Good morning!
Hope everyone had a good weekend!

I’m trying not to freak out about the fact that by the end of this week it will be AUGUST.
It’s both a happy freak out and a frightened one…

Anywho, I feel like it has been a little while since I’ve done a recipe here and in my opinion this site needs a whole lot more peanut butter because peanut butter and I am terribly sorry if you have a peanut allergy I promise there can still be yummy food on this site for you

I figured since I already have a section of  Things Better Than ED, why not make a recipe section of Things Better WITH PB, because at this point in my life the list goes on and on

Yay food!

First one to make the list is:
Sweet Potato Fries!

dipped
I used to make these all the time until I sort of got sick of them, but recently I’ve been having cravings again! It’s a great post-workout food or snack for when you’re feeling pretty hungry!

Here’s how I make them:

Sweet Potato Fries
Prep Time: ~20 Minutes
Servings: About 20 fries per medium potato

1) Preheat oven to 350.

2) Slice one sweet potato into wedges (the thinner you cut them, the crispier they will get!) This sweet potato was about medium sized:cut up fries

3) Spray cooking sheet with cooking spread. I used this coconut spray from Trader Joe’s, which gives it a little bit of a sweet flavor if you use enough. You can also spread olive oil on the pan for another way of adding flavor!

coconut oil spray

4) Lay the fries on the pan, making sure non of them are overlapping, and spray a little more cooking oil or olive oil on top of the friesthis allows them to get crispy when they cook

sprayed_LiNDb3IilGs

5) Place in oven for about 8 minutes, then flip and heat for another 8 minutes or until fries are starting to brown on the edges and have a sort of “dried-out” texture

6) Enjoy with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter!

setup

(Notice how I scraped the jar clean–I’ve found I have a talent for that…no PB left behind!)

I’ve also had these with almond butter or added chia seeds to the nut butters to add a little extra crunch!
There are plenty of toppings you can have on these fries (salt, rosemary, chili powder, Old Bay cinnamon…) but for me, peanut butter will always triumph

  • Have you made your own fries before? What’s your favorite way to eat them?
  • What should be featured next on Things Better With PB?

**NOTE: This lil’ honesty hour is about my eating disorder and could potentially be triggering to somebody in recovery. Please be cautious if you are sensitive to triggers and look at some puppies instead if you feel this isn’t the post for you**

meLast week, I wrote this post about the differences I have seen between now and when I was just beginning to recognize and recover from anorexia two years ago. I was feeling really good about my recovery that day and wanted to share it with everyone! I received some really nice emails afterwards about how healthy and happy I look now and how proud I should be for recovering.

Of course I am proud of how far I have come, but I was also reminded about how much recovery comments can make me cringe. I know I am not alone in this–eating disorders create constant lies and twist the words people say to you if you are still deep enough in the struggle.
“You look healthy” easily becomes “you look fat.”

I want to clarify that I am pretty distant from that ultra-sensitive point of my recovery, and I did not take your comments in that way. But I think it is something that people should know about.

Recovering from an eating disorder is by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life (and am still doing). For the longest time I believed that there was nothing wrong with me–I constantly thought “I’m not thin enough to have an eating disorder!” Like most people, I associated an eating disorder with the image of an emaciated girl who either starved or purged every single day–a terrible generalization that leaves thousands in silence because they feel they don’t fit the eating disorder label, but you can’t blame people when they grow up in a society that offers very little or skewed education on eating disorders.

If only it was talked about more, the world would understand how extremely complicated eating disorders are, that they aren’t just about beauty, and that you can have an eating disorder at ANY size

I may have been in denial for a long time, but for me personally it reached a point where my struggle became clear and loved ones stepped in to help. As I began talking more, my words started to fit labels and symptoms–yep, sounds like ED!

The sad truth is I was struggling in silence long before it reached the point where I was quite thin and obviously obsessive.

When I joined in on recovery communities and met girls that were improving themselves like I was, I started to realize that nearly EVERYONE believed that they “weren’t thin enough to have an eating disorder”

The assumption that weight defines one’s placement on the “eating disorder spectrum” really, really needs to be stopped.

And this is where the point I’m trying to make for this post comes in.

Accepting my weight-restored body was extremely difficult for me. I packed on pounds rapidly at first–”it’s because your body needs it! You’re doing the right thing!” my therapist said, which is true, but I also put on a good amount of weight so quickly for unhealthy reasons that I wasn’t telling her about. I went from anorexic behavior right into bulimia. As the weight came on, the recovery struggle became more difficult–I felt more alone, out of control, and depressed than ever.

But externally, I looked “healthy again.” I was not thin. I was eating more

Hazzah! She is cured!

In reality, I believe I was never so close to rock bottom.

But when people are praising you over something you are doing, it is so easy to feel pressured that you have to keep doing it. Isn’t that how I got myself into the obsessive behaviors in the first place? People were complimenting my body for the first time, and I felt I needed to keep going even harder.

