Ice Cream Is The Answer

I have this friend, who is pretty awesome, and she and I have a saying.

Ok, well, two sayings.

“Music is the answer.”

Or, “Pizza is the answer.”

I don’t really think anyone can argue with those two statements, and I especially believe them to be true since music has pretty much been my savior during my recovery and there are many days when nothing satisfies me more than the crunchy italian specialty, BUT, yesterday I added something else to my list of “answers;” ice cream.

I have professed my love for make your own fro-yo, and of course my infatuation with Arctic Zero…and even expressed the joy that came from trying Butter Pecan ice cream for the first time when we were in Walt Disney World, but if I am being honest, despite the desires I have had for ice cream the last few weeks, they have pretty much gone ignored.

I mean, I didn’t run out to the store when my body said, “a cold novelty would taste really good right now…ice cream would feel fantastic on this pain in the ass sore throat I have had for weeks…”

I ignored all those signals my stomach was sending my brain because I was no longer on vacation and no longer deserved such an “indulgent treat.”

Well yesterday, my mom won a free room at The Borgata and treated me to a night at the Atlantic City hotel and Casino, and an outing to see Adrian Lux at Mur Mur.

Borgata 041

But before we slept in the amazingly comfortable bed, or danced the night away with one of my favorite DJ’s, I had ice cream.

Which, no pun intended, caused me to have a major melt down.

Post dinner, as we were in the room relaxing and getting ready I freaked out about the two scoops of Ben and Jerry’s I decided to have for dessert. (One of Frozen Greek Banana Peanut Butter and another of the Greek Blueberry Graham, both, eating disorder thoughts aside, are freakin’ delicious.)

Anyway, all I could think about was how weighted down I felt, how bloated and fat I felt in my clothes; how I was embarrassed because of my “gluttonous” choice after I had already had enough for dinner.

Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who reminded me that two months ago seeing a world-famous DJ and dancing for a few hours was completely out of the question due to my low body weight and concern from the doctors.

…Who reminded me that I do not need to exercise hours on end to “deserve” any sort of nutrition, even ice cream that I claimed had no benefit to my body whatsoever (FYI your body can use ANY kind of nutrient in moderation so there is no such thing as a “bad” food).

After my tantrum subsided I put some deep thought into the ridiculous statements I made to my husband, and the tears I shed to my mom, I came to the realization I am obviously not challenging myself enough.

Ice cream is still a challenge for me.

Even pizza I can only justify on nights we go out, or days I am allowed to exercise.

Like I said, food/nutrition is not only needed on days of excessive movement or caloric burn and that mind-set is just going to keep me stuck.

This means I need to a. try more fear foods, b. try them more often c. reframe the thoughts that come after.

This is by no means going to be easy, but I thought I would link up with a friend who is pretty new to the blog world but has a really great thing going…

Freedom From Fear Fridays.

My new friend Jessica is doing a really cool thing by encouraging others to join her in her quest to abolish the stigmas we have around certain foods.  Of course everyone’s recovery is different, and for some people fat may be a major fear while carbs are for someone else…

The point is, challenge YOUR fears…not just in the realm of food, but for life in general because it truly is the only way to conquer them.

Cliche I know, but absolutely true.

I am already brainstorming for this Friday.

Happy Tuesday my friends.  Make it an awesome week!!

Pho With Friends!

Yesterday, I saw my outpatient nutritionist for this first time since April.

(Insert annoyed/angry/scolding remarks here)

I was working with someone else while I was in program but that doesn’t give me an excuse for why I had not returned to my regular dietician once I was let go.

Anyway, all that aside she sat back in her chair and looked at me in astonishment after our encounter.

“Where is the girl I used to know?  This is either too good to be true or you are completely bull-s*itting me.”

I can assure you none of what I told her was malarkey, but she caught me at a good time.

ED apparently wasn’t feeling horrible about the decisions I made that day and I have a really fun weekend at Soundgarden Hall coming up, so my mind was more focused on seeing my friends and some seriously amazing trance acts, that the ED thoughts were relatively quiet.

