Often times when I am at work I turn to YouTube to listen to music and if you are familiar with that platform then you know that it suggests videos for you to watch based on videos you have viewed. Earlier this week when I was going to YouTube to listen to this song for the 1000th time, a video about EDNOS was suggested to me. How ever did YouTubes algorithms match these two is well beyond my comprehension but it did and I immediately became retrospective of my prior idiosyncrasies around food. EDNOS was not part of my ED lexicon even though I recognized the abrivation from Instagram. EDNOS means “eating disorder not otherwise specified” and 60% of adults with eating disorders are diagnosed with it. Its nothing short of a cocktail of eating disorders having charateristics of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder but not fitting the criteria for one individually. It brings with it all the psychological struggles including depression and anxiety.
Many of the health and wellness bloggers I am familiar with have openly talked about their history with an eating disorder and how changing to a whole foods, plant-based diet significantly contributed to their recovery. Jasmine from The Sweet Simple Vegan, Freelee The Banana Girl, and Amanda Running with Spoons, have shared an echoed sentiment similar to my own. Eating disorders are far more common then I realized, effecting nearly 10 million women in the United States according to NEDA, nationaleatingdisorderassociation.org. Thats the population of Los Angeles county FYI. The common misconception that it is a lifestyle choice over a complex, biologically-mediated illnesses contributes to the problem. The pressures women feel from the media and society to have their bodies resemble those of the most fit and beautiful creates an underlying tone of acceptability around these dangerous diseases. I remember being told at 18 that I shouldn’t worry about my eating disorder because every women has one due to their desire to be thin and I’d eventually grow out of it. After privately batteling my ED for years and finally mustering up the strength to ask for the help I so despreately needed, being met with that attitude was dibilitating and sent me deeper into my self-mutilating behaviors.
It’s one of the reason I am so open and vocal about it now. If sharing what I went through makes a difference for someone who is presently struggling, than its all worth it. You have to know that you are not alone and that you don’t have to live in the shadow of your ED. Its far to lonely and dark of a place to stay forever and there is help out there. Aside from valuing yourself enough to know you are worth it, as women talking about things helps us work it out.
According to a study, women talk 3 times as much as men and science tells us that it is due to a having an increased amount of foxp2 protien in our brains, a protien associated with talking. Although there is science to support our talkative nature, communication is how women connect to each others. This past weekend I participated in a workshop called “Listening to Men, Listening to Women.” A group of 75 people came together, the women started out sitting in the front, and the men sitting in the back. The leader would ask the women a series of questions and the men would listen to our answers. At one point, the men were allowed to write questions on note cards to have asked and one of the questions the men asked was “why do women talk so much.”
Not suprisingly, most of the women, myself included, had varying responses about how talking makes us feel connected, helps us process our emotions, get clear about how we are feeling and become present to what we want. We have the gift of gab and it is theraputic and healing in and of itself. So in a round-a-about way if you are dealing with an ED then I encourage you to find someone to talk to. My healing process began the minute I stopped hiding and started talking.
One of the things I shared was about how powerless I felt over my urge to binge. The uncontrollable desire to buy unhealthy, sweet and salty foods to gorge myself on left me feeling like an addict. And I was. I was addicted to the highs and would beat myself up and cry on the floor during the lows.
One of the foods that would cause me the most stress was ice cream.
Ice cream was always off limits for me, unless I was on a binge in which case copious amounts were consumed (writing about this is sort of making me crawl out of my skin, but whatever). To be at a point where I can eat a couple scoops and be satisfied without the self loathing is beyond freeing. There were days when I never thought I’d get here. Making it wholesome and healthy with coconut cream, bananas and strawberries is an added bonus to the enjoyment of this delightful treat. You can eat this, have your sweet tooth cravings satisfied and know that you are providing nourishment to your beautiful body. Its a win-win all around.
Part of the reason I can eat this ice cream and not feel the shame and guilt I once did is because of the ingredients. It is dairy free, refined sugar free, gluten free and nutritionally dense. Something you can not say about standard ice cream. I adapted this recipe from one of my new favorite bloggers, Sarah from Well and Full, but added a banana to the mix, because bananas! Its a great recipe for no-churn ice cream if you do not have an ice cream maker nor the time to churn it by hand. Enjoy!
Recipe for No-Churn Strawberry Banana Ice Cream
Prep: slice your strawberries into fourths and freeze them and the banana for 6 hours or preferrable over night.
Also, leave both cans of coconut milk in the fridge over night.
It is crucial that you freeze the fruit beforehand. This allows the ice cream to be frozen in steps resulting in a creamy texture instead of a thick frozen ice cube.
Once the fruit is frozen, tranfer to a food processor.
Add only the thick cream part from the coconut milk to the food processor, and save the liquid for smoothies.
Add the maple syrup and vanilla and turn on high until everything is smooth and well combined.
Transfer to a bread pan or similar container and freeze over night.
Once the ice cream is set, let it defrost for 10 minutes before serving so it can defrost a little.