Eating Disorder Awareness Week

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Hello friends!

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  I could explain what that means, but you all are smart and probably have some inkling of what I’m talking about 😉  Joking aside, though, this week is a great opportunity to learn about eating disorders and learn what can be done to prevent them and/or help those who are currently fighting.

First of all, click here to see a GREAT resource on what you can do this week to promote eating disorder awareness.

Secondly, I was just perusing some facts about eating disorders and how they’ve become more prevalent in the last 50+ years.  The statistics are frightening.

Did you know that:

  • 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
  • 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991).
  • The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds.  The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds.
  • 91% of women recently surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting, 22% dieted “often” or “always” (Kurth et al., 1995).

And these are just a few of the facts provided on the NEDA website (scroll down to the “facts and statistics” header to find more info).

Please, don’t be silent.  Speak up in recognition of those who silently fight this monster called Anorexia or Bulimia or whatever it may be.  Speak up in opposition of those who promote body dissatisfaction and poor body image.  Speak up in encouragement for those who promote health and wellness!  And speak up in love to those who don’t realize yet that they are fighting an eating disorder.

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Stay tuned for more information in the next few days about how to approach a loved one who needs help regarding an eating disorder.  Also coming your way will be tips on how to support those you know who are in the heat of their Eating Disorder battle.  And there may just be a fun recipe or two for good measure 🙂

Take care!

Blessings,

Beth

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A Salad And a Lesson

Well hello!  I hope you’re all having a lovely and excellent weekend!

Yesterday, I was blessed to be able to visit with my aunt and uncle (who live nearby) for a bit.  They picked me up at the ferry (I walked on…SO much less pricey than driving!) and we headed to Langley to find some lunch.  We went to a new pub called Mo’s, and enjoyed some tasty food and good conversation.

It was cold and rainy and I REALLY wanted soup and salad…but the soup of the day didn’t sound too good to me (Cheddar Poblano?) so I went for the next logical choice: a “side” of mac n’ cheese and salad.  And the “side”… was as big as my face (but a good price for the serving, that’s for sure!).  The mac n’ cheese was topped with parmesan and paprika.  The sauce was creamy, salty, warm, gooey…pure comfort food.  But the problem with it was that the sauce was creamy, salty, warm, gooey…and a huge portion.  I nearly panicked for a moment when they put the plate down in front of me.  We joked about the size and I shared a few bites with my Aunt.  But I knew that I wouldn’t be able to eat all of it even if I didn’t feel too full.  Oh, but it was so tasty!

When I reached a point where I felt satisfied, I decided to put my fork down and ask for a box.  And then we had dessert.  But at least we split it 🙂

I knew dinner would be a struggle, though.  I felt like I had completely indulged and that whatever else I put in my mouth for the rest of the day would be too much.  But.  At the same time, there was this voice that kept reminding me about how much calcium I just gave my body.  That eating a meal like that sometimes is okay and ultimately, I just did a good thing for my body by feeding it (and feeding it what sounded good, no less!)  And the origin of that voice just didn’t want to agonize over my lunch for the rest of the day.

So as I thought about dinner, I wanted something that would be healthy – of course, salad was the first thing that came to mind.  But rather than rejecting the notion, I decided to work with it, and in a sense, to compromise with myself.  And this was born:

Yes, it’s a salad.  No, it may not have had a TON of calories involved.  BUT it did have: lettuce (with carrots and cabbage), tomato, and  asparagus.  And then there was tuna, beans, hard-boiled egg, shredded cheese and a dollop of cottage cheese.  With an oil and vinegar dressing.  And toast on the side.  Sounds like a pretty solid salad to me!

It tasted good.  It made me feel good.  It was nutritious, yet light.  Choc full of vitamins and protein, to boot!

And I ate every bit of it.  And I count it a success.  Oh, and I had some snackage later, too 🙂

It was dinner-time, and I didn’t let that nasty Eating Disorder voice win.

I just had this thought: The Eating Disorder voice is mean and controlling and demanding.  I could counter it in the same manner, but that feels too much like…well, like war.  And if my goal is to make food (peace) rather than body war, it seems like compromising and being gentle is the way to go.  Hmmm…I’m gonna have to explore this more!  And I’d love your input!!

I’ll leave you with this today:

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 27:13-14

Take care, friends!

Blessings,

Beth

** If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, please, PLEASE seek professional help.  A great resource to get started is the National Eating Disorders Association.