Anyway, we got to talking about changes that have occurred in my life that could have potentially flipped the switch to me actually wanting to get better for ME, rather than only seeing her because my family basically forced it.

Off the top of my head I could think of a couple of things that have pretty much opened up my world; pho, music, dance and God. <—In no particular order, of course.

You might laugh at the first three, but let me explain…

There is one common denominator in those things that my very insightful nutritionist pointed out; FRIENDS…PEOPLE…being social and interactive with other human-beings.

Holy shmoly, you mean isolating alone with my treadmill is not fun?!

I can tell you for a fact, NO it is not fun, regardless of how much my distorted mind told me it was.

Anyway, she asked me about my experiences with Pho, since that is a very new food to me…

“It’s delicious…I eat it probably twice a week…it is the perfect food before going out…my friends and I really like to go together…you know, four number 70’s all around….”

Let’s analyze my statement…

I like Pho because it tastes good.  It makes my body feel great and is awesome fuel before going to do an activity I love for the pure enjoyment of the beat, who I am with, and the passion of the DJ’s, not the caloric burn.  I ALWAYS go with friends.  We typically all order the same thing.  No menu alterations, no weird-ass requests to not cook things in butter or oil, or to leave the noodles out…

That is a pretty good list of WHY Pho is quite possibly my new favorite food, but as my wonderful clinician pointed out, the key element to my words, was that it included my FRIENDS…people I trust and genuinely care about…people I do not feel judged by at all…

She made a suggestion:

Let’s make food fun!

Let’s make food fun by eating with my new-found friends, perhaps before one of our many epic evenings out.  What a perfect scenario to challenge the last few things on my fear food list!

Obviously the point here is not about Pho, or any other specific food item, but more about the minute changes that can be made to make this process SOMEWHAT easier.

Friends, music, dance and prayer make it more tolerable for me.

I would love to explore these other elements in future posts, but for now, remember life is better when not spent completely alone.

Isolation is like a breeding ground for eating disorders, and so perhaps when I am struggling the most; when I really do not want to be around another person AT ALL, is when I need to reach out the most.

It sounds like my nutritionist is more like a therapist…and actually, kind of like a friend 🙂 which I would not have any other way.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!! It is snowing here in the northeast so definitely a perfect day for Pho 😉

Thankful For Thanksgiving At Home

In the past five holiday seasons, I have been home for two.

I am notorious for relapsing in the fall, which has typically led to my concerned family admitting, or strongly suggesting I go into, some sort of inpatient program.

It felt awesome this morning to wake up without a gown, cold tile floor, and boring breakfast brought to me on a tray.

But I will admit, since I am still very much in the recovery process, I am extra sensitive to the ridiculous and relentless discussions news programs, tv shows, and advertisements have around weight gain/loss, quick fixes, etc. this time of year.

“The average person eats X amount of calories on Thanksgiving Day…”

“Most Americans gain X weight in November and December…”

“Exercise declines significantly during the holiday season causing unnecessary, unwanted pounds…”

Trust me, I have enough guilt about what I put into my mouth, and the minimal physical activity of my currently lifestyle, without the Today Show telling me the numeric value I consume on a daily basis is gluttonous and too high, or that I am being lazy for simply taking walks.

I understand my situation is a bit different, and that there are people who enjoy the holiday season a little more than their waistline would like, BUT, last night I read something a friend wrote, that I found truly inspiring…

As stated by the very wise, and wonderful Healthy Diva…

“On Thanksgiving…quit worrying about how many calories you might consume, working out just so you can eat unhealthy, or worrying about having too much to eat. Be grateful you even have food, a home, and a place to eat. Be thankful for your loved ones and family on this day. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are not as fortunate on this holiday and I wish I could make your thanksgiving better ♥”

My Thanksgiving is a bit non-traditional since Ryan is a nurse and works most holidays, and my parents both travel so they are very rarely in the state, but my sister and I still managed to spend a really nice day baking while enjoying the Macy’s Day Parade, taking a walk outside, eating a single ladies version of a Turkey lunch, and watching one of my favorites, “Christmas With The Kranks.”

