Thank You Waffle Maker

So yesterday I picked up a waffle mould when on a homewear shopping excursion with my sister. As I was at the checkout, feeling waaay too excited about my purchase, I started to formulate what wonderful ingredients I could mix into the waffle batter…….

…….and here I am, back at home, bowl in one hand and wooden spoon in the other. Leo is at the ready with the waffle mould and we’re ready to test this baby out! “Commence project waffle!”

 

to be continued……

My Little Bubble

Having pulled on a pair of freshly washed PJs, with a tied up mop of damp, coco-nutty hair, I have come to reside in the cosiness of our spare room. In my little bubble, Leo’s night light is casting stars and moons on the ceiling and here I am in front of my Mac. Ready to regain a bit of myself. Ready to start blogging again.

I can’t believe that my break from blogging ended up spanning so many months. What can I say? Erm….I’ve been busy?!? I know people say that nothing can quite prepare you for becoming a parent, well, I would, hands down, agree with that statement. Nights spent with Phil, seeing friends and going to the gym have been replaced with playtime, bath time and a never ending list of household chores. And I’m not gonna lie…..it’s been pretty bloody tough but any negativity is blown out of my head as soon as a smile breaks across this cheeky monkey’s face….ImageI still can’t believe he’s mine :-)

Anyway….in an attempt to regain a sense of self I decided to drop by and say hey. So…..hey! I plan on updating you with last years shenanigans in the coming weeks. So much has changed…..

ImageFurthermore, I return to blogging with a whole new set of perspectives. I’ve learnt so much about myself since having Leo and have feel like I have finally got my priorities in their rightful order. Of course, I still love to dance, run and make random kitchen concoctions….but now I have a little sidekick to encourage, inspire and come along for the ride :-)

Until next time :-)

xoxo

 

 

 

Pregnancy after Anorexia – Post Baby Body, Post ED

Today I’m going to invite you to take a step inside my brain….beware it’s scary in here! I thought it was time that I wrote about post-pregnancy body image – I mean, watching your belly expand like giant balloon doesn’t sound thrilling to most people, never mind those with a history of anorexia….but watch that belly I did! And now, over five months after my little man made his appearance, I feel like I can talk about this topic with a bit more insight.

I can honestly say that before I fell pregnant, I was as happy as I had ever been in my own skin. I was at my peak of fitness, running as fast as ever and bending myself into random shapes in yoga class :-) So when that smiley face appeared after pacing the bathroom for three minutes, my initial flurry of  happiness was swept away by feelings of anxiety of what was to come and, indeed, a sense of dread over how I would cope long term.

At first, I felt a little panicked that I might relapse during pregnancy itself, like Katy Bassett, featured below (you can read her story here). Luckily there were no signs of pregorexia – in fact, I was majorly hungry during the first trimester and had to eat more to stop me feeling terrible!

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I’ll be honest with you, during pregnancy I didn’t find the whole bump thing as bad as I thought I would. Initially, I feared that I would feel overcome with “Fatness” , like I did in my ED days. I mean, yeah, I had a few minor freak outs about my expanding stomach, mourned the loss of my abs and looked in the mirror a lot but it was fascinating more than upsetting. I also found incomparable amounts of joy in feeling my baby move and this kept me afloat. I’m not going to lie though…there was often a nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach about how I was going to handle the “Mummy Tummy” and not being able to exercise as much as I was used to.

Amazingly, in the later stages of pregnancy, as my bump grew so too did my fondness of it’s presence. My brain shifted. I started enjoying pregnancy and got myself into a better mindset. I kept telling myself that my healthy lifestyle and love of healthy foods would pay dividends after my baby was born. It definitely helped to think this way.

This is the part of the story that I look upon with a “Blummin heck” and a “Thank God”. Unfortunately, everything went majorly pear shaped towards the end and my little Leo arrived 4.5 weeks early. He was tiny, perfect and scared the living daylights out of us!

