What I Ate Wednesday: A journey through my recovery and my 3000+ calorie days

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*disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional yet. Therefore, anything that is stated in this blog is from personal experience and research that I’ve done. If you or someone you know is seeking out a recovery method, converse with your healthcare professional first. I am not your doctor.*

Hey y’all! I’m back again! Upon a couple of requests from Instagram and what not I am posting a WIAW (What I ate Wednesday)! As many of you know by now I have chosen to go with the Minnie Maud method for anorexia-athletica recovery. I gave a link to the guidelines for this recovery method in my last post. And this post I’m going to get a little more detailed about what I went through and what I’m currently going through in using the method.

Now, my journey through the Minnie Maud method started when I realized that I wasn’t all that serious about my recovery. I wanted to gain weight. I was gaining weight. However, I wasn’t free. I was still only eating between 1500 and 2000 cal a day. I was still very limited as to what I included my diet as well. My chiropractor kept reminding me of how small I was. It just kept grading on my nerves. Finally, I came across a picture on Instagram from @dropsifjules about her experience in using this method and why she would do it again. I quickly went to her post, read over it and read over the other materials that she had included in her blog relating to that topic. I then went on to do further research in regards to this method. I even continue to do so today! And really it all makes sense!

You see, in the Minnie Maud method, one who is recovering looks at their age range and where they are as far as their eating disorder is concerned. The MINIMUM intake requirement for someone in recovery is 2500 cal. For my age bracket between 2500 and 3000+. Say whatttt????? Yes, that’s right! 3000+ calories a day! PLUS, no working out! I know it sounds crazy and it’ll freak anyone with an eating disorder out! First off I will say that you need to gradually increase. Just jumping to 2500 cal after depriving yourself for years is not safe. It’s in fact, irresponsible. Gradually increase by 100 to 200 cal every few days.

So, I’m sure the question has arisen as to why one would need so many calories. So, I’m going to answer that. While taking physiology last fall, I learned that the body is a live organism that functions primarily on the nutrients that it is given. Each cell exchanges a certain amount of sodium and potassium which creates an imbalance inside the cell so that other nutrients can be exchanged and brought into the bloodstream for proper functioning of the body. When someone deprives them selves of nutrients those exchanges are not being done properly within the cell. This can cause damage not only to the cells, but to the muscles, and many organs of the body. In order to compensate your heart rate drops, hair falls out, you get cold, menstruation stops, etc. in order for your body to reserve what little energy it has to keep you alive. At one point your body will begin to eat itself and that’s when death begins to creep in. A good article to read it in relation to this is a life without anorexia. Your body needs all those calories in order to heal and restore everything that has been destroyed by the eating disorder. So, in order to properly recover one has to eat like an athlete in the peak of their performance! FYI for those of you who think they have to eat limited calories while in athletics… think again! The average Olympian intakes 3000+ calories a day in their peak. Why? Because they understand that they are constantly tearing muscles while training and they need those calories to help them repair and perform better! The same goes in and eating disorder! All that muscle, all those organs that have been destroyed due to lack of a proper nutrition, need every bit of nutrient that they can possibly get in! This means eating whole fat products like milk, olive oil, real ice cream, etc. refraining from taking any diuretics, using lemon water to purge, or even drinking vinegar as a purging option. This only prolongs the recovery period. The body will begin to react by swelling and holding onto things. This is one of the most uncomfortable pieces of recovery, however it’s necessary and worth it. Purpose for refraining from fitness is so that your body can heal without having to deal with the repairing of muscles that you’re tearing while working out. Once the body can finally trust you to continue to nourish it, it Will distribute the weight appropriately and settle into a weight that is proper for your body.That’s when fitness can begin.

