To start, I need to premise this post by saying I feel fearful to say what I’m about to say. I worry that it may come across as being restrictive. Please take this as a warning if you are recovering from an eating disorder and/or working on any kind of food guilt. If you’ve come simply for the food porn, skip the long ramble and scroll your way down.
With the return of glorious summer weather (!!!), I have already noticed my food cravings shift. It was only a few weeks ago I was doting on everything comfort food and “brown,” whereas this past week my cravings for bowls of veggies and whole foods and home-cooked-zero-processing-natural-as-can-be everything have risen to the front. Wonderful. Though with this has also come guilt and negative thoughts about my past dietary choices.
This is something I struggle with in all parts of life. Any bit of success or revelation or positive change is quickly accompanied by guilt for not having done or learned this “better thing” earlier. Irrational and mean, is what that is.
To be specific, I’ve started to feel guilty about the amount of sugar I’ve been consuming over the past few months. I was probably triggered this past weekend when I heard a nutritionist talk about “processed sugars are inflammatory” and “don’t drink chocolate milk”….ya de ya da. And yet that evening I still went back for a second half of a chocolate bar after having already finished my evening plate of
sugar snacks. That’s when its been happening. My evening snacks have been very sugar laden. And not even the natural kind…. the processed-as-can-be kind. And I’ve been spontaneously going back for more after I’ve already had a solid amount. I don’t want to begin looking at grams of sugar, so I have no idea how much I’ve actually been eating. But it makes me feel like I’ve been eating a lot of it. And this makes me feel unhealthy (inflammatory what?!) and out of control.
I’ve been continuously making up for a lack of calories in a day with sugar at night (and honestly – I’ve been saving calories in the day in order to have this extra sugar at night). Or I’ve been fueling myself with large bakery muffins and cinnamon buns instead of sandwiches or other real foods. Calories are all the same. But the choices have been poor.
Now. Let’s get the elephant out of the room here. I know I am in a special case scenario and need to be eating anything I crave – and as much as I want of it – to heal my fears/guilts/judgements about food. And I know even with these extra handfuls of sugar every night I am still not taking in as much as weight gain and recovery require. But I will be speaking more about this – my more recent struggles with food and guilt and recovery talk – in posts coming up. I’ve actually not been talking about anything recovery related very consciously. So for now, can we just forget this little part of the equation??
Whether or not someone struggles with an eating disorder, its still important to feel good about what you put into your body. The feeling of knowing I’ve filled myself with unprocessed, homemade and nutrient dense ingredients is wonderful and empowering. I think during my previous recovery attempts, I’ve tended to go a little hay wire on sugar. Definitely in the hospital it felt like everything was sugar. When your body needs it, “a calorie is a calorie”... I know. But I don’t want to feel like shit because I’m fueling myself mainly with unnatural ingredients and processed sugar. Its a hard balance in recovery. But I’m still a human who wants my cells to be as fruitful and bountiful as anyone else’s. I question whether I’ll still be able to encourage and share my love of whole foods and minimal sugar and “clean eating” (oh gosh) while working for recovery and weight gain. This makes me sad and confused. But I don’t want to think about that right now. So let’s just leave that for another time, ok?
I’m sorry for this mind dump. This has all just spewed out of my day of eats yesterday, which got me looking back at my past choices. It was a reminder of how damn good I feel when I know I’m eating wonderful whole foods that are natural and homemade and unprocessed. And that I feel like I’ve strayed away from this more than I’d like. So lets just get onto some WIAW action that celebrates these very things.
Quinoa Chocolate Pear Breakfast Bake + peanut butter + banana
Aka: my new breakfast addiction. Gluten Free – Dairy and egg free – Sugar Free – Oil Free. Full of plant based complete protein, fibre and essential fatty acids. And…. it’s chocolate cake for breakfast.
SUCH PERFECT CAKE TEXTURE and all-natural as can be.
Can’t wait to share this recipe with you…. TOMORROW! So come back then.
Massaged Kale + roasted beets + roasted sweet potato + peas + chickpeas + sauerkraut and a honey crisp apple
Kale massaged in extra virgin olive oil + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar + 1/2 tsp lemon juice + 1/2 tsp dijon mustard + salt
Normally I’d add avocado to this favorite combination of mine, but when I went to the fridge I sadly found my last half was far beyond the edible state. Womp :(.
Homemade baked macaroni & cheese + steamed brocolli
Macaroni & Cheese made with a mix of lentil pasta, brown rice pasta and steamed cauliflower (#hiddenveggies). Sauce made of 2 swiss cheese triangles, 3/4 cups grated cheddar, 2 Tbsp greek yogurt, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1 tsp dijon, salt/pepper/paprika.
Have you ever tried adding steamed cauliflower to your ma&cheese? You’d never know its there!
And a glass of my pear ginger Kombucha for all its probiotics and to help digest all those wonderful nutrients
80% dark chocolate + pretzels + Tulsi Tea
For all those magnesium and relaxation boosting side effects
You could look at this post as coming from someone with an eating disorder who is once again “scared of sugar.” I don’t mind. Though you could also look at it as coming from an adult who struggles with an eating disorder and yet knows and loves the notion of healthy eating and is just working to find the balance between the two.
I will always highly support treats and eating out of a box and – yes – even tonnes of sugar when your body or season requires it. Hell, I need to. And there will be plenty of posts after this one getting back to focusing on those choices. I need to continue working on my own guilt when I feel like I’ve gone “over board” with less than perfect health choices. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take a step back and want to nourish my body in better ways and remind myself how good I feel when I feel good about what I’m putting in my body.Sugar Guilt and feeling good about what you put in your body. WIAW! Click To Tweet
Do you ever feel sugar guilt?
Is it hypocritical for someone with an eating disorder to advocate “clean eating?”
What do you feel really GOOD eating?
My journey with hypothalamic amenorrhea continues. My journey recovering from an eating disorder……