Essential Oils and Self-Care Series pt.1

Essential oils are the Holy Grail to my self-care routine. They were an amazing supplement to my therapy, nutrition planning, and treatment plan during the beginning of my recovery. Therefore, I will be starting a Self-Care series about how I use essential oils within my daily, and weekly routine.

Today’s post is dedicated to prevention and intervention for that oh so dreaded cold….yes it’s that season, everyone is getting sick, therefore why not boost that immune system and soothe the senses!?

When it comes to Eating Disorder Recovery, getting sick with a cold, or the stomach flu, or really anything, is just a part of the process. Your body is doing its very best to build up your immune system, therefore weird things start to happen, like getting sick! In the beginning of my own recovery, I was constantly sick with a cold, sinus infection, bloated, and swollen, because my body was figuring out how to be healthy again…. because in reality, my body wasn’t being treated very well for a good ten years! This was the hard part of recovery…. remember, it gets worse before it gets better! Therefore, essential oils played a major part within this not so easy and somewhat painful part of recovery, to soothe my mind and body, and boost my immune system in a natural and safe way!

This week is a big week for me; Sean and I are moving cross-country with our two furry animals, to start a new life in Charleston South Carolina, and this on top of starting a new job, finishing school work, and saying goodbye to friends and family is incredibly exciting but stressful…and with stress comes sickness! Therefore, I have been diligent with my preventative essential oil routine, to not only build up my immune system, but to also manage my emotional and mental stress!

Essential oils for the immune system:

There are various uses for each and every essential oil, whether that be single oils or blends, therefore this brief list is what I have found useful within my self care routine when it comes to my immune system. The Essential Oils Pocket Reference by LifeScience is my Essential Oil Bible…

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Thieves:

This is AMAZING….it is a blend of essential oils designed perfectly to ward off a cold!

Ingredients: Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary

Applications:

  1. Dilute 1 part essential oil to 4 parts vegetable oil
  2. Diffuse for 15 minutes every 3 to 4 hours
  3. Apply to he bottoms of the feet….This is my favorite way to use this oil blend, as I have found it to be most effective!
  4. Put one drop on the tongue and push against roof of mouth
  5. Add 2 drops to wet cloth and put in clothes dryer

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Peppermint:

Medical Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, pain relieving, and digestive stimulant

Uses: Respiratory infections, viral infections, headaches, and nausea

Fragrant Influence: Purifying and stimulating

Application: There are various options with the actual usage of each essential oil.

  1. Dilute 1 part essential oil with 2 parts vegetable oil and apply 1-2 drops on location (abdomen, temples, etc)
  2. Rub into hands, cup hands and inhale
  3. Diffuse with a diffuser, or soak cotton balls in the oil and place on your air vents.
  4. Put a few drops into hot water, and make a tea!….My favorite!
  5. Put a few drops on your tongue and push against the roof of the mouth

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Lavender:

Medical: Antifungal, relaxant, anti-inflammatory

Uses: Respiratory infections, high blood pressure, PMS, Nervous tension

Fragrant Influence: Calming, relaxing, and balancing

Application:

  1. Apply 2 to 3 drops on location
  2. Apply on chakras
  3. Inhale directly
  4. Diffuse with a diffuser, or soak cotton balls in the oil and place on your air vents.
  5. Put a few drops into hot water, and make a tea!….My favorite!
  6. Put a few drops on your tongue and press tongue to the roof of the mouth

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Arbor Oil/Eucalyptus oil:

Medical Properties: Antbacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory

Uses: Respiratory/sinus infections, and viral infections

Applications:

  1. Dilute 1 part essential oil with 1 part vegetable oil
  2. Apply 2 to 4 drops on the location
  3. Apply on chakras
  4. Rub into hands, cup hands and inhale
  5. Diffuse or put in a humidifier

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I have displayed various brands of Essential Oils, as some are more accessible than others. My favorite brand is YoungLiving, because they offer beautiful blends of different essential oils, and from my experience their oils are without fail, pure and safe to use!

So there you have it, as we move through the month of November and December, I will be talking about my self care routine with essential oils, please let me know if you have any suggestions or questions! So lets conquer this week and #SelfCareitOut!

