Butterbean stew recipe

Hello everyone,
I haven’t posted a recipe or anything for quite a long time. I asked a few people on Instagram if they would like me to start posting recipes again and I got such positive feedback that people would love to see recipes. I dip in and out of blogging ever such a lot but I really enjoy it. I enjoy having the space to share anything my heart desires. So, as with all of my other recipes I have shared I thought I would post them on this blog. This particular one I am going to share today was actually requested and I didn’t really know what you would want me to share so I thought I would kick off with this one.

Butterbean stew:

Butterbean stew

Ingredients:
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 can of butterbeans in water, drained and rinsed
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 courgette, chopped
1tsp each of cumin, coriander and garam masala

What to do:
1. Heat a little oil in a saucepan and add in the onion, carrot, pepper and courgette and cook for five minutes
2. Add the butterbeans, chopped tomatoes, cumin, coriander and garam masala and simmer for 15 minutes. You may need to simmer for longer depending on how crunchy or soft you like your vegetables to be
3. Serve with whatever you would like and most importantly enjoy! 🙂

The reality of eating disorder recovery

Hello flowers,

I am ever so sorry for my recent absence. I realise that I haven’t posted in a little while and before that I only posted recipes! I guess I will tell you a little bit about my past week. Things have been up and down. Mainly down unfortunately but it is imperative that I keep that positive mindset going. Food has been the best it has for years and years. I cook for my family twice a week, we have roast dinners every Sunday, I bake and eat my baking, I eat pizza, pudding every single day of ice cream or a sponge pudding and I have lunch out with my mum at least once every two weeks. These are things I would NEVER have dreamed of doing only five months ago. Five months ago I was in hospital and I woke up every day feeling dread, hatred and self loathing.

This is where the downside comes in. I see many many people who go through recovery and they eat and suddenly their whole life falls into place. They have a job, friends, they go out have generally have FUN. I always wanted to be that person, I always wanted to recover just like that. I think the reality is what I described above is very rare. The more common type of recovery is that one eats and engages in anorexia recovery 100% (me) but then then their mood plummets, they feel more depressed than ever, they are tired, they don’t want to do anything like go shopping, horse riding or the things we love. We think we hang on a second,we were told me all of these professionals and all of our loved ones that if we eat then things will get better. Our mood will increase, we will have energy etc etc.

This is NOT (always) the case. I know exactly what has happened with me and I wanted to tell you all because I don’t have a solution to this problem but it helps knowing what the problem is. Because when you are just sitting there with the worst thoughts ever, it is so frustrating because you don’t know WHY. And I hope that this will help some of you understand a little bit more. When we starve our bodies of the most important source that it needs to function, generally everything goes to pot. We feel physically unwell as well as mentally unwell. Our mood decreases but also something quite interesting happens to our mood. Our brains can’t function properly and when you are eating so little this is even more the case. Your body starts to shut down and when you have NO energy supplies, the body desperately tries to get energy from your muscles to keep your body working.

This is why when our body and brain is malnourished then if a situation happens, it will go over the top of you. You might care about it but you don’t have the time and energy to think about it. You don’t have the energy to make up a thought process of I am feeling happy/angry/sad because… So because of this when you do start eating again your brain CAN function properly. You have thoughts and feelings that are so loud you can’t switch them off. The fact is your thoughts never went, they were always the same but malnourishment caused them to be buried. And this brings me around into a full circle of why you developed anorexia in the first place. Maybe (like me) you had extremely low mood to begin with and of course the anorexia (or other eating disorder) hid that away because you are so consumed on food that you can’t think about anything else. And if this is the case then you know that your low mood that you are experiencing now, it’s just the same as before. It may feel like your mood has gotten a lot worse than when you were buried in anorexia but the truth it is no no worse than before you developed anorexia.

You have come around full circle. Anorexia never got rid of your low mood, anorexia never got rid of the situation as to why you became ill in the first place. It covered everything up so you wouldn’t have to think about it and now here you are faced with the problem again. Like I said above, I do not have a solution to this problem. It is difficult for me to talk about why I became ill in the first place. I don’t 100% know why actually. But the thing I want to improve now that my brain is functioning well is that I want to practice self love. I want to banish all of the awful thoughts I have about myself. I don’t like talking about me being bullied at school, it was an extremely difficult time for me. I now have the thoughts every single day that everyone hates me. Everyone hates me and they would be better of without me. THIS is what anorexia covered up and THIS is why I feel low. Anorexia didn’t just cover that up. It covered up way more than that but the point is I know what I need to improve on. I need to learn to love myself and I think that your first step could be learning to love yourself as well. You don’t have to know why you got poorly. You just have to know the catalyst. (low mood, low self worth etc.)

