Why we need a point of reference in eating disorder recovery

 
Why we need a point of reference in eating disorder recovery
 

I’m beginning to learn more about the use of metaphor in eating disorder recovery. Anita Johnston, the author of Eating in the Light of the Moon, stated that metaphor is so powerful because it accesses your the intuition, imagination, and emotions all at the same time. So when you make new discoveries, you create new brain pathways. New brain pathways=new patterns of behavior. Cue the analogy/metaphor (I google searched the difference between the two but didn't understand what it is, so I'm using them interchangeably 🙈)

I was reading my daily devotional the other day and it started by talking about a phenomenon called “museum feet.” I really enjoyed the analogy that it drew and began thinking about how it applied to my own life in various areas. I couldn’t find the phenomenon when I searched online, buuuuut I’m gonna go with it, because I think it can be really helpful. And if my analogy gets lost on you, I apologize…I’m still learning this skill. As the author of the blog described it, “museum feet” is the phenomenon that happens when someone is put into a very large space such as a museum, amusement park, etc. and gets overwhelmed with how vast it is that they just want to leave. They have no idea where they should go or what they should do that they just give up. In order to avoid this, architects put in a large landmark or point of reference. For example, in Disney World, it’s the magic castle. It’s something that people become familiar with and it helps them orient themselves to the new space. For me as a kid, it was the Big Kahuna at our local water park. Every time we would go as a family, my mom would tell me that if I got lost I just needed to go to the big Kahuna. I didn’t have to fear not knowing where she was, I just needed to find the massive water ride and head towards it.

So how does this apply to my life? I‘m in this new stage in which I see all of the possibilities in my career/social media and I also recognize all of the various things I need to do in order to grow in my skills and proficiency, and yet, it is SO overwhelming that I don’t end up doing anything.  In this glorious park I've entered, I don’t want to try a new ride or play a new game, I just want to get back to something I know and find comfort in. There are no clear directions on what steps to take or the order of those steps, so I need my reference point. I need my “Big Kahuna”.

In what other areas do we open the gates of new opportunities and get so flooded with the vastness of uncertainty that we give up and go back to what we know? What do we miss out on in the park because of a lack of reference? In eating disorder recovery or exploration of a life without dieting, it is so easy to get overwhelmed with this newfound space of freedom that it’s too overwhelming. It makes sense that we don’t want to explore what life is like without calorie counting, over-exercising, restricting, overeating, bingeing, purging, etc. because that is what we know. We are familiar with every inch of that small world and incredibly unfamiliar with this new large one.

 
why we need a point of reference in eating disorder recovery
 

So what can we do to gain some reference? What landmark can we look to in order to ground us and keep us from feeling overwhelmed and giving up? I think this looks different for every person so you have to figure out what it is for you. Maybe it's personal time in the Word and prayer. Perhaps it’s your dietitian or therapist who points you in the right direction until you become familiar with this new space. Or maybe it’s a mindfulness practice that helps to decrease your anxiety and give you perspective. Maybe it’s developing a realistic, flexible plan that gives you something to refer to. Or perhaps it’s looking to other people who have recovered, are very familiar with the amusement park, and can give you directions. Figure out what can be your landmark so that you don't get so overwhelmed and give up. Discovering and exploring this new world is totally worth it.

How does this analogy/metaphor speak to you (if at all)? How could you apply it to your own life? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Homemade Strawberries and Coconut Cream Ice Cream

It's SUUUUMMER TIME!!!

I don't know about you, but it is getting HOT here. Like I'm starting to sweat. And it makes me irritable...But really, I'm just being a wimp. It's only in the 90s, and that is only the beginning of what's to come. 😩 Here in Oklahoma it easily gets up into the 100s during the summer. How in the world am I going to be able to handle it if I already think it's hot?! (side note: I wanted to be able to use a phrase to describe how hot I think it is, but I know my mom reads my blog and wouldn't approve, so I decided to sensor it out. This led me to googling phrases/idioms for it being hot outside. I didn't find any I liked or that would be appropriate, but there were some funny ones...while I was on this rabbit hole, I saw something that reminded me of the summer scene with Olaf on Frozen. I'm putting it at the end of this post...you're welcome.) 

In order to handle this hot weather, I have a very good solution--ice cream and iced lattes all day (and a swimming pool). And I've been doing a pretty good job of this so far. 💪🏻 I've tried out several new coffee shops in my area and Isaac and I have been eating ice cream at home fairly regularly.  

 
Strawberries and coconut cream homemade ice cream
 

Fun story, my grocery store had a freezer section clearance where everything was 99 cents. Ya'll I got Talenti gelato for LESS THAN A DOLLAR!! We're talking about the gelato that is at least $5.00 a pint. It was the best deal ever. And it is the most delicious ice cream I've ever had--peanut butter pretzel. I recreated it and will be sharing later....😉

 
Strawberries and coconut cream homemade ice cream
 

Anyways, when it's hot I want something refreshing. And strawberries, berries, and citrus fruits just scream "refreshing" to me. Cue this homemade strawberries and coconut cream ice cream. I've combined full fat coconut milk with Bolthouse farms strawberry and banana juice, honey/maple syrup, greek yogurt, and fresh strawberries. 

 
Strawberries and coconut cream homemade ice cream
 

This technically is vegan (if you use maple syrup instead of honey) and a good choice for people who don't handle dairy very well, but I really chose coconut milk because it's uber creamy and it seems easier to me than the traditional method of making homemade ice cream. I don't know why, but it just seems super intimidating to me so I've never even attempted it...

