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Thanksgiving Brain/Why?

Since I am gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and nightshade-free, it’s going to be a challenge to create feasts. It’s a challenge just to eat on a daily basis, but still the feast day is coming. It’s on my brain because multiple men are daydreaming about a lovely turkey with dressing, made by moi!

I don’t know why, I never really aced the turkey exam. Maybe the last time I made a turkey, I followed all the rules to a T and it was great. Or maybe Lucien just remembers all the work I put into Turkey Day with no one bothering to come celebrate at all.

I knew they weren’t going to bother coming by, the guests I’d invited. I made a feast anyway, fit for up to ten, and sent it home with Lucien where possible. I remember making a whole pan of stuffing (that I couldn’t eat) from scratch. It was good stuffing; I tried a bite just to be sure. It was Ree Drummond’s recipe. Technically, this can be made with gluten-free bread instead… it’s just that I can’t eat that shit, either.

Maybe I can adapt it into a soup that I can eat, substituting all that bread with cauliflower and maybe broccoli (stir fried for maximum flava, of course.) At this point, I’m also replacing the butter with “butter,” so who knows what laws of The Universe(TM) I’ll be breaking.

I can’t digest grains at all as of late. I used to be able to, but I can’t these days. It sucks. Xanthan gum is something my body hates, too, which is in everything that is faux dairy and faux bread, it seems. I wonder who else has this problem that doesn’t jump on the scale every day to make sure they’re on track? Probably more people than wish to realize.

It’s not that we eat too many calories, in general, I realized… the low fat diet fad leaves us starving. Why? Because Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble. If you don’t eat fat, you’re not getting them out of the food. The End.

I remember following every shred of weight loss advice I’ve ever come upon with an iron willpower. It doesn’t work, not for me. It doesn’t even matter if I eat only 1200 calories a day, my weight will not budge. Being that I have an extreme enzyme deficiency, I’m better off eating 2,000-2,200 calories a day with an hour of movement — not exactly exercise — that breaks me into a sweat.

That’s right. Fuck cardio. Fuck weight lifting. Do yoga. For hours. Your body will just work better… or, mine does, anyway.

I remember as a kid, I used to spend all my time outdoors. Jumping rope, running around in circles, bicycling around the block in endless circles so my mom didn’t have to wonder where I was, doing cartwheels down to the neighbor’s house one at a time just to prove I could. I was active, in a word.

That is, until I was diagnosed with ADHD and told to do all my fucking homework before I could go out and make mud pies. (Ever do that yourself? I remember my mom’s disdain every time I walked up to the house, hands covered in a layer of liquid dirt. “Come on, let’s get you washed up!”) They don’t taste very good, so I’m not sure why they’re called pies, but yep. I did that.

I ate dirt once in my youth. I ate cardboard once, too. I wanted to know what they tasted like so I understood with perfect clarity what those phrases meant. “It tastes like DIRT!”/”It tasted like cardboard… I’m not a fan.”

That’s right. That’s what autism is like.

I’ve also tried both dog food and cat food, but I blame my brother for that one. He ate a piece of dog food and said, “That’s not as bad as I thought.”

I swear there were no lead paint chips until my teenage years.

If we grow mice to feed snakes, why don’t we grow mice to feed cats? #AutisticPondering

So anyway, I KNOW… it’s not even officially October yet. (It’s almost here! 90 minutes to go! My favorite month of the year espousing my favorite holiday! Why? Because I can be myself without anyone laughing at me.)

But I can’t be myself without anyone hitting on me. I tried that. It’s weird how everyone embraced my love of Halloween around here. America, that is. Good for us!!!! Now stop wasting money on costumes and make costume pieces you can reuse as part of your wardrobe (or buy sturdy ones that hold up) and go with basics you can endlessly mix ‘n’ match so you can always have a costume in a minute!

Wait, that’s what I do.

But it’s the right thing to do, honestly… what the fuck is wrong with us, getting temporary shit for a single day of immodesty? Since when did Halloween become Slutoween?

