Kabocha Squash Salad and “Its All Relative”

I love hot food on cold greens! but actually, cold Kobocha is addictive and delicious!

Hey bloggie friends!

Its been a while since I’ve bored you with my musings! You been luck to have our guest share her culinary masterpiece and incase you missed it, you can visit my contribution on her turf.

Today, my recipe actually ties in with the topic! How rare is that!

I was talking to my therapist (how lame is the start of THAT sentence!) about my little OCD tendencies. As I’ve slowly let go of my eating disorder, I realize I do have tendencies that have been “shoved under the rug” because of the eating disorder. It’s quick to blame eating disorder when your running as much as I did and not eat enough to nourish myself. But once a lot of the layers of the eating disorder are shed, there is still that part of me with these tendencies. My therapist told me that OCD and eating disorders are “cousins”.

And you know what? It made a lot of sense. They share a lot of common. I suppose their “parent” is anxiety, the mother (or father, just trying to be fair!) of most psychological disorders. Often times, people will have what I think of as a “deadly cocktail” of both OCD and some sort of eating disorder. I thought about it, and thought OCD and eating disorder share these traits:  impulses to maintain the order, perfections and precise actions.

Hmmm….I never thought of myself as a perfectionist. I mean, if you just read my blog, its ridden with spelling and grammar mistakes! I certainly burn my toast and leave my shoes untied sometimes (simply too lazy to tie them, that is, until I fall). And I wish I were more organized! This doesn’t sound like me.

But after some self analysis, I think I do exhibit OCD characteristics. One big one is control. A lot of chef’s are control freaks. Are they all OCD? Probably not (although, maybe debatable, I’ve seen some fairly wacky OCD stuff from chefs!). But I do have a preoccupation with things I can control. It’s beyond food and exercise, although I admit, I feel a strong pull towards control of those two areas. For example, I hate being at a party where I cant leave. If it’s on a yacht or a boat, forget it! I’m not going! I feel anxious when I’m controlled when I can leave! I feel trapped and the anxiety of not being in control of my departure tortures me.

I think lots of people get a anxious about not being in control. But when is it a problem? I suppose when it takes over your thoughts and prevents you from having a life. When the rigidity gets in the way of life, then you’re in trouble.

But it is rather fascinating how these two are “relatives”. Relatives, real ones like cousins and uncles and what not, may resemble you, may even behave like you, but they are individual people, separate from you. Similarly, I think you need to treat BOTH the OCD and the eating disorder if someone indeed has both. Sure, a lot of the symptoms overlap, but I think both need attention.

I suppose with me, the eating disorder manifested to harming me physically, so the first inclination to remedy what is harming the body the most. But I still had (and I think I still have) OCD issues that need work.

It is a mild OCD, I know shows like “Hoarders” and “Obsessed” make it seem like you live in your mind’s prison and never see daylight. But the thoughts are there, the anxiety is there, there is “safety” in the rigidity. But I’m working on it, and honestly, blogging helps, expressing myself helps. I think I’m hopeful I won’t be like this forever.

Incase you’re interested in reading further, there was an interesting study conducted at Vanderbilt university that you can check out here.

You know what else is “related”?????

Kabocha and Pumpkin!

Actually, Kabochha in also known as “Japanese Pumpkin”.  I know, I know! This can go into my “over-rated food blog” food list, but I admit it, I do love it! It’s very versatile, and in my case cheap (I have an asian market by my house that sells is for .99 cents a pound).  It’s also brimming with vitamins and beta carotene as well as some calcium (and much easier on the stomach than dairy).

sitting on my counter, before I performed open heart surgery on it. O and yes, that is the ice cream maker behind it.

Anyhow, I scored a big one today and roasted some up for a cool salad! Heres what I added to the salads:

-a couple of leaves of napa cabbage (going with the asian theme here!)

-sliced turkey (any protein would do, I like my salads to be “balanced” so I always include a protein)

-sliced persian cucumbers

-avocado

-roasted peanuts (a very nice touch, but cashews and almonds would be great, even pecans would be wonderful!)

-Roasted Kabocha, chopped into cubes

Mix the whole thing up with some ponzu., soy sauce, or hoisin sauce and sesame oil and you have one delicious salad. I like this relative, which isn’t always the case;)

Do you have anything that is a “relative” of something else that you adore?

For example, I like lychee fruit which is a relative of rambutan. I also like Casey Affleck (as opposed to Ben Affleck, his bro). Lets see…..I like “Curb Your enthusiasm” which too me is like “Seinfeld’s” cousin.  Family Guy gave birth to “The Cleveland Show” which was surprisingly a disappointment.   Anyhow, you get the drift. Any “relatives” you like????

By the way, a giveaway will be coming up next week, in the meantime, check out Astrid’sMaggie’s and Averie’s cool giveaways! You what they say, it is better to give than to receive!

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17 thoughts on “Kabocha Squash Salad and “Its All Relative”

  1. Kombocha! I’ve never been able to find one at the grocery store, so I’ve never tried it. But I’ve heard some great theings…..Maybe one day? *sigh*

    I have a few OCD tendencies, no doubt. It’s something I try to hide but I can’t get rid of. I don’t let it effect my life to the extreme though. I can usually “brush it under the rug”, so to speak, if I have to. It’s just stress releaving I think.

    ❤ Casey Affleck! It seems like he doesn't age…….

