My Guilty Pleasures (Just for Fun)

Peanut Butter Anything. Guilty as charged. Peanut butter is my absolute favourite food and I’m pretty sure it always will be. You can find me spooning it on pretty much everything.

This Is Us. Probably my favourite TV show ever, I feel like I could watch these episodes over and over again and ever get tired of them. I just love how much the characters reel me in.

Ashley Brooke’s YouTube Channel. I could watch her How To Style videos forever!

Coffee. And trying new coffees, inventing coffee recipes, making latte art… I’m a bit of a coffee snob.

Food Photography. I’ve become a major perfectionist with the food photos I take for Pure Kitchen, where I work! I have always loved food photography, but since working here, I am more in love with the art of it.

Advertisements

An Open Letter to High School Students

Dear High School Student,

So, you don’t know what’s next because all you can see is now.

All you can see is the boy who doesn’t seem to see you at all. The girl whose body is a bit more toned than yours. The essay that you got a 60 on. The early mornings that cause anxiety.

You only seem able to look at the university application forms, wondering if any will accept you. Wondering if you’re applying to the right programs. Wondering if you want university in the first place.

The people you go to school with every day feel like the only people in the whole world. And, whether you care to admit it or not, you care about their opinions of you.

You’re trying to juggle questions, family life, social life, mental health, schoolwork, hobbies, a job, and sleep, but sometimes you feel like everything is spiraling out of control.

I’ve been there.

Sometimes, I’m still there.

But if there was something I could tell my high school self that she didn’t fully grasp at the time, it would be this:

Peers will fade. Tests will fade. Trends will fade, and parties will be distant memories. What will remain is God with you. He is with you now, He will be with you in university, and He will be with you until the day you die and beyond. He is your healer, your comforter, and your purpose. He is the beginning and the end.

Does this mean tests, people, school doesn’t matter?

Just the opposite.

It means there is a God who is not imagined or a thought but very real, whose presence is incomprehensible near you at all times, and who gave His life for you. Who loves all the people you’re surrounded by every day just as much. Who loves unconditionally, and who has a plan.

He cares about all these things you’re feeling more than you could know. And drawing on His perfect presence will help you more than you dreamed possible. The one who created you is the one who has set you free from anxiety, fear, and sadness.

And He is calling your name if you just listen.

So, dear high school student, I’m not telling you high school doesn’t matter. I’m telling you this life right now has more value and worth than we can even imagine.

Anxious, Worried, Stressed?

Here’s what Jesus has to say about it.

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” Proverbs 12:25

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“…put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.” Psalm 131:1

For when I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:10.

And, directly from Jesus’ lips:

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” Matthew 6:25-34

We are not justified by our own acts, but rather by the love of our perfect God. Trusting in Him, it’s impossible not to hear from Him and to grow in relationship with Him– which, in our worldly context, can sometimes feel more like an upward spiral than an upward slope. But He is good and strong in our weakness. He is just and He is faithful through every single struggle. He just asks us to believe that– and if we believe it, it can’t not change everything.

Worried? It can’t add “a single hour to your life.”

What can? Faith in Him.

Requested: How I Approach Job Interviews

and I attribute it to being genuine.

Being real, kind, and yet professional has given me every job I ever applied for. In every job interview, I’ve spoken about my life focus on helping other people, and most questions, such as

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year?

What motivates you?

What are your skills?

have naturally directed me to talking about my focus on genuinely helping others, and making a difference in individual lives. Particularly in customer service, knowing that every person I encounter is leading their own life, has had struggles, and matters equally. I don’t stress about the interview, but rather treat the interviewer/employer with kindness, friendliness, and professionalism– how I would want to be treated.

I don’t know if this is exactly why I’ve always been hired, but it’s the natural way that I have been!

DIY Digestive Aid

Hi Friends!

If you’re anything like me, your stomach is sometimes just completely not in your favour.

It is not uncommon for me to have digestive troubles, stomachaches, and other pain in that region.

I have found a remedy that truly work for me, and that are healthy, natural, and God-given!

This recipe I swear by for any tummy trouble:

Steep lemon ginger tea with a teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon, and a pinch of fresh ginger, and maple syrup to taste.

Don’t turn to Tylenol or other quick fixes next time you’re dealing with indigestion. You won’t regret trying this!

Goat Cheese Radish Salad

While hungrily waiting for Johnny to come over for dinner tonight, I invented this delicious salad with some of the fresh ingredients in my fridge. The radish with the Apple and red wine dressing was a perfect combo!

