A long-distance relationship poses all sorts of challenges, particularly when it comes to sharing meals together. For Joselle and me, the last few weeks of summer have been quite the rollercoaster in the way of our mutual menu. It's not always funnel cake and water ice. When we meet up for condensed weekend time together, we typically pack those too-few hours with unconventional mealtimes and restaurant excursions (e.g., recent trips to Greenlight, Red Bamboo, and Zen Palatte). This can all be very exciting, but oftentimes much more expensive and somewhat less healthy than homecooked meals.
When we're apart---which is a good bit of the time---mealtimes for me are extremely lonely, and homecooked meals are few and far between. I don't enjoy shopping and cooking for myself; something that basically equates with understocked cabinets, bland meals, and poor nutrition. This hits me hardest when I experience an onset of Epstein-Barr Virus symptons (stemming from adolescent mononucleosis), which seem to be recurring more frequently with each passing year. These are the times when I need to take the best care of myself, but I typically feel the least motivated to prepare food, clean up, and do it all over again. Lethargy and mild depression often go with the territory, and it becomes a real pain in the neck to whip up meal after wholesome meal.
I'm sure when Joselle and I eventually find a way to be closer to each other, meals won't seem so far away. They probably won't always be as perfectly prepared and timed as we like them to be; but we'll definitely work to establish nourishing systems and structures for ourselves that will help to better define our life together (we've already discussed the importance of sitting down to eat dinner as a family). For now, the adage of "you are what you eat" is so very true; a lonely meal that leaves my stomach empty also leaves my spirit feeling pretty much the same way. And, let me tell you: As tender as Trader Joe's Soy Nuggets can be when properly nuked, they'll never be able to take the place of a meal with my main squeeze, Joselle.