I really do hope that this helps a few of you. This is where I am at right now and it’s painful so painful but I know if I went back to anorexia I would have no chance of a peaceful life. I would be forever battling with my mind. It is just baby steps like it has been my whole recovery, one foot in front of the other.

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.

A bit about my week

Hello,

I hope you are all well and I hope you have had a lovely week. It’s the weekend now which means we can all slow down a bit and I give permission for you to have a break and relax this weekend. I guess a lot of things have happened since last week when I last wrote a blog post so I shall start with last weekend when it was my nanas 80th birthday party and on Saturday morning I travelled up there with my parents because it takes 5-6 hours to get there and my sisters went the day before so they could help with the party preparations etc. On Sunday evening it was my nanas actual party but on Saturday evening it was still a huge challenge for me. We had dinner with the German side of my family because we just haven’t seen them in so many years and it was nice to catch up. I find the socialising part so difficult in itself because it has been so many years since I have seen my German cousins so that is one challenge. And then the next challenge was actually eating in front of them and at first I got so anxious and upset because I would say no when I was offered a drink but they kept going on and on and wouldn’t take no for an answer so that upset me a little.
So the second challenge was to actually eat in front of everyone and I think a lot of people recovering from eating disorders find this bit hard and I know I do because I think people are going to be staring at me and thinking nasty things about me. The more likely thing is that they would probably be too engrossed in their own food to even notice. And then the last challenge was eating a Chinese takeaway (!!!!!!!) Oh my I haven’t had a takeaway in over six years. It was scary and uncomfortable but I did it and I came out the other side and I am not ashamed to admit I am actually a bit proud of myself.
So then the next day on Sunday we spent most of the day preparing the food for the party. The actual party was with all of the family and some of my nanas friends as well. I think the most difficult part was the socialising. I just kind of felt out of place and I didn’t know what to say or how to act. I didn’t really feel like I belonged at all. And then that’s sort of how my week turned from bad to worse because I started listening to all of the thoughts again. I listened to my eating disorder and I obeyed but starting from Wednesday I have been trying my absolute hardest to follow my meal plan again.
Yesterday was also a huge challenge for me because I had to go out to lunch with my community nurse. It was scary for me and it’s hard for me because she barely knows anything about eating disorders. She had a training course a few weeks ago and she likes to tell me things that aren’t even relevant. Like I said once that I am worried about putting weight on quickly and she said when you are at such a low weight, the dieticians increase your meal plan gradually so you don’t get refeeding syndrome. And it’s like that has got nothing to do with what I said she just likes showing off.  It frustrates me because she goes on about eating disorders being secretive and then I ask her not not be weighed and she is fine with it. I know I should be more angry at myself for doing what my eating disorder wants be I WANT them to stop me when I can’t stop myself.
Anyway, by the time I got there I was so anxious and I wasn’t hungry one bit. I said to her I don’t want anything because I am not hungry and then she said oh okay then well do you mind if I get something then? I don’t know, I feel like I ask too much just for these people to support me. I want them to help me but they don’t they just sit there while I have a battle against myself and it’s just unpleasant. In the end I did order a sandwich and it was actually really tasty and that is all that matters I have decided. Not that my nurse just had a salad and I could have gotten away with not having anything. I stood up to the bully in my head and I ate.
And then today has been quite a busy day and I have really enjoyed it actually. I went to my volunteering this morning which I go to every Friday morning. I help out in a charity shop and I really like it because it helps me a lot with my social skills and that is the area that I need to improve on a lot. And then after the charity shop I came home and had lunch and then I painted my nails this lovely coral sort of colour:

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I then relaxed a little this afternoon and ate my amazing afternoon snack of course which I wanted to talk to you about.

