My problem with “relapse”

I was talking to a friend from my past group therapy, and she asked me how I was doing. I disclosed to her that I was having a slight “relapse,” but once the word came out of my mouth, it felt strange and just downright nasty to say.

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“Relapse” is very common in recovery journeys, even when you think you are doing really well. It is almost inevitable that you will slip multiple times, times that we most commonly call a relapse, but those are the times that you become stronger and you learn the most about yourself and your triggers. With each “relapse” too, they tend to get farther and farther apart, IF you challenge the voices. If you don’t do anything about it, then of course it’s going to be harder for you to dig yourself out of the relapse ditch.

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Now, with that said, I have come to the realization that the word “relapse” is such a negative word. Pardon me if I’m being a little more blunt with this post, but I feel like when you say to yourself that you’re in a relapse, it sets you up for failure. To me, it just sounds like an excuse to go easy on your ED voice, and allow yourself to engage in old behaviors again. This is why I like the phrase “slip-up” better.

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With recovery, it’s all about changing your mindset from a negative thought to a positive thought. This is something I’ve learned in therapy. For example, instead of saying, “my legs are so big,” change your thinking to, “I’m so grateful that my legs have the strength to carry me around.” This is why I’ve changed my thinking from, “I’m in a relapse,” to, “I’m merely in a slip-up, and I can get myself out of this.”

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Not saying that everyone is like this. But do a reality check on yourself and your progress if you’ve claimed to be in a relapse. Are you making excuses for yourself so that you can continue your ED behaviors? Are you engaging in them in full force? Are you brushing off the fact that your behaviors have come back? I know I was doing this for a while. I was saying to myself that it was okay, because I know my triggers and I know what to do when I am tempted to engage. But I didn’t actually implement any of those tools that I know and learned to use.

Next time you decide to call your slip-up a relapse, consider why you’re calling it a relapse. I mentioned in my last post that I was in a relapse, but now I just think of it as a slip-up. Getting out of slip-up seems more feasible now. I can do it, and so can you.

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The Struggles Are Indeed REAL.

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write, but either the timing didn’t work out, I’ve been really tired, or I just lacked the words to just start this blog piece. But today, the sense of urgency to post this is more prominent, and I finally feel the courage. So here it goes.

I am in the midst of a relapse.

Wow. That feels surreal to actually write that.

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There are many, many factors that contribute to the relapse. Mostly school issues and stress that I won’t dive into in detail since that it a whole different story in itself. But the stress because of it all has definitely taken a toll on my emotional well being, and it’s been difficult to not take it out on old behaviors.

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Luckily, I’ve caught myself early enough. I know the signs and I know how to differentiate the Ed voices from my own actual voice, which helps a tremendous amount when having to reevaluate my day-to-day decisions. However, I have to admit that doesn’t mean that I always listen to myself. There are days where I give in, or I don’t feel strong enough to push back.

I was really beating myself up for this. There is a constant war in my head of feeling guilty for following Ed behaviors, but also guilty feelings when I don’t follow Ed behaviors. It’s a tricky game.

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Even though yes, I should be giving myself some tough love to keep myself on track, I should also give myself some relaxation. I have the tendency to always want to live up to my expectations, and then exceed them. I expect too much of myself in every aspect of my life, and it’s easy to get carried away. When I’m not met with the success I imagine in my head, I can get frustrated with myself, and then take it out on harmful behaviors. Even with recovery. It goes back to that mental battle. It’s a truly confusing and vicious cycle.

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That’s why I’m finally posting this piece. I’ve told a few close friends, but I’ve kept it on the more private side since I was still trying to wrap my head around being in the middle of a relapse. Announcing it publicly though is like a way of keeping myself accountable, but also realizing that I have to really respect my body and mind too. I need to realize it’s not black-and-white, all-or-nothing, and to try not to go from one extreme to the other, and then “compensating,” and blahblahblah. It’s important to find that balance again, and to start treating myself with the love and care my body deserves.

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I’m going to work on not being so hard on myself when I “mess up,” for lack of a better phrase, when it comes to recovery. But I also am working on realizing I need to get back on track before things get way out of hand. I’m already taking steps, like meeting with professionals.

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I don’t doubt my skills when it comes to getting out of this relapse. I definitely won’t go back to as bad as I was before, but I can’t make promises on how fast or slow this process will go. I’m living each day hour-by-hour (which is actually a good sign since at my lowest days, I would have to take it second-by-second), and making sure I’m taking note of my mood and feelings.

