What My Period Taught Me

I’m one of those people who is a little too open and honest about personal topics. The topics that other’s would consider awkward.

So people who know me weren’t surprised when my news of getting my period (after being absent for 2 years) nearly went viral.

Now I completely understand that it’s not glamorous to talk about your menstrual cycle, I get it. But what is glamorous, is being healthy.

Getting my periods was my indicator that I was at my ideal weight .My body was absorbing all the nutrients it needed to function properly and recover from the neglect and abuse I once put it through.

I don’t agree with an exact goal weight that comes from using the BMI. Everybody is different and functions better at their own individual weight.

One of the many arguments with my doctor over the years was about getting me to my “goal” weight. Go figure! (no pun intended).

My doctor was all for the pill. In fact, every doctor I spoke with recommended the pill.

This was because when a woman doesn’t ovulate and her hormones are out of balance, calcium and other nutrients aren’t properly absorbed by the body. This then can lead to fragile, brittle bones  and one day osteoporosis.

So by going on the pill and reaching a certain weight that is based on the BMI is exactly what I was being forced to do.

I didn’t want anything to do with the pill. I didn’t want a synthetic period that hides the real issue as to why I’m not getting my own period. I was also aware that the pill takes away many other nutrients from your body and don’t even get me started on how it affects my mood.

Using the BMI as a reference often got me fixated on a certain number based on others when I should be learning to listen to my own body.

I’m glad I stood my ground and stood up for my beliefs on this one.

I have learned to trust my body and not to compare it to others. I won’t lie and say it was easy because it was painfully hard, and some days it still is but knowing that the hard work has paid off, I know now that it was worth it.

Something common among people who suffer from eating disorders is their interest in health and nutrition.

Friends and family often don’t understand this because it is completely contradicting.

Many suffers of anorexia are very knowledgeable about nutrition. Many pursue it as a career, but in the peak of their illness, the meaning of health is disordered.

Its common that suffers often started their diet with the intension to get healthier which then turned into an eating disorder.

When the results from a new diet become visible and your health and energy levels are improving it’s easy to get carried away and take it further.

Not everyone requires the same nutritional needs. This is also why I am against common weight loss diets and programs because everybody is different and requires specialised programs to suit their own unique needs.

For example, the diet and exercise program that once helped me shed a little weight, gave me more energy and helped my overall health and wellbeing became toxic when I stuck with the diet for a long period of time.

When your body weight drops below a healthy level, the fat around your brain also drops so the way you think is altered.

When all fats, including the healthy fats are completely removed from your body, you are more prone to depression. Your body won’t receive all the nutrients that it needs. Energy levels drop and before you know it your overall health is spiralling down and soon it becomes out of control.

So even when people, like myself ate extremely healthy foods during anorexia and through recovery it doesn’t mean that your “healthy” diet is healthy for you or the person next to you.

This is the one thing that took me a long time to deal with.

Through recovery I ate an amazing diet.

Friends and colleges were amazed by how many nuts, avocado’s, seeds and oils I ate every single day and said if they ate that much they would balloon.

Why anyone would say that to someone with an eating disorder is beyond me but as much as that pained me to hear those comments, my body needed those nutrients to help my brain and my body recover.

With all of those amazing healthy fats and wholesome nutrition, I put on weight but it happened extremely slowly. I didn’t balloon at all. (Though some days I felt like I did, which was all in my disordered thinking).

So now that I have reached my goal weight and on the way to being glamorously healthy, what now?

Stay tuned…

As always, I love reading your comments!

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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Filed under Body Image, Health

The Sweet Blogosphere

Did you know that I have never had a conversation with another vegan in person?

Well it’s true (unfortunately).

I have an incredible family and gorgeous friends, but I often feel like I am alone because we are on completely different journeys through life.

It wasn’t until I started blogging that I felt as if I was surrounded by positive people who are going through the exact same obstacles and journeys that I was going through.

This is what I love about the blogosphere; It connects you to each and every one of your soul mates.

From having no one who understands to having so many people walking in the same shoes as you feels incredible.

Maria from Little Miss Cornucopia nominated me for my first ever award! The Super Sweet Blogging Award.

It is such a great compliment and she has warmed my heart by nominating me.

So thank you Maria for your heart filled comments on my blog and also for the nomination!