Eating Disorders in Males-#EatingDisordersItsNotJustAWhiteGirlThing

Penn State Kicker, Joey Julius recently went public with his Eating Disorder. Julius spoke on his diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) with purging behaviors and bulimic tendencies. It is public figures, like Joey, that can be an inspiration, and voice for females and males around the country who are living with Eating Disorders. You can read Joey’s story here.

For today’s post, we are getting “a bit clinical” and tearing down those misperceptions and false assumptions about Eating Disorders.

So many individuals believe that an Eating Disorders (ED) is “just a white girl thing”, that ED is just about women wanting to be a certain size, that it about women who eat too many salads, its about rich girls who don’t appreciate what they have, it is just a thing that the spoiled, white, rich girl deals with….this list of misperceptions goes on and on and on….

The truth is that males live with Eating Disorders too, it IS NOT JUST A WHITE GIRL DISORDER!! Here are some truths behind those false assumptions when it comes to males and Eating Disorders, according to current peer reviewed, clinical research and the Diagnostic Statistic Manual volume 5 (DSM-5)

  1. Males represent 25% of individuals with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and 36% of individuals with Binge Eating Disorder (BED).
  2. Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rates for any psychiatric disorder
  3. Approximately .3% of men within the US have Anorexia Nervosa
  4. Approximately .5% of men within the US have Bulimia Nervosa
  5. Approximately .2% of men within the US have Binge Eating Disorder
  6. In the US alone, 20 million females and 10 million males will suffer from a clinical Eating Disorder within the span of their lifetime.
  7. Clinical Eating Disorder behaviors, such as binge eating, purging, laxative abuse, and dietary restriction for weight loss, are just as common among males as they are among females.
  8. Eating Disorders are rapidly growing among male athletes, whether that be adolescent, high school, college of professional level.
  9. In a controlled study at 11 different Division 1 Schools, results showed that 13.02% of males reported Bing Eating on a regular basis, and 2.04% of males reported purging behaviors on a regular basis, such as vomiting, and laxative use.
  10. The prevalence of Eating Disorders in males is greater than estimated due to the stigma that males receive when seeking treatment, for what is misunderstood as a “white women’s disorder”
  11. Approximately 33% of teenage males use restrictive behaviors to lose weight

It is so important to get the facts straight when it comes to ED. The more we bring light to the truths behind Eating Disorders, the more we tear down that stigma, which will provide a safer space for ALL individuals, whether that be female, male, white, black, Asian, heterosexual, homosexual, to step forward and seek treatment and start their journey towards recovery!

Stigma, and those common incorrect assumptions about Eating Disorders majorly affect individual’s ability and desire to seek treatment, causing for higher rates in mortality for individuals with Eating Disorders. So lets talk about it, without shame, it’s time we created a safe space for all individual’s, including men, to open up about their struggles, and give them a chance to move towards recovery!

Below are some resources available for males living with Eating Disorders.

NAMED

Eating Disorder Hope

NEDA

ANRED

 

References

Allen, K. L., Byrne, S. M., & Crosby, R. D. (2015). Distinguishing Between Risk Factors for Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Purging Disorder. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(8), 1580–1591. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.tcsedsystem.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0186-8

Statistics on Eating Disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating. (2016). Retrieved October 12, 2016, from https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/statistics-studies

Ten Facts about Males and Eating Disorders | N.A.M.E.D. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://namedinc.org/?page_id=287

First Aid Self-Care

Okay….so about this self care thing! Many people think that self care is just another term for being selfish, some people think it is this new creation made by the Millennial generation to fight the corporate life, but in truth, Self-Care is something that is necessary for each and every individual! And, if you don’t practice Self-Care, you will most likely end up being/having a “break down” of some sort, sleep deprived, malnourished, sick, late to work, struggling with daily tasks, and not being able to bring your best self to whatever it is that you do! Self-Care is the crux to being our best selves, and when we forget to care for ourselves, we lose sight of what is important, and we end up in a state of crisis!