I don’t want to worry anyone, and a part of me feels guilty for succumbing, and letting you guys down, or letting my followers down on Instagram. But I wanted to be honest, and want to be real with you guys. Sometimes difficult things in life happen, and you find yourself resorting to old behaviors, and you don’t realize it until it until you’re in the middle of it. And you know, sometimes it’s okay as long as you can pick yourself up, and take active steps to fix the destructive behaviors. I know it’ll get better. I have the tools, the resources, and the support. I won’t let myself slip deeper.

The DOUGHbar DOUGHnuts Review

Marquez and Ondrea, the founders of The Dough Bar Doughnuts were kind enough to send me some of their doughnuts to try out! They’ve always been the sweetest to me, and I can tell they carry that through with all their customers and doughtnuts!

They handcraft each doughnut, so you know you’re getting fresh quality doughnuts when they arrive. They even put the baking date on the information sheet.

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Included was also these super cute cards that I immediately pinned on my cork board in my room.

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When I first tried The Doughbar a while ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect since they’re protein doughnuts. Sure they looked good on their Instagram, but how good can protein doughnuts be after being brought up with Krispy Kremes?

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Really good. Actually so good I almost don’t need real doughnuts anymore. Almost.

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The doughnut itself has a great sweet cinnamon taste. By itself it tastes amazing, but of course, the glazes they offer are absolutely delicious as well!

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They come out with new ones all the time so make sure to look out for those. I’ve tried Reese’s, a strawberry glaze, and a couple others. I was definitely very excited to try out these new flavors.

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These glazes were the s’mores and PB & J. The PB & J was more “J” than “PB,” but it still tasted great because the glaze was sweeter. The s’mores was super tasty though! The glaze in combination with the marshmallows, graham cracker dust, and chocolate chips made for the perfect treat. It really tasted like a s’mores, especially when you heat it all up.

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Next I tried the s’mores glaze with chocolate goldfish, and cookie butter glaze with chunks of a chocolate coated peanut butter Squarebar. The s’mores glaze paired with the chocolate goldish ended up being the tastiest chocolate treat. The crunch from the goldfish added nice texture as well in combination with the softer doughnut. The cookie butter was kind of more like a generic sweet glaze, with a little warmth added because of the spices. Really tasty overall, but my favorite was still the s’mores glaze!

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Lastly, I tried the cake batter one. This one took me straight back to my childhood. One of my best friends and I would always wake up to the smell of freshly baked Krispy Kremes that her mom would bring us whenever I had sleepovers at her house. And I kid you not, these tasted very similar to those. The cake batter glaze was perfectly sweet and contributed to that fact. Now it also might be because I haven’t had Krispy Kremes in a long time, but if you follow my Instagram, you know that I’ve had my fair share of doughnuts lately so I wouldn’t consider myself a total doughnut noob.

I would definitely recommend The Doughbar to anyone. They have “competition prep friendly doughnuts”, “cheat day doughnuts“, and “everyday doughnuts” available so you can match them according to your goals.

 

 

 

Recovery Update: Post Holiday Moods

Wow it’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog! The holidays were absolutely crazy busy, and I had no time to update this blog! But maybe that’s a good thing considering what I did and more importantly, all that I ate during winter break. Now I can give you guys a full update of where I am in recovery post-winter break!

Let’s start with finals, the week before going home. That week was one of the most stressful weeks that I’ve had. This is my first time at a university, so it was definitely difficult to asses exactly how I needed to study since it’s a lot different than a junior college. I was tempted many times to revert to ED ways many times. And unfortunately, I did a couple times, but it’s gotten much better than before. I always like to say that recovery is like a cha-cha. One step back, two steps forward. You can’t expect to have a relapse-free journey. In fact, these moments help us gain more insight into what triggers us, and helps us prevent it from happening again in the future.

Coming home from school after being done with that hell-ish week was exactly what I needed. Once I came home, it felt like I never left! Plus, I got to see my boyfriend, Paul, pretty much right when I landed, which was such a treat after not seeing him for a couple weeks! I got to go to “Questmas,” a Quest company holiday party, which was a blast!