Rules for the Super Sweet Blogging Award:

  1. Give credit to the person who nominated you.
  2. Nominate a Baker’s Dozen (13) other blogs. ( I think I’ll only be able to nominate a few)
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Answer the following 5 “Super Sweet” questions:
  1. Cookies or Cake?
    I am a cake lover for sure! At the moment I’m loving my Ridiculously Healthy Banana Muffins.
  2. Chocolate or vanilla?
    Chocolate because I am obsessed with Cacao. I don’t go a day without it! The health benefits of raw organic cacao are too good not to have in your diet every day.
  3. What is your favourite sweet treat?
    Cacao Delights and Banana nice-cream.. I just can’t choose between the two!
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most?
    The late afternoon and in the evening
  5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?
    My nickname through high school was LuLu

Nominations for the award:

Vegan Sparkles:
This girl is a like a breath of fresh air. I love her bubbly personality and her love of delicious, healthy vegan food. Did I mention she is an awesome Aussie!

Peace, Love & Greens:
Lola is very dear to me. She’s another Aussie, wellness warrior and knows the importance of connecting with your inner self. Her comments have inspired me and kept me going. I look forward to meeting her in the near future.

This Rawsome Vegan Life:
The queen of raw foods! This chick knows her stuff when it comes to taste and she throws out the stereotype of raw vegans eating only rabbit food. She eats a huge variety of mouth watering meals. Inspiring.

A Dash Of Meg:
I love Meg’s positivity and her weekly High-Five Friday.
She encourages people to be proud of themselves and have a healthy fulfilling life.
I love her passion for health and fitness.

Celery and Cupcakes:
Jemma shares her love for health, fitness, food and fashion. One thing that really inspired me was that Jemma is always honest and overcame the guilt of not exercising for an “X” amount of time. I’m so proud of her that she has learnt to respect her body and give it more self love! Very inspiring.

I am so glad I have been able to connect with all of you and these awesome girls.

Together we can all help and inspire others to live their own authentic lives filled with health and happiness.

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa

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Ridiculously Healthy Banana Bread/Muffins

Hey lovelies,

Recently I have been a little quite here on The Raw Serenity and I do apologize for that.

I have been caught up in other commitments and I will admit I have neglected my “down time” which I now know is extremely important to prioritise!

Anyways on the positive side, I have tackled some serious obstacles of mine.

I have taken on some foods that I haven’t eaten in a very long time due to listening to the lies of my eating disorder and I have been trying to remove all of the bullshit brainwashing about certain foods and diets.

The media has been telling us for years that carbs put on weight. They have made us become frightened of eating any type of carbohydrate.

Just like fat, not all carbohydrates put on weight. We need a certain amount of carbohydrates daily in order for our bodies to function correctly.

More than any diet claims there is, the claim about fruit making people put on weight irritates me the most.

That irritates me just by mentioning it, so anyways the main point is ,I am not denying my body of certain foods anymore. Instead I am listening and fueling my body with a wide variety of healthy, whole foods from every food group.

Another claim that frustrates me is that vegan food can’t be delicious and also healthy whole foods can’t taste nearly as good as the processed, refined foods.

So to argue the point, I have created ridiculously delicious and nutritious banana bread /muffins!

They have:

  • No added sugar
  • Fat Free
  • Wholegrain
  • No artificial colours or flavours
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Organic

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Organic Wholegrain Spelt Flour
  • 1 tsp baking Soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp pink Himalayan salt (or regular sea salt)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 Almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • ½ cup date syrup* ( see recipe below)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 2 cups over ripe mashed bananas ( roughly 5 medium bananas)
  • 1 tbsp stevia

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Combine dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add wet ingredients into the bowl and mix in with a spoon or hands (don’t over mix).

Pour mixture into muffin liners or bread tin and bake for 20-25mins.

* I made my own date syrup by using two handfuls of dates into the food processer and slowly adding water until it resembled a syrup consistency

So I hate to tell you I told you so but really this recipe proves the point that healthy vegan baking is truly amazing for your health and your taste-buds.

What is one health claim that you are  often correcting for people?

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa

8 Comments

Filed under Health, Recipes, Snacks

Mexican Taco Salad

Last month I feared eating out. In a recent post I told you how a previous dining experience became a stressful event. I can now proudly tell you that the fear of dining out is gone!

I am not apologetic for being vegan, asking for dressing on the side or making some adjustments to a dish.

I now dine out regularly which is a huge step. A bigger step is that I haven’t been getting stressed out about it (miracles do happen peeps!).

Eating vegan when dining out isn’t all that hard as most places at least have a garden salad you can order if nothing else. However I have recently had an unpleasant experience at an Italian restaurant when I asked if the risotto was vegan.

