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:


Friday, February 10, 2017

Nutrition post - best way to eat vegetables, oil to use when cooking, protein shakes?

It seems like all the rage at times is raw food and raw veggies. That eating vegetables raw is the best and best for absorption and nutrients. However that is not the case.  Some vegetables have bonds that arent easily digested meaning that when you eat them raw the nutrients wont be absorbed as the body cant break down the bonds in the vegetables. For example carrots... they give the most nutrients when they have been slightly cooked/steamed, and even better yet is to add some healthy fats when you eat the carrots because they contain vitamin A which is fat soluble, meaning that for best absorption fat is needed. Hence why sweet potatoe and guacmole is such an awesome combination, not only does it taste great but the fat in the avocado help with the absorption of fat soluble vitamin A in the sweet potatoe.  
Usually fat soluble vitamins are fat in foods which contain fat such as nuts and oils and fish and avocado, however some vitamin A and K and E can be found in foods that dont contain alot of fat and then its best to add fat to that food/meal. For example, add some oil to your steamed or roasted carrots or veggies!

And when it comes to getting as much nutrients as possible from vegetables, it varies between them. For example potatoes and carrots should be steamed or boiled for a few minutes. But then spinach can be eaten both cooked and raw however when its cooked for too long it can lose its nutrients as well as using tomatoes or tomatoe sauce to cook and heat up, as the vitamin C "disappears" when heated up.

The important thing is to not overcook vegetables, because then they will contain less nutrients. So if they get mushy or begin to lose their colour, then they are over cooked haha. 

I mean these are just small details which you dont need to follow 100%, but it might be interesting to know. I mean i never thought about the way i cooked my food or veggies until i began to learn about it and realised that maybe i shouldnt overcook them, haha!

Below are some fact sheets - i could have written out the info, but might be easier to just look at these instead!
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I got asked a little while ago about which oil was best to use while cooking and i never got around to answering because i really wasnt sure. But after having my lectures about fat yesterday i now have somewhat of an answer and explanation.

So, oils shouldnt be heated up at too high of a temperature as they are rather unstable and it can lead to the oxidation of the oil and the build up of free radicals (which we already have in our body and antioxidants help to "get rid of them/keep balance in the body", however we dont want to add more free radicals in our body.). So when it comes to cooking with very high heat then butter or coconut oil is often recommend as it is alot more stable compared to vegetable oils. However they arent as healthy either and the recommendation is to eat more unsaturated fats and oils, so from health perspective it would be best to use olive oil as that is more stable than other vegetable oils and also has a whole lot of health benefits. But once again it shouldnt be on too high heat and it can lose a bit of its flavour in the cooking process.  
The best is to not heat food too quickly using oil as that can lead to its oxidation, and instead let the food cook longer at a medium temperatur :)

Proteinshakes.... necessary or not?
A question i get asked alot is whether protein shakes are necessary or not, whether they need to drink protein shakes when strength training and the answer is no. Most people get enough protein in their diet as it is. If you are eating a balanced diet and eating enough calories everyday then your protein level is most probably enough and adding an extra protein shake wont make much difference. If you are trying to build muscle however, just focus on eating more and just adding some more protein rich food into your diet, but the important thing is to eat enough calories.

However i am not completely bashing protein shakes, i have used them in the past and liked drinking Whey and using Casein protein. However that was completely unnecessary back then as i was already eating so much protein and ate around 2g/kg body weight per day which is just unnecessary and that extra protein didnt help me build muscle. Now a days i still drink soy protein powder at times, not because i need the extra protein but because i think protein powders are a great and easy and cheap energy source. At times i have nuts and fruit with me as snacks other times i have a shaker filled with protein powder, and if you count out the cost per serving then protein powder is a cheap source of energy. Do i drink protein powder everyday ? No i dont, do i need to drink protein powder, no i dont.

And if you eat a balance diet with enough calories then it isnt necessary. However if you need to increase calories then it can also be a good source of energy if you mix one serving with 2-3dl milk of choice, and have that as a snack in school.