Up until Christmas, I was really just hanging out with family and friends! But…come the day-after-Christmas…day, that’s when all the fun started.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram lately, you’ve seen all this aaaaaah-mazing food I’ve been posting. None of it “healthy” whatsoever. I haven’t really posted in my captions anything about how I felt about eating all these foods, and I’ve been posting them so often, I figured I would do it in one blog post.

One of my best friends, Marissa and her boyfriend/my boyfriend’s brother, Joe, had this brilliant idea to do a “full day of eating.” This isn’t your typical “YouTube fitness guru” full day of eating though. This is legit, eating out at #foodporn restaurants/cafes/hole-in-the-walls/you name it. So Paul and I decided to do the same, but a different city of course because we gotta be original.

We hit up 6 places: Sidecar Donuts, Crepe Coop, Honey & Butter, GD Bro Burgers, Slapfish, and Afters Ice Cream.

Yes, it’s a lot of places, I know. My family was flabbergasted that we were actually going to hit up all those places in one day. I was too to be honest, but I was also super excited because I knew Paul and I were going to get amazing pictures, and we get to try amazing food! I’m all about honesty on this blog and Instagram though, so I will have to say it wasn’t an easy day to begin with.

First, we went to Sidecar, and got 4 donuts: Huckleberry, Maple Bacon (for Paul), their seasonal Gingerbread, and another seasonal Pear Charlotte!

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I was fine at this stop because I didn’t have a full doughnut since we had 5 more stops, and also they were SO good! My favorite was the Gingerbread one by far! I also really recommend the Huckleberry doughnut if you aren’t visiting Sidecar during the holidays. Another thing that helped me was that Paul was enjoying his Maple Bacon doughnut seemingly without a care in the world, and was really enjoying the moment. Also this was the first time I’ve had a doughnut since middle school. So I was really glad there was no anxiety!

The second stop was was Crepe Coop!

 

I was really excited upon coming here because there was no line and also I’ve never had a crepe! Neither has Paul so it was an exciting moment for the both of us. I already knew I was going to get the Fruity Pebbles one because it sounded like a delicious classic! When I got the crepe, I was excited to dive into it, after taking pictures of course though. After we did take pictures, and we got out spoons to try it, that’s when the anxiety struck.

I beat around eating the ice cream and I ate the fruits and crepe instead. The whip cream was also giving me a tiny bit of anxiety, but I couldn’t really avoid that since it was in all the layers. I ate about half, which is what I had planned to eat anyways since we still had 4 more places to go, but half was half too much for ED. I excused myself to the restroom after throwing the rest away (Paul kindly told me I didn’t have to finish it if I didn’t want to), and was about to purge.

I stood in that stall for a good minute or two trying to make up my mind. A person was also in the bathroom washing her hands, so it would’ve been difficult anyways. I took a few breathers, told myself it’s only one day, came out of the stall, washed my hands, and went back outside where Paul was waiting. I didn’t tell him at the time what I had just gone through, but I learned later on when I DID tell him, there’s really nothing to be ashamed about. Your friends and loved ones only want the best for you.

The third stop was Honey & Butter!

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Paul and I stopped here for the super cute macrons, and also a chance to see Michel from @FoodWithMichel. Which we did! We didn’t say anything to him though heh. We got these to go and didn’t actually eat them the day of the foodie run since we were both pretty full, but I did have part of the French Toast one later that week, which was waaay too sweet for me so I didn’t finish it. I gave my dad 2 other ones because to be honest, I don’t know if I would eat them on my own before they went bad. Just trying to be real.

The fourth stop was GD Bro Burgers!

 

THIS. WAS. SO GOOD! Paul and I came here to get their specialty raspberry buns, but unfortunately they were out! We still stayed and I’m so glad we did! Upon coming here, I was definitely nervous. A whole burger after some donuts and a crepe just seemed like a lot to me. Until I took a bite.

I was planning to only have half so I could save room for ice cream later on in the night, but I was actually kind of hungry and the burger was waaaaay too good to resist! I got the Italian Herb Chicken Sandwich (but still in a burger bun), that came with avocado, garlic aioli, tomato, spinach, and I added a fried egg for that #yolkporn.

Once I took a bite, I honestly wasn’t anxious at all anymore. Paul was enjoying his All-American burger, and I just told myself to enjoy the moment as well. Plus, if you break it down, the burger was actually filled with pretty nutritious stuff! Healthy fats from the avocado, great protein source from the chicken, carb source from the fresh toasted bun, and even veggies from the tomato and spinach. All in all, a very complete meal in my opinion!

