Challenging yourself in a healthy way

Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to talk to you all about challenging yourself in a HEALTHY way. I think that anyone with any type of mental illness has fallen victim to punishing themselves and setting themselves too high a goals which they cannot achieve. I know personally my goals were ridiculous, to be friends with everyone and to be happy and bubbly all of the time. So in the end I was exhausted and wearing myself out and my anorexia got stronger and stronger until I felt oh this is great, I am losing weight finally something I can be good at. Of course in time I found myself as unhappy as ever and so I entered recovery and have been trying to find new ways of challenging myself that do not include unachievable goals or physically and mentally harming myself.

This next week marks a very important week for me in my recovery because my parents left for France yesterday evening for 10 days. I got ever so anxious yesterday and when I get anxious I scream because I don’t let the thoughts come in. So I am just sat with an anxious feeling and I have no idea why. But yesterday was one of the easier times where I could link my anxiety to a big event and sometimes I can’t do that. So, after I had calmed down a little bit I thought to myself… This is a REALLY BIG positive step. I am challenging myself from being away from my mum so I have to take care and responsibility of my own recovery. This is a huge positive and healthy challenge because I am not going to be punishing myself and I have set myself an achievable goal and if I don’t quite manage then no harm is actually done. I am still going to feel accomplished because being away from my parents is already half of the challenged ticked already.

So I wanted to share with you a few other little challenges that I have/want to achieve. I do lots of planning of these kinds of challenges and it makes me feel SO GOOD once I have finished them. Like I didn’t know I could have such a confidence boost just by doing my favourite hobby regularly or doing homework tasks set by my therapist. You will see these goals are not entirely food related but some are because I like to have a mixture. The one thing they all have in common is health and well being related. Here are my goals:

  • To make my friendship bracelets whenever I have a few spare minutes in the day
  • To give in my job application forms (already done this one!)
  • To go horse riding as regularly as possible. I love horse riding but sometimes it’s a lot of effort to make myself go. Just because my negative voices are very loud and recently I seem to have lost interest in nearly all of my hobbies. But horse riding is something that actually makes me feel good about and it is a challenge to make myself go so that is why it is on here
  • To put effort into my mindfulness practice and to do it at least three times a week
  • To go back to college in September (That’s a huge one and I have knots in my stomach just thinking about it!)
  • To make the effort to have lunch out with any family member each week. This is an important one because I have found that I absolutely love having lunch with my mum. I can talk to her about therapy and any worries I might have and because it is at a time and day that we have planned to have lunch then I can plan what to say and I find that very useful because if we didn’t do that then there wouldn’t be another time that I feel more comfortable talking to her. Because at my house it is busy busy busy!
  • To make sure I keep writing to my pen pals
  • To make sure I look after myself. Wash my face, put a bit of make up on, use my perfume, use my favourite shower gel and body lotion. Hand cream and foot cream. When I was deep into my illness I wouldn’t do any of this. My hands and lips were completely cracked and bleeding because I refused to look after myself. Now I wake up feeling like I want to get out of bed and have a nice day just because it feels a bit nicer being in my skin.
  • To walk my dogs everyday

So those are all of my goals and challenges to make me feel like I have a purpose to my life and I am not just floating around doing nothing. I have ambitions and I want a proper life and hopefully my goals will help me towards that. What are your personal challenges/goals? I would love to hear them.

Vegetable pasta sauce

Hello everyone,

I have been so busy recently it appears and that makes me anxious because my energy levels are depleting fast. I wake up in the morning fresh as a daisy and then by 11:00 I am flagging and then by two I can’t move anymore. This is a problem that needs to be solved especially if I want to have a life for myself which I very much do want that more than anything! But apart from the tiredness everyday I feel quite chirpy today. So I wanted to share with you a recipe again! This is my tomato and vegetable pasta sauce and its so delicious I love it.

vegetable pasta sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 peppers any colour, deseeded and chopped
  • 2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar

What to do:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently cook the onion, celery and carrots for around ten minutes. Add the peppers and cook for ten minutes more.Tip in the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for around 30-40 minutes.#
  2. Once the sauce is cooked blitz with a hand held blender. You could leave it chunky but I think it tastes nicer smooth and I prefer that texture.
  3. I got four portions out of this so it’s perfect to shove in the freezer so you have it to hand when you don’t feel like cooking.

Enjoy 🙂

Vegetable and bean chilli

Hello,

Firstly, I want to apologise because I know I said I would post this recipe on Friday but that never ended up happening because silly me forgot I had an appointment in the afternoon and then by the time I knew it the whole day had ran away with me. I am also sorry because if you follow my Instagram then I have been posting these meals and not posting the recipes until ages afterwards so it is a little confusing and I am still getting used to the whole blogging and instagram at the same time. I guess one could say I am no multi-tasker! Anyway, I want to share with you today this vegetable and bean chilli. I have SO MANY chilli recipes but I really enjoyed this one because it felt so fresh tasting and not so heavy.