With that being said, prevention is key when practicing Self-Care. By prevention, I mean making sure that you avoid that dreaded breakdown due to being overworked, overtired, and not taking the time to take care of yourself! Therefore, anyone that struggles with the concept of Self-Care, or maybe finding the time to practice Self-Care, will benefit from the two analogies stated below…

Airplane Oxygen Mask Self-Care:

Think about that oh so dreaded, but necessary, airplane safety video/demonstration you are required to watch before taking off…you know when the video or flight attendant states that you must secure your oxygen mask before helping someone else?….Well the same goes for Self-Care! You cannot EFFICIENTLY and SUCCESSFULLY take care of others, until you take care of yourself! Much like the airplane oxygen analogy, you cannot secure another passengers’s oxygen mask, if you can’t breathe yourself! Therefore, keep in mind…this Self-Care thing is no joke, all doctors, helping professionals, nurses, surgeons, and all individual’s within the medical field are advised to practice Self-Care, to ensure that they can provide the best care to their patients and clients….so this “Self-Care” thing is the opposite of selfish, it is selfless! The same goes for you if you are a parent, any sort of caregiver, or really anyone, because you cannot bring your full self, and do your best when you haven’t taken care of yourself. When it comes to ED and ED Recovery, practicing Self-Care allows for you to take your ED head on, you won’t fall for those manipulations, triggers and abusive behaviors, that ED throws at you….you will be able to stand up to your ED and be successful within your Recovery….So Self-Care, Self-Care, Self-Care!

First Aid Kit Self-Care:

The Band-Aid…. this is a difficult and incredibly frustrating thing within Eating Disorder Recovery! The individuals that I have worked with, met with, and spoken with about the process of Recovery (including myself), almost always state how frustrating it is that their ED behaviors and tendencies are still present! So many families within ED Recovery, also tend to get incredibly frustrated with the time commitment involved within Recovery… “We have been through the treatment, and taken every step….why is she still sick, why isn’t she better?” Here is the brutally honest answer….ED Recovery is a process and a journey, albeit a long one, filled with bumps, and potholes, and treacherous roads, and yes, going through treatment is the start to a smoother path, but it is the hard work after treatment, that leads you to a successful recovery! In other words, many individuals, including myself, want/wanted the easy fix, to put a Band-Aid on their wound, and move on….but no matter what, that wound will start bleeding again, because a Band-Aid can only protect something for so long before it wears off!

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In simple terms, practicing Self-Care, which for many individuals within ED Recovery is hard work, is crucial! You will not successfully heal by just putting a Band-Aid over your wound; it is a temporary fix to a long-term problem!

So instead of that Band-Aid, why not give your wound (your body and soul) a little bit of love, and care! Heal yourself from your eating disorder by using that entire First Aid Kit, constant Self-Care and constant patience for your wound to fully heal! I promise you, that with a lot of hard work, professional help, and Self-Care, Self-Care, Self-Care….you will heal completely and find a state of Recovery! Use your entire First Aid Kit, use all of the support that you have in your life, lean on those that you can trust, the more you care for yourself inside and out the more you will love your self inside and out, and the further you will get through your own recovery! I promise!

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So, as we move into the rest of our week, I challenge you to #Self-CareItOut everyday!

Acknowleging Your Anxiety and Protecting Your Recovery With Prevention #MotivationIsNotJustForMondays

TGIF, am I right?! It seems as though the world is going a bit crazy as of late, and I hope that anyone and everyone that is within Hurricane Matthew’s path or wake is out of harms way and safe!

On Fridays I usually focus on Physical Exercise and Healthy Motivations, but today will be a bit different, in that my situation has changed a bit this week! I am going into a procedure this afternoon to have an oh so dreaded double gum graft and I thought it would be perfect to touch on acknowledging anxiety, protecting your recovery, and maintaining healthy motivations through self care and physical exercise!

I had a quadruple gum graft about five and a half years ago, and let me tell you it was AWFUL! My periodontist was shocked with how long it took me to heal from the graft, and how long it took me to recover from the pain….and we quickly realized that this was due to my intense anxiety! I am sure that many of you can relate, in that my anxiety manifests itself in ways that are not necessarily visible to the outside world! For instance, so much of my anxiety “comes out” while I sleep….I clench my jaw, and have night terrors.

