Occasionally on my Tumblr feed I will come across quotes that are just like
“YES! That sums it up perfectly!”

This was one of those:

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When it comes to talking about my eating disorder or other things bothering me, I know it is doing much more harm than good to not talk about it–especially because silence can fuel stigmas. When people seem to show interest or ask specific questions, however, I am always completely comfortable talking about it. I don’t deny any of my struggles and I am not ashamed when talking about my past, but often it is difficult to admit if I am still struggling.

And, understandably, I think it will still always be difficult for me to tell people for the first time that I have an eating disorder.

I was reminded of that on Sunday when I had to tell my entire staff on the newspaper here at UMass.

This semester I will be writing a mental health column for the Op/Ed section on the UMass Daily Collegian (check it out! A new article will be up on the website every other Tuesday starting next week!)

But a lot of this column will be involving my personal experiences, and I didn’t want it to be the elephant in the room around the office (I’m also an editor for the paper, so I’m there often) if they are reading my column and feel like they can’t approach me.

In order to break the ice for the column, I decided to address the staff at our weekly meeting on Sunday.

Now, I usually consider myself pretty good with speaking in front of crowds. In high school, I did theater and performed in front of both small and large audiences. Last semester, I even spoke about my eating disorder on a panel for Active Minds UMass.

But something about speaking in front of this group of my co-workers terrified me.

Seriously, I don’t think I have ever felt so nervous to speak in front of people. It was actually making me anxious just how anxious I felt–aagh!

But when the time came at the end of our meeting for me to stand up and do it, I was able to take a deep breath and just rattle off the little speech I had made in my head about how my column would involve my ED experience and how I wanted to put it in the open and how if anyone had a concern or wanted to talk about it I would be completely comfortable.

I went home afterwards trying to not let myself overthink it and get worried if I had done something wrong.

(Guys, I was freaking out. My body was hopped up on adrenaline in a way I have honestly never experienced before, it was borderline panic-attack)

About 45 minutes later, I got an incredible message from someone on the staff. He commended me about being able to speak and opened up to me about his struggles with depression since 6th grade. Just like that. I hadn’t spoken much to this person because our work on the paper never really coincided, but he said I had given him comfort with my talk.

Moments after, I got a similar message about how inspiring and brave my talking was from another person who admitted he could relate.

And all I did was talk

Yes, it was extremely nerve-wracking, but it always always amazes me and warms my heart when my talking about my disorder causes others to feel comfortable talking about their own. In my experience, it has happened nearly every time I have opened up. I find that most people really do want someone to talk to, but the subject just hasn’t come up in an environment that’s felt comfortable.

And I think that’s really cool that we can change that and spark such a difference in a person just by talking

I’m not sure if it will ever be 100% easy though, no matter how often I do it…

But it’s always worth it when it makes a difference

(to everyone who has emailed me since I started this blog, you are all incredible and wonderful people, many of you brought tears to my eyes!!)

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Everything I am afraid of that holds me back from speaking has never happened–nobody has shunned me, nobody has told me I was faking it, nobody has hardcore monitored me…I’ve found that most of those fears are nothing but lies ED has told me to try to protect itself

In the end, I always just have to remind myself that keeping silent does nothing but fuel stigma. It’s always hardest to tell people who know me personally, but they will quickly realize that ED is only a tiny part of me, something that doesn’t define me at all.

This weekend I will be finishing my first column piece that anyone can read, and I hope lots of people do

Still settling into the college life so apologies for the major slow-down in blog posts, but I think I’ll start getting into the swing of things soon!

Happy weekend! 

I’m ALIIIIIIIIIIVEEEE!

It’s been over 2 weeks since my last post, which is a pretty big hiatus considering how much I was getting into the swing of things with blogging this summer.

Like I said earlier, found the ball. picked it up. dropped it.

I actually purposely gave myself a bit of a break because I was going on vacation with my family and didn’t want to spend all that time on the computer trying to get posts together everyday
But I missed it! I like you guys :)

**Cue the picture recap of the past two weeks**
ft. delicious foods I ate (obviously 90% of my pictures….) and beautiful places I went on my vacations in Maidstone, VT and Cape Cod:

 

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w7zjWzOtE7t2k5uACnGRMIMZjRz9ELO008pxbTva7g4

8G6sZtqMzcsvKMi1aguWpKzKAqQV7ae6qGivNaxVVJI
LRdIyz_jeFOY_o6wStpwEdMFfM4ZFKkNhNfzxJGPjUo xPXGbshk7EgJd8IS7mElO4Me_FA39ZsYJMu6RHqzLTU
TcN42dwETYEmi6vjzGkoOL0S60KDTDexk1Y1hg0C5hg

