain has more to do with how our bodies process carbohydrates.
I have so memories of going out to eat as a teenager and being so jealous of the Caesar salads my mother and sister would order. I would always order the “garden salad” or the “house salad”– with, of course, the dressing on the side. Caesar salad scared me because all of the dressing was mixed in– in large amounts. I couldn’t control it.
Well now, ten + years later, I am totally letting loose on the Caesar salad. I make one at home practically every day. I’m totally obsessed, and with good reason: the romaine is, of course, totally healthy. And the fat in the salad dressing is in fact not bad– if anything it will help to stabilize blood sugar for longer.
I’ve been stuck in other areas in my life right now, and I’m thinking of the Caesar salad thing as a reminder that things truly can change, even though at the time they seem immutable, fixed as fact. There was once a time when I thought it was a fact that, if I ate foods like Caesar salad, I’d get fat. That I’d start gaining weight and never stop. That if I weighed more than 132 lbs, guys would no longer find me attractive.
I’m happy to tell you that none of that has turned out to be true. And now, a celebration of various Caesar salad ideas:
Caesar salad pizza: