Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Getting the right vitamins on a vegan diet, vitamin malabsorption, vegan in recovery? (Masterpost - veganism)

Ive recently gotten some questions about a vegan diet and whether it is healthy or not also about getting the right vitamins and minerals on a vegan diet.

So first off, i still stand by my opinion that a vegan diet in recovery is not recommended. And this is because 1) You need alot of food (most often) in recovery and unless you are eating alot of nuts, oils and avocado it can be hard to reach the right calorie amount. 2) Your body is in a much higher need of vitamins and minerals as well as protein to repair the body and unless you are food combining right and eating alot of food as well as varied it can be hard to reach the right amount (however with a dietician who has knowledge about a vegan diet its not impossible, but not something i would recommend you do on your own), 3) if you have an eating disorder a vegan diet can be restrictive... it doesnt have to be restrictive but if you have fear foods or dont want to eat bread, pasta, potatoes, oil, avocado, nuts etc you might end up just eating vegetables and fruit and that ISNT enough in recovery or for anymore in all honesty. 4) I wouldnt put labels on yourself... instead just be open to everything, maybe you were vegan before you became sick so you could never eat meat again but maybe you crave some dairy or eggs.... then eat it, that might be just what your body needs. Dont have any labels or restrictions on yourself in recovery, maybe in the future when your body is physically and mentally healthy then you might be able to live a 100% vegan lifestyle, but in recovery that might not be the case. Rememeber that eating a few plant based meals each day still makes a difference!

How to get the right vitamins and minerals on a vegan diet? I have more information about this below as well as will link to alot of my old posts about veganism that will help hopefully!

POST: how to get enough/right vitamins on a vgean diet
POST: Getting right vitamins and minerals on a vegan diet (very hepful about what the vitamins do  and where to get them, in simple terms!)

Its not hard to get vitamins and minerals on a vegan diet if you eat varied and that doesnt mean you have to eat different vegetables everyday or every meal, but like i wrote in THIS post, i vary which foods i buy each week. .Example one week i buy brocolli and potatoes and green lentils and the next week i buy red lentils, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts and that gives me a variety over time.

Variety and abundance is key to getting the right vitamins and minerals. HOWEVER it is known that the iron amount absorbed from plant based food isnt as good as from meat or fish, however its not impossible to get the right iron amount as long as you dont have another problem with the absorption of iron (which can be a reason why you might not be able to go vegan). Information below about which food sources give you iron on a vegan diet.

It's also important to take b12 supplement and even an omega 3 supplement with DHA and EPA as that is hard to get on a vegan diet. You can read more HERE

And then its of course calcium and vitamin D which you might need a supplement of depends on how you and what you eat. Both calcium and Vitamin D sort of go together and without the right amount of vitamin D calcium wont be absorbed as well, so you may be eating alot of calcium through enriched products but if you arent getting enough Vitamin D it wont be stored/absorbed as well!!

So, you can ask yourself.... is a vegan diet actually healthy when you need supplements, b12 atleast... the others you might/might not need. I often get asked this question and all i can say is that i dont eat a vegan diet because its "Healthy", but because i believe its ethically right. You can eat just oreos and vegan cheese and vegan chocolate and be a vegan... but that isnt healthy. Jjust like you can eat just bananas or just raw food but that doesnt make it healthy either.... (In fact i often wonder how healthy raw vegans actually are or fruitarians as they must be missing alot of vitamins or minerals or even enough protein?).

For an adult who is physically active, healthy and has no underlying illnesses or no problems with digestion or food absorption then a vegan diet which is balanced and varied it can be healthy.... but for someone with an underlying illness or has problem with vitamin absorption then it can be a problem.

And what is vitamin malabsorption? It can be due to many reasons but often due to an illness which effects your intestines such as celiak disease, Chrons, pancreatitis, inflammation in the intestines, injury or illness in the gallbladder, liver or pancreas. But even just having an eating disorder where the intestines are very much affected as well the digestion can affect vitamin absorption.
Because of having CF the absorption of fat and essentially fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins is decreased as well as calcium absorption is low. So it is very important for me to take supplements of those as well as enzymes to help my body break down and absorp fat. For me it works to be a vegan and have CF however if a person who has CF and is much sicker with the illness it might be hard for them to have a vegan diet because of the low absorption rate of those vitamins, minerals and fat. However in the future i might work with CF patients as well who are interested in eating a vegan diet and still being healthy!


Of course i don't want to deter you from eating plant based however knowledge is so important or going to a proffessional with knowledge about a vegan diet and how to help you/give you adivce (i.e me in the future hahahah!). I'm not saying i have the best diet, i dont actually think about what i eat or about my vitamins or mineral levels, but in 2 weeks time i'm getting my blood tests done (and 1 year as a vegan) as well as going to a dietician and we'll see what my blood tests say and whether i might be lacking something or not. I do take a multivitamin everyday as well as extra vitamin D as well as a vegan Omega 3 tablett, and then i need more of other vitamins and minerals because of my CF.

I would suggest, eat an abundance and eat varied. Try different vegetables, eating beans and lentils and if you like/can eating soy products is important on a vegan diet as well as fortified products to help get other vitamins and minerals.

Below is information and more posts which might help you, but feel free to comment below if you have more questions. HOWEVER i dont do meal plans, i am fully qualified to do that yet, but in the future i will :)



Vegan staple foods to have at home
A guide to going vegan by acti-veg
Food combining as a vegan
Why you should eat varied and balanced over the week.
Did veganism make me more healthy? My opinion on different vegan diets
Is it necessary to take a vitamin supplement?
Talking about my nutrition and intake on a vegan diet 
Thinking about going vegan & 17 food cooking hacks 
Not allowed to be vegan while living at home
Vegan on a college budget and how to save money




Sunday, May 28, 2017

Motivation for the new week and new goals

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 :

When the fear isnt in the way, this is actually an awesome thing.  I dont have to wait for others because I can do so much for myself....and by doing it I am not only healing myself but becoming a better person for others to be around...Selfishness can be the most unselfish thing if done with a loving heart:

quote and text image:

Balance is the key. In everything you do.:

Nourish. Grow. Inspire. And let every choice you make be a brick in the foundation of rebuilding yourself.:


Some motivation for the new week!!!

Set some goals, be kind to yourself, be kind to others. Do things that make you happy, do something that brings you towards your goals everyday. Drink some water, make sure to eat, dont forget your medication, get enough hours sleep each night!

Its easy to feel stressed, tired, irritated, angry..... you cant always be super happy but always try your best. Remember to not make a bad 5 minutes turn into a bad 24 or 48 hours. Instead move on and see the best and make the best out of each day!

As a cashier it means having to be happy, smiling and positive towards each customer and its not always easy, just before my breaks my energy usually dips, but im reminding myself to not let that happen. Be more present, be happy and energetic, be kind to everyone! One positive thing i have learned though is to not let a customers bad energy or their negative behaviour or words towards me affect me...instead i can just shrug it off and that is definitely something you need in this branch/type of work hahah. The heat affects people in such negative ways, they come in all stressed and angry and take their irritation or anger out on me.... but i shrug it off and make sure to be extra positive to the next customer!

Anyway, this is just some reminders for the new week for both  YOU and I!!! :) What are your goals for the upcoming week? :)

Learning about eating disorders in class - after being recovered

As a few of you were interested in the topic i thought i would try to write this post before my feelings and thoughts about the topic disappear.

So last week as part of my current university course, where we are learning about different illnesses and what nutrition advice should be given to people with those illnesses. Eating disorders was one of them. However the course didn't go so deep into eating disorders or even the nutrition advice given as eating disorders is such a broad topic and the advice given depends on the eating disorder as well as the individual. Though we talked a little about refeeding syndrome as well as the fact that eating disorders are mental illnesses (which i like that the teacher mentioned i.e many are quick to just say... oh its young girls who are insecure and go on a diet and end up with an eating disorder). I also like that the teacher mentioned that many people with an eating disorder do end up switching eating disorder i.e from anorexia to bulimia/binge eating or vice versa and that it is far more common than you think, and this is somethig i have written alot about on here as well. Because many people email or message me regularly telling me that they have gone from anorexia to binge eating and feel so ashamed and out of control,  and you have to realise that binge eating/bulimia also requires help and isnt something you should feel ashamed about, its more common thank you think and it just makes recovery even harder and longer if you dont reach out for help.



Anyway, what were my thoughts during that lecture about eating disorders? Well first off i didnt learn anything new as we just talked about symptoms, help, what recovery might entail i.e the different forms of therapy for the eating disorders and also some of the criteria to be diagnosed for the different eating disorders. No new information, if anything i could have gotten up there in the lecture hall and had my own lecture where i could have added so much more advice and information..... but thats for the future i guess!