** If you’re interested in reading some great pro-recovery blogs, here are a couple of my favorites:

Healthy, Happy, Whole

Recovery Bites

 

His Thoughts are Higher…

Good morning!  A day off from school = perfect blogging opportunity, yes?  Yes.  Don’t worry, mom, I’ll get to the homework in a bit! 😉

We all know that life is like a roller coaster: I’m cruising along high and fast, enjoying the ride when all of the sudden, it’s like the bottom drops out.  Suddenly, I’m careening down some crazy drop, and while I’m still on the track, it feels like that little car I’m strapped into might just go flying at any moment.  When it feels like life is out of control, I desperately try to regain some sort of control.  This control seeking concept isn’t unique to me.  But how we all try to find that control?  Perhaps that’s where the uniqueness appears.

For me, finding control amidst the mountain of homework, frustrations, money concerns and whatever else might be going on almost always materializes in the form of food and exercise.  See, for the most part, eating disorders occur because there is some lack of control which begs for compensation.  Speaking from experience, when my life felt crazy and hectic with all kinds of things I couldn’t control (think homework, schedule demands, ill grandparents etc) the one thing I felt that I COULD control was how much food I put in my mouth and how many minutes a day I exercised.  And maybe this isn’t always a bad thing, but when it becomes my personal law, resulting in unhealthy weight loss, it becomes a very bad thing.

Two years of dealing with something like this certainly feels like suffering.  Eating disorders have several physical and emotional implications.  But understand this: I’m not looking for pity when I say this – I’m just being honest.  And let me be clear: we ALL have a struggle in our lives – an “Achilles heel” – that torments us.  Be it depression, anxiety, eating disorder, insecurity – any of these things we deal with have potential to feel like suffering.  And then, on top of our personal struggles, you add in life!  Of course, life holds many beautiful elements, but things like busy-ness, job or school stress, family tension, sorrow are tough.  Life can look pretty bleak sometimes.

The sermon at church yesterday was the last in a series on Job.  You want to see some suffering?  My struggles seem TINY compared to Job!  He literally lost everything.  EVERYTHING.  Family, home, possessions…everything.  Except his faith in God.

When we deal with difficult things, we want to know why.  Why me?  Why do I have to deal with this now?  I’m a firm believer that God doesn’t allow things into our lives just for the sake of watching us squirm.  Because:

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Pastor Jonathan (here’s his blog) made a LOT of good points in this sermon, but the one that has stuck with me the most is this:

“God uses us best in places we’ve been broken the most”

Pastor Jonathan went on to talk about how we can sympathize AND empathize when it comes to ministering to those who are dealing with things we’ve come through.  It’s this idea of “Beauty from Ashes” – from our darkest moments can come something beautiful.  Because:

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And I just love this idea: we don’t necessarily have to be through a particular trial in order to have impact on someone.  The way we handle our challenges – that can speak quite loudly to someone who is struggling also.

So why all of this today?  Well, God has impeccable timing, obviously 🙂  But to be more specific…

I’ve been planning a trip to Africa to work with some friends.  In December, my doctor gave me the OK to continue planning, as long as I kept progressing, health-wise.  Things had been going well, but the stress and chaos of school has apparently started getting to me; my weight has been slowly going down over the past few weeks.  Nothing drastic, but enough to cause concern regarding my ability to go on this trip.  In order to go, I need to gain several pounds in a few months – and it feels like I’m standing at the bottom of Mt. Everest.

Why, God?  Why do I have to deal with this now?  What’s going on?  What are you doing!??!”

Well….

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Perhaps now is not the time to go to Africa.  Or perhaps God is waiting to show me His strength and sovereignty yet again…or…fill-in-the-blank.  Who am I to put God in a box?

So here is my musing of today.  I have faith that God has a plan in this entire situation – and that my struggles are not needless.  He will be glorified!

I know that was a bit heavy – but thanks for reading today, friends 🙂

How has God been glorified in your struggles?  I’d love to hear about it!

Blessings,

Beth

Peanut Butter Crazed

Thank you, lovely friends, for being patient with my lack of posts as of late.  Unfortunately, homework comes before blogging on the priority list.  But perhaps a new peanut butter recipe will make up for it? 🙂

I first found inspiration for this creation on both Iowa Girl Eats and My Little Celebration.  So yum!  But naturally, I HAD to deviate slightly from their delightful recipes and personalize a bit.  And thus was born my version of homemade Peanut Butter Cups.

TADA!

Don’t ya just want one?!

Well, you’re in luck, because these little babies are a piece o’ cake to throw together.

First, lightly grease, then fill a mini muffin pan with chocolate chips in each indent.

Then, toss the chocolate in the oven for about 5 minutes, to achieve optimum melty-ness.  Smoosh the chocolate down with the back of a spoon to create the base.

While the chocolate melts, mix up some peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.

Top each chocolate base with the peanut butter mixture and let chill.  Sadly, overnight seems to be ideal.