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I just love eat natural bars SO much and if you live in the UK, like fruit and nuts bars, like chocolate then you will love these as well. I always have my cupboard stocked with them because they are my favourite go to snack. I like how they are really balanced with a little bit of fruit, protein, important fats and then the chocolate which is needed to balance it out. I think this one here along with the cashew and blueberry yogurt coated ones are my favourite. So yes, if you haven’t tried these already then I would highly recommend you trying them! I hope you all have a lovely evening and I shall be bak with another post very soon

Don’t be sad when it’s sunny

Hello everyone,

So as the title suggests the sun has finally decided to make a guest appearance where I am now. The weather has been having major mood swings recently so it was nice to get outside today and feel that sun on me. I think today has been one of those “rollercoaster”  days. One minute you are up feeling great and then the next moment it’s like you have been buried 10 feet under the sand and you honestly have no desire to get out.
I saw my CPN today and that plus weigh day is my two most traumatic days of the week. I know I only focus on the bad points. Or maybe they are good points but I turn them into bad points. But I am beyond sick of every time I go in for a weigh in the nurse goes WELL DONE!!!!!!! YOU HAVE GAINED. So what have you been doing differently? What have you been eating? It is just like no. Go away and stop trying to dig further into me than you already have. It’s like I have no privacy left. And then seeing my CPN might even be worse or maybe the dietician when she said I have gained more weight than usual and we need to keep an eye on that. That was the first time I ever saw this dietician and I had not gained more weight than usual. It only looked more because I hadn’t been weighed in three weeks when before that it was weekly. Or how about when the community nurse said to me today oh yes even I thought you had gained quickly.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? You don’t know me. I have been living in my body for 19 years do not act like you know every single thing about the human anatomy you know nothing. I think if it hadn’t been for my mum then I would have had a full blown I don’t know what to call it but just picture tears and me screaming down the phone to my mum that I can’t do any of this anymore. That was what happened last week but luckily this week I managed to divert that huge scene so it was just a little scene although it was in a very public place  because I was meeting my mum for lunch but luckily I had her there. She is my golden star I am very lucky to have her.
So as I said, I met my mum for lunch today and after this mornings events it was all up from there. We both had a wrap and I had a falafel and yogurt one. It was SO delish I will definitely be eating it again and then for pudding I said a big fuck you to everyone and ate a big slice of brownie. It was slightly rich but divine and I enjoyed it all up so I will not let anyone’s opinions affect me ever because if I was at the low weight a few months ago I can tell you now I didn’t have one laugh or smile on my face ever. Today might have been hard but I took my dogs for a walk and I laughed and laughed. From One of them stalking a bird to the other one just barking at our feet because she wanted a treat.
I can have a good time now and I might be unhappy sometimes but unlike a few months ago there is always something good in my day and I am not going to let go of that ever.

Recipe- Mushrooms and chickpeas with apricot couscous

Hello!

Today I have decided to share with you a recipe because on my Instagram I always have quite a few people saying they would love to know the recipes for the things that I cook and bake. So I thought I would start off with a pretty basic recipe. Pretty much all of the ingredients are ones that you would already have in your house so it’s always good to be able to make something and not having to rush and and buy something last minute and also this recipe is so quick and that’s exactly what you need sometimes. I do love cooking but I don’t like to be in the kitchen for hours after a long, busy day!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 300g mushrooms, quartered
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1tsp clear honey OR 1tsp agave nectar
  1. Fry the onion in the oil for 6 minutes until softened. Add the cinnamon and cumin and cook for one minute, stirring. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes then stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and honey/agave. Simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  2. To make the couscous I use 50g per person and 2-3 depending on how big they are dried apricots per person. Chop up the apricots into really small pieces and then put in a bowl along with the couscous. Pour over boiling water from the kettle until it has just covered the couscous and then cover with a plate and leave for five minutes. When the couscous is cooked fluff up the grains and serve with the mushrooms.

Enjoy!

Food update.

I was going to write this yesterday but I was just too tired. I haven’t been sleeping well recently and if I do sleep then I feel like I am not refreshed in the morning. Just like really tired and sluggish. The food thing hasn’t really been going anywhere for me recently. I am struggling so much with restricting my intake and I’m sure all this anxiety I have going on isn’t really helping matters.

I’m just never hungry and that voice inside my head is going on at me for being such a pig. I hate this. I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to get better. I’m not hungry so what’s the point in eating anyway and I am fat. So fat. I had a doctors appointment this morning because the surgery phoned me up to say he wants an appointment with me. I knew he would weigh me and he did. Apparently I haven’t seen him in six months. I’ve been putting it off because I know I’m overweight now so I won’t even class as having an eating disorder anymore. And then I told him that it upsets me to see my weight so he didn’t tell me what it was which sort of helped but the ed thoughts had already flooded through thick and fast.

Which led me to purging my breakfast this morning. And that’s not even the worst thing. The worst thing is that I should feel bad or at least care that I purged but I don’t. I want it all out of me and I want it out now. I don’t know how much longer I can keep going like this for.