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:


Saturday, January 30, 2016

What is a balanced meal?

Question: As written after your previous post, food related topics such as portion sizes and quantities of each food group would be useful to know. Also, when increasing your meal plan do you just eat more of everything on there or are there certain food groups you increase? And what would you call a balanced diet? I know some of this is post recovery stuff but it would be useful to know.

As i am studying nutrition i thought i would try my best to answer this, but also from past experience. 

First off, what is a balanced meal/daily intake varies from person to person and the recommendations are slightly different based on which country you live in, culture and then of course things such as lifestyle and activity. But here in Sweden anyway, the recommendations for healthy people - to have a healthy diet - is that 40-60% of their daily intake should be from carbohydrates, 25-40% should come from fat (i.e monosaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, olives, avocados, seeds and fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon & omega 3 & 6) & 10-20% from protein.

That is the recommendations for healthy people in Sweden but of course there is also an individual level about what is balanced.

Though i would recommend that each main meal you eat is roughly 50% carbs (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, bulgur etc etc [Also remember that there are many different types of pasta and rice, things like quinoa or risotto, different potatoes or root fruits etc]), 20-25% protein (lean protein is often best) and 25-30% from healthy fats (either using oil on vegetables or making a salad dressing, or adding nuts or avocado or eating fish with healthy fats etc).

And with snacks try to eat snacks that have all food groups as well - and vary your snacks each day/week. The body feels best when you eat a varied diet and eat different foods, but also then you make sure that the body gets all its vitamins and minerals from the food you eat if you eat varied. If you look at THIS TAG or THIS TAG you can find some snack inspiration.

A balanced intake is eating all the macro and miconutrients your body needs daily. Many people are scared of carbohydrates and think they are what people make you fat, but that is not the case.... no one food makes you fat. You can eat everything in moderation! But also people seem to forget that carbs are so important for the body, for the cells, the muscles, your brain.... your body needs glucose to function properly and it also needs healthy fats and protein for everything to function right in the body, that is why it is important to eat all the macronutrients (and not to forget fiber, very important!! And when you have a bit of a "slow" stomach, it can be good to incorporate some more fiber into your diet ;)) so that your body functions. Cutting out whole food groups wont do you any good.

Quantities i cant really tell you how much, but think carbs 50-60% of your daily intake, fat 25-30% and protein 20-25%. (But you can use this as a basis for your meals as well and then it will be easier). You can look at THIS post (about portion sizes) though as mentioned there, the portion sizes for normal people is different for those in recovery, and suggested serving sizes are not the "end all be all", you can definitely eat more than the suggested serving size.

And when it comes to increasing your intake/food during recovery, i would recommend adding juice or milk to all your meals, it means you wont have to eat such high quantities of food, but also as you reach your goal weight it can be easy to just take one or two glasses of juice away from your diet to create a "balance", or to later on replace those drinks with actual food. Otherwise increase your diet with carbs and healthy fats, usually easier than to increase with protein as protein is so filling... and if you are worried about not eating enough protein, remember that other foods that arent "just protein" have protein as well.... such as certain vegetables, potatoes, beans etc Of course, dont completely forget about protein, as that is helpful for your bones and muscles and protein is needed but not an overdose of protein as some people seem to think/do. Adding nuts and dried fruit or some muslie or granola can be a simple thing to do which will help you but wont make you feel too full.

I hope this helps and below are some other posts which might be helpful:

My meal plan in recovery vs. how i eat now
Hunger and fullness - Mando method
Slow or fast weight gain during recovery

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Izzy - it was really useful. I have definitely got my food group proportions wrong, I am eating nowhere near enough carbs so will have to make some some changes. I am going to start drinking milk or juice with my meals and adding healthy fats too.
    How often do you think I should weigh myself to keep track of my weight?
    This post was really useful and if you`ve got the time I would love to see more like this - perhaps you could share some of the things you study about?