(Homemade Black Bean Avocado Brownies)

YL8vEHyJmeYurz7CEd7v8_I0Z_naZIdifwCmPDkqK_E JjlkvVQRaMlqOVZ0KcEd6zK7yZ_-l5YAgYuGty5TZmE

 

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ttCwTxGKzwrpel7VZw4xK13Dcb5n1vlndKqda9j-YVw

(Three ingredient egg white pancakes–recipe coming soon!)

uT3fBr09FTyWRoKreiavCIlxJHL1yjtzM35yE030uK0 llnM8VkNzaI8wFbkZiXSdrclbVXqMVekdgNSic0C1L0 Cd75SIML5RUn30mSUmUvOjIkL4OFYQD_kGajtVII0ZU Vu5q0Zw9tGOFHa_vcnERadOJUA5VHT5cLl5oX9uoccg
RRaXvS8yhXCfkMg3OrUoWnn_27h3keEqNMPGy01dxcA XM4z6thMXSKZrOHJNU8F-EMOjHoc9i1IvW3GjwDC9yY _gn17T7EpAEqJyInY-ADTH6cy0SRgPPaQjP6H58ecko CqN5Ig88MvGTr85egNrbZH9IIacniR8BXcuKc9CBplo bRYe8NJHlXsiFSvwlKb8G_y8uoSPsaH7olLTlRrL89c R3z_aDCvT_mrE6QMmEkgH_4VTuCg7GtREEWJ9xcTCbc

*Releases breath*

Aaand now I am back in college!

(no pics yet. whoops)

I moved back into UMass for my sophomore year yesterday and could not be happier to be back rooming with my best friend :)
I’m a bit worried about how the blogging is going to go once classes start these week and things get a whole lot busier, though.

I know a bunch of you bloggers are also in college balancing schoolwork and everything–any advice would be great! I’ve noticed a lot of posts tend to get shorter once school starts, so I’ll have to practice the whole “you need to stop rambling” thing here on PB>ED

I can promise you guys that I will definitely do my best to post twice a week with some recipes, ED stories/opinions, favorite exercises and other (peanut buttery) goods! I’m hoping I’ll have time for even more than that, but we’ll see

Also want to give a shoutout to Proud2BeMe.org, which just launched its new website design featuring an article by me about this blog! Hello to anyone stopping by from there!  :)

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram or Tumblr as well, I tend to keep those updated more frequently during crazy periods of work.

But for now, I am back from vacation and new posts to come soon! :)

Good luck to everyone else heading back to college this weekend!
Hope everyone is having a good morning!

 

Hello again!

First off, apologies for the disappearance. I’ve been on vacation in Vermont the past few days and I’m actually leaving for Cape Cod this Friday so I may be vanishing again…

BUT I wanted to catch up on a few things including a very very cool thing I did two weekends ago

SpoonUniversity’s first BrainFood Conference!

SpoonU Collage

If you haven’t heard of SpoonUniversity, definitely go check them out! It’s a fairly new online food publication for college students, with articles written by students on things like awesome food combinations, how to eat clean on a college budget, “20 Reasons Why Peanut Butter Is Better Than Your Significant Other” (obviously my favorite), etc. Lots of new chapters have been opening up and I’m reallyyyy hoping one will start at UMass soon (hint hint hint to any UMass readers)

The conference was all day long and involved workshops, some really interesting speakers, and FOOD. Delicious food. It was Saturday and Sunday but I just went for the Sunday conference–I wish I could have gone to both!

But I thought I’d give a lil’ review of my day at AlleyNYC (which looks like an awesome place to work aka there is a room called “The Couch Room” ??)

Anywho

First, the most important,

The Food

Breakfast was catered by Chobani, Donut Plant, Oatworks and HappyTree Maple Water

Where I learned that this exists:

tV935R4V2z044YANzQ3WO2vp_qFEjZWE2_bFDjy5R_UThis flavor was a little too sweet for my taste, but I LOVED the oats in it! Hoping the other flavors won’t be so sugary when they hit the shelves

and this:

 

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I’d never even heard of maple water and was a little hesitant because I hate coconut water, but this has a much more subtle, slightly sweet taste and I thought it was delicious!

and this:

oatworks

I was expecting big chunks of oats in liquidy form (yuck) but OatWorks “drink your oats” was actually smooth and tasty! Again, a bit too sweet for me, but its made with natural ingredients, totally vegan and GMO free! There were other flavors like strawberry banana and peach mango too (which I wish I had tried, gah!)

