Meal Plan for Eating Disorder Recovery

Breakfast  
Thick sourdough bread slathered in real butter and strawberry preserves. Whole milk blended up with protein powder and almond butter. This is my Monday morning breakfast. This meal plan follows the diet from the keto pure diet | stylish magazine.

Wait a minute, gluten-filled bread? Real butter and whole milk? Blasphemy! This is a gluten –free and dairy-free blog, right?

That time has passed. I am welcoming in all the foods. No restrictions.

I have battled an eating disorder for ten years. Evidence of that is written all over this blog. My eating disorder is why I started  cooking, I knew i want to get better and last fall I recommitted to weekly therapy sessions with an ED (eating disorder) specialist, and I began to cook. I described Sparkle Kitchen in our first meeting the fog began to lift. My special protocols and elimination diets were blatantly feeding my disease.  


Snack  
Cheddar cubes and raw carrots. 10am snack.

My therapist recommends using the following guideline to avoid any ED triggers:

Breakfast
Snack
Lunch
Snack
Dinner
Snack

I was intermittent fasting when I met my current therapist. And I was spiraling into daily panic attacks and binging to calm myself. It wasn’t pretty. Any type of restrictive diet sets my eating disorder in motion so the daily meal guide above allows me to feel safe; safety in knowing that another meal is in sight and I don’t have to compensate for eating more or less.


Lunch
Salmon sushi with a mixed greens salad.

Sometimes food isn’t the solution.  I believed eating the most nourishing foods would cure my ailments. All the pain and discomfort of a leaky gut would resolve itself if I just followed the right diet.

Diet can help if you know what your body needs. But I didn’t know, I was merely guessing.  

I enlisted the help of a nutritional biochemist to run a full panel of testing. The results were more or less expected. Minor case of leaky gut, no gluten sensitivity, a bit of candida overgrowth, very low zinc levels and my thyroid T3 and T4 hormones were in the functionally low range.

Three years of sardines, organ meats, coconut oil, seaweed and bone broth and I still had these issues.

The nutritional biochemist suggested a series of supplements over a three-month period. No custom diet. I eat anything and everything.

My therapist explained how denying certain foods can put your body in shock when it does encounter a “forbidden” treat. Whether this is founded in science I’m uncertain, but I can definitely attest to the placebo effect. Sugar is/was my trigger food and every time I indulged I would feel awful, full blown sugar hangover. Ninety percent of that is/was guilt. Guilt of putting a “no” food into my body and the possibility of it impacting my weight.


Snack
Plain yogurt and banana. Or chocolate chips stirred into crunchy peanut butter.


Dinner
Sautéed bok choy, chicken burger.

I spent a week in the hospital in college. The result was misdiagnosed Crohn’s disease.

I’d suffered from severe abdominal pain since both my parents remarried at age ten. At the time, no one thought to correlate the two and I traveled from doctor to doctor for years with no accurate diagnosis.

Stress wreaks havoc on our bodies, taking shape in a myriad of ailments. Mine rooted in my bowels.  I didn’t have the necessary tools to process my stress as a child so my body responded the only way it knew how, stomach pain. While I suppressed the emotional pains of my life, my abdomen did the screaming instead.


Snack
Glass of milk and a bit of dark chocolate.

Improv comedy has the “Yes, and…” rule of thumb that I’ve incorporated into my eating philosophy.  I say “yes” to all the foods. And add a scoop of ice cream to my slice of pie.

How to Detox Naturally

This article first appeared on KameaWorld.com, a blog that aims to present valuable info and tips on eco-conscious and healthy living. You will find inspirational, educational, and up-do-date posts on eco-design, mind-body wellness, & transformative traveling by Kamea Chang.

I believe the “cleansing” craze has gotten a bit out of hand. The human body can only subsist on liquid for so long, which is why I wanted to share Kamea’s thoughtful article.  ________________________________________________________________________

“Detoxing” is all the hype these days: juicing, water fasting; you name it. Our food industry has been filled with (expensive) products claiming to be able to “cleanse” our bodies.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “cleansing” or “detoxing” diet or drink.

Sense About Science, a British nonprofit organization aiming to promote public understanding of science with its database of over 6,000 scientists noted (2009): “The multi million [dollar] detox industry sells products with little evidence to support their use. These products trade on claims about the body which are often wrong and can be dangerous.”