Getting to do these things helped me realize how much I truly missed being home these past few years, and how thankful I am to have a family and friends who love me, support me and have been there through sickness and health.

So Happy Thanksgiving my friends, and tonight, when I go to enjoy the left-overs and most likely a nice scoop of ice cream with my husband when he gets home, I am going to try my best to count my blessings rather than calories, and thank God for the life I have.

WIAW: Sandi’s Spotlight!

Good Morning Friends and a very happy Wednesday!!

Obviously you know what these mid-week posts typically include, so I will just go ahead and say thank you to Jenn for hosting this little party that unites the blog world and encourages writers and readers to get creative and celebrate something we all need to survive; food.

Today I am taking a different angle and sharing my love for a local vendor who does not just make amazing products, but also gives back to the community; Sandi’s Breads.

If I am being totally honest, I did not know who Sandi was, or anything about her baked goods a month ago, but then a wonderful friend of mine suggested I visit the Sandi’s stand at the Hershey Farmer’s Market to explore the deliciousness for myself.

I e-mailed Sandi directly, and explained how I was trying to challenge myself with non-diet products, and make more “fun foods” (aka desserts and carby-items) less taboo since my non-eating disordered self truly does enjoy them.

She told me to come in and introduce myself and she would personally help me select some things to enjoy.

When I got there I was SHOCKED!

Pleasantly shocked, because she had a ginormous case and several racks of the tastiest looking treats and breads I had ever seen.  And then, as I walked down the display I noticed this:

Gab-A-Nola

I had read about this stuff, since many of my friends were Sandi’s customers and absolutely raved about her goods, but obviously had never tasted it myself so I immediately grabbed a 6 pack of the bars and clutched to them as I searched for a some “challenge” items to take home with me.

I then noticed a woman behind the counter with a very warm demeanor, who was speaking to her customers as if they were family she saw everyday.

Some how I knew that had to be Sandi and when she was free I took the opportunity to introduce myself.

She offered to show me around the bakery, since they produce most of their own flour there, and explain some of their other fresh, creative and wholesome ingredients they use to help ease my anxiety about stepping out of my box; pure cane sugar, sour cream for their FANTASTIC muffins, nuts, etc.

*If you visit their website and look at their mission and ingredients, you will absolutely appreciate both the passion and nutrition that goes into each and everything they produce!.

On my initial trip (I have been back a few times since!) I selected two cookies, some Gab-A-Nola, and called it a day.

The cookies were gone in less than 24 hours and the bars lasted no longer than a week. I couldn’t wait to return and sample some of the other things I oogled behind the glass. (Go to the facebook fan page for an idea of all the delectable things just waiting for you!!!)

Since I got to browse pretty extensively on my first visit, the next time I went I had a mission in mind; muffins.

I had NEVER had a bakery style muffin because I always feared the size, calories, etc. but you know what, I feel good about the components that make up Sandi’s items and I personally really like a starchy-sweet breakfast or snack.  What I am learning is sometimes food doesn’t always have to be the perfect nutritional profile, but is more beneficial when it is good for the soul; mental health foods are a seriously AWESOME thing!

Just like with the cookies, I fell in love with the more oaty and filling texture of the muffins.  There is something about using whole grains that makes the consistency more appealing to me…Fiber is my friend 🙂

…not to mention the triple chocolate, or mocha-toffee flavors,  kind of speak for themselves.

I also snagged some more Grab-A-Nola, a Ginger-Molasses Cookie and a Salted Caramel Brownie.

Yes, I realize there are a ton of sweets listed above, BUT they freeze well and life is too short not to eat dessert first occasionally 😉

Please check out Sandi’s breads.  Even if you are not from central PA she ships domestically and her customer service truly is unrivaled.  She answered about a gazillion questions with patience and passion the day I got to meet her!

So there you have it; delicious food, a new friend, and respect for my bodily cravings that I have not satisfied, probably, ever makes for a wonderful WIAW in my book!