This leads me into why I chose so late in my recovery to go with this method and stick with it. I was fed up. My muscles were hurting all the time. My body just wasn’t healing. My life was taken away and I wasn’t able to go for walks and do the things that I love without ending up in pain. I couldn’t figure out why until I started doing all this research. Here I was, not only healing from an injury, but healing from an eating disorder that nearly took my life. Restricting was only leading to further damage and prolonging my healing process. Once I begin to nourish myself I began to feel a difference in how my body felt! My energy levels went back up, my muscles began to feel better, and best of all… I was no longer isolated from the people I loved. There was a point where I had increased too quickly and suffered a bit. The side effects included exhaustion, depression, headaches. However, pushing through it was still worth it. What I learned from this is that there are still some foods that my body does and does not like and it’s OK to try to work around that so long as I’m not restricting and depleting myself. I now stick to a primarily gluten-free regime which has helped a lot of my headaches go away, I only stick to the exercises at my physical therapist has given me plus or minus a few walks here and there, and I’m learning to really enjoy food again. While my health care advisors have advised that I get into the pool and get ready to rebalance so I can run again, AND I feel that my body is ready to exercise… at this point, I’m choosing to go about gently re-introducing it.
I’ll be honest at the beginning of this program I’d gotten sick of food! It didn’t even taste good anymore! With the amount of calories I had to intake it was exhausting, tedious, and got to a point where it just wasn’t enjoyable. However, I’ve learned to balance it out and learn to live outside of focusing on what I’ve got to intake for the day. I learned to listen to my body and what I’m craving and that usually helps me enjoy what I eat. That all being said I’m going to include two days of eating. One is from when I was including pretty much everything whether or not it contain gluten. And one is from yesterday so you all can get an idea of what it takes to get those calories in. Remember that recovery is different for everyone, so this is just an example. You and a healthcare professional need to come to an agreement on what is best for you.

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Take note, I didn’t include the second rice crispy treat in this picture, and I also went back for another piece of pizza

***A day of eating 3000+ cal while including gluten:

May 10, 2017

Breakfast 6am:
blueberry bagel loaded with cream cheese, jelly, glass of milk, apple =700 cal

Snack (9am and 12pm):
1 mango and 1 pineapple Chobani 2% yogurt =330 cal

Lunch 12:30:
2 Trader Joe’s rice crispy treats and a Trader Joe’s turkey and spinach Swiss cheese wrap
= 630 cal

Snack Salad 4:30: salad with 2 serve kidney beans, one serving walnuts a box of raisins, mixture of veggies, double serving of mango chipotle bolthouse farms dressing= 630 cal

Dinner 6:45pm: 1 Tony’s Pizza = 500 cal

Dessert 8 pm: 4 squares of Lindt dark chocolate with pecan butter =375 cal

Total: 3,165 cal

***A day of eating 3000+ cal while limiting gluten
May 30,2017

Breakfast:
Gluten free pancakes, low-fat cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of honey glass of milk, apple ~ 520 cal

Snack:
Chobani simply 100, 2.5cups of mixed fruit ~302 cal

Lunch:
Two red bell peppers, 5 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s hummus, and a sunflower butter sandwich (extra sunflower butter) on Ezekiel bread ~655

Snack:
One head of Romain lettuce, two servings of baby carrots roasted, One cup of roasted broccoli, Red onion, x-large serving of Colby Jack cheese, two servings kidney beans, and two servings of cilantro avocado dressing. ~ 555cal

Dinner
1 & 1/8 cup sunny select beef-aroni (imitation Rice-A-Roni) One egg plus one egg white fried ~440

Dessert
2 cups breyers salted Carmel ice cream =600

Today’s total:
3072 calories

NOTE:  I do count vegetables as calories! However, lettuce I only count as half of its nutritional value .  For example, two large red bell peppers is equivalent to 80 cal.  Two servings of carrots is equivalent to 75 cal, etc, one head of romaine I count as only 50 cal  when and actuality it’s approximately 105 cal

now, before I leave you all I will say that to those of you who have been on this journey with me and have been of support, thank you! You will have no idea how much that means to me! Y’all have been part of why am alive today! To those of you who are viewing and are critical of my journey nothing personal but keep your criticism to yourself. You have no idea what someone goes through  when they’re battling and eating disorder. Therefore, comments like “here take some of my fat”  or shoving things in my face and acting like if I don’t eat them then I’m not recovering are not funny gestures. They are honestly rude and potentially triggering despite how the person doing those things might view them. I’m not in anyway trying to offend anybody, just speaking my heart and mind.  Recovery is a sensitive thing. When you’re insensitive to someone who is recovering, you’re just adding to the pressure.