  2. Eden, you are hilarious–witty, real, honest, and totally funny. 🙂 I agree with all that you said in this post, and not only because I can fully relate, but also because you are so dang intelligent and direct. ‘Tis true for me, my OCD issues (cleaning, laundry, etc.), and the ED are intertwined. It’s fairly effed up, but makes perfect sense when you break it down, analyze it, then start to let it go. I’m working on this with my therapist, too… In my life, I’m also learning to find a passion–not sure if that will ever be a career (though I’m happy with my new job), but hopefully I will continue to write poetry, learn how to take a proper photo (this is my next endeavor), and become better at yoga, Pilates, and meditation. My therapist thinks (yes, I sound cheesy now!) that the lack of “passion” for something in my life (not a person, but for a goal, thing, path, career) has allowed the ED to remain for the past 17 years, off and on (yes, I had some really decent years in there, that I refer to as my “remission years”). SO I’m working to “follow my bliss” now, once I identify what that might be, and LET GO a little more each day of the ED, OCD, and any other loser relatives. 😉 And instead, stop being so damn cranky with the people I’m closest to, like my husband (I can be a royal bitchy pain), my parents, etc.. I need to think of what I love, do it, and really invest myself in it, rather than waste time over-exercising, obsessing, and taking out my issues with myself on others.
    Thank you for your post–it rocks. 🙂

  3. Ooh ooh, pick me, i like this game! 😉
    I like Madewell which is like the little sister store of J.Crew. And I like American Beauty which is kind of a cousin of my favorite t.v. series- Six Feet Under (created by the same guy). Oh and i like the fuzzy things that I’m currently wearing on my feet(I don’t think they have a name!) because they’re kind of like a love child of slippers and socks.

    p.s. recently i have started out so many sentences with “So, the other day i was talking to my therapist and…”
    SO EMBARRASSING.
    i feel ya.

  4. I definitely think ED’s and OCD go hand in hand. I for sure have OCD/control issues – and my OCD tendencies do not lean towards the neat obsession either! I guess that is why I loved the show “Monk” – he was so OCD but I could identify a lot with him. I personally think an ED is an OCD in itself – so ritualistic and all. They are definitely two branches off the same anxiety laden tree! I also suffer from panic/anxiety issues from time to time and I cannot stand loss of control like you. I hate situations that I don’t have a “plan B” for.
    As far as things alike – I LOVE delicata squash and it’s relative – the sweet dumpling squash. If you have never had these – run, don’t walk (or in your case, bike) to the nearest store and find some! Most people never dream of eating them – they just think they are “harvest” or fall decorations to throw in a wreath or on a table – but these are the BEST squash ever! That is one reason I love fall….
    BTW, have you been able to find pumpkin yet?

  5. Yay, there you have kabocha (which is a relative of Hokkaido)! Salad looks delish!

    I like what you’ve written about the relation between eating disorders and OCD, and I’ve thought about that a lot because I suffered from ED myself, and also have some OCD tendencies, mostly about washing my hands. (What you wrote about perfectionism, control, and not-going-to-a-party-where-you-can’t-get-away I can very well relate to as well.) I’m a graduate psychology student (how funny is THAT?! – at least I don’t want to become a therapists, LOL), so I’ve also digged into the topic due to studies as well. Anxiety seems to be at the root of both ED and OCD, and when you suffer from an ED, you are caught in an obsessive mindset that is centered around food and eating / not eating, and exercizing maybe. Many people also develop kind of “food rituals” which are akin to compulsive behaviors.

    Anyway, I believe a difference between ED and OCD lies in the fact that EDs are also substance-related. It has an influence on your hormone and neurotransmitter system if you deprive yourself or flood your body with sugar, e.g., while OCD thoughts and behaviors usually don’t involve getting something into your system that elicits reactions of its own there. (Of course, due to the relation to anxiety and stress levels, giving in to compulsion will also elicit a hormonal response, but the food somewhat does something on its own on top of your other thoughts and behaviors.) I’ve made many tries to get out of the ED by just working on my attitude towards food and sticking to certain “healthy” eating plans, and failed terribly. Anyway, since I’ve changed my diet and cut out most sugars and starches, I improve because I don’t experience so much hunger and lack of energy anymore, so I can let go of controlling and planning my intakes and simply just forget about food. But I know I will be back in the old patterns very quickly when I start eating like before again.

  6. hehe, Dr. Oz= Wizard of Oz, I think of that too!! 🙂

    I am so excited for pumpkin to be in saeason again. Nick and I are growing our own in the back yard. I didn’t even know kombucha was considered chinese pumpkin! That’s neat.

    I have definitely noticed chefs are control freaks. Yep, I think you’re right about that one!

  7. Pumpkin is the big craze now…I can’t find it canned..but I think I saw some “regular” uncanned stuff..I guess it is all the same. Never saw kabocha before either. But I love butternut squash so much. Butternut squash and potatoes go great in salads with avocado and all that.

  8. I have pretty much given up on the Kabocha squash trend going on because I can’t find it anywhere. Well, I can’t find it at the two places I buy food from anyway. I am OCD about being early everywhere. For some reason, if I feel like I will be late (even if I’m running quite early), I get super anxious and can’t think of anything else. I guess it’s not a bad thing because that means I’m always early everywhere I go. I’m not quite sure how that ties into any food issues unless you consider that being late = a loss of control over the time. Hmmmm.

  9. Oh wow, OCD and eating disorders are a lot alike. I never realized it..but really it’s all about control. I guess now we can be one of those people that say “I have OCD!” to be cool. Except we’re cooler cause 1) we actually had it and aren’t just saying it to get attention and 2) we got over it. 🙂

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