Have a great rest of the week and happy eating!

*All of the opinions expressed in this post are my own.  I was not paid for the advertisement, nor given free items for compensation.  It is a genuine love 🙂  And take my word for it, you will love anything you try, as well!!!

Identify, Re-frame And Setting Goals

I am onto my third week in PHP and honestly the honeymoon phase is over.

Since I have been through this process a few times before I knew this was going to happen and fortunately I am much more prepared than I have been in the past, but still, it doesn’t make it THAT much easier.

I have done a pretty good job of NOT counting calories; since my meal plan has already increased twice and we aren’t doing the conventional exchange based system, I am super happy my mind hasn’t completely fixated on numerical values of food.

I am also incorporating a lot of variety in my diet. especially in the “fat” category because I am seriously sick of my hair falling out.

It used to be that I cringed when my dietician would tell me to add a lipid here or there but right now I am thinking the more avocado or nut butter, the better, so I am not completely bald by the age of 26.

I am, however, struggling immensely with the lack of exercise.

Ryan hid, or has, our treadmill key somewhere I don’t know of, which obviously means I am not using my best friend the walking machine and some days I want to crawl out of my skin.

It isn’t necessarily that I NEED the movement to justify food right now, but more so to help manage my anxiety.

There are a ton of stressful things going on in the Weaber household, some of which you know and others that I haven’t yet divulged, and the handy-dandy list of “healthy coping mechanisms” all my treatment teams and therapists have ever given me are kind of lame.

I am the type of person that needs both their mind and hands/body, whatever, stimulated in order to relieve stress. I understand this is not at all good for me right now, but sometimes I feel like I am going a bit stir crazy in this recent sedentary lifestyle.

The other aspect of my recovery that has been bothersome, especially this weekend, is my new-found love for challenge foods.

They are called “challenge” or “fear” foods for a reason, and were not really incorporated into my life at all before the newly implemented “let’s get healthy” plan.

Now, it seems these more difficult items are ALL my body wants.

I lie.

I still love salad and my good old Chobani, but in the past three weeks there have been gobs of fats mixed in, CEREAL and other carb-a-licious side items (it is particularly dessert items or heavy bread products that are proving to be hard for me to handle but the most appealing to my palate) as the norm, on my plate, and I have trouble telling myself it is ok, and that these cravings will not ALWAYS be the case but that they are strong right now because I have never really had these things before/always labeled them as bad.

SO what can I do to help myself move past this difficult time?

I am a firm believer to first step at overcoming obstacles is identifying them, which I suppose was the main purpose of this post.

I am having trouble with my lack of exercise and stress management since I have never really had a balanced way of working through life’s issues.

AND

I don’t like being the cookie monster because it makes me feel out of control and gluttonous since in my world, the things I am now allowing myself to enjoy were typically deemed “off-limits” or un-healthy.

Step two to working through these two recovery bumps is reframing and setting a goal.

In both instances I have to remember these changes are temporary and that I am currently learning how to LIVE in a more balanced manner.

This means exercise should not be done in an excessive measure, and perhaps sometimes discussing my feelings with someone is more appropriate that personal physical abuse. (Of course, remembering exercise moderation is perfectly ok!!! WHEN I AM MEDICALLY CLEARED TO DO SO.)

And my desire for certain foods is FINE.

It will eventually weaken and incorporating things I enjoy, but that may not be the most nutritious choices, is totally appropriate and encouraged.

When the taboo about these items is relinquished, and my body is in a better state, the chances of the insane NEED to have them will likely become more “normal.” Remember the good old Ancel Keye’s study?!

So this week I am especially going to focus on sorting through the stressors that are going on under my roof and ask for help when I struggling to handle them.

I am also going to work on finding a coping mechanism that is not the treadmill…music and getting lost in the beat is probably my best weapon in this department. <—-I think I have watched the Tomorrowland After Movie about 50 times for this reason…#motivation #noshame

And concerning my food choices….