In closing, I just want to let everyone know that June 2 is the worldwide eating disorder awareness day! It’s also my birthday !!!  So, I’m  praying about composing a special post for that day and possibly doing something to spread awareness! If anyone has any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

When fear foods become favorite foods; my journey to weight restoration.

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* disclaimer! I am not a healthcare professional. I would highly advise  seeking out a medical help before attempting any method of recovery.*

Summer break is here!  What an incredible semester it has been! Out of every semester I’ve had in college I will say that mentally and emotionally was one of the most challenging!  Just before midterms I found myself completely overwhelmed between the stress of classes, a promotion at work, and health issues … my body had had enough! For the entire semester, Outside of school and work,  I found myself in bed either sick or in pain.  It was honestly like being inside of a mental prison.

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Earlier in the semester I had battled another heart issue that sent me to the ER. I later found out that it was due to an infection caused by part of a tooth left in my head by a previous dentist along with what is known as refeeding syndrome.  Refeeding syndrome is when someone with an eating disorder begins to gain weight and introduces new foods into their system. The body reacts in shock and various things can occur that can be detrimental to someone’s health.  For me, my heart felt like it was going to explode. Literally, it felt like someone reaching from my back, grabbed my chest and squeezed my heart. However, that’s the price I pay for hurting my body through malnourishment.  As I mentioned in my last post I was dealing with a lot of muscular issues, and I finally had to stand up to myself. I took a professor’s advice and dropped a course that was incredibly stressful which postedponed my summer graduation (for my AA). thankfully I did that because had I stayed with it there’s no way I would’ve been able to keep up with classes. To be honest, by the end of the semester I was so done with looking at books that it was hard for me to focus on my assignments let alone remember half of what I read. Thankfully, by the hand of God I made it through!

Meanwhile, I began to get really, and I mean REALLY serious about my recovery. After doing some research  on the topic, I came across an Instagram picture posted by someone who is been a huge icon in the recovery community, Miss Julia Grigorian from dropsofjules.com  in the picture she stated that she was going to do a blog post about the method that she chose for recovery and why she would definitely do it again. I quickly went to the post, read it, scanned over some of the other posts that she talked about that method in, and did a Google search  to find more information on the pros and cons of using it.  That method was the Minni Maud method.  The details  of this method can be found at your eatopia  . Anywho,  I was praying and I didn’t know exactly how to approach this. Due to years of restriction, my body had developed sensitivities to various foods like wheat, soy, etc. however, the night that I decided that I was going to do this, my neighbor came over and asked my  mom if she would like a pizza for my nephew and her.  She gladly excepted and told him what toppings she wanted. He offered to buy me some as well. I kindly turned him down explaining that I had food sensitivities (excuses excuses).

That evening, I was scheduled to talk with my dear friend Emily about weight gain and the side effects on her podcast.  Inside, I wanted so badly to be free. Here I was trying to recover and setting example for those in the recovery community as well and I could not even get myself to eat a piece of pizza! I had eaten a salad and was going to eat something a little heavier afterwords for dinner. However, I was really craving that pizza!  I was craving it so bad, I could almost taste the pepperoni and sausage! Anxiety set in  and I began to text back-and-forth with Emily to prepare for the podcast. I told her that I was dealing with the food fear,  she asked if she could call me, and when we talked she was so kind and helped to calm my nerves.  We went into the podcast, and prayed afterwards. When we hung up the phone, I went straight in to see a pizza delivered at on my kitchen table! The first question I asked my mom was if I could have a piece and she smiled really big and said , “of course!”  That one piece turned into 2 1/2 pieces of pepperoni and sausage pizza. For dessert, chocolate cheesecake! There, begin my true entry into real recovery !

