Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Stepping Outside Of The 'Recovery Bubble'

Thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts on yesterday's post. I love hearing everyone's different opinions so don't apologise for lengthy comments- the more you guys say, the more I think and learn so keep your ideas coming!

Just to clarify after a couple of comments/emails, my post wasn't necessarily about the job/issue of being 'green' itself, but more an example of a tendency *I* have to 'go for gold' at any cost, often losing myself along the way. One one hand, you've got to do what you've got to do in order to pay rent, etc, and that often does mean compromising on principles/values especially when you are new at a company and haven't worked your way up to a level where you have the safety and security of putting your foot down.

I've been trying to keep my posts broader than just eating disorders and this is likely to be rambly/boring, so feel free to scroll down to the food discussion while I attempt to organise my thoughts!

I was thinking about yesterday's post and the whole difficulty in finding a balance between 'staying true to yourself' versus what is actually practical in the real world. I've spent a lot of time in intensive treatment, having it ingrained into my brain the important aspects of recovery: to honour your feelings, to eat intuitively, to be true to your inner self, etc. I agree with ALL of this. In theory. But the real world isn't based around that- sitting with feelings and accepting them is all great but at some point, there comes a time when I need to act "as if" in order to get through the day. I don't have therapists around me 24/7 to support me- I have a job to go to, bills to pay. Living outside of hospital demands a level of functioning that I don't think treatment ever really taught me. Granted, it's not something you can learn in a group therapy session- you learn by DOING which is what I am doing now, I guess?

Other aspects of recovery come into this category too of "stuff people tell me is 'normal' but isn't easy to apply in the real world". Intuitive eating is something that I am striving for, but again- NOT always practical. When I am working, I need to eat when I am given a lunch break because the other option is to just...not eat. This kind of goes against the whole concept of intuitive eating, but is very much in-line with how 'life' operates. I might have packed a turkey sandwich, but if my body is asking for a veggie burger? Eh. Nothing I can do about that.

Kind of reminds me of high school. I was in the top French class when I was 12 and did well in the classroom. When I actually went to France, it was a whole different story. Being able to ask for directions to 'La Discothèque' got me good marks on my pop quiz, but wasn't really what I needed in order to survive several weeks in France! Nothing wrong with discos (!), but learning how to ask for a first-aid kit or directions to a bank might have been more useful.

I guess my issue right now is finding a balance between the tools/skills needed for recovery, versus what is actually realistic for how the world operates. I think it comes down to having the ability and strength to be able to hold onto the basics of staying healthy, whilst also allowing for flexibility and acceptance of change- seeing it as an opportunity to grow, rather than a huge obstacle that blocks your every movement.

sometimes being in control means just accepting a lack of control over situations


More interesting stuff, yes?

All day yesterday, I was craving peas. I don't even LIKE peas very much- they remind me of school lunches, served luke warm having been boiled to the point where they were nothing but a gloopy green mush on my plate. I didn't make gloopy mush.

Broccoli and pea crustless quiche, vegetarian baked beans (British baked beans are completely different from American ones) with roasted mushrooms, onions and steamed spinach.

What is the difference between a crustless quiche and a frittata? I thought the whole point of a 'quiche' was the crust itself?

I decided not to order muesli online because I had an insomnia induced online shopping spree and now have mounds of wraps and bars taking over my kitchen I wanted to try something a little different.

This is a regular muesli mix (oats, dried fruit) but with bran twigs in it and a higher percentage of fruit.

Muesli is ugly, no doubt about it. It was delicious though! It's hard to tell from the picture, but there was a LOT of dried apricots in this which I loved and it was much sweeter than my other muesli (which has dried berries and more of a 'tang'). This one was cheaper AND better tasting. Plus much easier for me to get.


Peanut butter fix came later on.

PB pretzel MOJO bar = *love* I think this is now one of my favourite bars- probably a good thing since I now have a whole case. I wonder if I can make sculptures out of them to at least make the pictures a little more interesting?

In other news: I am having dinner with another Edinburgh blogger on Thursday (YAY!) What would you get from this menu?


Cacti Don't Cry said...

Like I said... treatment settings are all nice and good WHILE YOU'RE IN THEM. It's applying the skills and knowledge to real life that gets tricky.

As far as I know... a frittata is basically the Italian version of an omelet, so it's made on a stove top. A quiche, crustless or not, is made in the oven.

But either way, what did you put in there? Please tell me there's no cheese, because it looks yummy. ;)

<3 <3

Anonymous said...