My anxiety used to manifest itself in my behaviors…..when I felt lost, out of control, sad, or mad, these feelings would find solitude and comfort within my unhealthy behaviors, such as over eating, purging, over exercising or restriction.

Anxiety was my Eating Disorder’s (ED) best friend….my anxiety fueled all of my unhealthy behaviors…..my anxiety disguised itself within ED’s companionship, albeit ED’s abusive companionship.

The first and most empowering step within recovery is acknowledgment, and when I acknowledged my Eating Disorder, I finally started to gain the courage to stand up to ED, and by standing up to ED, I was able to peel back the layers of my anxiety.

Remember Recovery IS NOT LINEAR, in that it is normal, to “slip up”, to make mistakes…. therefore take away the shame, acknowledge your behaviors, learn from your “mistakes” or “slip ups” and move forward…. Recovery is a beautiful disaster… so embrace the disaster, and embrace the crazy!

While I move into this procedure, I am taking some preventative measures, in order to protect my physical recovery from the procedure itself but to also protect my ED recovery. These preventative steps can be taken within any anxiety provoking situation.

1. Honesty:  First and foremost, be honest about your anxiety, look at it straight in the eye! Being honest about your anxiety will lessen the inner burden, the inward pressure, that awful sense of hopelessness. For instance, I have made sure to talk to my doctor about my history with anxiety, depression and an Eating Disorder, therefore I am well supported, self aware, and held accountable for any ED tendencies.

2. Rest: Allow yourself time to heal, to rest, to ensure the best recovery possible. I have made sure to complete all of my work for the week, in order to allow myself ample recovery time.

3. Nutrition: Make sure to ensure you are nurishing not just your emotional self, but also your physical self. Make a meal plan with your nutritionist, and stay accountable by creating a network of support. Seeing that I will be on a liquid diet for about a week, I have made sure to stock the fridge and pantry with nutritious liquid/soft foods, to ensure that I maintain wellness, and avoid any triggering dietary restriction.

4. Network of Support: Make sure to have at least one supportive partner during anxiety provoking times, or physical recovery. This will keep you accountable, safe, and nurtured. I am so sad that Sean and our cat Lilly aren’t here, but I will have all the care I need from our dog Giovanni, my family’s puppies and kitties, and of course my parents.

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5. Adjust your exercise routine: Within anxiety provoking situations like surgery, it can be scary, and triggering, in that you most likely are not able to maintain your usual exercise routine. I have made a plan this week to stimulate my mind and body through gentle, safe and healthy physical exercise through Skyfit!

I have turned to Skyfit yet again! Before my procedure I will be partaking in the Pre-Meeting Breather class, by Cesar Barajas…I have taken this class many of times, and it is a wonderful way to calm your breath, bring intention to the mind, and manage your anxiety! Therefore before my procedure I will be practicing healthy motivations! For the rest of this week I will be partaking in some of Skyfit’s “lighter” and “shorter” classes….

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This next week, while I recover from my procedure, I will be sleeping and allowing my body time to heal….and Skyfit provides me with safe, healthy and gentle options for me to get my heart pumping, and bring healthy motivations to my physical exercise.

As you move into our weekend, I encourage you to acknowledge your anxiety head on, peel back those layers, and dissect how it manifests itself within your daily life. Acknowledgment is key within the process of Recovery! I also encourage you to take care of your self, protect your recovery with self care, and find ways you can bring healthy motivations to our exercise routine! And as always Self Care it Out!!

 

Body Image Conception With Guest Author Jesaira Glover!

Happy Wednesday! Get excited because we have a “Guest Author” today! Therefore we are shifting our focus from just Eating Disorders to the oh so consuming and relevant topic of BODY IMAGE….as ALL of us experience struggles with how we perceive ourselves.

Today’s post is a continuation of the #EatingDisordersItsNotJustAWhiteGirlThing, this series is all about tearing down those oh so common misconceptions about Eating Disorders, and Eating Disorder Recovery, and in this case body image conception. This weeks “guest author” needs no introduction in that she is such an inspiration, has a way with both the written and verbal word, and is such an amazing presence within The Online Clinical Mental Health Counseling department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Jesaira Glover, is a fellow peer, fellow graduate assistant, and fellow female that I consider a friend and inspiration….Jesaira’s story is unique, honest, and beautiful! I hope you enjoy her story!…..