In the days following that I found myself eating  500-600+ cal breakfast two  300+ cal snacks, 500 to 600+ cal lunches,  and 500 to 600+ cal dinners allll followed by 350-400+  cal desserts!  Or some days that I eat 3000 cal, some days that I ate well over that, and some days I just slightly under.  I’ll be honest, the weight came on really fast along with depression, headaches, and exhaustion.  My body was not used to having all those things and was quickly trying to adjust. I found out later in researching that the exhaustion and headaches are due to the body trying to heal.  I could feel an internal burning, like a furnace had been turned up inside of me. I found out that it was also part of recovery because my body had to speed up my metabolism in order to be able to fully except all the calories that were being taken in!  Finally, after just two weeks of doing the method, I had finally reached the weight that my doctor wanted me to be at, even a few pounds more.   While I am now currently technically weight restored,  certain things still are not functioning and the way that they should  (my period is still MIA), so I’m trying my best to stick with it. I will be honest and say that I’ve had some days where I haven’t had the 2,500 -3,000 cal  that I should still be having until that takes place. However, I’m finding that I have a lot more freedom mentally that I’ve had in years! While don’t do any exercises outside of what my physical therapist has prescribed for me,  I still enjoy food that I wouldn’t even touch when I was exercising !  I have returned to eating gluten-free because I feel that’s what my body needs.  With that I’ve decided to keep eating pancakes, high calorie salads loaded with goodies,  dark chocolate, lots of popcorn, gluten-free cake, and much more.  Since I’ve gone back to that the headaches have seem to go away.   That being said, I want to continue with this until I know my body is ready to move on!

For any of you are reading this, if you’re seeking out a recovery method, I highly recommend this one. It does require that you refrain from all exercise. However, you have to remember that in exercise you’re tearing muscles and your body has to repair them. So, if you’re exercising when you’re trying to recover and have nothing to repair your muscle  with, then you’re defeating the purpose of exercise and ultimately destroying your body. Something you might want to think twice about. Again I’m not a healthcare professional yet, I am going to school for that, and I highly recommend that you speak with your doctor before attempting this.

Now,  before I go I’ll share something I’m currently struggling with. While I have reached a good weight, I desire to be able to work out again. My physical therapist and Chiropractor want me in the pool  to help me regain balance and strength. Also, the strength exercises at my physical therapist has given me have caused my body to hurt at times.  I’m currently facing a summer where I would very much like some freedom in my body and be able to swim and work out again. I face the following giants in the way:

1.)  muscular issues. There’s treatment that I need that my insurance does not cover.  I currently don’t have the finances to cover it.

2.)  I need access to a good pool with good amenities such as a hot tub and sauna so that before and after I do swim therapy, I can treat my muscles with kindness so they can heal properly. A gym membership like that is quite costly.

3.)  my mom and I both work, however we are facing some financial difficulties. It’s not always easy to purchase things that we need on a daily basis.

Being said, I’m requesting prayer that the Lord either supernaturally heals me with that he provides the things that I need to get the treatment and the access to the facilities for me to be able to get my balance and strength back. Also, prayer for provision for my family and me. Ultimately,  I believe that someday I’ll run again. Please pray  that if the Lord wills, that He will release me to do so!

Another struggle a face, is body image. My body has swelled because of recovery and a lot of my clothes don’t fit me properly.  Please pray that the Lord helps me endure this and make it through to full recovery!

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Before Minnie Maud (left) Thigh gap After Minni Maud (right) Thighs touch, pants don’t fit, but definitely worth it!

Now, off to another amazing vacation! This time it’s the longest vacation I’ve had from school! Lord willing, it will be full of amazing adventures !

Turn your weeping into sweetness!!!

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All right, second post of the day! This is a very rare occasion, however … I’m going to be very honest with y’all. Today was excruciating as far as pain went. I went for a walk this morning, and had been battling some muscular pain. I don’t want to get into details because I really don’t want to complain. I want to share with you how God can turn a bad situation into something good! While I was laying in bed icing, and just trying to get my muscles feel at least somewhat normal, I got an idea for a Way that I could improve my doughnut recipe. You see, I have tried the recipe that you’ll see below without any arrowroot flour. Recently another blogger was working on their donut recipe, and they posted it. When I looked over it I noticed that they use arrowroot flour and almond meal. Because I wanted to stay true to my recipe, I thought I would try adding the Arrowroot to what I’d already done in my recipe. To avoid any plagiarism conflicts (even using the smallest idea from someone else and adapting it to say it’s your own is a form of plagiarism) I’ll let you all know I got the arrowroot idea from Lady called @purely_elizabeth if you check out her donuts they’re absolutely beautiful! The following is what I ended up with! So, through my pain something delicious and beautiful came out! Whatever you’re going through, know that God is putting the ingredients together to make your life a whole lot sweeter. The trials, the weeping… it all endures for the night but joy comes in the morning! (See Psalm 30:5) now, drumroll please…. DONUUUUTTTSSSS!!!

