4 min read

Exploring food and drinks

Exploring food and drinks
Photo by Mae Mu / Unsplash

I've always had a bad relationship with food, starting from when I was little. I used to, and still very much hate onions with a burning passion. And by extension, it made me hate beans and a few other dishes that my mum relied heavily on them for. The amount of possible things I could eat were limited and I realised that I hated certain foods based on how they smelled or how they looked. My first foray into starvation started around the same time too. I would sometimes not eat, if what was cooked for the family was not something that I  liked. Either that or I drank garri. I grew up eating rice, yam, bread, spaghetti, potatoes, eba and cereal, which have more or less been the only things that I currently eat.

Going to boarding school made my starvation issues a lot worse, as most of the food on their menu did not work for me. The few times that I was hungry enough to try the semovita that they had, it felt like I was eating paper 😖. I used to skip entire meals and if I had run out of provisions, I would not have anything to fall back on. I ended up being diagnosed with pre-ulcer after my JS3 and got on medication and a diet to help keep it in check. I used to drink a lot of garri then and it was one of the only things that kept me going.

I was a bit more free to explore food when I got into university but I did not explore in any way. I stuck to eating a lot of rice instead. One of the restaurants that I went to knew me well enough to start dishing my rice order before I got to the counter. I would have bread or cereal for breakfast and then fried or jollof rice at night (I rarely eat white rice with stew when I'm out). 2nd year though, I took things up a notch. I would lick sweets in the morning, have popcorn and a bottle of Sprite in the afternoon, and then have fried yam and potatoes at night. By the time I was done with my first semester, I had fully gotten ulcer. I remember lying down in bed, when I should have been prepping for an exam and I couldn't concentrate because of how nauseated I felt.

I started starving myself a lot more in 2017. It's something that got triggered by a depressive episode I was in back then. I went 48 hours without eating anything that was cooked and survived on just yoghurts and a bottle of peanuts. I would go to work and not eat anything during lunch. I guess I wanted to see how much my body could take if I deprived it of food. Since then, it's kinda been a part of my life. I don't eat as often on occasion and I can go until 6PM or later on some days without eating anything and I would not feel hungry. It's a part of me that I've tried to correct but it's always there. A bit weird since I still struggle with ulcer.

I stopped eating eba around 2010. I felt that I was eating it a lot and wanted to take a break from it. But when the break started, I wanted to see how long I could go without it. I set an initial goal of a year but fell short of it. I got angry with myself for failing and attempted it again, and this time I was able to go a long period without it. I trained myself to hate it and it helped with my goal. Different people kept trying to get me to eat it but all of them failed. I did eat it a couple of times in 2017, but since then,  I've not looked back.

I started exploring more food choices around 2020. I'd been indoors a lot and had suffered a mental breakdown. I needed to find an activity that I could always look forward to and exploring new food was one of the things that came to mind. I started with trying out sea food at Ocean Basket and it was delightful, except for a peculiar mistake. So I hate garlic, also with a burning passion and I'd seen the group on the table besides me order these lovely looking rolls. I checked the menu and the only thing I could see that looked close to it was garlic bread. I went ahead to order, thinking they would just sprinkle garlic on top that I could dust off. But no, there was garlic paste inside of it. At least, I now know to never make that mistake  again.

I have experimented a bit since then, trying Korean, Chinese, Indian and a few other inter-continental dishes. Some of them have been great and some, meh. I enjoyed myself at the Korean place that I went to and it had some of the best food that I've had outside. Chilean food didn't do as much for me, outside of punching a hole in my wallet.

Minor focus on drinks

I've always had a sweeth tooth growing up and naturally gravitated towards soda, juices or yoghurts (a darling). I tried alcohol a few times growing up and I could never finish a cup. My tongue always revolted at the taste of it. In 2021, I decided to experiment with it more often. I found out that I couldn't get as tipsy drinking alcohol and I always had terrible hangovers the next day. I am touch sensitive and it gets heightened a lot when I'm hungover and makes me not want to be near anyone. Gave up on it after about 6 months of experimenting and went back to yoghurts (they'd always treat me nicely).

So yeah, my relationship with food is a bit weird, sometimes good, most times, not so much. I eat a lot of snacks as the textures are comforting to me and I don't have to worry about them as much. Plantain chips are a fave. Experimenting with new dishes is still something I'd be doing a lot more in the future, as well as trying to control my starvation impulses. Thanks for staying with me this far. geongang haseyo