For many years, I struggled with body image. I grew up in urban Detroit and although, my mama made us eat veggies with every meal, yet I still seem to be this chubby little girl. I vividly recall childhood memories of fellow students teasing me and calling me Jesaira Blubber. J You see…my name is Jesaira Glover, what cruelty to make fun of a person’s name and we were just kids! This indelible impression would shape and frame unhealthy thoughts about my body image for years to come.

Image involves the mental perception or value of self. Accepting who and what we are is a common challenge as our image is often skewed by external forces which seep into our internal being. Rejection walks alongside as an enemy to many individuals, especially women. The inner struggle and ongoing conflict brews deeply within the crevices of our souls. Even more interesting, discussion about negative body image and food bingeing is taboo within the Black Community. I was inadvertently taught through familial encounters, television, music, and other avenues that excessive amounts of food and big curves was the norm for black women. At the same time, curvy black women were presented in a negative fashion in comparison to other ethnicities.   Such dichotomy opposes positive self-image and keeps women aiming to meet societal standards and expectations. It is not humanely possible to live this way – embracing this mentality creates tension in our relationships, sabotages our success, and manipulates our future. It is UNREALISTIC to think that everyone will accept you…this is why personal change starts from within – accepting the authentic you NO MATTER WHAT!

No one is perfect and perfection is a subjective term. Likewise, beauty is relative. Yet, I am firm believer that everything and everyone is beautiful in their own way! True beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately, the wrong things have shaped many of our self-images. For many years, I beheld something unattractive, fat, undesirable, and unintelligent. Where did such foolishness come from? According to a study conducted at the University of Southern California, binge eating is the most common eating disorder affecting black women and this is largely due to the hidden pressure to be thin like our white counterparts (Sciavocampo & Pou, 2014). From a genetic and biological perspective, our body types are typically different. Our bone structure is different and these factors play a major role in how our bodies are shaped and formed. However, our body shapes should not reflect a negative body image. As women, we are more than our bodies – we are an embodiment of gifts, talents, abilities, and beautiful personalities. We have the ability to overcome challenges, we are resilient and strong. How we perceive ourselves is connected to how we value what and who we are. We are invaluable beings – as a matter of fact, you and I are so unique there is no one else on this planet with our fingerprints. This fact alone is worthy of a huge celebration!! NO ONE can beat you about being you!! NO ONE! I want to encourage you to measure yourself by a different standard…a standard that speaks to who you – this is what I had to learn to do.

As I previously stated, weight management has always been a challenge for me as I come from a lineage of heavy/curvy women. In 1997, I weighed 265 pounds and lost over 100 pounds. I decided to change the trajectory of my health because I was miserable – I was dealing with high blood pressure and I was a mean person. I hid behind food bingeing and I ate to fulfill a void. I was not dating at the time and I did not have many friends. Food was my best friend – I could rely on it whenever I needed too and it kept my secrets. I learned to trust food. However, I was paying a hefty cost for overconsumption – I was killing myself. I recall looking at myself in the mirror one day and sensing that I could do better! Yet, the road to recovery and newness was connected to accepting me AS I WAS IN THAT VERY MOMENT – fat and all! I would like to submit to you: real change only comes as a result of loving and accepting who you presently are. The journey to recovery from food bingeing and other eating disorders is an ongoing – I had to acknowledge I was addicted to food. My addiction was based out of fear and my personal need for approval. Therefore, I made every effort to change my relationship with food – this still holds true today. I also decided to pursue being the BEST ME – free of societal expectations, bondage, and pressure. I will never have a supermodel’s body (and that’s okay) and will never be on the cover of Sports Illustrated; however, I am phenomenon in my own right and SO, ARE YOU!!

Here are a few lessons I learned along the way (perhaps, you too will find them beneficial)

  1. Accept and embrace you for who you are unconditionally
  2. Never compare yourself to others – it’s an unrealistic comparison as everyone is different
  3. Speak positive words/affirmations over your life on a daily basis
  4. Remove negative influences and voices from your space
  5. Never take yourself too serious
  6. HAVE FUN!!! RELAX, enjoy learning how to live YOUR best life

Embrace and love you right where you are…this is the beginning of real living! Your inner mystery is real beauty personified which resonates a unique sound, a melody produced and originated by YOU…and only YOU!