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Sweet apple donuts

1 Cup oat flour
1/4 Cup arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
5 packets whole earth nature sweet
1 egg
1 egg white
1 container Siggy’s vanilla 0% milk fat yogurt
1/2 Cup applesauce

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Preheat oven to 350° Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately then blend them together until smooth. Grease your donut pan with olive oil and coat it with a thin layer of flour. Fill each donate mold with mixture, and sprinkle with whole rolled oats. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick through the center and have it come out clean. Set them out to cool then flip them out of the donut mold. Drizzle the top with honey, maple syrup, almond butter, or my favorite pecan butter from Georgia grinders.

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Spring break with purple sweet potato bread

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Spring break! Here it is, and boy is it beautiful outside! Living in the Bay Area is so incredible! There’s so much color and life in this area it’s unreal! For the first time since I started going to college I’ve had no major homework assignments to focus on or exams to study for, so I’ve tried to make the most of it by enjoying time with my family (eating my new favorite treat… enlightened ice cream bars) and baking.

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Just before spring break started I received two very special packages from a friend of mine in Colorado. Miss Emily sent me a doughnut mold and a jar of Georgia grinders pecan butter! With that, I got straight to work on coming up with new recipes! I haven’t completely mastered the one I’m going to post yet so I’ll save that for another post. However, today I’m going to share a recipe for something I came up with after enduring an emergency dental appointment. To make a long story short, after weeks of having a swollen face, I found out I had an abscess in my lower right jaw. When I went to have it investigated, they found that there was a piece of tooth root left behind from a previous extraction that caused a huge infection. It very well could’ve been connected to the heart problems I was having before. So, after the surgery to remove it, I ended up eating mush for the better part of a few days (still just getting back to eating solid food 😞). During that time I was determined to get my nutrients in. In an effort to do so I came up with a recipe for purple sweet potato bread!

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As for my body in the physical pain, I’ve talked about it so much on here I really just don’t see the point in bringing it up anymore. Y’all know my struggles… Spring break has had its own. Put it this way, once again I’m doing a lot of icing and heating and spending time at home, in pain. Psychologically and emotionally, it’s been wearing however I’m choosing to keep my chin up and praise God through this storm in my body. Well part of me wants to hope that I’ll run again, right now even working out seems impossible. For those of you pray, please pray for me because honestly I just don’t know what to do anymore. The best I can do is move forward, keep praising God no matter how painful this season is, focus on what’s in front of me, try to help others so I get the focus off of me, and bake till I can’t bake anymore! I’m going to cut this one short and leave you all with the recipe for purple sweet potato bread 🍞! I hope y’all have a wonderful spring. I hope to post soon with a new donut recipe!

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Purple sweet potato bread
-1 and 1/2 cup baked, then mashed purple sweet potato
-1 egg
-1 egg white
-1/2tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp almond extract
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Mix ingredients and bake 350° For 15- 20 min. Let cool and…
You may top with slivered almonds and a drizzle of honey 🍯
OR your favorite nut butter

A little sweetness in bitter times

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Happy Sunday y’all! I hope things of been going well for you since my last post. My world things have been a bit challenging to say the least, however in the midst of my trials I’m finding strength in Christ, along with a whole lot of food inspiration! Best of all, I’m learning the true value of human life and seeing what really matters in life is not whether or not we achieve some earthly goal or possession. What matters is how much we love.
Now, since my last post I’ve continued to press on in school despite a lot of the giants I’ve been facing. For anyone who knows what it’s like to deal with PTSD while going to school you know my pain. For those of you don’t, it’s incredibly trying. For someone with PTSD things that are stressful to normal person are 2 to 3 times more stressful for that person. When stress hits it’s almost like chaos completely overwhelms your mind and you can’t think straight. Sometimes I flashback to a Trumatic experience in childhood or life in the middle of the day while I’m doing something and it can cause a panic attack. I’ve had to learn to focus inward and find peace in Christ in order to maintain my sanity. While I’m in the process of healing from it… when it rears its ugly head it’s not fun.