Bean chilli and chips

Bean chilli and chips

Bean chilli and rice

Bean chilli and rice

The recipe:
Ingredients:
1tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 courgettes, diced
1 red pepper,deseeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper, dese1eded and chopped
1 tbsp chilli powder
100g red lentils, washed and drained
1tbsp tomato puree
2x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
195g sweetcorn, drained
420g can butter beans, drained
400g kidney beans in water, drained

What to do:

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the garlic, ginger, onion, courgettes and peppers for about five minutes until starting to soften. Add the chilli powder and cook for 1 minute more.

2. Stir in the lentils, tomato puree, tomatoes and 250ml water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes.

3. Add the sweetcorn and beans and cook for a further 10 minutes. (I made seven portions)

Enjoy! 🙂

Yesterday lunch

Hello everyone,

I shall be posting a recipe later on today but first I wanted to do a little post about my lunch that I had yesterday. Me and my mum love going out for lunch so we decided to make it a regular occurrence and we usually go once a week depending on how busy we both are. It’s lovely to spend some time with my mum and also I sometimes meet her before/after therapy so it puts me in a good mood. We have two favourite cafes now but we want to find new places to go because it’s always nice to go somewhere different!

The place I went to yesterday was actually a shop and they have a cafe on the top floor. I think lots of places do that now actually and I like going there because then I can look at all of the kitchen/craft stuff when I am finished 😉 Yesterday I felt like a toasted sandwich and I hadn’t actually seen them do toasted sandwiches before but maybe that is because I wasn’t looking? I chose a cheese and tomato toastie and it was delish.

Cheese and tomato toastie

And then for pudding we both got a cake and I got the coffee and walnut cake which is one of my favourite ever flavours. I have also had the chocolate brownie there before as well. I think I like my chocolate things 😉 I shall have to try the chocolate cake next time I go. I have always been eyeing it up but I think that saying you eat with your eyes is true. Because once my dad bought a cake slice and I just wouldn’t have chosen to eat it because it looked just a bit boring but I had it and it was actually very tasty. I don’t know I think that I do usually make such a fuss if my food doesn’t look tasty I think that is definitely something I need to work on! But I don’t think it is a specific eating disorder thing. I think it is a me being silly thing! Ramble over… Here was my cake.

Coffee and walnut cake

I did enjoy it but it was very very dense. It wasn’t light and fluffy and my mum said that my homemade cakes are 1000x better. I think a bake session is in order this weekend 😉 Something different will be happening next week. Something different and scary. On Tuesday I am going out for lunch but I am not going with my mum, I am going with my dad. Me and my dad have a difficult relationship and my illness has made it worse. The other day I was just talking with my dad and suddenly I asked him out for lunch. I am not one to be so forward but I did it and I am actually very proud. Me and my dad don’t really do anything together and if we do then my mum is always there. So I hope that this will be a good time to bond and also it will be out of the house and at my favourite cafe so I think (I hope) that I will feel relaxed because most times I don’t feel relaxed at home and that’s when the conflict starts.

I think I am making important steps and I am quite proud of myself which one day I won’t be ashamed of saying! Eating lunch out is getting a little bit easier each week and I think it just proves that if you try then you will succeed. I am aware that most people might not go out for lunch once a week but I think for me it is helping challenging myself and it helps putting an hour aside each week so me and my mum can have a good chat in a calm and relaxed environment which unfortunately is not home at the moment but it will be. Just take each day as it comes.

Food never has and never will be the enemy (the mental health project 2)

Hello 🙂

I have started a series on my blog and I am not really sure how well this is going to go down BUT I want to help people so once a week I will be talking about subjects that are all mental health illness related because I want to share my experiences and hopefully if you are really struggling a lot at this current moment then I want to tell you what I know and hopefully help. You can read more about my project here.

So I guess I shall get started on today’s topic. I think everyone with an eating disorder no matter what it is has grown to fear food. Maybe use it to control their emotions or to make themselves feel numb to anything. An eating disorder is a hugely powerful thing and it makes you believe that if you eat xxx then something terrible WILL happen to you. It’s not as simple as someone saying to you don’t eat that, that’s bad for you. You have an eating disorder because of something powerful but that’s okay because it IS possible to break free from that horribly strong grip. If you are anything like me then you would know all there is to know about nutrition, calories, the lot really. I find it helpful to take a moment to stand back and say to myself that eating is NOT the bad thing. This eating disorder wants to kill you. It doesn’t want anything good for you and it will poison your head with lies until it’s completely taken over and there is no “you” left.

What if you could tell yourself that all food is, well… food. It’s just something you need, it’s like air and water. I don’t know anyone that deprives themselves of oxygen. You can say it’s not the same thing but I think it is. You are depriving yourself of one of the essential components needed to live. If you had the choice to eat WHATEVER you wanted then would you take it? You do have the choice. You have the choice to stand up to the bully in your head. You have the chance to say YES when someone asks you out for a meal or YES when your friends invite you out. You have the power to say no to this eating disorder but it is all up to YOU.