My thoughts and feelings? I must admit at first i felt very strange, a little panicked in a sense.... "like i didnt want to be there". I think during the whole lecture it felt like 90% of the people were sitting on needles... it was a weird and tense vibe in the room and i think that is because eating disorders are such a sensitive topic not to mention a huge topic which does effect many. I think almost everyone in the room either knows someone who has suffered with an eating disorder in someway or has suffered themselves.

I am guessing i amnt the only one who has had an eating disorder in the class... i know a few who have mentioned that they have had different eating problems in the past and 1 or 2 who still suffer in some form but are "functional sufferers" so to say. Healthy enough to function almost properly and go to school but still very much controlled with their eating and exercise. During the lecture i began to wonder how many people in the room actually had or have had an eating disorder im pretty sure that its more than i think.... after all many people who have or have had an eating disorder are drawn to programs and courses about nutrition or exercise. I know some people in my class have found me on social media so they know that i have had an eating disorder though whether they have looked on my blog or scrolled through my social media very far, i dont know..... but i felt like i had a few eyes on me during the lecture, HOWEVER i think that was just me being paranoid and not actually the case.

It was weird to sit in the lecture when talking about eating disorders, mostly because i just wanted to add so much more information. I used to be embarrassed about the fact that i struggled but as the years pass i am less embarrassed and can imagine doing lectures in the future where i can help to inspire and motivate and give information about eating disorders... not being ashamed about my past.

I also noticed that the teacher was being very aware and cautious as it is such a sensitive topic but he did a good job nonetheless i guess!

I dont really know what more to add.... but it did bring back old memories. When we began talking about the treatment forms i almost wanted to hide under my seat when the memories about inpatient, tube feeding, day patient, daily blood checks and sitting across from a nurse forcing me to eat - began to flow into my mind. .... it almost felt like i had a huge red finger pointing at me showing everyone that in the past i had been through those things, however that once again was just me being paranoid haha.

Anyway, i felt strange after the lecture and glad that it was just a short one and now im wondering if i actually want to take further courses in eating disorders or whether that would be a little to hard/sensitive for me, with my own experience and research i doubt i would learn anything new. However it would be fun to learn more about the psychology behind eating disorders...... in future classes however we will talk more about nutrition advice to people with eating disorders as well as how to talk to people who are sick and how to give advice without upsetting them as well as a more health promotion way of giving advice and inspiring patients rather than just giving 100 pieces of advice and wishing the patient well - instead inspiring and motivating!

Now when i think about it.... i wonder how i would feel if we had a lecture about depression or anxiety... we most likely wont as those are mental illnesses and we are doing physical illnesses and nutrition. But i am pretty sure i would feel sort of triggered and very sensitive during a lecture about those topics.... it would be far too soon for me if i am honest, and i dont even know why i think its just that too many memories come back and suddenly i dont feel "Normal" anymore... suddenly all i remember is the illness and its something i cant push to the back of my mind, i think thats one of the reasons i dont like the lectures about things such as eating disorders or depression....


If you have any questions about this topic or have any other questions or topic suggestions comment below :)




Saturday, May 27, 2017

Living a sustainable life.....

Living a sustainable life, what does it even mean?

"Sustainable living is a lifestyle[1] that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the earth's natural resources and personal resources.[2] Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportationenergy consumption, and diet.[3] Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity's symbiotic relationship with the earth's natural ecology and cycles.[4] The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development.[5]" - Wikipedia 

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Living sustainable means thinking about the planet and climate change, but also using resources wisely.... nothing "disappears" here on the planet. All the electronics you throw away, all the batteries and toxic liquids you throw away.... they all end up somewhere on this planet and end up harming people in some way or another but many think "because i dont see it, it doesnt matter". For me living sustainable is about making wise choices, im not perfect and i will most likely never live a completely sustainable life, but i can make the best choices as possible but still living an optimal life... of course i could do so much more, but i believe that each choice makes a difference and if everyone made different choices it would have a huge impact as well. So below i will leave some suggestions about a more sustainable life/living!