I just need to let go and trust that my body knows what it need and understands that I have a long way to go in getting back to a healthy mental and physical relationship with nutrition.

If that means I have a giant chocolate muffin from Sandis’s Breads at breakfast and then want another form of chocolate at lunch, so be it.

Sounds good to me! On to week three, friends! I hope you are having a nice long weekend 🙂

WIAW: Bravo For Breakfast and Sweet Snackaroos!

I haven’t participated in WIAW for a few weeks, primarily because my blog up-keep has been less than stellar, and also because most of my meals have been consumed in a clinic, neatly packed by a dietician according to my new meal plan.

I will tell you one thing about my daily eats. however,Uncrustrables and tuna fish sandwiches are kind of my new best friends…

Then I got to thinking…since I am doing a “hospitalization at home,” I am still responsible for breakfast and a night-time snack, which has drastically changed since program.

Gone are the days of Arctic Zero Pints (they are delicious, don’t get me wrong but we are trying to eliminate marketed diet foods) and welcome to some of my new fall favorites and other delicious treats I was lucky enough to find on my doorstep.

So what exactly have become my new morning meal faves?

Well, after seeing several people tweet about this delectable item, I was THRILLED to see it on the Giant shelves (ON SALE so double bonus!!!) as I stopped to pick up some milk.

You guessed it…

Thomas Pumpkin Spice Bagel Thins

Thomas'® Pumpkin Spice Bagel Thins™ Bagels

Last year I found the regular size bagels, which are obviously fantastic as well, but for some reason I couldn’t locate those again??  Did they stop making them in favor of the smaller variety?

To be honest, I don’t care, because BOTH are stellar and AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME when paired with some Plain Chobani, Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream Cheese, or any form of nut butter.

Seriously, seek these babies out because they are the PERFECT way to welcome the new season!

Erewhon Buckwheat and Hemp Cereal

I love cereal! LOVE IT! Like, a little too much and that is probably why I have shied away from it for so long, because I always feared I would instantaneously consume the entire box.

Regardless of this phobia I have always enjoyed the Uncle Sam’s kinds and kept them in my pantry for various baking ventures (they make great rice krispies!!!) and to add to yogurt parfait.

During one of my favorite week time twitter chats (Attune chat is every Wednesday at noon, just an FYI 😉 ) Annalies mentioned the new Erewhon Buckwheat and Hemp.

I enjoy both those flavors and prefer a flakey cereal (unless it’s Kashi Crunch then I am totally on board, as well) so when the box arrived on my front stoop I was excited to dive in!

Stellar nutritional profile and delicious;I really enjoyed this breakfast grain with a flavored Chobani just to give it a little sweetness.

I also paired it with Vanilla Almond Breeze and a bit of cinnamon and was not disappointed, so really, either way is worth mentioning!

Now I am looking forward to trying the Skinner’s Raisin Bran I just spotted on the shelf, since that was a favorite of mine as a kid!

Thanks Attune, you do help make my mornings delicious and nutritious!!!

I will admit these have been my two go-to grains, as I am relatively boring and unimaginative when I wake up hungry and ready to eat, but I do have a few things up my sleeve for the weekend that I can hopefully share soon! AND food variety is one of my week’s goals so definitely look for some new products in the upcoming weeks!

Scary but exciting; recovery truly is an adventure!!

And because I used to rely on the SAME things every night for my p.m. snack, I pretty much eliminated those items entirely and incorporated some completely new to me finds for when I am relaxing before bed.

Whole Fruit 100 Calorie Smoothies

At first I was hesitant because these are advertised as 100 calorie smoothies, BUT BUT BUT, this is the equivalent to my normal glass of milk I would pour into a smoothie I make in a blender, so I thought the Whole Foods variety were a great addition to other selections I choose, in order to satisfy my exchanges.

PLUS, these are delicious and a welcome change from the either skim or almond milk I was normally consuming.

I personally like the Pineapple-Mango because it kind of reminds me of Disney World and the delicious Dole Whips of Adventureland, but my sister insists the Mixed Berry is the best.

