It’s Like a Bagel

Hello Friends!

How many of you are familiar with the concept of “fear foods”?  It sounds pretty obvious…foods that cause fear, right?  Basically, yes.  The difference is that the level of fear surrounding that food is irrational or completely nonsensical.  For example: I may be terrified of eating a pancake with butter and syrup, but have no trouble with an english muffin with peanut butter and jam.  Or maybe I couldn’t stand the thought of an ice cream sandwich, but a scoop on a cone?  No problem.  And my personal favorite: Terror at the sight of a burger, yet no problem with a sloppy joe.  Silly, right?  Sheesh!

Part of my recovery process is to develop a list of fear foods (CJ talks about this!), then forge right ahead and tackle each one.  My list includes things like burgers, fried foods, blizzards, etc.  One food I used to struggle with was bagels, but I just decided to hop in and start eating them, and I haven’t looked back 🙂  THEY’RE SO GOOD!  But what do bagels have to do with anything except that I like them, I eat them, and that’s a good thing?

I’ll tell ya.

Bagels have become a “lunchtime standard”, if you will.  I’ve become pretty comfortable chowing down on one, and when I say comfortable, I’m referring to the number of calories.  Oh, and this bagel does have cream cheese and almond butter on it.  Anyways.

The other day, I was craving a frozen burrito for lunch (don’t judge).  I really wanted it, but I felt a little scared.  What if it was too heavy?  And doesn’t it have a MILLION calories?  And maybe I’ll just have a wrap.  But then I flipped the package over and read that stinkin’ number.  And it wasn’t much different than a bagel.  So I ate the burrito, and quite enjoyed it.

However, I hadn’t really put the pieces together until yesterday.

While dusting off some merchandise at work, I took a gander at the stats on the Easy Mac package.  My first reaction? “Sheesh that’s a lot of calories!”  But on second thought I realized…it was about the same as a frozen burrito…about the same as a bagel.

So now, I have two new weapons for combating fear foods:

#1. I can think of a food similar to the fear food (burgers vs sloppy joes) and

#2. I can relate the number of calories to something else I’m comfortable with.

After all, it’s just food.  Bagel or pasta, ground beef in a sauce or a patty – it’s just food.

Hey ED…go eat a bagel.  😀

Have a lovely day!



Full Circle

Hello friends!  Boy, do I have a story for you.

When I was about 13 years old, I had one of those moments of “Oh-my-gosh-what-am-I-gonna-be-when-I-grow-up??!?”  When I was little I wanted to be a doctor…and then I discovered that I couldn’t handle blood in large quantities.  By age 13, though, I knew I really liked music, and wanted to do something with it…but what?  I asked a friend what he thought, and without batting an eyelash, he said “music therapy”.  He knew that I wanted to help people, and although medicine may not be my forte, providing therapy would allow me to still work in that type of field.  And with music!

I found that a Music Therapy degree would probably be obtained through a Master’s program – and I would need a Bachelor’s of music something…so I opted for Music Education.  But by the end of High School, I had pretty much give up on the Music Therapy idea…Music Ed just seemed like what I wanted to do.

Of course, in college, while studying Music Ed, I felt pretty sold on it.  At least on the surface.  I mean, I had to throw myself into the classes, writing papers as though becoming a music teacher would be my dream come true – and while I do have an interest in teaching and helping people, maybe the standard classroom isn’t quite the place for me.  However, in taking upper-division classes and preparing to student teach, I had essentially resigned myself to the fact that I would be a teacher.  Just ask me – I’d probably robotically tell you that I plan to come home after student teaching and hope to find a job in elementary music.  At least…I think I do?

While attending family therapy at UCSD, my dad remarked one day “Wouldn’t it be somethin’ if you ended up working with eating disorder patients some day?”  It was like permission to NOT teach classroom music if I didn’t want to!  And it got me thinking.

I want to help others who are fighting eating disorders.  But I’m not exactly sure what that will look like.  Will I work in an eating disorder treatment center?  Will I mentor others like Barbi (my mentor)?  Or would I be an advocate for healthy body image in my classroom?  So many unknowns!

A bit of a back story:

My therapist for this summer is opening an in-patient treatment center sometime next spring.  This will be the only service like this in my area, if not the whole state.  This is really exciting!!!!  In a conversation with Chelsey, I told her about this idea of working in the Eating Disorder field and I said “Heck, you and me should go work at the new clinic!”  Chelsey stopped dead in her tracks.  See, just days before, her and her boyfriend said essentially the same thing.

So last week in therapy, my counselor and I began talking about jobs working with eating disorder patients.  I mentioned that it was interesting that he had brought up jobs in the eating disorder field because I had taken part in several job related conversations lately.  And then I expressed my slight concern over the fact that working with Eating Disorder patients wouldn’t really make use of my degree…”…but I suppose that’s life!”

My therapist said, “Ah, but music is being used in Eating Disorder Therapy more and more.”  SAY WHAT?!?!  So I told him the brief history I just told you – about wanting to do music therapy, but leaning more towards the Music Education side of things.  There was a bit more light on my horizon.