Goat Cheese Radish Salad

Ingredients (for 1)

2 cups arugula

1/4 Apple, chopped

3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp ground mustard

salt and pepper

1 slice whole grain bread, quartered

1 ounce goat cheese, sliced

Method

1. Assemble arugula, radishes, and apple slices on a plate.

2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad.

3. Drizzle oil over the toast halves. Broil for about 1 minute; flip toast and top with cheese. Broil another minute or so, or until Cheese is bubbly.

4. Top salad with toasts and enjoy!

A Rare Word About Eating Disorder Recovery (Highly Requested): My Thoughts on/Experience with Minnie Maud

HI!

So if you didn’t know, this blog originally started as a documentation of my recovery from eating disorders.

A year and a half ago, I was mentally healed from this disorder. Read all about that here.

I have been moving toward writing a post about tips for gaining weight, menstruating regularly, and all the physical aspects of recovery when I realized that… oh yeah, it’s been a year and a half and I am still not fully weight restored, and still don’t have my period, so I am not really in a position to write about those things at all. Ha.

I have, however, gained 12 pounds in the last 5 or 6 months, and gotten my period twice in the last year (slow by steady progress).

I know what it is like to be so frustrated by the weight gain process. I personally have experienced bouts of ravenous, “extreme” hunger in which it is very easy and desired for me to eat four large meals and multiple snacks in a day, but those days are accompanied by days in which my stomach is in terrible pain, and I have no appetite whatsoever. I have experienced such frustration in I’m so positive I’ve gained weight, and the scale sometimes dropping. My metabolism is now very fast, and sometimes it seems as if I’m a bottomless pit.

However, I was in this for a whole year with basically no change in my weight, and just in the past few months have slowly gained those twelve pounds.

What did I do differently?

Two important things:

  1. I acknowledged that, while I was mentally free from food rules and obsession, my physical body was not caught up with that whatsoever. My hormones were out of whack, my bones and muscles weaker, stomach smaller, brain less alert, and body having been undernourished for a long period of time. Simply put, I was in an energy deficit.
  2. I needed, therefore, not to “just eat” as, in freedom, I had been, but actually eat in a surplus. My body needed lots of extra food, past my hunger which was out of sync, to repair damages in my body, regulate many things, on top of simply sustaining me AND adding mass. For an awesome article, and the best resource out there to explain eating disorder recovery, check out this post.

Gweneth Olwyn, the originator of the “Minnie Maud Method” as outlined in the above linked article, suggests that the recovering individual count calories just in order to ensure that they are eating the minimum food guidelines. I know for myself that measuring food or counting would not be beneficial, and rather have a good idea of how much I should be eating. Essentially, for several months, even if I felt full, I rarely said no to food, and found that my appetite increased and extreme hunger grew as I gradually ate more and more. I could LITERALLY feel the healing in my body; my stomach growing, my hair shining, my brain fog clearing. It’s messy and gastro-intestinally horrible– still– but recognizing that my body needed extra food, more than the average person, was essentially key. AND that there wasn’t really a limit to how much more.

Resting was key, too. Resting my body and brain. One of the two periods I’ve retrieved happened right after a vacation visiting my boyfriend in Winnipeg, in which I ate big meals, ice cream, lots of healthy fats– and de-stressed and de-overwhelmed my usually go-go-go body. So vital. And what does that tell ya?

Minnie Maud is a controversial recovery form, and I know that my body is still in the process of physically recovering from the disorders because of the absence of my period, and that I still want to gain a bit more weight (although I’m not clinically underweight anymore!). I plan to write a lengthier post when this happens, but for now, I want to highlight the vital importance of adequate amounts of food for physically and mental recovery, the dangers of energy deficits, and the vitality of the matter that, if someone is going to physically recover from anorexia on their own, they must be mentally capable of recognizing that their body is in a deficit and needs extra food.

Think of it this way:

If a person who has never had an eating disorder eats only one meal in a day, forgetting to eat or without food available, they will be ravenous the next day, and probably eat extra. When a person suffers from a restrictive eating disorder for a long time, they both physically and mentally lose hunger signals, but that does not mean that the hunger and damage is not there. Therefore, the person has months/years of energy deficits to make up for, thus needing extra calories.

I am always open to answering questions about this journey, because, while it is no longer the focus of my blog, I feel that the purpose this disorder had in my life was that this story might impact or help someone else out there.

Jesus is the miracle behind my healing, and I do believe I’m physically getting there, too.