I will leave it up to you because I highly suggest you picking up these delicious frozen beverages on your next run to the store.

…Make the tastes of summer last just a little bit longer 🙂

If you are craving something a bit warmer, more fall in the flavor profile, try the new Super Pretzel Sweet Cinnamon Soft Pretzel.

I don’t know about you but I personally have a bit of a sweet tooth at night. I also love the doughy-ness of a warm soft-pretzel, but if you remember a while back I had written that even though I LOVE these snacks, I hadn’t had one in my recent memory because of my irrational fear of carbs.

Ryan and I started buying the more traditional frozen Super Soft Pretzels, and really liked having those together at night, so when he saw these he was pretty excited about the change.

We both enjoyed the subtle sweet flavor, since you add your own cinnamon sugar, and they were REALLY awesome when combined with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (remember those Vanilla Bean Healthy Choice Greek Yogurts?! Yup! those are perfect!!!).

Something that also sounded like a fantastic variation for this product was suggested to me by the marketing director of J.J. Snacks; use these pretzels to make french toast!

Simply dip the pretzels into your typical egg, milk, vanilla mixture, sprinkle with the packet of cinnamon sugar, and prepare as you would a regular slice of bread. What an awesome TWIST…literally and figuratively 😉

Maybe that’s what will be on our table this saturday morning…

…And it should probably be on yours too!

Speaking of breakfast…I am headed to have my morning meal with two very important men in my life, and you are probably adding these items to your grocery list, as you read , so please, happy eating and have a healthy, wonderful day!

2 more until the weekend 🙂

Cookie Monster

Why is it that weekends pass in the blink of an eye??

Is anyone else dragging a bit this monday morning?

Well if you are, I have a recipe for you that might just help put a little pep in your step…

Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

I actually have one packed for my morning snack…and maybe even one in my lunch bag…who’s counting?!

But before we get to the recipe, let me tell you a little story about cookies.

A few years ago when I was in Princeton Hospital; my first inpatient program, they required me have multiple supplements a day.

This could be in the form of Ensure, Clif Bars or some other equivalent the dieticians deemed appropriate on the menus.

I opted for Clif Bars pretty much everytime, until my trays started to suspiciously change with lovely little notes like, “variety is the spice of life.”

Since this was going to be the new norm, some of my friends and I decided to just circle the damn desserts ourselves. At least then we would have companionship during the mealtime struggle, and we could pick something that did sound pretty good.

During this time I became obsessed with cookies.

I think it is the texture and fabulous flavor combinations, but they easily became my favorite sweet treat.

When I got home, and my rigidity around food again increased, cookies were no longer a part of my world, but the memories of their fantasticness taunted me on several occassions.

Saturday I paid a paid a visit to a new friend, and local vendor called Sandi’s Breads (look for a more in-depth spotlight on this awesome lady and her products later this week!) and in a wave of bravery decided to purchase two varieties of her fabulous looking cookies; chocolate chip and peanut butter…best duo ever!

Um, where had these delectable creations been all my life?

I have absolutely been missing out because if this is what non-hospital-cafeteria cookies…what real, honest to goodness, non-diet cookies taste like.. holy s*it, I have not been living.

Sadly her stand does not open again until Friday, but I did a little browsing and decided to make cookies on my own.

Not necessarily the same, but they are still super moist, amazingly yummy and perfect for dunking!

Ok, now to the recipe.

(And for those who are going to criticize WHERE this recipe came from since the website is about health/calorie concious eating….rest assured, I made the LARGER variety, and fully intend on eating Sandi’s asap…and perhaps a cupcake or two since I will be in Philadelphia where they have legit DC Cupcake style bakeries 😉 )

Dashing Dish Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

What You Will Need:

Do It:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line sheet pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray, (or line with parchment paper).
  • Microwave peanut butter in for 30 seconds, or until softened.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the first four ingredients until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the dry ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.
  • Roll the cookie dough into 12 rounds and bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.

And most important…

ENJOY 🙂
If these don’t make you smile on a Monday, I really don’t know what will!