Committed to being the best me,

Jesaira L. Glover

Not a Supermodel BUT I’m Me…

Written by: Jesaira L. Glover

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

 Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

 

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

References

Sciavocampo, M., Pou, J. (30, July, 2014). When being curvy hurts: One black woman severe struggle with body image. ABCNEWS. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/curvy-hurts-black-womans-severe-struggle-body-image/story?id=24777077

Self Care Through Cooking

Cooking and the art of making meals has always been at the forefront of my own self care routine. Ever since I was in grade school, I found joy in cooking, I always helped my mom with big holiday meals, I was a cook book junkie, and I was even enrolled at a four year culinary school for a hot minute before I realized that I desired the traditional college experience. For me, cooking has always been personal, in that I love the unique creations that come about within the moment, there are no real mistakes in cooking, it is all about experimenting, and learning. Let me just say…that it took some hard work and self-love, but I was finally able to find a safe place with food again…and having a healthy relationship with food is possible!

Keep in mind I am purely talking about cooking and not baking, as baking is all about measurements and accuracy…. therefore, I do not excel at baking…. But for those of you that do, please share your tips, tricks, recipes or just your story!

I’m very aware, that cooking is incredibly intimidating to many people, it seems like a chore, and to most people, cooking does not feel like self care….but it is important to remember that self care is personal, the same way that recovery is personal, therefore keep an open mind…maybe you will learn something new about yourself!

Learning how to have a healthy relationship with food can be an incredibly emotional, and painful process….and this surprises many within their own recovery, so I remind you to be gentle with yourself and make sure to reach out for support from your care team, if anything is triggering to you or your recovery.

One misconception that so many people have, is that individuals with eating disorders don’t like food…this is a blanket statement, a generalization, and quite frankly just silly! Most individuals with eating disorders, or individuals within recovery LOVE food, but the relationship with food is the real struggle, because remember an Eating Disorder (ED) is much like an abusive relationship, in that ED controls everything that you do, what you want to do, or any other relationship you have…. and one of the first relationships that ED destroys is your relationship with food… so again, I remind you to take the shame away, be gentle with yourself, and understand that finding a healthy relationship with food is so incredibly important, it WILL happen for you, and by practicing constant self care, you will rekindle that relationship….I promise! So for self-care’s sake, here is one of my many stories about cooking for self care!

Seeing that I only have about two and a half weeks left at home, I am soaking in as much family time as I can possibly get! Every Sunday night, since I can remember, our family gets in our pj’s around 5pm, we enjoy a glass of wine or drink of our choosing, gather around the TV to watch a movie, a show or listen to music, and we make dinner and just relax before the week starts! This has been somewhat of a ritual, and it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside, because no matter my history with ED, I have always found joy in cooking, and family!

There has been quite a bit of crazy in my life as of recent, but my parents have always taught me to embrace the crazy, embrace the bad, and find some happiness within the cluster of life! Therefore, last night, as we gathered around the TV, I stood in the kitchen surrounded by sounds of laughter, the heat from the stove on my hands and face, and the aroma of my personal masterpiece, and made a beautiful, nutritious and delicious meal for the family and myself to enjoy.

I put somewhat of an Asian twist into an Indian dish, and made it my own….delicious, and fun!

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I prefer not to use recipes, I go off of my own experience and imagination…which is part of the fun!

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Saute, saute, saute! I love mixing frozen veggies with fresh veggies….it saves you money and allows for a fun medley of flavor and nourishment! I went with tofu for the protein, but any animal protein or legume would be a great substitute!

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Embrace the crazy right?!…

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The final product! Delicious, nutritious and self care!

As we continue on with our workweek, don’t forget to practice self-care! I challenge you to find that unique gift that you have, bring it to life, and make it a part of your weekly self care routine, like I do with cooking!

Let me remind you, to stay accountable, take away the shame, learn from your mistakes, and utilize the support of your therapeutic care team!

Cheers to a beautiful week full of craziness, chaos, hard work and self-care! So let’s self care it out People!