Along with PTSD I also have been battling the same issues with my back and legs. I stand in class, then I take moments of brief sit down time. This is all in order to make sure that I don’t get a back flareup.
Continuously standing in one place for too long has put a lot of pressure on the muscles in my legs, which later has an effect when I try to go for a walk to relieve stress. The stress from classes, life and the sitting that I still have to do from time to time has caused my psoas and iliacus muscles to be overly tight. The help that I need isn’t covered by my insurance, so I do what I can to get by on a day to day basis.

 

Finally, the stress of classes, health, finances, worries about my troubled loved one (and not getting to see her this week for her birthday)… chaos at home and trying to study through it finally just took it’s toll. Last Thursday I was rushed to the ER after I collapsed due to heart pain and chest pressure.
Now, I know that has a believer I’m supposed to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. I know that I need to find my peace in God. These things I try to do. Believe me, I do what I can to find my peace rest in him. What people need to realize is that sometimes no matter how strong someone is founded in Christ, life can become overwhelming. The enemy attacks whome he fears and he has definitely attacked my family and me. The thing is I refused to back down! I’m choosing to believe that God is working as always! Meanwhile, I’m off to another round of testing to find out if there’s a deeper issue. Since this is the second time within a year’s time that I’ve been admitted to the ER with heart problems, it’s time to take a closer look. And all honesty, my guess is that a lot of it has to do with my struggles with eating disorders over the years. Stress can do so much to you, but when you’re under weight it can kill you. While I’m currently just a few pounds from my weight goal given to me by my doctor… years of miss treating my body have taken it’s toll.

My point in saying all of this is to let you know that while people these days seem to focus on the damage that obesity can do to somebody, we also need to take a look at what being too thin can do to somebody. Eating disorders of any kind or not beautiful they. are. ugly., and this is the darkside of it. This doesn’t mean to go hackling at everybody who is super thin because some people are just naturally that way. However if you or someone that you know is struggling with malnourishment, any eating disorder of any kind whether it’s over or under eating… help them or get help for yourself ASAP! I can’t stress that enough! There are so many resources out there so many people who are ready and willing to help. For me, I found a lot of help through my support system which includes my mom and my God mom, my counselor, The ED community that communicates via social media, my church, my friends and so much more. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when you decide to step out and show love to yourself by taking care of you.
Thank In closing I just want to let you all know this whole thing has really help me see how precious and fragile life is. Every moment that I get to snuggle with my cat who seems to know when something’s wrong, that I get to hold my little nephew, hug my mom, go to church, see my friends, go to school, go to work… every breath I breathe is a blessing and it’s an opportunity to love. Whoever you are that’s reading this whether you are battling with an eating disorder or battling with bitterness, unforgiveness, or just need encouragement to press on… take a deep breath right now and thank God for that breath. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how incredibly awesome you are as a creation of God. Get out there and forgive, forget the drama, quit hating on each other and fighting over stupid junk and just love on each other. Embrace your mom, your dad, your friends, your loved ones who surround you. Just love!
As always I tried to leave you guys with a delicious recipe to enjoy until my next post…. so…

Sweet potato À la mode

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*Ingredients*
-1 medium sweet potato
-1 pint of maple vanilla arctic zero ice cream
-1/4 cup slivered dry roasted almonds
*Directions*
Preheat the oven to 350° and bake your sweet potato for 45 minutes to a half hour or until you can poke a knife easily through to the center. Pull it out of the oven, cut down the middle, let the potato cool just a little bit, and scoop some arctic zero right into the center. Top it off with your slivered almonds and enjoy! I had a little bit of the pint left over after putting some in the middle of my potato, however I enjoyed the rest of it just because it’s too good not to indulge!

 

* Disclaimer (thank you Emily for reminding me of this): I am not a health professional, I’m training to be one. I do not have my license, so any advice I gave is merely on experience. In other words your health care provider is the best person to consult for any nutritional advice.