Fifth stop was Slapfish!

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This wasn’t the actual roll we got since the lighting was awful, so this is from a Slapfish soft opening I had the pleasure of going to, but it’s the same idea!

I didn’t have much of this at all because I was actually really full from the burger. I did have a small bite though and it was amazing! I didn’t really feel anxiety here because I was full and I was listening to my hunger/fullness cues. I had a taste so I could say that I tried it, and I was done! No overeating/undereating at all.

Final stop of the night was Afters Ice Cream!

 

I was excited for this one the most! I don’t think I’ve ever bought ice cream outside of Disneyland, and even then, I’ve had Disneyland ice cream about 3 times (thanks to my sister Michelle for introducing it to me!). So this was definitely supposed to be a huge challenge, since sugar is probably my number one fear food, but I actually wasn’t anxious at all! Probably because Afters has amazing flavors, I kept repeating positive mantras in my head since my freak out at Crepe Coop, and I was with the most amazing guy.

Overall, I had a GREAT day! It was so challenging, and it really tested my eating disorder, but I pushed through the tough moments.

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I wanted to show you guys that even though I’m 2 years into recovery and I have a lot of knowledge on what triggers me, how to prevent relapses, and other useful tools when it comes to recovery, I still have moments where I’m really tested and tempted to go back to ED ways.

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. Millions of people including myself is living proof of that statement. In fact, I met a girl 2 years ago at the NEDA walk saying she’s “5 years into recovery.” So don’t expect it to be a smooth ride. Get ready for (a lot of) bumps in the road. But in the end, I can guarantee it’s worth it. Even though I’m not fully recovered yet, I’m thankful for all the progress I’ve made. My struggles and efforts have allowed me to live again, and I wouldn’t have even been able to experience and enjoy this day with Paul.

Chia and Flax Seed Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola

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*Takes a deep breath in* Phew that was a long name.

A couple of weeks ago, two new and dear friends of mine Monica and Serena from Dessert Doesn’t Hurt came up with a brilliant idea to conduct a little bake-off! They challenged me to make a variation of their Cranberry Orange Granola, and I challenged them to make a variation of my PEScience Snickerdoodle Bread.

This was a really fun challenge because our styles are slightly different. The two girls are what I like to consider true bakers, using wholesome ingredients and make everything from scratch. I on the other hand use a lot of protein powders and a lot of alternatives since we both target slightly different audiences. But our love for baking is definitely mutual!

It did not take me long to decide what to make after studying their delectable sounding recipe. If you have been following me for a while, you know that I am all about the chocolate and peanut butter combination, so of course I had to incorporate my two favorites into this dish!

I needed a peanut butter creamy enough to replace the coconut oil, and this Trader Joes Flax and Chia Seed Peanut Butter filled that role perfectly.

So here is my rendition, and if you end up trying it, tag me at @hungrygirl325 on Instagram so I can see how you liked it! Even better, make both variations because this recipe is a guarantee winner no matter which flavor you go with.

Ingredients:

  • -3 cups rolled oats
  • -1/4 cup stevia (the brand I have isn’t too sweet, so start out smaller if yours is sweet and adjust according to taste)
  • -dash of cinnamon
  • -dash of salt
  • -1/4 cup Trader Joes Flax & Chia Seed Peanut Butter (or another creamy peanut butter)
  • -2 tbs Vita Fiber Sweet It (or maple syrup/honey/liquid sweetener)
  • -1 egg white
  • -2 servings Lilys Sweets Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Place parchment paper on a baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk oats, stevia, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add in Sweet It/liquid sweetener and peanut butter.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients. It’s easier to use your hands to mix it all up, and it’s more fun!
  6. Scoop into the baking pan and spread it out a little.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, take it out, and stir it around a little more, breaking up any clumps.
  8. Bake for about another 20-25 minutes.
  9. Let it cool completely before eating so it gets all crunchy! Once cooled, toss in chocolate chips.

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Servings: 16 servings; 1 serving = 1/4 cup

Macros per serving with ingredients that I listed:

  • 94 calories
  • 3.4g fat
  • 14.5g carbs (4.1 fiber, 0.5 sugar)
  • 3.3g protein

 

 

 

Beechies Bakehouse Review

Kim of Beechies Bakehouse was kind enough to send me some samples of her protein bakery treats, and to say I was excited when they came in the mail is an understatement.

