NOTE: I am NOT a dietitian or medical professional. I encourage anyone struggling with food or a possible eating disorder to meet with a dietitian or medical health professional. You can find a dietitian in your area at eatright.org. I’m merely sharing my own experience in the midst of eating disorder recovery.
Q: What and how do you eat these days?
A: I follow a meal plan given to me by my eating disorder sports dietitian. However, there is flexibility with it now (which my dietitian encourages).
When I was first in recovery, I used the meal plan to give me structure and a routine. Now I understand my hunger and cravings enough (thanks to my dietitian!) to change the portion sizes of each macronutrient in my meals daily, according to what my body asks for.
I follow a schedule of breakfast, lunch, and dinner with two snacks, but some days I may eat less if I’m just not as hungry (following my body signals which I’ve learned with time–not the eating disorder signals). Other days I’ll add in an extra meal (often on long run days when I’m ravenous). Each meal usually includes a fat, protein, carb, fruit, and vegetable.
Keep in mind that there were changes along the way as I recovered, and I improved little by little. I’m still improving and learning. I make sure to eat until I am full and satisfied. So far these meals (below) work well for me as a runner and as someone recovering from an eating disorder:
Breakfast: Carb (like potato or oatmeal when potatoes don’t sound good) with eggs, an apple, and raw vegetables.
Explanation: Potatoes are a delicious carb that keeps me satisfied (which feels so important right now since I’m constantly feeling hungry. The constant hunger gets annoying). Eggs are one of my favorite foods (with the egg yolk–again, it helps to keep me full and I’m no longer afraid of fat in food). As for the raw vegetables, at this point in time, I am MAJORLY craving their crunch, nutrients, and color.
The apple is the sweet ending I enjoy. Why not other fruit? Apples never sounded that tasty on the 30bananasaday diet, but once I got off of a 90% fruit diet, apples suddenly tasted amazing again.
And I’m sick of bananas; really, really sick of bananas.
Lunch: an avocado with raw vegetables, any form of meat protein (ground beef, chicken, turkey), potatoes, and an apple.
Explanation: Again, I always like to have something crunchy in my meal, hence the vegetables. Avocado is a healthy fat, plus it’s delicious with the raw veggies. And I read somewhere that you can absorb more of the vegetable nutrients if you include fat with it (either way, fat is just satisfying and tasty). As for including meat, I feel satisfied with dense protein sources.
Dinner: Very similar to lunch.
Snacks: potato or fruit before I run (I can easily digest these carbs with no stomach problems).
I also eat dark chocolate, energy bars, peanut butter, and Nutri-grain bars (childhood favorite). No food is off-limits for me. I will eat desserts on occasion and other “fear foods” as I continue with recovery.
Overall eating this way has kept my weight stable and my cravings and hunger satisfied.