When Nothing Makes Sense, Eat Chocolate and Keep Going

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I remember the first time I heard of Murphy’s Law. I was working in San Diego at linens n’ things in the Carmel Mountain shopping center. Things just kept going wrong for this lady who came through my line and she said, “you know that’s just like Murphy’s Law for me anything that can go wrong will.” At the time I didn’t really think anything of it. As time went on, however, I began to see that it times in life I can be quite true. One thing goes wrong and it starts a domino effect of continuous drama and trauma. More recently I have tried to remain as positive as possible. The thing is, this week everything finally just took it’s toll. Situations with my trouble love one brought up all the motions and dramatic memories of witnessing her being abused. The guilt that festered deep inside me for not stepping in… only to find when I spoke to my counselor recently about it she assured me it really that was nothing I could do without having harm inflicted on me, and that I really needed to forgive myself. With more recent events that have happened with her, finding out that she’s turned to harsher drugs and is now homeless… my heart aches! Knowing that everything in me wants to help her, however when I’ve done that in the past it’s caused me to fall into a dangerously codependent relationship with her that’s completely unhealthy. That being said I’ve had to make very clear lines to only be willing to be there and help her should she truly be willing to get up and change. Now, I find that the way to show that I love her to continue to go to school so that I can eventually help people like her who really want to get their lives right and to pour as much love as I can into her little one that my mom has adopted. The process has been trying, to say the least. I found myself trying everything I can to self heal and get rid of this pain. From seeing a chiropractor, physical therapist, and even doing the exercises in the book that was recommended to me called “Pain Free” only to find myself in utter pain.  With the treatment that I need so close but just out of reach, I felt nearly hopeless at times. Knowing that there is a remedy, however my insurance doesn’t cover it has just been a portion of the battle. Here it is just the beginning of the semester, I’m not even halfway through I’m so close to just giving up. Praying every step of the way. I know God is working but it’s so hard to see through the storm.  Right here right now I’m choosing  to praise! On an up side… I’be been gaining weight, and still maintaining good grades in school. I was recently promoted at work, was given an opportunity to share my story on my dear friend’s blog, and have opened my new business called Messenger Gear in which I sell clothes and jewelry to help raise funds and awareness to stop human trafficking. All being said and done, amidst my suffering I’m still seeing God work in mighty ways. I may be in pain now, but this can’t last forever. I’ll leave you today with a link to miss Emily Swanson’s blog and podcast series, some reviews of my recent food adventures, and a peek at the clothing line!

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One of my favorite new food addictions has been dark chocolate! Theo makes thee best sea salt almond dark chocolate bars PLUS Trader Joe’s has hit my sweet tooth just right with their cacao nibs!!!

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Aloha bars? … yesss please!

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Froyo with almond slivers and smothered in Hershey sugar free chocolate… yeaaaas!!!!

Now, onto the link to miss Emily’s blog post! Be sure to check it out and subscribe to her new podcast series!

http://beautyinchristthebook.com/darkness-light-healing-podcast-2/

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Finally… Messenger Gear! You can catch this new line on instagram as @messenger_gear the first round of shirts and jewelry will be giving a portion of the proceeds to help an organization called “The Glass Slipper” in which rescues women from sex trafficking! Be sure to also like my page on facebook!

 

Thank y’all for dropping in and sharing my journey with me… until next time… keep pressing on!

Love and my thoughts on the matter! Plus … chocolate swirl mug cake recipe!!!

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Back again and here it is the beginning of a new semester! I’ll be honest, I went into it feeling absolutely fried! Between physical pain, a serious battle with the cold flu thing that just does not seem to want to go away, financial struggles, family stuff, starting a new business, promotion at work, and the start of a whole new round of classes… It took me just about everything in me to take my first few steps on campus!

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(Photo from favim.com)

It’s almost like that senioritis that everybody talks about hit! Especially being that this is my final semester at the community college level. However, I asked the Lord to help me push through and here I am feeling hopeful yet a little skeptical at as to how to approach my studies… at any rate I thought I would talk about a subject that I haven’t really spent too much time on in this blog. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner it seems suitable to me to talk a little bit about love.

Now, if anybody knows my story you know that my life has been full of a lot of heartbreak and I always seem to chase Mr. wrong instead of letting God bring Mr. right, and it seems that people I’m not interested in (not that I’m better than anyone, just not interested) are the ones to show an interest. I’ve also somehow attractive these weird stocker creepy guys or the ones that make the claim that they need someone to take care of them.