I firstly had to explain what a vegan was (she must live under a rock) and then after she rolled her eyes at me instead of writing down my name she just wrote vegan.

Her service defiantly annoyed me but deep down I know that she just doesn’t understand.

Anyways the risotto was awesome and it was the first time since I’ve had one in 7 years! Again, let me mention that I didn’t stress over it!

On Sunday my boyfriend took me to some beaches around the area that I haven’t seen before.

The beaches were isolated and so natural. There were no high rises or houses across from the beach but instead bush tracks and palm tree’s surrounding the white sand. It felt amazing to see so much natural beauty.

One the way back home we stopped into a Mexican restaurant as we were both starving.

Looking at the menu I immediately started to recreate meals in my head that I could make a healthier vegan version at home.

Naturally, raw walnut tacos came to mind as they are one of my favourite meals but I wanted something a little more authentic for a Mexican dish.

I made this meal for lunch yesterday and loved every bite. I saw a similar Mexican black bean salad on Pinterest and new it would be the perfect filling inside a raw taco shell.

Ingredients:
Serves 2

1 can organic black beans

¾ cup diced red capsicum

1.5 raw sweet corn cobs

½ sml-med red onion

1 medium ripe avocado

½ -1 tbsp lemon juice

8 cos lettuce leaves

Instructions:

  1. Dice capsicum and onion and transfer into a bowl.
  2. Rinse and drain black beans and pour them into the bowl.
  3. Cut corn off the cob and mix into the beans, capsicum and onion
  4. Place avocado and lemon juice into a food processor and mix until it is smooth and creamy
  5. Serve on cos lettuce leaves

How easy is that!

Like me, everyone seems to be getting extremely busy at the moment but this just goes to show how quick and easy a nutritious meal can be.

I’d love to know your last Mexican meal that you ate and if you have tried to recreate it at home?

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

4 Comments

Filed under Mains, Recipes

I Am Proud Of My Body

Hi all,

Sorry for the lack of posts recently.

I have been extremely busy but will get back into the hang of things very soon!

I am a huge fan of Kate Winslet; always have been but since reading the quote in the above image about creating a positive body image for children, I love her even more.

I admire her talent but most of all I admire the way she treats her body with respect and doesn’t cave into the unhealthy celebrity habits.

It absolutely terrifies me to see young girls being diagnosed with eating disorders and having a negative body image. The age groups for children being affected are getting younger each year.

The days are gone when the only thing you had to worry about when you were eight years old was what Barbie you were going to bring to “show and tell”.

I was actually told last week that eight year olds don’t play with Barbies anymore, they are far too old for that. I am still in shock.

I can’t say I am all that surprised. Everywhere you look there are images of photo-shopped models.

Every second advert on TV is about a new diet or a diet product to try.

The majority of movies have a token fat person that everyone picks on.

Music videos are just soft porn.

And the one thing girls do best when we get together is talk about weight loss and diet.

These are just a few examples of what young children have around them on a daily basis.

I’m not a mother. I do however want to be a mother one day and it breaks my heart to think that my daughter (or son) will be around all of these unhealthy messages.

I understand that we can’t eliminate every negative image and message from kids these days, but I do know that parents have the biggest influence on kids.

I too, have never heard one woman say “I am proud of my body”. I have heard a million times what they hate about their body but never anything that they are proud of.

I don’t blame my mum for never saying that she is proud of her body. My history of my eating disorder didn’t evolve from her. She isn’t one who fixates on her body. In fact I admire the way she has never stressed too much about it.

But I never heard her (or anyone else) say that they were proud of what they had.

Perhaps because we all didn’t want to seem “full of ourselves”.

I once remember my brother saying how awesome his muscles were and we all laughed and told him he had a big head. I can now see why we never spoke about what we liked about ourselves.

Kids have forgotten how to be kids. I see toddlers wearing clothes just like mummy and demanding baby cinnos.

We all give complements to little girls about their appearance. A child shouldn’t care about their appearance! They shouldn’t worry about their figure because they don’t have a figure to watch.

At work, I am around young kids all the time. For a few months I have been mindful of what I say around little girls. I never comment or compliment them on their appearance. I have told them that they are very important and that they have a big heart. I have told them that they can achieve anything they want in life and you know what, their smile was larger than ever and their spirits were high without talking about body image.

I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Did your parent’s relationship with their bodies affect yours?