But after all that waiting….you get these!!!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

 

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats and My Little Celebration (links above)

The Goods:

1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter

1/4 butter or margarine, room temp

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp (generous) vanilla extract

~ 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, etc)

The Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350*; grease mini muffin cups with nonstick spray and place scant tablespoons of chocolate chips into each indent.  Melt in the oven for 5 minutes, then, with the back of a spoon, smoosh the chocolate to form the base.  Let cool briefly.

2. Cream together the peanut butter and butter until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until combined.

3. Drop heaping tablespoons of the PB mixture on each chocolate base.  Smooth with the back of a spoon, and refrigerate until well set (overnight seemed to work quite well).  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Couldn’t be easier, folks!

I hope to post a little more often in the weeks to come, but we’ll just see how that homework stuff goes.  Ahhhh the life of a college student 🙂

Happy weekending!

Blessings,

Beth

 

A Weekend Adventure

Well hello!  I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post!  Let me tell ya, I was up to HERE in homework.  So much reading.  SOOOO much reading!  But the good news is, I survived, got it all done, and had a good weekend to boot!  But this post isn’t about this last weekend…it’s about the weekend before.  Tricky, I know.

Part of the birthday gift for my roomie was a “surprise adventure trip” and we chose last weekend to adventure.  Marisa had no clue where we were going…only that she should wear layers and good shoes, and that we needed to leave at about 10:15 am.  Yay surprises!!!!!

So after getting some cash and some gas, we were off to our first stop: the ferry.

And now we know that our general destination is Whidbey Island.  Hooray!

Notice the sky: it’s blue.  Not gray, blue.  And there are no clouds.  And if we looked the other way, we’d see the sun.  Basically, God blessed us immensely with BEAUTIFUL weather!

The weather…I just can’t get over it!  We could have stood for hours just looking at the beauty and soaking up those rays! 🙂

After disembarking the ferry, our next stop was in Langley – a lovely little cafe called The Braeburn

This place…ADORABLE!  Delicate plates line the walls, and local artists’ prints (and originals?) are featured and for sale.  There’s an apple theme (refer to the name…) and every table has a little tub of apple butter.  SUCH a lovely place!  I would highly recommend it.

The spring-like weather must have affected my tastes, ’cause I craved fresh and light food.  Soft mozzarella, juicy tomato and fresh basil were accented by a balsamic mayo, all held together by a (locally made) light white bread.  The salad was pretty basic, but it completed the meal perfectly…so tasty!

Marisa felt a breakfast vibe, and went for the eggs benedict, which came with rosemary potatoes.  If you’re looking for a meal to stick to your ribs, this would do the trick!  I was fortunate enough to sample some of the potatoes, and man.  Let me tell ya…AH-mazing!  Salty, buttery, and perfectly seasoned.

After our delightful lunch, we were reading to head to our intended destination: Fort Casey!  Fort Casey features Admiralty Head Lighthouse, as well as trails, breathtaking views, rocky beaches, and, everyone’s favorite, WWII bunkers!

Take a look in Marisa’s sunglasses….totally accidental, but no complaints here!!

The bunkers are legit.  They didn’t see any battle, of course, but they’re well equipped, and perfect for fun!  Although I’ll admit…the darkness from the solid cement and no windows does get SUPER a mite creepy.  But we found a room with perfect acoustics, and sang eerie, pentatonic-scale songs, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  It was like being a kid again!

We wandered down to the beach and just sat on a log for a moment, enjoying the view.

And I couldn’t go all the way to Fort Casey without snapping a shot of my favorite lighthouse!

Even though this was the end of our Whidbey-exploring, the fun wasn’t over yet…we did still have another ferry ride, and plans for ice cream…

I saw this van behind us…and laughed for a long time!  They look all ready to head out……glad I’m in front of them 😉

One cool thing about being an adult?  I can eat ice cream at dinner time if I want to!

And so we did.

Two things:

#1. Ivar’s soft serve…SO good!  It’s thicker and creamier than Dairy Queen’s, and oh-so nummy.  But a word of caution…what I have there is the “child’s size”.  So order carefully!

#2. I realized a while ago that I don’t have any pictures of me eating.  Pictures of food?  Yes.  Pictures with food?  Yep!  Pictures eating food?  Nope.  So we were intentional to take pictures of me actually consuming food.  I think ice cream is a good first shot, yes?

That pretty much sums up the day!  A relaxing day spent with a lovely friend, enjoying God’s beautiful creation?  Blessings.

Take care, friends!

Beth

P.S. If you haven’t like Make Food Not [Body] War on Facebook yet, just click here

A Peanut Butter Recipe for You!

Hello, friends!  Sorry for the lag in posts, but homework has basically been dominating my life.  ‘Tis the fate of a college student, I’m afraid.  I’m sure you understand 🙂  Truthfully, I probably should be reading right now instead of blogging, but a girl needs her break, you know!

For the last TWO posts, I’ve been promising a recipe, and *drum-roll*…….I’m finally posting it!  Hooray!

