My Story of Healing from Eating Disorders (Podcast)

This will be part 1 of my story because there has been healing in so many areas of my life that each would require a separate talk. So I’m sure there will be more parts that I share on this topic in the future. But for now, I wanted to post the story I shared at church here in Berlin recently and my hope, as always, is that something I said might give hope and encouragement to someone listening.

There were moments of technical difficulty during my sharing…and a bit of nervousness…and a bit of crying. Our stories can be messy, so it’s no surprise that the telling of them can be too.

Click here to hear it.

It tells a bit about how I went from this:

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To this:

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I hope that if you, or someone you know, struggles with an eating disorder, or any kind of self-destructive behavior, that hearing my story will help you to not give up and to keep praying, keep hoping and keep knowing that God loves you no matter what’s going on and that healing and good things are possible.

Your life matters and you are needed here on this planet.

Blessings & peace,

Monique

p.s. If you need coaching and/or spiritual guidance, please click here to schedule an appointment for an introductory call with me.

 

 

MY TOP 7 FOODS FOR FIBROMYALGIA

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I shared recently about what I did (and do) about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Symptoms. I really hope it helped someone because I know a lot of people struggle with these and other inflammatory problems.

One of the keys to feeling good, I have found, is getting enough high alkaline foods, but also enough of the right fats.

So here’s a list of which foods are part of my regular staple and make a huge difference to my health and my life…

LEMONS

I start each day by squeezing half a lemon into a glass of warm (not hot) water. Lemons are possibly the highest alkaline food on the planet. Squeezing some lemon into my water when I first get up gives my system a kickstart and starts cleansing my body before I’m even fully awake. Easy peasy.

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WATERMELON

The other highest alkaline food on the planet is watermelon! How amazing is that? One of the yummiest foods in the world just happens to be high alkaline-forming. Like lemons, watermelon has a pH of 9.0.

Technically, you can even eat the seeds and the rind. The entire thing can be ground up in a food processor or blender (a little at a time, of course!) and made into a juice. Personally, I prefer to just eat the red juicy part. Occasionally I’ll eat the seeds too. You can even toast them and add a little salt as a snack. But we’ll talk more about that another time. 😉

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QUINOA

Moving on in the day…quinoa is one of my other fibro-food buddies. As with everything I eat, it’s gluten-free. But that’s not the only reason I eat it at least 4 or 5 times a week. It tastes good and has a unique flavor! It has kind of a nutty, earthy taste and a nice, soft texture. It’s also alkaline-forming. Even though it isn’t the highest alkaline grain, it’s definitely far above rice and most others.

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(To find more alkaline-forming foods, this is a great link I just came across: 74 Alkaline Foods)

VIRGIN COCONUT OIL

What do I add to my cooked quinoa? Besides tons of raw vegetables, that is? Virgin coconut oil. If you haven’t read up on all the benefits of virgin coconut oil, I hope you will. The list seems endless.

Contrary to all the ads telling you to stay away from fats, our bodies need fats…the right kind of fats. Virgin coconut oil is one of those fats.

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AVOCADOS

The other high alkaline, good-fat food I add to my quinoa concoction is avocados! Some think it’s a vegetable, but it’s actually a fruit, going by the giant pit in the center of it. Avocado is also delicious with some chopped up garlic and salt sprinkled in with it.

I can’t tell you how fast my hair and nails grow and I know it’s due to eating these good fats on a regular basis, especially combined with all the other raw vegan foods I eat. My hair is at my waist and I actually have to cut a few inches of it every few months or I find that it’s too long!

Also, I play guitar and shouldn’t really have long nails, but they grow so fast, I need to keep clipping them. When I do grow them, they are strong and hardly ever break.

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RAW ALMONDS & ALMOND BUTTER

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Almonds are more alkaline-forming that other nuts. Of course, other nuts have tons of nutrients as well. But almonds are the best if you’re looking to alkalize, and thereby, decrease inflammatory pain and fatigue.

I take raw almonds with me on the go. A handful here and there does the trick, satiates my appetite till I can have a full meal, keeps my blood sugar stabilized and gives me a boost of energy and focus.

Raw almond butter is another tasty treat and goes incredibly well on bananas.

But my favorite thing to have almond butter with is…

DATES

These sweet, chewy little things show up on most lists of top alkaline foods. There are so many different varieties, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a variety you like. Some have softer outsides and some are a bit hard. My personal favorites are Medjool dates. They’re a bit bigger, softer and spendier, but they’re worth it.

Just make sure when you buy dates to look on the label and make sure they don’t have sulfites or any kind of sweeteners added. They’re sweet enough and there’s no need for anything to make them even sweeter.

Dipped in almond butter, it’s like eating a candy bar! Only better! Because you know you’re giving your body something that is good for it, so you can enjoy it even more.

