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.

Tomato baked eggs

Hello,

I promised yesterday on instagram that I would post this delicious recipe of tomato baked eggs. I made this for the very first time on Wednesday and it was so delicious and extremely easy. I think anyone could make it because it is that easy. Here is what it looks like and what to do:

https://igcdn-photos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/t51.2885-15/11424730_1604570166458256_804380406_n.jpg
Tomato baked eggs

Ingredients:

  • 1 large potato washed and diced
  • oil to fry
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 1tsp dried chives
  • 1/2tsp paprika
  • 1/2 of a 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 9 green olives
  • 2 eggs

What to do:

  1. Add the potato to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes
  2. While the potato is boiling, heat the oil in a frying pan. Once heated add the garlic and pepper and cook for three minutes
  3. Add the chives paprika, chopped tomatoes and olives to the pan and cook for 3 minutes
  4. When the potato is done drain it then mix in well with the tomato sauce
  5. grease a small/medium pan with oil/spray/spread and then add in the tomato and potato mixture
  6. Make two dips in the mixture and then crack in the eggs into each one
  7. Bake for 15 minutes with an oven temperature of 180 fan oven or 200 normal

Enjoy 🙂

Apricot and walnut sandwich bars (Mary Berry recipe)

Hello,

Some of you might know that I absolutely love baking. It is one of my favourite things to do but unfortunately anorexia has taken it away from me as my mum was getting a bit frustrated when I used to bake all of the time but I wouldn’t eat any myself. I remember when I was in hospital, every Friday was baking day and I would make chocolate brownies and biscuits etc and I would give them to my family and all of the other patients and staff. It was like no one expected me to eat any of what I had created. None of the staff said anything so I just kept baking and giving it all away. But then when I came home I WANT to eat my baked goods so I stopped baking from fear of having to eat it because I have made a pact with myself if I bake then I MUST eat it. And then at the weekend I hadn’t baked in months so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bake something and eat it. I made these apricot and walnut bars from Mary Berry and they are so delicious. They felt wasier for me because they have oats and wholemeal flour and walnuts in but they still have their fair share of ingredients which my eating disorder would make me cry and run from. So I thought I would share this recipe with you. And of course it is Mary Berry so it has GOT to be good right? 😉

IMG_0287

Apricot and walnut sandwich bars

Ingredients:

  • 50g rolled oats
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 40g chopped walnuts
  • 200g wholemeal self raising flour OR plain wholemeal flour with 2tsp baking powder
  • 175g butter, melted
  • 175g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
  • 50ml water
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • grated rind of 1 lemon

What to do:

  1. Pre heat your oven to 130 degrees (fan) or 150 degrees and then grease and line a 18cm square tin with baking parchment. Begin by making the apricot filling. Place the apricots, water, sugar and lemon rind into a small saucepan. cover and simmer gently until all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare the oat mixture.
  2. Mix together the oats, flour, sugar and walnuts in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and mix well.
  3. Press half of the oat mixture into the tin and press down evenly. Spread the apricot mixture evenly on top and then top with the rest of the oat mixture evenly.
  4. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes. I got nine squares out of my mixture and when still hot cut gently through the mixture to score out nine squares and then leave to go completely cold before completely cutting the bars and lifting them out of the tin.

Enjoy 🙂

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 🙂

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.