Sunday, May 6, 2012

Voluptuous Yummies

First, I want to make sure that everyone knows that these opinions are entirely my own and I purchased this book myself, with my own money.  I am not getting paid for this review.

I wrote spoke wrote briefly yesterday on Sophie Dahl's book Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights
but by the end of the day, there was so much to be felt and said about such a beautiful, quaint little cookbook.  So I go on, to share with you how this book affected me.

Sophie writes much of her own journey at finding a happy medium, enjoying food while not overindulging.  She is a semi-vegetarian, so her recipes are not meat-focused.  Organized by season, her recipes are simple, but have a decadent feel and are written with me precisely in mind, for I am not a good recipe follower.  I do not measure oil to sauté vegetables in so someone who uses the word "glug" to describe how much oil to use is suddenly my one true love.  The photos make me want to cook absolutely everything and her delightful way of writing makes me want to cook even more.  And, can I just say that with a title using the word "voluptuous" how can I not want to have it in my home?

When I was a very young girl, I wasn't quite sure how aware of one's eating I must be.  We often discussed "health foods" and that we should be eating skim milk and whatnot, but I don't really remember ever thinking that I should eat less.  Perhaps it was due to the many people in my family, but I always felt that if I like something, I had to eat as much of it as possible because it very well might be the last bite I had of that tasty bit of food.  This wasn't because there was a lack of food, just that there were many mouths who also enjoyed whatever I did, too.  The first time I realized there might be an issue was not when I tried on the women's size 12 jeans.  No, it was when I realized that all the other girls were far more petite than I was.  With the childbearing hips of a 30 year old woman (I mean no offense if you were to fit into that category), I was at the most awkward stage of 12.  

Once this realization hit me, I decided that perhaps it was time to go on a "diet."  I wanted to look better and try to fit in, for fitting in is my all-time favorite pastime.  For about a month or two I followed a little exchange diet that my mom had started up and felt pretty good about myself.  I'm not quite sure if I can remember where that got me, but it wasn't a bad experience.  If nothing else it taught me to pay attention to what I was eating.

And then I got a babysitting job, that was after my choir class.  I would walk every day for about 45 minutes to get there, pick up my young charge from preschool and walk us back to his home.  Suddenly, I dropped down to a size 4 and felt insanely excellent about my body size for the first time in years.

I've had many rocky ups and downs with my size, and how I feel about it.  As a once vegan for several years, I am very good at following strict rules.  Black and white serves me very well, it's the grey parts that become an issue.  For someone who studies Nutrition (nutritionists believe that moderation is the key to success), I'm not talented in the ways of "a little bit of everything."  When I first read French Women Don't Get Fat
I fell in love with the idea of enjoying little bits of things amongst a healthy dose of other good for you foods.  But I didn't know how to deal with this new-found freedom.  I overindulged and with the stress of a science degree, moving more than once, a wedding and other various life changes, the pounds just easily came on.  With a no-holds-bar outlook on food, I could eat anything!  But I was miserable.

Every since moving to Hawaii, I have slowly worked towards finding a middle ground through every area of my life, especially when it comes to food.  Losing weight has been a part of that journey, and not through some crazy diet with super restrictions.  No, it's been through eating some things now and some things a week from now.  It's been through smaller amounts and knowing that there will be some of it left if I want more later.

Miss Dahl's book rings true with me, and inspires me to cook beautifully and with an eye on moderation and no thought to cracking the dietary whip.  Such a delight.


  1. Great post-it definitely makes me want to read that book. Whenever I read something like that it lifts my spirits and puts me in an inspired state of mind.

    My most awkward stage {even though I may go through a more awkward stage ahead-I'm only 14} was around 12 or 10. Very short {a head or more than all of my friends}, no shape whatsoever, average weight but everything about me was shrunken it seemed. Suddenly 13 hit and I'm now taller than my friend who was once a whole head above me, places have shrunken and grown, my legs are super long and I can't gain weight to save my life. Hopefully it only gets better from here.
    Honestly, I looked really strange next to my friends who were already almost as tall as their mothers.

    ~Brooke {via The Dove Tree}

  2. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the post :).

    What is it about growing up that sucks so bad? Bodies just like to do strange things I guess and some parts go faster than others. I would love to say it gets better but when you get older there are still fun awkward stages you get to deal with. I wish you the best of luck as you continue to grow!


Your comments make my day even brighter and happier than it already was. I just love hearing what you have to say!