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A c-section and a four month womb infection left me without any body confidence in the early days – not in how it looked but how it performed. I had many dark moments feeling like my world had fallen apart. I cried about not being able to dance, run or even do a bit of yoga. I felt like screaming out loud every time I thought about the dance classes I’d lost myself in since I was old enough to walk….I felt like all had been lost. All the training, time, technique. Lost. That was the hardest thing of all.

So where am I now? Well, although I didn’t endure the extra stretching that the final month of pregnancy brings, nowadays, I am still confronted by a different figure in the mirror. I pick myself apart on the bad days – usually when I’m exhausted from being a mum. I sigh a lot and focus on all the wrong things – like how my stomach looks different or how I’ve lost muscle tone….but in comparison to the bad old days, that’s as far as it goes. All I have to do is look at my gorgeous son to be able to get a hold on things. I look back to five weeks ago when all I wanted was to not be in pain and be able to move around again – well now I can exercise again and that I am grateful for. It’s amazing how your priorities change!

It has only been recently that I’ve been bothered by feelings of low self esteem about how I look. I guess it’s because I can exercise without pain now and being the impatient person that I am, I just want my old body back NOW! And even as I type this, I am smiling to myself because I have currently got my rational, mummy head on and deep down, I know that I will never quite look like my pre-pregnancy self because that girl probably ran a bit too much and spent too much of her life in he gym. At that time, I guess that’s what made me feel like I was happy but deep down I know that it was just a bit of obsession lingering around from my ED days.

I came across this picture when reading this great article. I immediately identified with it because since I had Leo, there have definitely been times where I have homed in on certain body parts and wished that they looked different or how they used to….and again, I look at my son and shrug it off, along with the incredibly unhealthy desire for a “perfect” body.

body1I always hoped that having a baby would finally set me free from my past issues of low self esteem and a constant desire to downsize myself. I wouldn’t say that I am free but I do feel that my new priorities help me to stop disordered thought patterns from taking hold of my actions. I keep telling myself that now is the time to let my body be that of a healthy, balanced woman, reflective of a healthy lifestyle and not an obsessive one.

So yes. You will definitely encounter some remnants of the past inside this brain of mine. Lurking around, getting ready to pounce. Luckily I’ll be having none of that! KA-POW!! :-)

xoxo

Raw Food Love

Well hello there :-) I hope you’re all having a good week and are looking forward to some fun weekend plans. I’m glad I’ve found myself sitting down to write a post today- I’ve been struggling with bloggers block. Plenty to say but no way to say it!

I’ll start what will hopefully be the first of many posts, with a little peek into my quirky kitchen. As you may know from my previous posts/blog, I originally started blogging so I could share my raw vegan creations with you, along with their role in my ED recovery.
Not only has raw food helped me immensely on my recovery journey but it has helped me to feel inspired again by food in general. One of the most exciting things about visiting NYC with Nicky was having the chance to sample the city’s raw delights. We toasted to my grandma in the Caravan of Dreams, had dessert in Pure Food and Wine and got takeaway treats from One Lucky Duck….happy times with a special friend :-)

Nowadays raw food has found it’s rightful place in my diet. Most of the fruit and veg I eat is raw (unless I’m having a good old roast, of course) and one of my favourite pastimes is creating new raw treats in the kitchen.

This week has been a biscotti and chocolate week :-)

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Cherry-pistachio Biscotti
-1/3 cup dried cherries
-1/3 cup crushed pistachios
-100g ground almonds
-pinch cinnamon
-pinch nutmeg
-juice of half a lemon
Mix all the ingredients together into a paste and then press onto your dehydrator tray in your chosen shape. Dehydrate for 6hours or until the biscotti is to your desired crunchiness :-)

These go well with a big mug of green tea in the afternoon or a good old mug o’ joe :-)