In todays society it is incredibly hard to live completley sustainable, if you were to do that you would most likely have to move out to the country, grow your own vegetables, rely on solar panels for heat and electricity in the house, have a well or somesort of water resource which is clean or can be safe enough to drink. And of course either using an eco car or cycling as transport. This of course might lead to isolation, lonliness and in the long term not mentally sustainable, though for some this type of living is perfect for them.

In todays society i see sustainability alot more about making better changes, being more aware about the different impacts choices may have.

The first step towards a sustainable life is eating less meat or reducing meat consumtion. Also eating less fish or fish that is endangered. There is an overfishing problem which can cause alot of problems.... so when the nutrition recommendation goes from eating meat to recommending fish 2-3 times a week they dont take it consideration that if 100 million people suddenly stop eating red meat and start eating fish, there might not be enough fish to fill the demand. Not to mention that many boats when fishing, if they catch fish they arent going to sell they just throw the dead fish back into the sea... i.e a fish killed for nothing. You can read more about overfishing HERE and HERE (the red list fish)

Buying locally is also good. I.e if you live in cold countries it might be hard to be a raw vegan because the fruit and vegetables needed have to be transported long distances and both effect the climate and have less nutrition compared to if you lived in the country where the fruit and vegetables are grown. Buy local as much as possible. And there is also the debate about palmoil, and that is up to each person to make their choice... fornow i think that as long as its from a certified rainforest its ok, but i am trying to limit my consumtion of palmoil anyway and mostly eat whole foods.

Other things you can think about are turning off electronics and lights when not using them/in the room. Not charging electronics just because, only when necessary. Not having extra heat on when not necessary.

Shorter showers can also save water.

Bring your own bags to the store. Reduce the amount of plastic in your life... there is plastic everywhere and its crazy. There are some stores which are now going "plastic free" i.e you bring your own bags and all the loose items such as beans, nuts, dried fruit there are recycble paper bags which you can use. I think its great and hope that there are more storeslike this in the future! Read bout plastic HERE (and click to the dangers of plastic on the environment if you want to know more)

Less paper if possible!!

Swapping clothes, buying second hand and minimalistic approach to material items. Do you really need 5 of the same tops? Or maybe you can swap clothes with friends or atleast give your old clothes to charity and try to think smart when buying new items!

Your way of transport.... is there a possibility to carpool? Travel with public transport? Cycle? Walk? Or can you maybe switch to a more environmentally friendly car...... this of course always seems to cause debate as many love driving, want the fanciest car and would never give it up. And if thats the case, either you love driving or you have no choice (I.e need a car for transport because of distance) then just make even better choices in the other area of your life!

Recycling is key and does make a difference! And of course no littering - but im sure none of my readers do that! I was taught from a young age to never litter and it still baffles me that people throw litter on the ground with no care in the world..... and even worse, people who just randomly throw things in the water which then ends up killing fish or birds or other animals in the water who swallow the item or get injured in other ways. Read HERE

And of course things such as living in a tiny house, solar panel energy, wind mills for energy are other recommendations however they arent as easily changed to and of course require a huge investment. So instead i think that lots of small changes and efforts put together make a big difference in the long term!

Ive also seen challenges such as the no waste challenge, living minimalistically change, no plastic challenge, living on x dollars challenge (might not be so much about sustainability but gives you a mind set about consumerism anyway)

Thinking smart... thinking about the impact of choices and the consequences some choices may have. Be aware is my best advice... you cant/dont always make the best choices and thats ok. For example in the future i do want to travel or road trip and that of course would have a huge effect on the environment, but i also feel that i need to live life and with all the other changes and with a vegan diet then a road trip or travelling (very infrequently) is ok, haha. But its also being aware of those things and making the choice. Just like with meat.... i think everyone should know the truth and the reality and THEN they can make their choice... some people just dont care that its an animal or care about the reality, and thats their choice, then they atleast know and its ok. But if you dont know, then you cant really make an unbiased choice because you dont know the reality.



If you want to read more about sustainability you can do it HERE and HERE
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One behaviour leads to the next

Step off that scale. Go eat your dinner. Get away from the mirror. Put the diet pills down. Leave the bathroom. Get off the treadmill.


