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.

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. Last fall I recommitted to weekly therapy sessions with an ED (eating disorder) specialist, and as 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.

Zucchini Noodle Greek Pasta

Zucchini Noodle Greek Pasta
Makes 4 servings.

4 cups spiralized zucchini noodles
½ cup radishes, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped
14-16 shrimp, peeled, frozen or raw
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons seasoning mix (recipe below)
½ teaspoon fish sauce
¼ cup parsley

SEASONING MIX
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dill
½ teaspoon marjoram
½ teaspoon arrowroot starch
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Toss radishes and asparagus with ½ tablespoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast 15 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and boil 3 minutes until pink. Drain water and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, add ½ tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini noodles, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour the zucchini noodles, shrimp and roasted vegetables into a large bowl. Add in the seasoning mix, fish sauce and parsley. Stir until well incorporated.
  • Serve warm or room temperature.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Noodle Greek Pasta

Pork Tenderloin, Pan-fried Parsnips & Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Pork Tenderloin, Pan-fried Parsnips & Shaved Brussels Sprouts
Makes 4 servings.

1, 1-lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 medallions
6 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup brussels sprouts, finely shaved
1 cup red cabbage sauerkraut
2 tablespoons lard or olive oil, divided 
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Sprinkle each pork medallion with a bit of salt.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon lard/oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Place the medallions into the pan in a single layer. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or to your desired doneness. I prefer mine a bit rare. Remove from pan and allow to stand for five minutes.
  • Heat the remaining lard/oil over medium heat in the same skillet. Add the parsnips to the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle on a bit of salt. Cook for 1 minute, then flip and cook on the other side for another minute. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • To shave the brussels sprouts, slice each thinly and then separate into wispy pieces with your fingers. Keep these raw.
  • I like to arrange this dish in specific layers. First lay a few parsnips on the plate, then add the brussels sprouts, 3 pork medallions and top with sauerkraut.

Enjoy!

Pork Tenderloin, Pan-fried Parsnips & Shaved Brussels Sprouts