I remember one summer, my mom found a She-Ra costume at The Rainbow Connection, which was a local charity reseller. I put it on, despite it being the middle of summer, and went out to play in it. I remember the neighbor kid, Gary, laughing at the sight of me. I felt so self-conscience, I took it off and never wore it again. It had five minutes of air time when it could have had five hundred… She-Ra is cool. She has a sword and everything. The kind of princess that rescues herself!

She-Ra, original Amazonian role-model

Maybe I should be She-Ra this Halloween in defiance. I dunno where I’d find gold knee-high heels, though, of that caliber. Dat sword, though!

This is the original woman that told me I could be anything I wanted. A cartoon character that hacked and slashed and solved problems and she was still a princess but there was no castle in sight yet. (Thanks, Mario, for spoiling it.)

I was thinking about rape culture (SURPRISE) earlier today and it’s possible Revenge of the Nerds was my first exposure to it where they tried to justify it. Putting that compromising picture at the bottom of the whipped cream pies just to sell pies was rape. That girl didn’t give her consent. And now that I think about it, why doesn’t She-Ra wear pants? Maybe I can give her a makeover and dress up and make people guess for hours who I’m supposed to be. If they have hours to think about such frivolity. (IF YOU DO, WHY AREN’T YOU PITCHING IN TO SAVE THE MOTHERFUCKING OCEAN? God wants to know.)

I thought I might be lazy and put on my pirate costume again. If it’ll fucking fit, anyway. Gaining weight back sucks… but now that I’ve got some sort of bead on the fact that I have to take enzymes every meal just to eat, I might be able to achieve my goals. Well, that or spent three hours twisted up like a pretzel.

If you’re like me, you have lower back pain from sitting far too much. I have the solution for you and it’s not even hard! (Partial solution, anyway.) You can even do it in bed. Which means even if you’re too tired or you forgot about it until you start having anxiety right before you sleep, you can do it!

Bridge Pose via Yoga Journal

I’m sure you can figure out how to do this without a fancy explanation. The Bridge Pose pictured above. If you can’t because you’re blind, let me explain it to you:

Lie down somewhere. Take several deep breaths and let all that yucky tension go somewhere else and imagine your body relaxing. Relax your arms at your sides – whatever is comfortable. Once you accomplish that, place your feet flat on the floor or the bed, wherever you happen to be lying down. Arch your back, supporting yourself with your head, neck, and shoulders. Keep your arms straightened (without causing discomfort in them) and hold this pose as long as you can. Try to line up your core and your thighs to be one continuous muscle stretch and hold in the bridge position.

If you’re really out of shape or perhaps you have back problems, your thighs will quiver and quake the whole time. It’s okay, just do as much as you can. If you have to relax out of the position, do it a few more times until your back pain subsides. Contract all the muscles in your core very gently to help hold yourself up. That is to say, both your back muscles and your abdominals. Try to force your back to arch a little more than it usually does. Remember if you’re a beginner, you’re not going for Superman or Superwoman here, so don’t squeeze your muscles like there’s no tomorrow. (You can ignore that advice if you want a more intense workout, but if you’re a couch spud like myself, that’s not going to happen straight away until you’re addicted to the back relief aspect.) Use your inner and outer thigh muscles, too, to the best of your ability. The idea is to feel all your muscles at work but not overwork them… I mean, unless you wanna. You would sleep much better if you wore yourself out.

I had hoped to see a familiar face today when I went to the store. The crazy bastards in my brain tried to convince me he’d see me if I just went to the store. I found myself browsing the poke bowls in front of the deli. They have some new options I might even be able to eat! I’m thinking about trying them in the future, but for right now, I’m focused on filling the fridge with my own creations. Being that my roommates are not even remotely close to dairy-free or gluten-free (and they are ancient and elderly and sickly), I end up making comfort foods like Mac N Cheese, Pudding (with berries, to try to get them to eat something healthy), Scalloped Potatoes, and so on. In fact, they get senior boxes full of shit seniors shouldn’t eat.