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

9 Comments

Filed under Body Image, Social Pressure

Loveable Pumpkin Chickpea’s

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a tendency to over dose on pumpkin. I can’t help it, pumpkin seriously goes with everything.  From sweet to savoury, the good old pumpkin is a staple in my recipes.

You know how people cover their meals that they aren’t too sure of with sauce or cheese? I’m like this with pumpkin. If I add pumpkin into a meal, I’m never worried about not enjoying it (example: my pumpkin sushi recipe).

I am not 100% in love with raw cauliflower rice (yet!). I love cooked cauliflower rice but haven’t made the full transition to eating it raw.

So today I added all of my favourite ingredients into a mix to place on a bowl of raw cauliflower rice.

It worked, I completely loved every mouthful!

Loveable Pumpkin Chickpea’s

Ingredients:

1/3 cup cooked chickpeas

1/3 heaping cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup diced red capsicum

¼ cauliflower

½ pink lady apple

Flat leaf parsley to garnish

Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

(serves 1)

  1. Boil pumpkin until soft
  2. Dice apple and capsicum
  3. Place cauliflower florets into the food processor and process until they become a rice-like texture. Transfer into a bowl
  4. Once pumpkin is cooked, puree it and mix it with the diced apple, capsicum and cooked chickpeas.
  5. Transfer the mixture onto the bowl of raw cauliflower rice, sprinkle with cinnamon and add parsley to garnish

I really enjoyed this meal (obviously, it had pumpkin in it!) and loved the colours of it!

Now it’s about time I give you an update on my wellness program!

It’s been a month since I started my affirmation program and I’m proud to say that I have kept my promise of sticking with it for an entire month (High Five)!

Thank gosh for mobile phone reminders, post it notes and my alarm, otherwise I may have forgotten about saying affirmations during the day.

Since starting the program of saying daily affirmations out loud, in the mirror and multiple times a day I have felt more self love and appreciation towards myself.

I will defiantly continue with saying daily affirmations but I will however make a change to what the original program entailed.

Daily affirmations have been known to work because when you say something repeatedly for a long period of time, you begin to believe it.

I was saying a different affirmation every day and although I said it multiple times during the day I felt I wasn’t 100% convinced by the time I got to sleep.

I will now be sticking with the same affirmation for an entire week.

I feel this will allow the affirmation “soak” in more. I will be posting my weeks affirmation on twitter so make sure you are following me so you too can feel more love and appreciation towards yourself.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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Filed under Mains, Raw, Recipes

The Value In Vulnerability

Whoever said vulnerability showed weakness and powerlessness couldn’t have got it more wrong.

Being vulnerable takes courage and bravery to open up and be your own authentic self.

I have always felt a sense of embarrassment about my struggles with ED and depression.

I’d pushed people away and I wasn’t always truthful about my past and I continued to deny that I had/have struggles.

I used to feel that I shouldn’t talk about it to others and felt like my struggles would make people want to run and hide from me. I can now see that the only person running away was me.

Since moving from Sydney four months ago I have met a great group of friends and have also learnt that my fear of being vulnerable showed that I wouldn’t allow people to like me for who I really am. Instead of letting go and accepting my past and the person whom I am today, I was prepared to hold up a guard for my protection and for a decent amount of time.

Allowing myself to be completely vulnerable isn’t something I had thought of doing.

I saw the stigma behind it and wanted no part in it.

I would stick to the rules and ask for advice whenever possible to make sure I didn’t say anything inappropriate or put a foot in the wrong place.

As I have mentioned, this year is about finding my authentic self. Throughout this year I have made huge progress in finding and living in my serenity, but the fear of being vulnerable and being 100% honest in regard to my words is something I now see is what needs to be taken care of.

For the past fortnight I have been an open book. Vulnerable.

People have asked me questions and I haven’t sugar coated any answers.

I haven’t allowed myself to feel embarrassed or apologetic about my past or how I choose to live my life.

I have thrown out the book of rules that contain all the dos and don’ts in what you should do or say in certain situations and relationships. I have taken the time to dig deep and ask what I really want or think I should do, without any social pressure or other influences.

With this decision came a lot more self respect and love towards myself.

It feels as if a weight has come off my shoulders by saying to the universe “This is who I am and I’m not afraid to be me”.

This is the message I encourage all of you say to the universe from today onwards.

Vulnerability doesn’t deserve the stigma. It deserves the recognition of empowerment and self respect.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in on this topic in the comments below 🙂

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

4 Comments

Filed under Body Image, Serenity, Social Pressure