Of course, when it comes to recovery I think it is really important to acknowledge what a great thing recovery is and encourage someone to continue it, but one also has to recognize how vulnerable and sensitive a person in recovery can feel. It is often not easy to ask for help or reach out about a struggle, and when you are being praised for doing so well the pressure can come right back on again and cause relapses to stay hidden so as not to disappoint a loved one.

Eating disorders poster 2-221x342-1
I try to protect the people in my life from the thoughts in my mind so strongly that I believe my therapist is the only one who knows an entire half of my struggle I have not really voiced. In the end, I think it is for the best that I did that while I was in the midst of recovery and tried to “fake it ’till I make it” on the surface. But I think it made it difficult for my loved ones and me to make the distinction between what I was okay with and what I was failing to fake.

If I had to just say one thing about the issue it would be this: don’t make assumptions

Don’t assume someone is “cured” just because they are eating again.
Don’t assume the person’s sadness is always about the eating disorder (hello, we are humans. I am sad because I stubbed my toe. No, that is not a metaphor).
Don’t assume the person is so strong that they are incapable of relapse.
Don’t assume that the person is so weak they need you hovering beside them.
Don’t assume the girl who has super-thin genes in her family is anorexic
Don’t assume the overweight girl could never be anorexic

and don’t assume you know exactly where she stands in her recovery

I appreciate the intention of concerns as much as I do compliments–people care and want to show that they care. They cannot read your mind. That’s why both of you need the opportunity for it to be spoken:

aka:
ASK, don’t assume

Often, I still find myself getting angry and questioning whether I ever really had a problem, why it feels like sometimes I have to remind people that I did

But I think my frustration stems more from the fact that I wish I was as perfectly recovered as everyone else thinks that I am. I wish that I was doing everything right and that I was totally accepting of my body and that society’s standards no longer phased me.

I’m proud of how far I have come, but I wish it didn’t feel like I still had so far to go.

But if I am trying to help reduce the stigmas about eating disorders, then I can’t act like I am fully recovered if I am not. I don’t believe that is a negative thing, either, and I don’t want to discourage anyone. I am so proud of my progress
We only have to remember that it takes a lot of time and patience

I try to blog with responsible honesty, and especially in posts concerning such a delicate subject I know it’s important I be clear
I am in recovery
And I believe I am nearly there
Some days are tough
Some days are great
and I think the good are starting to outweigh the bad more and more
I am a stigma fighter
and I hope to start opening up more publicly about my experiences, because I believe simply talking about them is key to awareness and reducing stigma,
but I also have to remember that this is my recovery, and I take it one step at a time

I hope you know that too

I salute you all to the weekend with my favorite coffee mug as I write this ;)
lifeisgood mug

Cheers!

Hi everyone! How was your weekend??

Mine was pretty good! I may be doing a second post later today, but for now I just wanted to signal boost something–I only just found out about it last night and I think it’s something that should be spread if you are interested in eating disorders, nutrition, psychology, etc.

The Institue for the Psychology of Eating Disorders is hosting a its second annual FREE Eating Psychology Online Conference starting today until July 26th!
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As an intern for NEDA, I’ve been doing a lot of work to help prep for the annual conference that will be taking place October 16-18 in San Antonio, TX
The conference looks awesome so far and there are some really fantastic presenters and topics. I wish I could go, but with the money for travel and for the conference itself, I just can’t afford it right now (although there are scholarships you can apply for if you are interested–check it out!)

So that’s why I’m excited about this totally free conference–I don’t think the opportunity should be passed up!

The conference involves a variety of presenters on topics like current nutrition trends, loving your body, the psychology of binge eating, and much more!

Here’s today’s lineup:
Monday,  21st of July
11:30am (EST) Marc David – A New View of Eating Psychology
12:00pm (EST) Dr. Mark Hyman  – A Doctor’s View of Food, Nutrition, and Health
12:30pm (EST) Amy Pershing  – The Psychology of Binge Eating
1:00pm (EST) Thomas Moore  – A Soulful Approach to Food
1:30pm (EST) Jessica Ortner – Tapping Meets Eating Psychology
2:00pm (EST) Dr. David Perlmutter  – New & Daring Insights into Brain Health
2:30pm (EST) John Assaraf – Mastering Your Mindset
3:00pm (EST) Isabelle Tierney – If You Don’t Dare to Love Your Body, Who Will?
3:30pm (EST) John Robbins – A Heartfelt Understanding of Food, Planet & Soul
4:00pm (EST) Dr. Sara Gottfried – A Deeper Look at Hormones & Sacred Chemistry
4:30pm (EST) Jon Gabriel – The Psychobiology of Weight
5:00pm (EST) Lindsey Averill – Fattitude: An Empowering Look at Fat

When you sign up, you receive a dial-up number and link to a page to watch any of these presentations that you are interested in!

You can visit the conference page here to learn more about it

I just signed up and I think I will watch a few of the videos this evening!
I’m hoping I will have time to watch at least a few presentations this week, because they all seem really interesting! I hope you guys will sign up and let me know if you watch anything really interesting!

Happy Monday! Talk to ya later :)

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