While it may sound reasonable to compare our esophagus, stomach, and intestinal tubes to sink drains—which require regular liquid cleanses or scrubbing in order to flush out impurities—it is important to remember that our bodies are extremely complex living systems.

The idea that you need to eat a special meal or drink a special beverage to eliminate toxins from your body is just a pure marketing ploy and completely underestimates the amazing functions your body is capable of.

Meet your liver, kidneys, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and skin, vital organs that have been detoxifying your body since day one. It is their job to keep the good stuff in and flush the bad stuff out. So, your best way to detox is just to keep your entire body healthy so that your organs can function properly.

Most of the time, the “detox” labels on fresh juices or meals are really just fancier marketing strategies used to denote something made with pure ingredients or something rich in nutrients. So, there is no inherent danger in consuming these types of “detox” products because many of them are indeed nutritious.

However, one potential danger of buying into this concept is in thinking that you can afford to eat and drink unhealthily for weeks and then go on a three-day cleanse to undo the previous weeks of harm. Especially if the cleanse is not planned properly (i.e., not nutritionally balanced) or is extreme in nature (i.e., liquid-fasting for more than a few days), it may just do your body more harm than good.

So, what is your one and only effective way to help your body detox itself effectively?

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How to Prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome

This article first appeared on EcoCult, which covers all things sustainable in New York City and beyond. Editor-in-Chief, Alden Wicker, has become the voice of New Yorkers eager to break the stereotypes about eco-friendly living and prove that living consciously can be beautiful, fun, and desirable.

A few weeks ago, I discussed natural, sustainable feminine products on Wellness Beets Podcast. Considering the risk of toxic shock syndrome, there’s never been a better time to make the switch. 


Oh, so you read that horrifying story about the beautiful, popular, gregarious young woman who almost died, but just ended up losing her leg from toxic shock syndrome? The alleged culprit: Kotex “Natural” Balance. (Yes, I put natural in quotes for a reason.)

I know. It’s terrifying. Especially when you consider that the symptoms – fever, rash, muscle aches, vomiting or diarrhea, confusion, low blood pressure – could be mistaken for the flu. Tampon boxes give a curt warning about toxic shock syndrome, so maybe she totally should have known? But in the story, even the doctors didn’t know why she was dying, until an infectious disease specialist asked if she had a tampon in.

Toxic shock syndrome as related to tampons happens when you have a specific strain of staph bacteria is present in your vag, which makes its way into the absorbent fibers of the tampon, multiplies, and produces a toxin that can eventually shut down your organs. About 20% of people have the bacteria on their skin or in their nose (you can also get TSS from packing your nose with cotton after a nosebleed, for example), but as per usual, we don’t know how many women have it in their vaginas. (Vaginas: so mysterious and icky that scientists never want to study them.)

Apologists like to say that toxic shock syndrome is relatively rare compared to the millions of women using tampons. As one doctor said in an article on The Cut, “Okay, don’t drive your car because you might get killed.” She’s got a point, actually: I don’t drive a car to work, because I have two alternatives: the subway and a bike. It’s too bad there aren’t easy alternatives to Kotex … OH WAIT, there are.

I’m gonna lay them out for you here:

1. Use a menstrual cup.

This is my top recommendation. I wouldn’t say they have changed my life, but they have made my period a lot less annoying. Check it: A menstrual cup is a supremely comfortable, bell-shaped silicone cup. You fold it in half, push it up in there, and it pops open and creates a seal. A super seal. A “Oh, I forgot I had my period for 24 hours” seal. Nope, it never ever leaks. Nope, you don’t have to set an alarm on your phone to make sure you take it out after eight hours. No, it definitely doesn’t dry you out down there. How often you switch it out depends on how heavy your flow is, but you can just … tell when you’re ready to dump it. You get a sort of full feeling. You pull it out, and dump it in the toilet. If you’re at home, just rinse it and put it back in. If you’re in a public bathroom, give it a wipe with toilet paper and put it back in. At the end of your cycle, pop it in some boiling water to sterilize it. I’ll also sprinkle baking soda on there to deodorize it and de-stain it.

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