Saturday, 30 April 2011

food challenges


I read a really interesting article* the other day from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association:
(sorry this is the abstract only)**

The study found that weight-restored (as opposed to recovered) anorexic patients who maintained a diet which included both a wide variety of foods and also highly palatable foods, were significantly less likey to relapse than those who ate only limited number of less palatable foods.

Huh? Well, I basically interpret this as: if you can break out of that anorexic mind-set of
"I mustn't eat very much and I must make sure that what I eat is boring to stop me over-eating" then you are going to have a far better chance of preventing relapse - and fully recovering!!

So I'm going to add this to my recovery checklist:
1. nutrition
2. support
3. eat a wide variety of tasty foods

And I'm also going to add to that, the challenge of trying new foods - even those which make me feel sick. Because at the moment that's pretty much everything I can think of, so I can't trust my own judgement.

...this should be fun...

*thanks ViR for the article link via twitter

** thanks to my big brother for sending me the full text version :)


M said...

This is brilliant! I have a non-ED friend that tried 3 new foods every week. Sometimes she liked what she tried, often she didn't, but she did say that there were now foods that she really liked that she never would have tried otherwise. I've never thought of how this would relate to EDs, but it does make sense. And makes me think that I need to try at least one new thing this week.

HikerRD said...

It's likely that simply being weight restored is the transformative piece here. When that happens, thinking is clearer, and you are more capable of rational thought. The weight restoration may link with greater variety, but I'd guess that the wt. change is the real turning point. Personally, I'd push increased intake to move toward wt gain from whatever you can take in. Then gradually challenge yourself with risk foods.

But whatever works ; )

EmilyH said...

Oh, PJ, it's like you're looking into my soul right now. I can force myself to eat my safe foods such that it accumulates to a high number of calories, but I can't seem to get over my fear of eating other foods. I am just so intimidated by the grocery's overwhelming! How much do I get of this, and when do I eat it? How do I prepare it, and what am I supposed to eat it with?

I look forward to hearing about strategies that you use to include a variety of foods in your diet. Thank you for writing.


PJ said...

@HikerRD - Thank you so much for your comment. I agree that just eating is the most important thing on my list! As much as gaining wt scares me I read everywhere about how rational thought and judgement are strengthened at healthy wt - improving these decsion-making processes. My concern is that *both* groups were wt restored upon hospital discharge. There was no significant difference in their starting wts. The difference appears to be in their willingness to let go of rules.
Which is why I'm so keen to start encouraging this thinking right from the outset. I want it all!!!

PJ said...

@M and @EmilyH - I would love to hear how you get on if you give it a go too :)

HikerRD said...

Hadn't read the study, but based on what you're telling me, go for it!

M said...

2 new foods for me this week, made by me in the kitchen (delete if you think this is unhelpful):
1. snackage - white bean, artichoke and tahini dip with crackers
2. main meal - quinoa stuffed eggplant with tomatoes and grated cheese

Try it PJ - you might discover something you like!

PJ said...

Love it M - thank you!! Actually I really like quinoa. I could really enjoy the second meal :-)

spiritedladyliving said...

Trying new foods is a great goal! I learned during recovery that I actually liked real food!