Emm xxx

My Favourite Things from the Last Few Weeks

Spending every day with my little ray of sunshine.IMG_5127

Enjoying fresh, colourful foods.IMG_5126

Making Valentine’s flapjacks for the hubster. Painting.IMG_5125

The Vegetarian platter from Fodders Tea Room. Best falafel ever.
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Drinking blackberry wine from champagne glasses. Deliciously fruity.IMG_5099

Receiving a wonderful letter from a wonderful person. A lovely Skype conversation. Reading. Coffee drinking.IMG_5082 Making farmyard cupcakes for Phil’s birthday. Lemon and blueberry :-)IMG_5097

Raw food love and kitchen experiments with lucuma.IMG_5081

Laughing for ten minutes solid at Leo in his slightly-too-big snow suit – his head was like a sprout on top of a watermelon. My little oompa lumpa! IMG_5088

More lucuma….the only time you’ll ever see me eating fish :-)
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My boys :-)IMG_5019xoxo

Motivating or Destructive?

I’ve just read one of the best blog posts ever. In this post about “Blogger Responsibility”, Amanda has pretty much summed up my current thoughts on “Health” and fitness bloggers. If any of you have suffered from an eating disorder, self esteem issues or exercise addiction, it is easy to visit a blog and pick up on the worrying, familiar signs that once plagued your own daily life…….and no matter how “recovered” you are, they can still act as a trigger.

Since I had my little boy in September, I’ve found it very difficult to maintain a regular fitness regime. It’s literally a case of exercising when I can. Coming from someone who has always lived an extremely active lifestyle, this is something I continue to struggle with. A lot. I used to love challenging myself in the gym and blogging was a positive, motivating factor involved in this. I had the time to read fitness blogs, try new workouts and give myself new goals. All was well on the surface- exercise made me feel synthetically good about myself.

Then pregnancy happened. I was petrified that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the changes that happened to my body and to life in general.  I’m not going lie, some days have been tough. It doesn’t take much for those familiar, old though processes to start weaving their way through my head. “Look at your stomach now”. “You’ve lost your strength, speed, energy”. “Oh god all I want to do is have a workout”. “You’re fat”. “Will I ever feel good about myself again?”. I take long walks with my baby – 5, 6 , 7 miles of pushing the buggy, only to feel like I haven’t done enough…..

….Now that I’m a mum who has her hands full, I’ve seen the flip side to the “motivational” posts flying around the web. Distance, speed, CALORIES BURNED, pictures of flexed muscles….sigh…Honestly? If I see another bare midriff or flexed bicep I might cry! Such things are not motivating to me any more. They make my self esteem plummet and make me feel frustrated because I can’t just lace up my trainers and run….

So I’m with Amanda on keeping some things personal. Those blasted little numbers that creep into your head and become your virtual competitor in the gym? – yeah I don’t want to know. 12345 cals burned? Yeah…not healthy. I believe that the recovery from anorexia is phasic, with one of those phases involving exercise addiction for many sufferers. With a tendency for perfection being common in the anorexic community, you can see why this further leads to an obsession with being toned, fit and eating the “perfect” diet (orthorexia).  I was there once. Stuck in that blasted phase. Toned, fit, trapped by obsession. Looking at numbers, photos and being motivated by others who were trapped in the exact.same.phase.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is a fine line between motivating and triggering ones readers when it comes to health, food and fitness. Furthermore, the reaction of the reader to a post will be strongly governed  by their current circumstances. Of course, we all write our own blogs for different reasons but if we are struggling as a reader then it may be that we have to step away from certain blogs altogether.

At present, I’ve got my usual little list of favourite blogs. I’ve read most of them for years and will continue to do so because they add sunshine to my day and a smile to my face. Written by women who inspire me, they continue to remind me what blogging is really about for me – friendship, health and happiness :-) Ooohh….and of course I need regular inspiration as to what to have for tea ;-) Titch, Laura, Christina, Jemma – thank you ladies:-)

All being said, although I still have moments where I struggle with the past, I am fully aware that having a baby often involves feeling like crap sometimes! And although I can’t indulge in my passion for fitness as much, my life and my heart have never been so full. I wouldn’t change it for the world and it’s amazing to feel a strong, worthwhile sense of priority in my life that doesn’t involve a set of dumbbells.