But i wouldnt waste money on protein powder if you dont like it or unless its because you really dont get alot of protein in your diet, for example if you eat mostly fruits or alot of pasta and rice and potatoes then protein shakes might be a good way of getting protein. But the hype over protein is a little too much and protein defiency is only really a problem if you have been calorie restricting for a long time or if you eat mostly fruits or very starchy foods with little protein, or a combination of low calorie intake and very starchy foods. Protein is important, but an overdose doesnt make it better either and will just put more pressure on your kidneys to get rid of the nitrogen which protein consists of.

My suggestion if you want more protein? Eat more food or make a make a smoothie with yoghurt of choice and/or milk, some banana, nut butter/seeds/nuts and there you get alot more nutrients and not just protein.

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If you have any topics or questions just let me know :) Or if you think i've made a mistake or need to fact check or something, just let me know!


  1. Just curious: have you read "the starch solution"? :)

    1. No I haven't actually, haven't had much time to read anything other than my course litterature and articles. Have you read it... and if you have would you recommend it?

    2. Yes, i read it recently (got it for christmas) and i really recommend it! :) It is written in an easy and understandable way and everything he states is based on several scientific data and reasearch. It also helps a lot when arguing with people who are against veganism because it provides answer/replies to all the frequent questions/arguments ;)

  2. Hi Izzy - can I ask your advice? What is your opinion of taking digestive enzymes to assist an irritated stomach and gut due to gastroparisas (slow emptying of the stomach and poor digestion in the gut)? I ask because it seems that I have this problem and my doctor has suggested enzymes to assist. Thing is, I`m wary of doing this as I`m not sure how they will affect me - I am scared incase they make me feel worse. Do you really think enzymes will help and are they beneficial? Or is there something else I can do - ie diet wise - that will improve things more naturally? All this has come about because of the damage I`ve done to myself through my ED - will it right itself in time with regular eating? I haven't always had this problem, only since my ED, so its not as if I was born with this condition. I do suffer from IBS though and that has always been there for as long as I can remember. My food intolerances are also down to my ED and the doctor is hopeful that they can in the most part be reversed in time as the damage to my digestive system gets better.
    I feel pretty miserable about all this at the moment and quite undecided about what I should do, not to mention tremendous guilt and regret of what I have done to myself.
    Your advice and/or opinion would be so welcome, thankyou.

    1. Oh, thiss would be very interesting for me too, as i am also suffering from some kind of gastroparisis...

    2. Enzymes are what help break down the macronutrients so that they can be absorbed and don't cause stomachine pain so I think taking enzymes is worth a try. I actually take enzymes because of my CF my body doesn't really break down fat the way it should so if I don't take my enzymes I end up with awful stomach pain (though I can still get stomach pain even if I take the enzymes and that's because of digestive problems). I would try it... I know people with lactose intolerance take enzymes to help them break down lactose and I've read from other people with ibs that digestive enzymes have helped them. So it's nothing to be scared of and worth trying:) of course stomach issues doesn't have to be due to low enzymes it could be the actual food, but I would try anyway. And remember all you can do is make today better than yesterday.. to make your future better than your past. You can't change what's been done or what you've been through but you can atleast do your best now and not end up worse so that your body has to go through even more.

    3. Thank you Izzy. I will give the enzymes a try and see what happens, hopefully they will make me feel a whole lot better. It would be so nice to be free of all this tummy trouble - I feel as though it has been bringing me down for far too long. The doctors answers have been a long time coming so it would be so good if this was the breakthrough I need.
      Your advice has made me realise I need to look ahead now and concentrate and what can make me better, not look at the past.
      Thank you again for your advice, it is much appreciated. xxx

  3. My mum always used to give us the water the cabbage was cooked in when we were little - just add a little butter and some salt and pepper, its really quite nice!
    I still make myself a cup now whenever I cook cabbage :) And I always use the water from boiled veggies if I`m making gravy too.

    1. Same,i usually drink the water when I boil veggies as well :) or I mix it with tomatoe sauce or oat cream and it's delicious:) though some vitamins get destroyed by the heat so it's not just that they leak out into the water.

    2. I have never tried it this way - what a good idea! Next time I cook cabbage I`ll try this :)

  4. Thankyou for the info about which oil to use. I recently changed to olive oil and so far have found it really good. I don`t do a lot of cooking with oil but I do use it for I have had good results.
    I always tend to over cook my veg (boil) so am learning to shorten the cooking the time! I am thinking of getting a steamer.
    Thanks for all this useful info, I have certainly picked up a few useful tips.