It seemed like things were coming full circle – back to Music Therapy!  And what my therapist told me next literally blew my socks off.  And I mean that.

He said “Can I bring it around even further?  Because in-patient clinics are working with teens in school, they need tutoring in order to keep up with their classes.  You’ll have the Education degree, and will be certified to take a job like that.  You can use Music Therapy as part of the tutoring.”

Could someone pick my jaw up off the ground please?

We continued discussing this type of job and I became more and more excited.  I light up when I think about taking this type of job – much more than I do when I think about teaching 500 elementary children.  It ties right in to my desire to help people – and use music.  And it’s possible that I could have a job near home doing this work with eating disorder patients.

Not only is this exciting because of the notion of the job, but it emphasizes the hope I’ve carried through the entirety of journey through anorexia: I want my experience to have a purpose – a meaning.  I want it to be used for something.  And perhaps working with young people in recovery is one way my journey would be useful to another.

Guys, I’m so excited!!!  I’m praying and trusting that God will guide me and lead me, opening doors when and where they need to open.

Have a great Sunday!



Pizza Veggie Quinoa

Well hello!

It’s been forever and a day since I’ve posted a recipe…or anything for that matter.  I’ve been a busy gal, with work, nephews visiting and just…well…living life!  I think I feel like I’ve blogged recently when I put some time in on our new website at work.  Click here to see it!  I’ve mostly done some editing and tweaking, however I did do a fair bit of work on some pages in the “Amenities” section as well as “Area Attractions”.

Anyways…on to the food!

This recipe for Pizza Veggie Quinoa comes from Sarah over at Gazing In.  Elizabeth, my (former) roomie and I made this near the end of school, throwing in a few modifications, and really REALLY liked it! Cheesy, warm, soft, salty, and full of veggies – what more could I ask for?!  Seriously.  Give this a go.

Pizza Veggie Quinoa

adapted from Gazing In

The Goods

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • dash of salt
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup pizza sauce
  • grated Parmesan cheese, as desired


Rinse and drain the quinoa thoroughly.

Add the quinoa, water and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn temperature down to the lower end of medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  And please do remember to turn it down.  I promise, it turns out much better that way!

While the quinoa cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add the onion, zucchini and garlic, then sauté until slightly softened. Turn temperature down to medium-low, and add the pizza sauce, gently stirring to combine.  Let the sauce heat for a bit, then turn off the heat and add in the quinoa.

Stir in some Parmesan cheese, then serve, topping with more cheese if desired.

But I don’t know why you wouldn’t put more cheese on it.

This was such a tasty dinner!  I especially liked it served with a green salad – a nice cool and crunchy contrast to the warm and soft entree.  Delish!

I’m still working away at implementing the things like learned in San Diego.  I’m freaked out glad to report that I’ve gained weight each week since returning, and it’s getting easier (not easy, easiER) to eat the amounts I’m supposed to eat, and feel okay about it.  It’s getting easiER to block out that ED voice that tells me to restrict, among other lies.  It’s all a work in progress 🙂

Take care, friends, and go make some pizza quinoa!



ED, that Nasty Fellow

We all know that ED is a jerk.  I mean, there’s no question.  But sometimes, he’s not just a jerk, he’s downright mean.  Nasty.  Firing his darts where they’ll hurt the most.  Oh, and if you’re already feeling upset or nervous about something, you know what ED does?  He zeros in on that spot and sends a barrage of his meanest, nastiest darts.

See, I told you he’s mean.

Gaining weight isn’t easy.  Aside from just physically eating more, there’s all kinds of emotions that go along with it.  Anxiety is a significant one that I deal with.

When anxiety was great within me,
 your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 94:19

Worry piles atop worry, and sometimes, the weight is just enormous (no pun intended).  For me, it usually ends up with a tummy ache and me feeling just…blah. I think and think and think about whatever the flavor-of-the-day is, and then ED fires a new dart, adding some other worry to my already worried mind.  It’s like a snowball.  Or a ripple.  Basically, picture anything that builds upon itself and you’ll get the drift.

Today, I’m worried about clothes.  Specifically, how they fit and how they will fit in the weeks to come.  Since returning from San Diego, if I’m not wearing my lovely KOA work shirt, I’m most likely wearing a sweatshirt.  They’re loose and comfy – and warm.  And they’re all I’ve wanted to wear because I don’t really have to worry when I wear them.

And I’m afraid to try much else.

You know what ED said to me yesterday?  He said “So, what are you gonna do if you wear a nice outfit on Sunday, and then you try to wear the same one the next week and it doesn’t fit?”  My stomach clenched and I got scared.  And I haven’t been able to shake the worry.

But I know it’s ED – my mom reminded me – and I know he’s a liar.  His aim is to discourage me as best as possible.

Guess what.  I don’t have to fight ED alone.  Not only do I have a wonderful support system who prays for me and encourages me, I have a Heavenly Father who comes to rescue me when I call out (Psalm 18:8-15).  And he sympathizes and understands whatever I’m dealing with (Hebrews 4:15-16).  I can feel the anxiety melting a bit already.

Let me leave you with this:

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7

All of your anxiety.  All of my anxiety.