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(Photo credit Disney pictures)

Nothing personal gentleman but that’s not a way to view a lady I’m not here to take care of you. Relationships are a partnership. You take care of each other. Then there’s the good guys (cough caugh… a guy I crossed paths with recently 😍😍😍/ not sure if he’s a believer) that I would be interested in, who are faithful, God-fearing, and not to mention good looking that I come across and for one reason or another I’m terrified to even look at the wrong way!
Whhaaatttt????
Now, for a long time I’ve had the sense that I enjoy being alone. The fact of the matter is I really enjoy having my space and not having to worry about if someone’s going to be angry or upset if I don’t call them at a certain time or pick up my phone at a certain time or meet with them on a certain day. For me right now I have a lot of responsibilities as it is with church, school, work, Family, etc… that when I do get a moment alone I like to just isolate myself in my room and either listen to some music or just get some peace and quiet. Any guy that would get involved in my life would have to be believer in Christ, goal oriented and driven, understanding of the life that I lead and the physical pain that I battle off and on, open and willing to share with me his weaknesses and allow me to help if and when is I can, and understand that I’m not here to wipe his butt I’m here to be a partner in life. In other words, I’m not into having a relationship unless there’s a potential for marriage. Put it this way single, saved and celibate.
My message to anyone really bummed about spending Valentine’s Day alone, focus on the people and the things that you do have! I’ve literally spent the past 12 years without a valentine. I honestly only dated one guy in the past 10 years and that relationship only lasted a little over a month. I’ve been celibate for 10 years and I intend to keep it that way until married. For me, Valentine’s Day has been a day to focus on Jesus and what he’s done for me and all the people that I do have in my life: Mom, nephew, God mamma and her new hubby, close friends and church family. Truly that’s were true love does exist. I’m currently working on loving myself and letting my love for God and myself shine through to other people. I’m honestly a work in progress. As for love right now as in having a relationship with a man kind of love? Well, that’s entirely up to the Lord. It’s not that I’m not open it’s simply that I’m not open to anyone that God would not have for me. God is not going to talk me into: 1.) someone who does not love God. 2.) someone who will ask me to abandon the dreams and goals of God is placed in my heart. 3.) someone who is manipulative, or stalking 4.) someone who expects me to take care of them without being willing to do the same for me. 5.) someone that I’m not physically and emotionally attracted to (sorry but both components do you come into play) 6.) someone who expect me to make his life my soul priority. 7.) last but not least, someone who is going to take me away from my family. My family means the world to me and this includes my God family. Plain and simple.
In a nutshell, God doesn’t want me in another bad relationship. He wants me in a relationship that will shine forth in a way that will show a testimony of His redeeming love, goodness and grace
So now you know my stance on love. I hope this helps any of you out there who are dealing with loneliness. Remember that above all the best companion you can have is God and if you can’t stand to spend time with yourself, you really don’t have a good relationship with yourself therefore you are going to have a healthy relationship with others.

Nowwww onto a new recipe that I came up with! I have been a really hooked on mug cakes lately, and the following is a chocolate brownie swirl mug cake that either you can eat alone with some coffee on Valentine’s Day, or you can make two or three and enjoy it with your loved ones or over a candlelight dinner with that special someone! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentines Day Chocolate Swirl Mug Cake!!!

*Ingredients*

-2/3 cup mashed baked sweet potato or canned pumpkin
-2 egg whites
-1 tbs vanilla yogurt
– 3 tbs oat flour ( oats ground in a blender)
-1/8 tsp baking soda
– cinnamon to taste
-1 tbs coco powder
-5-6 packets stevia
– 1-2 tbs almond butter

*Directions*
Set almond butter aside to use as icing, then mix dry and wet ingredients separately, leaving The Coco out for last. Then mix the two sets of ingredients together once it’s there early mixed split it into two parts adding the Coco to one part. Greece and nicesize coffee mug with olive oil or cooking spray place one of the sets of ingredients into the cup and swirl the other set in so you’ll get that chocolate and orange swirl place it in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes until it’s completely turn the cup upside down onto a plate and drizzle the almond butter on top. You can also sprinkle a packet of stevia over the top for added sweetness (hmmmmm)!

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