I’m not even kidding… There’s off-brand cereal, which might be okay if it wasn’t GMO corn. (I know, I know. You’re a non-GMO freak! Actually, that’s God.) But our real beef with the cereal (see what I did there?) is that it comes with a ton of sugar added. They get macaroni by the bag and canned potatoes and tomato sauce (low sodium!) and a brick of Velveeta (that’s some other fucking brand, of course.)

Basically, ever month, my parents can eat typical American comfort foods… which happens to be what’s killing everybody.

But more importantly, why are they feeding people who can’t move an extra high dose of carbohydrates? You don’t need them if you’re sitting still all the time, which they are. They’re watching yet another episode of Star Trek. I was shocked the other day they were watching Family Guy… Apparently it’s the episode where Cleveland leaves the show and they’re looking for another token black guy. (Poor taste ensues, I assure you.)

Anyway, what old people need to eat is lots of veggies, a small dose of carbohydrates, and enough fat to get the vitamins (remember those vitamins from above?) in order to keep their bodies functioning. Yet, this box comes with endless carbohydrates, some “dairy” (let’s be honest, is it really cheese? Or is it “cheese food”?)

And then to top it all off, all these carbohydrates are b-vitamin fortified, which is great… when you don’t eat fruit or veg. It’s like our entire culture is built to skip the fruit and veg. (Because it is, God says.) We act like it’s news: “You should be eating plants!” Le gasp! PLANTS?!?!?!

I like to imagine my dad saying, “Vegetables? VEGETABLES? What are you tryin’a do? KILL ME?!”

Okay, he’s not that bad. I learned he loves corn on the cob and zucchini bread. Still, those are high in carbohydrates for people who do nothing but watch TV all day.

I am so glad they’re over their “western” binge phase. I mean, it was nice to see the ancient natives of America being represented, that doesn’t really happen anymore. In fact, you can learn a lot of their culture from westerns! They’re just boring. (Hey, movie and TV people re-doing everything! Remake westerns with some more pizzazz, will ya? And make sure to include the Hopi people and their customs. In fact, all the People and their customs.)

How’s that for something different? Oh yeah, Quentin did that Django thing, didn’t he? AND WHERE WERE THE FUCKING NATIVES?

Anyway, here’s to hoping my latest batch of enzymes means I can eat a cheese pixxa with onion. (No, that’s not a typo. Did you know pizza requires tomato sauce as a base? That means all that buffalo chicken pizza crap isn’t pizza. It’s pixxa.)

I mean, if I eat half a small pixxa by myself and a side of salad, it usually works out okay, especially if I overdo the activity side of things, but I want to eat the whole thing! (Technically, I want pepperoni to cover every square inch of it, get crispy, and delight the fuck out of my taste buds, but it has paprika in it. I can’t eat that nightshade shit, sadly. [But it’s oh-so-tasty!])

And that’s the problem with America right there.

We eat what tastes good, not what is good.

I ditched the pepperoni maybe six months ago, thankfully. I started making pies with onions on top, and Daiya cheese. I was buying Wegmans store brand faux cheeses, but there’s a problem for me! It’s got turmeric in it. I’m not good with turmeric… my body wants to murder me when I consume it.

What, you don’t care what I’m eating? Sure you do.

Here’s my menu of dishes to explore for Thanksgiving this year. (I’m going to prove to you that you give a shit!)

  • Non-dairy, gluten-free gravy
  • Mashed turnips with roast garlic
  • Stuffing (dressing, really… it’s only stuffing when it goes in the fucking bird, yo)
  • Sweet potato casserole, sugar-free
  • Green bean casserole, dairy/gluten-free
  • Mac & Cheese (the real deal for people not me)
  • Roast brussel sprouts! (YUM)
  • Fresh cranberry sauce, citrus-free, sugar-free
  • Cornbread (the real deal for people not me)
  • Kale salad w/ apple slices and almonds?
  • Roasted parsnips?
  • Roasted butternut squash soup
  • Mulled apple cider 😀
  • Glazed carrots? Maple bacon carrots?
  • Crescent rolls (for people not me)
  • Scalloped potatoes?
  • Macaroni salad? (Bold choice, amirite? Serving cold food on a hot food comfort day!)
  • Stir fried broccoli
  • Jello (old people alert)
  • Apple sauce (made from scratch)
  • Peas
  • Cole slaw?
  • Pumpkin pie? Pumpkin pancakes? Pumpkin waffles?
  • Apple pie? Apple betty? Apple crumble?
  • Bread pudding? (Hey, I’m feeding old people, gimme a break.)
  • Sweet potato tater tots (Alexis brand) — this is in case I get too lazy/sick
  • Sage butter, home-made, but with faux butter
  • Beefy Rice (kind of like a pilaf) — also in case I get too lazy (and because I need more dinner ideas.)

