This bowl of chia pudding is the most delicious thing that I have eaten today. Also today I have eaten protein powder and one of these weird, squishy bars that I think is maybe made of dates and aquarium rocks or something. The threshold of my enjoyment is very, very low these days as I'm dealing with an intensely restricted diet (no dairy, grains, sugar, soy, legumes, serotonin), so I've tricked myself into believing that chia seeds soaked overnight in coconut milk to make chia pudding could be a viable source of sensory pleasure and here we are. Or rather here I am, spooning down my gluey chia seeds like they're anything other than a punishment.

Here's the batty thing: I've come to look forward to my daily glop. I have this precious little ritual of measuring the chia seeds into a mason jar (might as well go all-in), slowly pouring and stirring the unsweetened coconut milk, adding a generous pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla extract. Then I screw on the lid and tuck it in the fridge. In the morning, hurrah for grey slime. I can tote my jar of "pudding" to the office and top it however I would like. Would fresh berries and a smattering of nuts pair well with my soggy little fish eyeballs this merry day, might coconut and pineapple be the order of the day, or would sad madame enjoy some unsweetened cocoa powder? Oh, the boundless (except for dairy, grains, etc.) opportunities!

 

My food life is grim now, but it's either this or constant roiling stomach pain so, ya know, YUMM-O. Chia pudding has been a thing for a while now, and some people who have legitimate food options even voluntarily choose to consume it. GOOP used it in a "detox" once so I'm choosing to blame them. (It's OK—they're all dewy and enlightened and can withstand my impotent wrath.) It would seem that chia seeds are extremely high in fiber as well as omega-3 fatty acids which are thought to be helpful for mood regulation, which is perhaps why I have gotten vaguely less angry about consuming them for breakfast or ohgodohgodohgod I can't believe I am admitting this—even as a treat. I wake up in the morning or stand up from my desk in the mid-afternoon thinking "Oh hooray! It's time for pudding now!" and gallop to the fridge for my sludge and crunch.

Under other circumstances, I would roll my eyes and crack some insensitive joke about Gwyneth Paltrow and kegel eggs, but this is all I really have right now. So I'm gonna desperately cling to the fantasy that this is actually something delightful. If I plant that seed, it might actually take root.