I received the mug cake flavors, which include carrot cake, banana nut muffin, and tropical cake, and also the brownies.

Of course, I couldn’t wait to devour in one of the treats, so I went with my number one choice (as always): the chocolate!

Brownie

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I. Loved. This. The brownie on its own is kind of chewy, and doesn’t quite have the exact moist texture of a real brownie, but you certainly wouldn’t miss the real deal with this brownie anyways. It’s great on its own, but I do prefer to mix it with other things, such as yogurt or ice cream. It makes it seem more like a real brownie that way. That being said, I still had a hard time trying to make these last for at least more than 1 day, and I had 6 of them!

Next, I tried the carrot cake mug cake.

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The smell was ah-mazing. It reminded of the aroma that fills the house during Christmastime. When I was mixing the batter, I had to sneak a taste, and it was as tasty as it smelled! Perfectly sweet and not overwhelmed with spice. When trying the final product though, it seemed like the sweetness died down and the cake got a little dry. Combining it with the yogurt in this parfait definitely helped bring some of the moisture back into the cake. It was still good, but after trying the batter, I was a little disappointed with the final texture. However, it is also a possibility that I cooked it for too long for the size of the mug I was using.

Up next on my list was the banana nut muffin.

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I loved this one! It started as an opposite reaction of the carrot cake mug cake. The batter didn’t really excite me, but once it was cooked and I took a bite, it was amazing. There is a mild sweetness to the cake, and there are walnut pieces inside to give it a nice break in texture and adds warmth to the dish.

Finally, and sadly, the last product I tried was the tropical cake.

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The batter smelled amazing. I was hesitant to try this because a warm tropical cake doesn’t sound like the best cup of tea. However, I was proven wrong with first bite. There were little pineapple chunks in it, giving it a very true tropical feel. I was immediately transported back to my vacation in Hawaii. This cake was good warm, but also delicious in a refreshing green berry smoothie!

Overall, I highly recommend these products. High in protein, low in carbs and sugar, and they taste amazing. You can use “hana10” for 10% off your purchase as well!

Square Bar Review: All Flavors

Thank you Square Bars for sending me a sample box of their bars! Here is a complete review on their new organic coated bars! You can use my discount code “hungrygirl325” for 20% off a box over at www.squarebar.com!

Chocolate Coated Mint Chocolate Bar

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This one packed quite a bit of mint flavor. Usually, I’m put off by too much of mint because it tends to taste like toothpaste. In this case, when eaten as a whole, I could taste a slight bitterness from the mint extract, and it was a little overpowering for my taste buds. In little chunks though, it was much more enjoyable because you also got the sweet chocolate coating. Overall, I wasn’t too surprised at my reaction to this bar since I am particular on mint products. But on the plus side, you probably wouldn’t have to carry around mints or gum if you have this bar on hand.

Chocolate Coated Coconut Bar

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This bar was actually good considering I’m not the biggest fan of coconut! The coconut taste isn’t too overpowering at all like the mint bar. I do tend to like coconut paired with chocolate though, and that could have contributed to why I really like this bar. Coconut fan or not, I still recommend this bar!

Chocolate Coated Crunch Bar

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This one is by far my favorite bar. Simple, but deliciously chocolaty. It reminded me of a dark chocolate Crunch bar. There were in fact little crunchy pieces in it, which made it fun to eat because there were little “airy” chunks.

Chocolate Coated Cherry Bar

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I heard good things about this one so I was excited to try it! I was imagining more of an artificial and overpowering cherry taste like the chocolate covered cherries from the store, but this bar didn’t taste like that all. There was a more subtle cherry taste. Paired with the chocolate coating made it a perfect snack when you’re craving chocolate and fruit.

Chocolate Coated Almond Spice Bar

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I have to admit. This is a very unique sounding flavor, and I had no idea what to expect when taking a bite. I have to say though, I really liked this one! Only because it tasted exactly like the Chocolate Coated Crunch Bar. Unfortunately, I couldn’t taste the “Almond Spice” at all, which I was hoping would give the bar a very unique flavor. Doesn’t mean this bar was disappointing, but I just wish it had it’s own distinct flavor like the other ones had.