In fact, when I went to the deli today, I got a couple new dinner ideas. I’m trying to use up ancient cans of food that are about to expire (if they haven’t) and basically force feed my ancient ones the food they hoard so it doesn’t go to waste. SO, I need new ideas on how to use things up, y’know? Otherwise, we’ll get bored of the food! (Actually, what we’re bored of is not getting nutrient XYZ that is actually in that other food dish we’re craving suddenly because we need that vitamin/mineral, yo!)

I wanted to make sure my Thanksgiving feast could be pulled off even if I’m sick as a dog without too much effort. Honestly, if the turkey thing doesn’t pan out, then I’ll end up making a pot roast. (How’s that in defiance of Turkey Day?) (Who doesn’t love pot roast that isn’t Hindu?)

The deli has the following foods, for you who needs inspiration for dinner tonight:

  • Several dinners full of noodles + tomato sauce + cheese crumbs + meat (sometimes)/ Chicken Parmesan.
  • Asian dumplings, noodle bowls with meat and veg, rice with meat and veg.
  • Poke bowls/sushi/summer rolls — WHOA, options for moi, too?!
  • Fried Chicken/marinated chicken breasts
  • Sandwiches… all the sandwiches. Meat + cheese + gluten, what can go wrong? Don’t forget the nightshade! I mean, tomato.
  • Salad — they finally carry a dairy-free salad. SHOCKED. Tofu-based vegan salad.
  • Chicken pot pie. (Good idea for leftover turkey, too, to make one from scratch… that is, if I get off my lazy fat ass and make a gluten-free, dairy-free pie crust)
  • Potato salad (maybe I’ll turn the next batch of canned potatoes into this or maybe German potato salad)
  • BBQ pork/wings/etc.
  • Pizza. Pizza logs. Calzones. It’s like, a big deal, yo. It’s a bigger deal in the northeast than it was in the midwest.
  • Meatloaf…
  • Seaweed salad. MMM. Or maybe Neptune salad?!
  • Soup! (Broccoli/cheddar, tomato, Italian wedding, etc.)

How boring. Do you know how many hoops I have to jump through to make most of these edible within my diet parameters? Still, I had a random idea that didn’t suck when I was looking around, and now it’s completely escaped me. I feel like I’m having old people problems already. ARGH!

Anyway, my focus tonight is dessert that Crystal can eat — that’s the name of my stomach now — and proteins. Oh and some stir fry so I can do less cooking someday. I filled the fridge up halfway with cheesy carby goodness for the old people but we all need protein, too. (Or do we? Vegans aren’t dying as fast as I think they should.)

I think I’m going to mix up tuna salad — but that wasn’t the idea. Liver for my dad, also not the idea. Salmon patties for “Not Me”, also not the rogue idea that lost itself in the deli. And maybe some egg salad, though also not the idea I left behind. (Will there be fridge space once I remember?)

Le sigh.

You know what this means?

I’m going to have to go back to the deli and mosey around, looking at everything, and retrieve the thought I left there in mid-step. Oh God, you devil. I know this is your fault, leaving an idea in the deli so I have to go back and get it. Or maybe I just really want one of those summer rolls. Riceless is greatness.

He knew it, too, that’s why he had me grinning through half the store, I just know it. “Joke’s on you, kid. I left your amazing idea right in front of the sushi counter.” FETCH!

But God, I’m a kitty, not a doggy, she whined loudly. Just like a doggy.


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