 
Strawberries and coconut cream homemade ice cream
 

I used my Cuisinart ice cream maker (which is the BEST) to make this, but I've heard that you can make ice cream by placing the ice cream mixture in a container in the freezer and stirring every 30 minutes to incorporate air into it.

I'd love to hear what you're doing to stay cool!!

Homemade Strawberries and coconut cream ice cream- vegan, dairy free

My RD Retreat with the Beef Council

Soooo, I meant to post this in the middle of last week. But as per usual, life (trip to Austin) got in the way and I wasn't able to get around to creating the post. A few months ago, I got an email inviting me to a three day retreat for dietitians with the Beef Council in Kansas City. Um, that was a no-brainer--YES!!! Several RD beef council representatives from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri put the trip together. They were so gracious to pay for my travel and lodging, as well as incredible speakers. The purpose of the trip was to inform dietitians about beef preparation, nutrition, processing (from cattle to food on your table), and media representation so that we could form informed opinions around beef. (I'm hoping to write a blogpost on common beef misconceptions in the near future)

The conference started Tuesday at 11:00 am, so I decided to make the 5 hour drive Monday night after work so that I didn't have to wake up super early Tuesday morning, and also so that I could take advantage of some free time Tuesday morning to explore Kansas City. I got in around 10 Monday night, got settled in my room, and went to bed.

Tuesday morning, I woke up and did a short workout in the hotel gym since I figured I would be sitting most of the day. 

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

I got cleaned up and headed out for some coffee and breakfast. The hotel we were staying at was pretty far north, so this was one of the closest places I found. I LOVED it and am so glad I decided to go there. Super cute atmosphere and delicious coffee/food. I went with a vanilla latte and breakfast burrito with chorizo.

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

While there I responded to some emails and then read She Reads Truth and a devotion on the IF:Gathering.

I headed back to the hotel, finished getting ready, and then met with the rest of the group to start the retreat/conference.

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

We first headed to a large Sysco distribution center, where we had a lunch consisting of several different types of lettuces/kale/ruffage, bread, and my first cut of beef for the trip. I appreciate veggies/lettuce, but I also really appreciate my carbs (I went back for another piece of bread), so I was a little unsatisfied with this meal. You win some, you lose some. Thankfully, I won a lot on this trip 😉

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

After lunch we had a food demonstration on how to cook certain cuts of beef, as well as how to get kids involved in the cooking/eating process.

Afterwards we divided into several group and did a Chopped competition with various cuts of beef and ethnic cuisine. Our group got a round tip and Mexican theme. We made chipotle and lime steak tacos with roasted poblanos, grilled cabbage, avocado, cojita cheese, and mango salsa....we didn't sample it so I have no idea what it tasted like 🙄 🙈

My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 
My Retreat with the Beef Council
 

Afterwards we took a quick tour of the facility and then headed to dinner at Brio. Holy moly...this meal was absolutely incredible. I took pictures of the dishes, but the lighting was so terrible that the pictures looked disgusting. You're just gonna have to trust me that this was the best beef I've ever had 😍. Oh, and that mousse....🙋

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

Wednesday morning I woke up for a short walk before breakfast and then we all headed to a historic barn for two breakout sessions--one on protein's role in satiety and the other on taking a non-weight approach to improving health. I was super excited about the second session because the speaker, Leslie Schilling, had recently spoken at a conference I attended. She did such a great job....aaaaand we all got a copy of her new book!! 

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

For lunch we had a buffet of several different burger sliders (holy cow, [literally] so so good!). I got a thai inspired one with mango salsa and another that I can't remember. But I did get some bacon and tomato to add to both because bacon makes everything taste better. I had it with some fruit and a roasted beet and carrot salad. It was fun because we got to eat lunch while talking with several ranchers from the area.

After lunch, we all headed out to a cattle ranch to see what one really looks like and then to ask questions to a panel of cattle rancher/producer experts. 

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

I really appreciated being able to ask the panel tough questions about issues that get brought up around beef and health, environment, etc. It's important to be able to wade through fact and fiction when it comes to food production and nutrition, so I'm super grateful for this time. 

After the panel, we drove back to the hotel, had free snacks at the hotel happy hour and then had the evening to ourselves. The Beef Council was super gracious to give us all gift cards to a nearby shopping center for dinner on our own. I wasn't really hungry after the hotel snacks and was in a funky food mood, so I ended up getting froyo for dinner (which I had a coupon for!) and used the gift card for a little bit of shopping. 😉

 
Side note, I totally came up with the divider concept for an entrepreneur class my sophomore year of college.... 

Side note, I totally came up with the divider concept for an entrepreneur class my sophomore year of college.... 

 

The next morning I went for another walk before breakfast at the hotel. The mornings here were absolutely glorious!! It was nice and brisk outside, and I loved starting off the day with some movement and a podcast. 

 
My RD retreat with the beef council
Made to order scrambled eggs, a WHOLE pancake, and some watermelon.

Made to order scrambled eggs, a WHOLE pancake, and some watermelon.

 

We then headed to Kauffman Stadium, where the Royals baseball team play, for a session on food and video photography and then lunch. I was super excited for this session. I'm still taking pictures with my iphone, but maybe one day I will get a legit camera. It at least encouraged me to keep doing this blogging thing. 🤓

 
My RD retreat with the beef council
My RD retreat with the beef council
 

After lunch, we said our goodbyes and then I headed home for a full day of clients the next day. It was SUCH a great trip and I'm so grateful for the experience I had learning about beef, getting to know other dietitians, and eating good food :-)