Moving on to the types of food you eat, I believe that you need ALL foods to make a BALANCED diet. Chocolate, fruit, cereal, pasta, pizza, whole grains, cake etc. etc. You need all the food groups for your body to function at it’s best. I do understand that some people might genuinely like eating only fruits, vegetables, whole grains etc. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. But I don’t want people to on purposely deprive themselves of food just because their head has bullied them into it. My diet used to be very different from what it is now. It was very wholesome with not much variety in it at all. I wasn’t happy, I rigidly counted calories, I would refuse to go out for family meals yet I was convinced I was beating my eating disorder because my weight was higher than previously.

If you feel “comfortable with where you are at now then there is a good chance you are pleasing your eating disorder. I’m not telling you it’s easy and I am not telling you to do something which would make you go back again. I just want you to think, do you really want to please your eating disorder and remain in it’s grip for the rest of your life? Recovery is never ever going to be easy but I do believe it will be worth it.

Because in recovery I can eat meals my family have prepared, I can eat crisps, cake, chocolate, fruit, cereal, carbohydrates without a second thought, I can forget about numbers and think this TASTES good, I can go out to lunch with my mum and not bat an eyelid at the options. I have a long way to go, I accept that and I am up for the challenge. Because it is a long way up from here but it is even longer back down. If there is only one thing you do then that is have faith that things WILL get better.

Little update

Hello everyone,

I am really sorry about my lack of blog posts recently. I really love writing on my blog so much because I find it really helps to get my feelings out as I definitely find it difficult to talk to people and tell people how I am feeling so I feel like blogging is a good way to do that. Unfortunately things have been a bit rocky with me. I had a whole week last week of listening to my eating disorder and obeying its every word. On this Tuesday I had therapy and I told my therapist yes everything is fine I am eating so well all of my meals and everything. Eventually my community nurse found out and she weighed me which was so embarrassing I am still SO embarrassed because my weight was the same as usual and she said oh that’s fine. And then I realised that my bowels aren’t functioning very well. So I think that’s why the number was really high but I am still so so embarrassed. Like they just expect that I have lost weight and it makes me feel sick inside that I haven’t because that’s what they want.

My community nurse is talking about a “traffic light” system where green is where things are going along just fine, amber is when I am skipping meals frequently and red is when I need to go in hospital again. And she said oh you are on amber definitely on amber but that was before the weigh in and oh gosh im so embarrassed I can’t say that enough. I feel sick just thinking about it. These people must know that weigh ins are never accurate?! I don’t know. I don’t want to tell anyone what I think because that’s the awkward bit and it probably isn’t even relevant. Do you think it is relevant? Like I’m eating much better now than I was. I think it’s so unfair that I just have a few bad days and they chuck me on the scales and now I have to be weighed more often than previously agreed. I can’t believe they haven’t figured out that weighing me makes me worse. I feel like a lab rat. They are poking and prodding needles into me and feeling my hands and asking the temperature of my feet. I feel like everything about me is just being ripped away. They are taking every personal detail and hanging it out to dry for everyone to see. I am really upset I’m sorry but I had to tell someone didn’t I 😦

Have a lovely evening   

Homemade hummus and the mental health project introduction

Hello everyone,

I wanted to share with you one of the most simplest recipes ever. It is my homemade hummus and I have to warn you that it doesn’t taste like shop bought hummus BUT it’s still yummy and I always like making things for several reasons the first being just because it is a big hobby of mine and it’s much more satisfying making your own meal than whipping out something that is premade!

IMG_0246

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

What to do:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processer or you can use a hand blender or just mash by hand. Blend until it has made a smooth puree and then tadah you are done!
  2. Don’t freak out about the oil because olive oil is SO good for you. I am actually going to list all of the good things about fats because they are essential in the diet and people seem to be afraid of fats when they shouldn’t be because we need ALL nutrients to make up a BALANCED diet.

Why fats are so good for you and why you need them in your diet:

  • Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body but when the body has ran out it will turn to the fat stores to find energy
  • Fats help maintain body temperature
  • They protect and cushion your organs and bodies tissue
  • Used to build new cells
  • Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluable vitamins which means without fat they cannot function properly
  • Essential for brain development and nerve function
  • They keep your hair, skin and nails beautiful and shiny, make sure your hair doesn’t fall out and isn’t all brittle and straw like. Protein helps with this as well

Another little thing I wanted to add to this post is that I have a bit of an announcement I guess urm I don’t know what you would call it. I have been thinking for a long while and I want to make a series of blog posts to do with anything mental health and anorexia recovery related. I have been in recovery for four years now and I have learnt A LOT over my time so as well as my recipes and my daily posts on this blog which I love doing so much once a week I will be doing posts on things so this week was why fats are good for you and I will also be doing things like my personal views on stopping counting calories, how to deal with friends/family who are on a diet, extreme hunger in recovery and so on. I want to be able to share my experiences with people and to help them. I would love it if you commented to say if you think this is a good idea and also if you have suggestions of posts I could do then I would love that so much. I have decided to call this series “the mental health project” because I think that’s a good all round general name for the sorts of topics I will be talking about.