Surviving Thanksgiving with an Eating Disorder

Of all the holidays I celebrate, Thanksgiving is my least favorite. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; that I, an introverted vegetarian recovering from an eating disorder, do not enjoy a day where large groups of people gather to eat large amounts of rich and meaty food. But it almost always does.

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Refeeding My Anorexic Child

Helping a loved one get well when they’re ill usually involves doing what you can to help them relieve their discomfort and fight to overcome their illness. You’re working together. This isn’t the case with mental illness. For a teenager with an eating disorder like Julia, wellness and relief from pain were not her endgame when she was in crisis, nor we were in it together. It was so complicated and counterintuitive as a parent and caregiver. I couldn’t understand why anyone would feel compelled to harm themselves. But mental illness sends a different message to the afflicted. It makes everyday living full of conflict. Anorexia, experts say, is the worst of all of them with its high mortality rate and long-term physical damage.

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Homegrown Traditions

My kids grew up watching their mothers haul the kitchen scraps to the compost bin in the corner of our yard day in and day out in all types of weather. They had to listen to me talk excitedly each year about the early spring tradition of digging up the cooked compost from “the pit” and moving it to the vegetable garden, followed by moving the uncooked compost from the bin into “the pit” for next spring, and finally cleaning out and repairing the bin to begin anew. The smell, the worms, the browns and greens, all of it they have heard every year for their whole lives.

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Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are a cinnamon sugar cookie that became popular in New England a long time ago. We love the name, the simplicity, and the soft yet crispy texture our recipe creates.

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Eating Disorder Recovery as a Vegetarian

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a vegetarian. Both of my parents are pescatarian, so I grew up eating very little meat. I cut meat out altogether when I was seven, mostly for ethical reasons, then fish at age twelve, and I’ve never gone back. Being a vegetarian is all I’ve ever known, so you can imagine my surprise when my lifestyle was met with skepticism and disapproval by the doctors who treated me for my eating disorder.

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Strawberry Shortcake

This recipe is elegant, easy to make, and delicious. It’s one of Katherine’s favorite desserts, so we’ve made it special for her birthday tomorrow.

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