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of flourless peanut butter cookies, and finally got up the gumption to give them a go.  And the verdict?  Success!  I made flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter cookies, and, well…lets just say they got roommate approval 🙂

They’re small, yet filling.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  And SOOOOO soft!  The middle is just perfect – chewy, dense, soft…and peanut butter.  And honey!  What more could you want in a cookie?  You won’t even miss the flour, I promise.

And for the record – these cookies are great with a glass of milk as dessert, but I think they’d also be great with a glass of milk and a banana for breakfast!  Cookies for breakfast?  Yep!  And here’s why……

See these ingredients?  No, I’m not missing any.  Yes, this is everything.  Margarine, peanut butter, applesauce, oats, honey and baking powder.  The combo of healthy fats and protein, with a little bit of sweet could certainly set you up for nice jump-start to your day!

And did I mention these cookies are CAKE to put together?

Soooo…yeah.  Mix everything in a bowl.  And mix it well!  We don’t want any random dry oats!!

Plop spoon fulls on a ever-so-lightly greased cookie sheet.  This is known as the “prebake” stage.  In case you were wondering.

Then, put them in the oven for a bit, do your dishes and then…..

EAT COOKIES!!!!!!!!  Some say you should let them cool.  I say…why eat cold cookies when you can eat warm cookies?

Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from: Carrots N’ Cake

The Goods

1 1/4 cups rolled oats (add a little more if need be)

3 tbsp honey (scant)

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup applesauce (banana would probably work too!)

2 tbsp margarine, softened

 

The Method

1. Preheat oven to 350* F.

2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined.

3. Portion cookies onto a greased baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart.

4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until desired consistency.

5. Move to a wire rack (or to your mouth!)

 

I hope you enjoy these cookies!  They’d be great with chocolate chips or nuts added to the dough.  Or frosting on top.  Mmmmm!

Aaaaaand back to the homework!

Blessings,

Beth

The “Live Dead” Challenge

Hi folks!  I know I keep promising a recipe, and I promise it’s coming…I’ve just been quite busy this week.  As a matter of fact, I should be doing homework right now.  Sooooooo I’ll make it a short and snappy post 🙂

Here at school, we’ve started the “Live Dead” challenge this month.  The idea is to learn how to “die to self” – take a look at John 12:24-25.  This is accomplished by spending some intense time in the Word and in prayer.  The focus is unreached people groups in a region of Africa, so in each day of the challenge, prayer focus is placed on one of these people groups.

 

Here’s what my journal looks like!

I officially began the journal today.  (Isn’t it amazing how close the word “journal” is to “journey”?  ….. )  Like I said, learning to “live dead” is accomplished by spending meaningful time in the Word and in prayer.  One significant aspect of this challenge is to tithe our time by giving a tenth of it back to the Lord.  Folks, this means almost 2 1/2 hours each day.  That’s a lot of time.

They provide a basic frame work for how to go about spending this much time with the Lord – reading the Bible (and journaling) for an hour, memorizing scripture for 5 minutes, praying for 30 minutes, worshiping for 30 minutes, then listening/being still for 5-10 minutes.  We use the Live Dead journal as a springboard for all of this.  I’m still just blown away by how much time that is.  Man!  And the bigger thing…how on earth could I ever find that much time to spend on this…to spend with the Lord?

My first thought: “I’M A STUDENT!  I have so much homework, so many commitments, so much to do!”

And then I thought: “This is impractical.  Who has that much time to devote to reading the Bible and praying except for pastors?”

The journal topic dealt with tithing time, and then it prompted us to think about and respond to this concept of tithing time.  I began to contemplate and write a little about how huge of a commitment it felt like.  And then…conviction.

I thought about tithing money – I feel strongly about tithing the “first fruits”, not what’s left after taking care of other financial responsibilities.  So how is time any different?  Is it really any different to give God whatever time is left after I do my homework, write blog posts, browse pinterest and review Facebook?  I don’t think it is.

We, as followers of the Lord, tithe money in faith.  Ten percent of a paycheck feels like a lot sometimes, but God is faithful to provide when we’re faithful to give and have faith.  The writer of today’s devotional in the journal writes, “If we tithe…10 percent of the time He has given us, He will take what remains of the day and bless it, making it more fruitful than we can believe possible.”   Perhaps I ought to tithe time in faith also.

This is tough.  I want to give time and believe, but the numbers…the time…it just doesn’t quite add up for me.  But remember the man in Mark who says, “I do believe!  Help me overcome by unbelief!” (9:24)?  Yeah,

So what shall I do?  I think I’ll work towards spending more and more time in the Word.  And I’ll pray about it.

That’s the best thing.

Do stay tuned for a recipe…it’s coming soon! 🙂

Take care!

Beth