Love from Emma

xox

Waiting….

I’m currently sitting in the car as Leo sleeps beside me. He’s so cute that my lips have become chapped from repeatedly kissing his little forehead. We’ve just been for a ride out to the local bird sanctuary and Phil has popped into M&S to get some nice food for his birthday weekend. My feet are finally warming up as I sip at the dregs of our flask of tea.

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Last night I had a wonderful dinner complete with tender stem broccoli, which I haven’t had in ages. Phil and I sat and watched, “Looper” and shared some delicious vino….mmmm!

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After pregnancy, I’ve become even more of a “one glass and you’re drunk” kinda gal. Cheap date :-)
I’ll end this random post with the birthday farmyard muffins I made for Phil. Yup….another year older tomorrow but it can’t be bad if there’s cake right?! ;-)

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Blueberry and lemon muffins topped with lemony icing and farmyard friends :-)
Happy Friday!!
Emm x x x

Lucuma makes you Looney!

“Emm? Emm? Are you there? Emm…..heeeellppppppp!!!!!!” That was Nicky in my dream last night. She’d called me up after falling into a giant bucket of lucuma….she was stuck! It was pretty distressing – the stuff was like quicksand I tell you! :-)IMG_0709Nicky and I are both huge lucuma fans – I had to tell her about my dream. So I did. And this was followed by a string of ridiculously bad jokes that resulted in Nicky telling me I was off my rocker. “It’s the lucuma man!”, I told Nicky…..”Come to think of it I’ve been going mad hyper too”, she replied. See. Lucuma. Loon inducing! :-D

As well as it’s delicious, caramel-like taste, lucuma has many health benefits, including:

 – lots of potassium

 – high calcium content so great for bones (and therefore great for those with a history of anorexia)

 – provides iron so great for athletes

- good for digestion and hormonal balance

 – has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin regeneration effects

Keeping with a fun theme, I made these lucuma and cocoa nib fishies yesterday. I used my favourite ice cube tray from Ikea as the mould :-)

Lucuma & Cocoa Nib Fishies 

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- 1/2 cup lucuma

 – 25g melted cacao butter

 – 1/4 cup agave

 – tbsp cacao nibs

- pinch of Himalayan salt

Melt the cocoa butter and then add this to a bowl containing the dry ingredients. Mix into a paste and press into your desired moulds. Place in the fridge to harden. Serve as a fun sidekick to your afternoon cuppa :-) Caramelly goodness!

Have you tried or made anything with lucuma?

xoxo

The Drive

A fresh smattering of snow on the Yorkshire Dales.

Flask of tea. Notebook. Pen.

Moody snowscapes. Bleak. Beautiful.

Baby sleeping, snoring. Lashes touching cheek.

Taking pictures through the window.

Cold nose, frozen toes.

Red grouse on a hill as the wind rattles in.

“Like  marshmallow land”

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Almond-Apple Butter Porridge alpro #deskfest

Piping hot oats made with alpro almond milk, a blob of apple butter and a sprinkling of crushed walnuts…..a perfect winter breakfast :-)  IMG_5012

I whipped up a batch of this wonderful apple butter spread last night and loved it on my morning oats. I reckon this would also be great mixed into yoghurt or as a fruit spread for a crunchy crisp bread.IMG_5011I’m really enjoying the alpro #deskfest challenge. I love checking out all the entries and I actually feel inspired about breakfast again! It’s so easy to skip breakfast when you have a baby. It’s all about getting little one fed, dressed, cleaned and comfortable. Morning quickly becomes afternoon and before you know it, your stomach starts to rumble wildly!
IMG_4964Alpro almond milk – love this stuff!

Later alligator! :-)

xoxo