Life definitely does get in the way of recovering from an ED. It's hard to focus on recovery when you have so much else going on and have a schedule to go by. However, that's just the real world, so a person will have to be immersed in it at some point. Good luck on finding that balance! :)

I'm loving the close-up of the Mojo Bar. Man, that looks so good!


Lauryn said...

ellie! i absolutely love what you said about sometimes accepting that we dont have control PUTS us into control -- i am learning that more and more every day, and i think that's a HUGE part of recovery. just accepting that things happen, being okay with the feelings and emotions that come with it, and MOVING ON and continuing to live your life, not dwelling on what could have or should have been. amazing.

i went to that burger place last year when i was in london! i remember ordering a chicken sandwich, thinking it was safe, and then discovering that it was fried. i about flipped back then, but ate it up anyway because i was hungry from traveling all day and it was GOOD! the new butternut squash burger looks SO interesting, i might try that or the falafel, love me some chickpeas! good luck and ENJOY it!

Anonymous said...

I love that cartoon.

It can be hard finding the right balance, like you say, at work you have to eat at a certain time and it has to be whatever you brought. I guess it just becomes easier with time. I hope you find your right balance.

I love your meal with the baked beans (yay for British baked beans)

Kristina said...

I tend to lurk, but I really like this post (and the previous one). My attitude is that recovery helps me "do" life rather than 'doing life doesn't aid in recovery'. At a certain point in the past few months, I realized that I was eating what was around and what my partner and I had planned to eat rather than needing a set and very specific menu. It has given me a great degree of freedom to have made this transition.
Anyway, I just wanted to comment.
Thanks for a great post.

The Novice Berker said...

Aw dear, I think adapting to real-life situations will be a learning experience, for sure. You'll get there eventually, but for now, just worry about progress perhaps. :)

I think a frittata is typically made in a skillet--like you cook it on your stove for a little while, and then you stick it in your oven to finish cooking (so the skillet has to be oven safe). Quiche is all oven.

Healthy Beach Bum said...

Girl you are an inspiration. I promise we are all here for you. Things WILL get better! <3

I would love to try those baked beans and see the difference in taste!

have a great day chica <3333

Anonymous said...

Really? I am not saying this in a bratty way at all, but.. my muesli is pretty! hahaha. I'm sure yours tastes amazing :) It looks more flavorful, actually.
I am trying intuitive eating right now and it is hard! I hope you have better luck than me with it because right now I am struggling a LITTLE bit. I think my ED messed up my hunger signals :/

"sometimes being in control means just accepting a lack of control over situations"----> brilliant.

And you are right, Sex and the City IS educational ;)

Jaime said...

hey girl!

i really loved what you said about the tools/skills needed for recovery vs what is realistic-- thats a revolutionary thought! never thought about it like that... i guess i just thought tools/skills were always realistic but now i can see the difference!!

LOVE the mojo bars-- they are SO delish!!

xoxoxo j

eatingRD said...

I LOVE that quote that being in control is accepting having things not quite in control! I think that is one of the problems I have. I like to have things perfectly planned and in order and when things don't quite go as planned or I don't feel completely comfortable or safe in my element, it doesn't go so well for me. I am still working on this too. I like frittatas and I make something I call a friquisha, it's a cross between a quiche and a frittata with a crispy potato crust. And I love mojo bars, sweet and salty flavors are my fav.

Brooke said...

I would definitely order the Butternut Squash Burger. That looks absolutely incredible! I love Blogging lunches!...remember to focus on your day to day success through the recovery process. I think you are experiencing so much success and you should really be so proud of yourself!

Tina said...



Thank you so much for all your gifts, I adore them! All those bars are awesome! They're even raw! Wow, you should have seen my face when I got your package.

Your eats look really good too. By the way, I also don't get the crustless quiche... it's like base-less pizza... doesn't make sense and is absolutely unnatural!

I looked at the menu and the falafel kept calling my name! But it all actually looks pretty good.

Lots of love,


elise said...

do you even have to ASK?! falafal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

btw, where exactly do you live now? and when are you coming back?

Anonymous said...

Definitly the boar burger! But the butternut squash one sounds very interesting. If im ever heading in your direction we need to meet up and go to this place for lunch :P

My bday is on the 27th btw. I used to have a sainsburys right next to me when i was in glasgow and there isn't one here...pfft. Really cheesed off since I really want to try more larabars.
Recovery IS really hard, especially when you have to juggle eating this way with a life. Dreading this time coming but this will normalise life for us. At the moment it is very hard, but it can only get easier for us all. No matter what the cost at the moment, we have a whole future ahead of us without ED!