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There’s nothing like knowing that what you’ve just eaten is treating your body with the nutrients and care it needs. Your body will thank you with less pain, more energy and an over all sense of well-being that will make it easier and easier to incorporate healthful foods into your regular diet.

If you’d like to schedule a free 30-minute exploratory coaching call with me, please click here and book yourself an appointment. I’d be happy to talk with you!

To your good health!

Monique

WHAT I DID (& DO) ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA & CHRONIC FATIGUE SYMPTOMS

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About 8 years ago, after years of various trials that had left me worn out, and a tornado that was blowing through my life at that time, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia Syndrome. There was a point where, for nearly a year, I was rarely capable of leaving the house for something as simple as getting groceries. Extenuating circumstances were not helping (more on that another time). I was weak, in constant pain, unable to get a good night’s sleep, and feeling like someone who was dying…only there didn’t seem to be any end in sight. I thought a lot about the word “chronic” and, at one point, I decided that I simply refused to assign that word to my life in any capacity that implied endless illness or futility.

I may have been sick, but I was also blessed by God to be chronically hopeful and chronically determined to survive. And not only survive, but to thrive. Against all odds, I kept believing that somehow, a better day would come for me. But I had an inkling that it would require some effort on my part. God helps us, but most of the time, we need to take a step in the direction of that help and put feet to our faith.

We also need to take ourselves out of victim mentality because that is a dangerous place to get stuck. And all it requires is a mindset shift, a renewing of the mind. We need to stop telling ourselves a debilitating story and start telling ourselves a new story. The story you tell yourself again and again is the story you will believe…and live.

There came a point in that particular year where I absolutely refused to believe that this was my lot in life and I truly believed that with divine help, I could and would overcome this debilitating illness. At the time, anything that involved much effort in meal preparation was not something I was interested in. But I prayed for guidance to find a way to get better.

That day, a hope rose up in me beyond anything I can explain. It was the kind of hope and faith that bubbles up when you know you’re on the verge of a turning point or a breakthrough.

I got out a couple of my natural health books which I often used and started poring over them, searching for answers. I came across something about the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies, learning that disease breeds in a body that is too acidic and it cannot thrive in an environment that is alkaline. I had already been vegetarian for about 20 years and vegan for nearly as long, but it’s possible to be vegetarian and/or vegan and still not be as healthy as we can be.

I got online and spent the next 6+ hours researching, determined to learn more about acid/alkaline balance. I followed the advice by Linda Rector-Page in her book Healthy Healing and fasted for a few days, taking in only a potassium broth and a green drink. Within those days, I started to feel some relief. I found charts online listing the foods that are high alkaline, pH neutral and high acid and determined to get all the foods I could get my hands on that were high alkaline. I started eating this way immediately…eating all raw foods—loads of dark leafy green vegetables, celery, avocadoes, bananas, apples, watermelon, fresh dates and more. I started squeezing half a lemon into some warm water every morning when I first got up. I ate handfuls of raw almonds. I had a green superfood drink every day. That was the food part.

I continued with my spiritual practice of daily prayer, scripture reading and meditation.

I continued with stress relieving yoga regularly, at least three to four times a week. This eventually progressed to never, ever missing my daily morning yoga practice, as well as adding poses throughout my day as needed.

I limited time and contact with people who I felt drained by and spent time with people who lifted my spirit and who I felt enlivened by being around.

I continued my habit of voracious reading on everything from faith and spiritual topics to personal growth, creative development, literature, health, raw food and alkaline cookbooks…anything that added to my health of mind, body and spirit.

And what happened? Within weeks, I went from being so weak I could hardly leave the house to living again, and what’s more, to thriving! It was clear that each day toxicity was leaving my body and health and vigor were entering in. I felt more alive than I had in years…possibly than I had ever felt!

Since that time, I have continued to eat a high alkaline, 70% raw food vegan diet most of the time and it has made all the difference.

Do I ever have flare-ups? Yes. Extremes of weather are still a challenge for me (especially cold, damp, windy weather) and can cause muscle and joint pain and stiffness as well as fatigue, but the most important thing I have learned in the last decade is how to take care of myself. Self-care is crucial to wellness and I hope you’ll read my other posts on this important topic.

For now, I hope that if you’re reading this and you struggle with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue, that you will believe there is hope for you. While I am not a physician, I can share with you what has helped me…in the hopes that some of these things will help you too.

I will be sharing more about things I do and don’t do, eat and don’t eat to maximize my health in upcoming posts, so stay tuned. Perhaps you’ll implement some of those things yourself and start seeing amazing results too.

If you’d like to schedule a free 30-minute exploratory coaching call with me, please click here and book yourself an appointment. I’d be happy to talk with you!

Until then…blessings and renewed health to you.

Monique

* Photo credit: Take Me Home by d’pegasus ( through flickr & pinterest)