Finding Balance with Exercise in Recovery

Growing up, exercise was a huge part of my childhood. I was the kid who played three sports competitively, five sports leisurely, and always needed to be on the go. Both my parents were college athletes so I have natural athleticism and coordination that allowed me to excel at just about every sport I tried. Soccer? Check. Basketball? Yep. Tennis. Game-set-match. Swimming? Well, I wasn’t fond of getting my hair wet but it was exercise and I was good at it so why not?

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Supporting a Sibling in Recovery

The impact mental illness has on a family is extraordinary. As parents, we were challenged every day for years as we struggled to understand anorexia, depression, and anxiety and find a way to stop it from destroying our daughter’s life. We had her to protect and, equally as important, her younger brother. He was caught up in the chaos and confusion like the rest of us, and he was only eleven. How could we help him understand what was happening to his big sister when we didn’t fully get it ourselves? Our love for both of them dictated our path moving forward. We decided not to shut him out or protect him from the truth; instead, we chose to do our best to meet his needs, openly communicate what was going on with Julia and include him in her treatment, get him personal counseling so he could ask questions and share his feelings, and always make sure he knew he had our unconditional love and support.

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Why I Became a Vegetarian

Deciding to become a vegetarian 25 years ago was an impulse decision that I have never regretted making. I didn’t like the way eating meat made me feel, nor did I like the slaughtering of animals. And so one day, while separating the raw chicken breasts in a value pack into smaller portions, I stopped and thought about what I was holding in my hands and asked myself if this, if eating meat, was really something I felt good about. My wife didn’t need any convincing and just like that, we became vegetarians. We’ve never looked back, and year by year, as the research on the benefits of living a vegetarian lifestyle increase, I feel proud of the choice that we made.

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Food Deprivation

Hungry. Low energy. Trouble sleeping. Irritable. Anxious. Hair falling out. Changes in mood. Always cold. These describe Julia when she was in the throes of her eating disorder. They also describe the symptoms experienced by kids with chronic hunger due to poverty. I find it curious that I have a daughter recovering from an eating disorder and a volunteer job coordinating a food assistance program for public school students with food insecurity. I didn’t think about this serendipitous connection in my life until it came to writing this post, and now that I am, I’m wondering if it was a subconscious, spiritual intervention or simply a coincidence. It gives me pause.

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Yogurt Parfait

This healthy and flavorful creation can be enjoyed as a breakfast, snack, or compliment to a main meal. The granola provides a textural element to the smooth yogurt and soft berries and is the perfect topping for cereal, smoothies, ice cream, and any other dish that needs some crunch or calories.

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Sesame Peanut Noodles

Even non-peanut lovers will enjoy this Asian noodle dish with its subtle peanut flavor and complementary vegetable toppings. Served warm or cold and simple to prepare, it’s an ideal recipe for when you’re short on time and need something quick and satisfying to put on the table.

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Snickerdoodles

This cinnamon sugar cookie originated in Germany but became popular in New England a long time ago. We love the whimsical 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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