Syd said...

The food always looks good here. I agree that each person in a recovery program has to deal with reality which is living life on life's terms for me. I think that the 12 step program has given me a lot of tools to use in doing that.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have seen several seasons of Scrubs! I haven't seen the most recent seasons, though - I think I stopped watching around the time when JD's new girlfriend was in the picture. But I just recently rewatched like the first 3 seasons. It was definitely a contender for being on my list.

I totally feel you on how 'intuitive eating' is considered normal but is not always practical. But like you said, it definitely must be about balance.

janetha said...

oh ellie! i am SO glad you posted a comment on my blog so i could find yours. the fact that you post TFD comics makes your blog a winner already! can't wait to read more :D i added you to my reader. xoxo

K from ksgoodeats said...

Well, I'm late BUT quiche = oven, frittata = stove top ;)

Learning to let go of things is HARD but it does eventually come to you. I like to be in control of everything but there are times where life throws curve balls and I just have to go with it. It will get easier!


ElleMigliore said...

ellie ellie ellie,

thank you so very much for your kind words to me in my ever so dramatic gre post! haha. it definitely helped me feel better and i'm very thankful to have such an incredible support system on here!!

I really agree with what you said about accepting that we dont always have control! Once we get past that, i feel anxiety lifts!

A frittata and omelet and crustless quiche are all basically the same thing but dont ever try to argue that to my italian grandmother! hahha. Nonetheless, what you made still looks delicious!!

Have a wonderful tuesday and talk to you soon!!

Gina said...

That's my favorite flavor of mojo bar!! Mmmm I want one right now! IT's funny you crave things that you don't even like, I'm trying to think if I ever do that....Your photo with the mushrooms and baked beans (two of my favorite foods, strange) looks great, I can't believe it but I haven't had baked beans once since spring! I've been to a billion bbqs and no baked beans!! what?!

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with what you said abt therapy vs real life. you hear all this good stuff and agree with it, but it's a whole diff story in your daily life. It's easy to say, hard to apply! But I think it's perfectly doable, if you really understand the underlying context behind the concept.
Take intuitive eating for example: It's not just about "listening" to your body. It's about letting go of rigid time schedules and control. So of course you can have your meal in your fixed times, because eating ONLY when you're hungry is plain stupid. We eat to PREVENT getting hungry. I think the underlying message here is that if it's 2 hours before dinner and you're hungry, then eat something, instead of being stubborn abt having to eat at the exact same dinner time. Make sense? It just takes a lot of common sense and test and trials.
Ok, I looked at the menu. And my mouth is watering. EVERYTHING look damn awesome. Just don't get a sissy salad, lol. If it were me, I'd get anything with goat cheese. and look for unique and unusual condiments. They really make a regular burger pop. or that chicken camembert and cranberry! oh my lordie. Can I join you guys please?

Nutritious is Delicious said...

I tried one of those MOJO bars a few days ago and I agree...They are THE BEST! Mine was a chocolate one, but whatever...they are AMAZING!

That crustless quiche looks great! Did you make it?! If so..hook me up!!

curlytop said...


Control is a tough issue with me. Thank you so much for posting about it! It feels great to know I'm not alone in this!

Yum! Mojo bars.

Have a fantabulous humpday tomorrow!

With Love,


Anonymous said...

first of all yayy for having dinner plans with another blogger! How fun for you two!
And yes I couldn't agree more with a lot of what you had to say in this blog. I feel like there are so many "other" situations that come along that go against the "rules" of becoming normal or whatever. Sometimes life will throw you a curveball and its just about working with it. Sometimes the real world can change things and we just have to go with it, ya know?!
Anyway, as usualy, you are insightful and amazing! hope you had a great day!

Anonymous said...

Hi hun,

I love what you wrote about being in control means having a lack of it in certain situations. im still stuck in my routine and comfort zone so i really need to remeber that line when im feeling challenged!

yeah i have holland and barret near me..i love it :) i still havent tried pure protein bars, so i think i should very soon!

Love the eats, baked beans are awesome!!

curlytop said...


Hey Sweetie!

Just wanted to let you know that I FINALLY put up a blogroll on curlytop. And you, my friend, are right there on my list of fellow food bloggigans!

With Love,


curlytop said...


Hey Sweetie!

Just wanted to let you know that I FINALLY put up a blogroll on curlytop. And you, my friend, are right there on my list of fellow food bloggigans!

With Love,