New Years Resolution: Just Feed Your Damn Self

January 6, 2020



In all honesty, I dread this time of year. As soon as the wrapping paper comes off the presents, it’s time for the Bombardment of Body Shaming. You know what I’m talking about. ‘Tis the season to make you loathe your body and everything you’ve put in it over the holiday season.

Gee, glad you enjoyed your time with family and friends over a warm and sustaining table. It’s over now, so it’s time to hate yourself, mmkay? Time to look in that mirror and scrutinize every dimple and crinkle and patch of soft flesh.

Feeling bad enough about yourself yet? No worries. Jenny Craig, Whole 30, Veganuary, Weight Watchers, Intermittent Fasting, Keto and South Beach Diet are here to make you human again, you fat, bloated cow of a celebratory poster child for indulgence.

I hate it.

I hate the message they send us: you are not enough. You are lacking. In fact, you are disgusting and need fixing and you need it right now. If you could only become smaller–maybe 15 pounds? 30?

Once you shed those numbers on the scale, you will be complete and happy and worthy. Your whole life will turn around and become magically free of the things that weigh on your soul, because everyone knows that happiness hinges on thigh circumference.

No wonder people are so fucked up about food.


I’m here to tell you that you can buy into that bullshit if it serves you, but does it really? Serve you? Does feeling ashamed of the skin you walk in make you feel better? Will waking up thinner strengthen your relationship with others? With yourself? Will you lose all of your troubles and concerns about this planet and humanity when that number on the scale goes down? Will your boss treat you better, your spouse appreciate your efforts more, your children suddenly turn into blessed, uncomplicated cherubs?

I could answer that for you but fuck it. You’re an adult.

You can do adult things.

Like figure out how to feed yourself.

Imagine that. I mean, it’s not like you’ve been doing that for decades–feeding yourself. How odd that you’ve never known how to do that before.


Le sigh. Okay. Soapbox over but y’all, this time of year is exhausting. Can’t we just be happy and proud of ourselves for navigating a successful holiday season for one dang breath before we’re hit with the guilt and the shame? Holidays are crazy and busy and wonderful and hard and wonderful. And over, which I personally am glad about.

Personally, I don’t make resolutions because I suck at follow-through, but whatever your resolution may or may not be, can I make a suggestion? How about you include a little tidbit of love and caring for yourself in all of your list making and determination. Caring for ourselves means feeding ourselves, and if we can do it in a way that doesn’t feel like punishment, more power to us.

If you’re up for it, I advocate for this soup.

It’s full of things that nourish, sustain, comfort. It’s a warm bowl of “I love you, just the way you are.” It’s a bowl of “I trust you to give me good things–things that will keep me healthy and strong and kickin’ it.”

And you do kick it, Readers. You do.

I have been eating this soup for breakfast (because I am so dang weird about breakfast) and it’s so delicious that it usually is lunch too, if I have a generous pot. This slice of heaven gives me energy and solace. On a cold, deep winter day, there is nothing better that you can do for yourself than hop into a bowl of this. It’s not low-carb, it’s not vegan, and the beans probably take it out of the Whole 30 realm (but really, Whole 30…I can’t eat brown rice or chickpeas? WTF?)

What I can tell you is that it’s delicious. And chock-full of vegetables and stuff that makes you ready for whatever the world throws atcha.

Happy New Year to you.

Keep on shining, you crazy diamonds. Like the wonderful souls you are. Just the way you are.




Cranberry Bean Pasta Fagioli

serves 4 to 6

from Food Network Magazine

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

5 cloves garlic, smashed

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 2-ounce piece pancetta (optional)

5 canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

3 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth

kosher salt

1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight

2 bay leaves

1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and extra for topping

2 cups small pasta, such as shells or ditalini

1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary and pancetta and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt. Add the soaked beans, 3 cups stock, the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours.

Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. (The soup should be thick and creamy; thin with water, if necessary.)

Remove the bay leaves, parmesan rind and pancetta. Add the grated Parmesan, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Top with more cheese and olive oil, if desired.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

elizabeth January 6, 2020 at 1:12 pm

Hear, hear! Why is it that we have to submit ourselves to all of that self-loathing during the most miserable time of the year, weather-wise, when there are so many great things to make like soups, stews, braises, and the like? It’s such a crappy holdover of American puritanism and I hate it!

The soup, meanwhile, looks absolutely grand! I finally posted about the soup that made me think of you and how much you’d enjoy it:


Dana Talusani January 7, 2020 at 12:02 pm


That soup looks and sounds like heaven! Must try!


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