One behavior leads to another and next thing you know, you’re in a full-blown relapse. Remember that relapsing means
  • Having to go through weight restoration (again)
  • Wasting precious time that you’re never getting back 
  • Being miserable and sad and angry and confused all at the same time
  • Having to go (back) to treatment 
  • Causing irreversible damage to your health
  • Losing your friends’ and family’s trust
  • Isolating yourself and feeling alone 
  • Having to start this whole recovery process all over again (which will include uncomfortable bloating, stomach pains, rigid meal plans, endless tears, inner battles, and a hell of a lot more therapy)
And if all else fails you might actually 
  • Die
Please keep that in mind. It’s not “just one meal” or “just one purge,” it’s making the decision to choose between living your life or surrendering it to your eating disorder. 
So step off the scale. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Answers - recommended intake of fruit and veg, bloating and intolerances, stretching stomach size

How many portions of fruit and veg do you think you really need to have? I've recently heard people going on about 9! Which doesn't seem very easily attainable without losing other food groups, I probably have about 7 portions fruit and veg on an average day?
From research/studies c.a 500g fruit and vegetables per day is the recommendation in sweden anyway, and that doenst count potatoes even if potatoes are a great source of vitamins, minerals and vitamin C :)
How much a person needs varies i think, for example if someone needs alot of calories but cant eat alot of voume then maybe just 2-3 servings fruit is suggested whereas someone who never feels full and needs to lose weight then more vegetables and fruit is recommended. But the recommendation is set to help people reach the right amount of vitamins and minerals which you can lose out on if you are just eating pasta and bacon (example.). But aim to just eat some fruit/veg with every meal is my suggestion.... for example, a banan for breakfast, cooked vegetables or salad with lunch, some berries or an apple with your afternoon snack, maybe even some carrots. And for dinner eat another portion of veggies and for a night snack you can always add in cucumber, tomatoes, carrots with some dip or make a smoothie or a fruit salad and then you are up to 5-6 portions of fruit and veg per day. So if you eat varied its not so difficult, but of course the amount of calories you need also impacts how much fruit and veg you eat :)


You aren't posting alot about veganism anymore? :(
Haha i dont have much to write about it at the moment, but if you have any questions just comment below :) Ive already made so many posts about veganism but i can write more if someone is interested! :) Whether its about veganism, climate, sustainability, recipes, nutrition etc


Like the writer below, i have relatively constant bloating. i have noticed that there are several foods that make it much worse. Should i try to go without these foods, or just keep eating them so that my body can get used to them? Thank you for responding.
Whether you shoudl eliminate foods or not is very hard to answer online when i dont know anything about you or your diet or how long you have been in recovery or what type of symptoms you have. The bloating could be due to anything and bloating is normal... if its alot of pains or weird bowel movements then it might be something more "serious". But sometimes you just bloat for completely normal reasons, maybe its due to lactose and you dont have as much of the enzyme lactase to break it down, or maybe you eat alot of fiber which can cause bloating or maybe you are more sensitive to fermentable carbohydrates or maybe you have IBS symptoms, it can vary so much. If the bloating is combined with alot of pain then an elimination process can be done, HOWEVER those types of processes are short term and should be done in the right way as it can lead to deficiencies if you dont do it in the right way. I.e you cant just take a food or food group away without replacing it with something else and then the question is... what do you replace it with so that your diet is still nutritionally complete and adequate. So if you suspect that you are intolerant to something, go to a dietician. You can keep a food diary and maybe just see if something you ate/some type of meal makes it worse but do talk to a professional before you begin mixing with your diet :)

Hi Izzy - could you tell me what the best way of "stretching" your stomach is - as in getting it used to eating larger quantities of food/bulkier,heavier, different foods than you are currently used to? Is it better just to eat more food at a time or eat more frequently throughout the day? I ask because I really need to adjust my portion sizes as I am not eating nearly enough and my diet is really made up of light, easy to digest foods. However I realise that I need to be able to eat more of a variety/type of food and was wondering how is best to go about this?
My best suggestion is to eat a little more than usual/a little more than satisifed/comfortable at each meal. I.e you will feel an uncomfortable fullness but over time you stomach stretches and adapts :) I.e theportion sizes now i could NEVER have eaten back when i was sick, back then i got full with 10% of the portion sizes i eat now but over the years i have stretched my stomach size so i can eat very large portions, even if my portions are made up of alot of vegetables which also adds to fullness. (When i was binging and purging that also stretched my stomach, and it never really shrunk haha)
So you might feel uncomfortable for a few weeks, but it will be worth it when you can eat normal portions again :) And no certain food will help strretch, even if they say drinking more water can help however i believe that will just fill you up without actually helping you increase portion sizes.