Lunch was catered by DigInn, a restaurant that works “Farm To Table” style with its food.

dig inn
Oh my gosh, it was good

mealI grabbed a little of everything: lentil salad, sauteed kale, ratatouille, salmon, and brown rice!

There was also lots of RUNA, which was all delicious!

freeruna(And free, so naturally I took one of each…)

Dessert was catered by 16Handles, which of course I had to have some of ;)

16handles colleage

And as if that wasn’t enough sweetness, I then went to a workshop after lunch with the owner of Kicky’s Kitchen (who has a little shop open now at 47th & Lex for all you NYC people!!). She makes these awesome cupcakes called “Caketails” make with alcoholic frosting to calm down all of the stressed New Yorkers who visit her shop

We decorated some of her cupcakes at the workshop with “CarBomb Frosting”

cupcake CollageI may or may not have had a taste anyways ;)

The Free Stuff

Any of my friends can tell you I am a sucker for all freebies…but the swagbags at Spoon were actually awesome!

UpCozXPc9QrYeFod_nPHvxQfaMWEmBGPII0sWCSOzUsI got:

1 Pair of Bombas socks

I tried these on for a run just a few days after and I actually love them! The little tab on the back keeps them from sliding down, and they are suuuper comfy

1 bar Awake chocolate

Holy hyper…this chocolate is serious about the caffeine. I’d already had some coffee that day but decided to have a square later on in the day, and I was hyped up! Proceed with caution if you have a low caffeine tolerance because it is delicious

1 Chia Bar

I wasn’t crazy about it when I tried, but I think its a great, healthy way to get energy! Chia seeds are great for you and this was a convenient little bar–I just don’t think the taste was anything fantastic

A Copy of Food Network Magazine

Really excited to try some of the recipes in this because I really want to get into cooking more and they look awesome!

2 Awesome Totes

Other than this Turnip Down For What bag, I also got this one:

totes good for you

Swag swag swag

The Speakers

The first speaker was Tyler Gage, the creator of the company RUNA, which is a drink made from a plant in the Amazon to provide “clean energy”. The plant that RUNA is made with, guayusa, has three times the antioxidants of green tea and provide as much energy as a cup of coffee, but without all of the harsh chemicals.

Tyler and his friend started the company just out of college and now sell their product all over the US. So basically, he really got his shit together. But he made it really clear that the business is still tough and even though it looks like companies like RUNA are successful on the outside, it doesn’t mean it is smooth-sailing on the inside.

(He’s still awesome)

Tyler’s talk was followed by two panels: “Starting a Company Right Out Of College” and “How Technology is Changing the Way You Eat”

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To sum up everything I learned from Tyler and the two panels:

- It’s okay to have NO idea what you are doing at first–you can figure it out

-Your major does not have to define your future (Tyler and his partner knew nothing about entrepreneurship at first!)

-You won’t be successful if you have no passion behind your product/company/plan

-We need to embrace the changing culture with technology and accept it when it comes to advertising, planning, and developing a product–work with technology to help make something new

-But we can’t let technology take away from how we interact with one another as families and friends

 

The companies talked about in the second panel were really interesting! One delivers ingredients to people for perfect food preparation, another offers daily recipes and tips through emails and website updates…
Definitely check out Feastly.com, Caviar, Blue Apron and Food52 !

After lunch I listened to another panel called “The Real Differences Between Advertising, Marketing, PR and Event Planning”

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 10.29.16 AM

I  learned there that Public Relations is no fun in the beginning, but if you eventually want to plan parties for people like Ashton Kutcher this may be the field for you to try to survive in ;) It was really interesting hearing about all of the experiences and struggles of the panelists–it’s all definitely a lot of hard work, but you gotta work for the perks
I could go on and on about how cool the last keynote speaker Michael Cirino from A Razor A Shiny Knife was with all his projects like an NYC pizza party and a 100 course meal but this post is getting real long and you’ll just have to see for yourself on his site

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 10.30.35 AM

The People

I LOVED meeting all of these awesome foodies, speakers and bloggers at the conference! I even got to meet Skyler Bouchard (middle), whose instagram I worship @nycdining !

with skyler

On the left in this picture is Jessica Danto, who blogs at Small Chick Big Deals!

Everyone was so friendly and fun to talk to–if you’re ever considering going to a conference like this but are worried you will be alone, don’t! Plenty of people showed up without friends and got into conversation with one another in no time!

 

This was the first conference I have been to as a blogger, and I’m so glad I went! Can’t wait to start checking out more and attending Spoonniversity’s next Brainfood Conference!

 

  • Have you been to any food/blogger conferences?
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