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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: food

Reflections Of A Formerly Food Insecure Child

jasmine banks

I pressed by body against the wall. I wedged in between the counter top and the industrial refrigerator. Fear, utter fear, gripped my body as I tore into the foil wrapper. The strangely shaped container was cold under my hand and the foil wrapper pulled back to reveal a creme white goop. I used my hands to eat the  Boston Creme Pie yogurt. My fingers hurt and tore against the opening of the container. I should have used a spoon and I whinced in pain. My 9 year old mind told me, "don't use a spoon, don't leave evidence." I finished off the container and looked at the lettering. It read: Yoplait. Over the picture of a brown and yellow creme pie was scrawled the name, "Sarah".  I don't even remember what it taste like. One moment I was looking in the community refrigerator and the next moment I was overcome with hunger, hurriedly eating and praying no one came into the kitchen. What I was eating didn't belong to me. It belonged to the lady two rooms down from me and my family. My mom, my brother, and I lived in the Enid YWCA. We fled from an abusive home, homeless, and found shelter in the Young Women's Christian Association. Her name was Sarah and she was only a couple of months postpartum. Her face was still bright with purple and red marks. She came to the YWCA to escape the father of her newborn. He liked to hit her, and it was one night too much of her face being his punching bag. I watched Sarah breastfeed her daughter in the media room. I remember her flaxen hair. She always had it pulled back in a purple banana clip. I was astounded at how small her daughter was. I followed Sarah around the shelter watching her, asking her questions, and being overall in awe with how beautiful she was underneath all her bruises.  I finished the yogurt. I cried as I crammed the empty container inside the exposed refrigerator vent. I didn't want to be caught. I was eating someone else's food. It belonged to Sarah, not me. Shame washed over me. I knew I shouldn't take other people's things. I knew it was wrong to steal from Sarah. I liked Sarah. I was a nine year old child who had to choose between doing the right thing by Sarah or answering my hunger. Hunger won. The center required you buy your groceries, mark your name on them , and keep them in the community refrigerator. My family didn't have much. More than that, prior to coming to the center we were squeaking by on food stamps. Food stamps back then, just like now, weren't always enough to stretch and my brother and I frequently felt the sting of empty stomaches stretching to the next packet of colorful government paper bills.

This is the memory of a food insecure child.

Even after we found a semi-permanent home and we moved on from the YWCA, the reality was that my mom was a single woman with limited education and two kids. We survived on food stamps, local food pantries, and random acts of kindness. There were months that our families meals included all ingredients graciously given to us from church and community food organizations.

Today, I still carry guilt and shame and a survival reaction concerning food. My relationship with feeling deprived is a nebulous one. As a mother I struggle to imagine what my mother experienced. How do you tell your kid we don't have dinner tonight... and yet, my mother did on a regular basis.



Does What You Choose to EAT Say Something About YOU?

jasmine banks


Food choices. When you struggle with body image stuff and depression (to name a few) what you choose to eat can be a BIG deal. I, for one, get overwhelmed. There are too many voices about what is right and what is wrong concerning FOOD. EAT this, not THAT. This ingredient is bad and this is good. Gives me a headache.

Sometimes I just feel frozen. HOW DO I EVEN KNOW WHAT TO EAT ANYMORE!!!!!

But what if it was as simple as eating something, being present with yourself, and listening to what your body tells you. DID that Big Mac make me feel well, strong, energized, good, etc? Was I eating for enjoyment? Could I have found another way to celebrate, grieve, quench my boredom? The answer could be yes or no depending on what I needed. I've learned that what I eat and how I eat says a lot about how I feel about myself.

Food Choices

Do you get overwhelmed with food messages, food choices, and "being healthy"? How do you manage it? What have your learned about yourself from food?

Smart Chicken® From Harps: Sweet and Spicy Apricot Jalapeño Chicken Tenders

jasmine banks


I watched Food Inc. and I was ruined. My heart and my stomach and conscience wouldn't let me consume another bite of meat until I knew that what I was eating was well cared for. I'd drive by chicken trucks and wince at the poor featherless birds. I discovered our local co-op and I was able to return back to my meat eating ways. My co-op offered humanely cared for animal meat. The thing is, my co-op is 45 mins away. Which means I use Harp's to fill in the gaps between my bi-weekly grocery trips. Because we are so picky about the animal products we use (we want them to be organic, all natural, and well cared for) we can't always buy meat at Harp's. Thankfully Harp's started carrying beef from our neighbor who is a natural beef farmer. Harp's has all kinds of organic and natural hidden treasures! One treasure I recently discovered was Smart Chicken®.

I found Smart Chicken® and there was much rejoicing! We have options, people! I decided to partner up with Collective Bias® to try one of the recipes from the Smart Chicken® site. Check out my path to purchase HERE

This is what I came up with



Sweet and Spicy Apricot Jalapeño Chicken Tenders


  • Smart Chicken® Chicken Tenders
  • Greek Yogurt 1.5c.
  • Red Jalapeños 2tsp.
  • Organic Apricot Jam 3TBsp.
  • Organic Ketchup 4 TBsp.
  • Gorgonzola 1TBsp.
  • Scallions (for garnish)
  • Salt & Pepper To taste


Smart Chicken® Recipe



  1. Combine yogurt, rehydrated jalapeños, jam, ketchup, salt and pepper into the food processor and combine until we incorporated.
  2. Place tenders into  a dish and allow the chicken to marinate (over night is best).
  3. Once the chicken has marinated place on a non-stick or greased baking sheet.
  4. Broil at 450 F until cooked through.
  5. Garnish with Gorgonzola and celery.
  6. ENJOY!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tenders


Check out Smart Chicken®'s Cafe Tecumseh to see their delicious recipes or get inspiration for your own!

Also check out Smart Chicken® on Facbook


I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own!