Trigger HAPPY Thursday: Public Gratitude [VIDEO]

Happy Smiley Face

While my battle with ED began 13 years ago, my real journey began in May of 2011.

I’ve written before about my ankle injury/surgery/pain, so I won’t bore you unless you want to go and read about it, but the gist of it is that, on Monday, I was diagnosed with Stage I Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.* I could sit and cry about it, but I already did that, and I’m not going to anymore. The unexplained chronic pain, swelling, and other bad juju has led me to a better mental place, even though my physical place is sometimes hard to live in.

All of this to say that I’ve learned a lot about acceptance–and about the power of positive energy. I’ve learned that if you put positive energy–and gratitude for the positive parts of your life–out into the universe, the universe sends it back.

I’ve been tweeting my gratitude daily, and it has helped me shift the focus from my ankle to the amazing and beautiful people and events and opportunities in my life. I’m not always positive, I’m not always perfect, but I am always working on my gratitude.

So I’ve decided that it’s time to start a new chapter of the In My Skinny Genes blog: a weekly video called Trigger HAPPY Thursday, where we’ll talk about all of the positive ways to trigger happiness in our lives. Today’s trigger is public declarations of gratitude:

So what are you grateful for? How are you going to publicly declare your gratitude today? What else do you do to trigger HAPPY?

Stay Hungry,

@MissSkinnyGenes

(By the way–George, the “Civilized Caveman” whose amazing post on battling male bulimia was featured on the blog a while back, has a huge sale on his Caveman Feast Cookbook. If you’re A) Paleo and looking for some inspiration in the kitchen or B) NOT Paleo and looking for some inspiration in the kitchen, then you must must must check this ebook out. And if that’s not enough to tempt you, perhaps this is:

Bacon. And chocolate. Baconandchocolate.

Seriously. Check it out now!** Enjoy!)

*CRPS, formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD, is a chronic, potentially degenerative pain syndrome that can occur for a number of reasons, all associated with some sort of trauma to the nerves (whether over time or all at once). You can tell CRPS from a number of symptoms, like the foot being “dusky” or a different temperature, and if things get really bad, deformed and sweaty. I’m only Stage I, which is, thank goodness, potentially reversible. I am so, so incredibly lucky. I’m not off the hook though, because it’s only reversible if, A) I break the pain cycle and B) work my ass off to increase range of motion. So I may have to start taking pain meds, which is exactly the last thing I want to do. Between my “paleo” eating and my aversion to Western medicine in general, the thought of flooding my body with an anti-seizure medication that may cause such wonderful side effects as adverse skin reactions and ataxia….well, I’m not happy about that. But I guess life is about making compromises and choices, and sometimes the best way isn’t the way you’d planned on traveling. So I don’t know. We’ll see where it goes. I’m going to heal–I’ve already decided. I don’t need pain to be a badge of honor–I want to enjoy my life to the fullest extent that I can, and I want my body to be as whole as it can be. I’ve beaten it up enough. Time to show it how grateful I am that it’s stuck with me through the worst.

The Disappearing Woman

The disappearing woman, Too thin, anorexic

I know that, at least for me, the idea of sexuality is a huge trigger. My first kiss was preceded by a panic attack in my high school’s “zen garden” and directly followed by a drive home during which I … Continue reading

Sex with ED, or Let Me Be Frank*

Muscular legs in heels

*Just a note for those of you who know my father, no, this has nothing to do with him or the Elektra complex. I’m talking about Eating Disorders, or ED for short, thankyouverymuch.     During my very expensive mistake … Continue reading

And Now For Something Completely Different (Plus My First Guest Post: 0.0)

And now for something completely different: Oh, friends, it just keeps getting better. Stress aside, there’s so much for which to be grateful. To kick off your happy Monday, check out the GUEST POST I wrote for Healthy Weight Week … Continue reading

My Boy…Friend, ED

Playing Rizzo in Grease

I met ED, as you may or may not recall, on July 4, 2001. Just a few days before, a boy in my summer camp had declared that he “liked” me (a very strong proclamation to make at 13) and … Continue reading

The Skinny Genes Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Farmers Market Brussels Sprouts

Farmers Market Brussels Sprouts

Apparently, I’m not the only one addicted to brussels sprouts.

According to my WordPress dashboard, those of you who listened to the podcast and harbor the same addiction were motivated to go searching the internet for a written form of my hastily spoken recipe for the world’s greatest (and easiest) roasted brussels sprouts.

Unfortunately, such a written form did not exist–until now! So here you go. Sorry it’s not much of a “recipe;” when it comes to cooking, I’m more of an “eyeball-it” kind of chef. (When I was a vegan cookie baker–long story–I preferred to be precise down to the 16th of a tsp though…)

Anyway.

My “recipe” is as follows:

Preheat your oven to 375. (You can get away with 350 if you prefer them less crispy on the outside.) Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil (so you don’t have to wash it later! Seriously the best time-saving tip I have.)

Cloves of garlic on cutting board

As you can see, I love my garlic. (I actually added another clove after I took this picture.)

Chop as much garlic as you can stand. Cover the bottom of the baking sheet evenly with said garlic.

Too many brussels sprouts to fit on cutting board

Never too many brussels sprouts….

Grab as many brussels sprouts as you think will fit on your cutting board/in your pan. Cut them into 1/4 or 1/8 pieces, depending on how large they are. You want them to be close to similar in size so that they’ll cook evenly-ish! Add them to the garlic on the pan.

Broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, and cauliflower

I cooked my brussels sprouts with broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, but they’re also great on their own!

Scatter a healthy sprinkling of rosemary over the brussels sprouts. Then cover in olive oil. (It’s usually several tablespoons. The amount of olive oil you use will depend on how many brussels sprouts you cut up, and also if you add other veggies, like I did.)

Roasted brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower

Perfect doneness.

Place in the oven. Cook for 15-25 minutes. I usually check it at the 15 minute mark, and if they’re not crispy enough yet, I re-check in 5-10 minutes.

So that’s it. It’s not exact, but I think that’s what I like about it. I can make as much or as little as I want–and I usually make a several servings’ worth, so that I can freeze the leftovers to take to work for the rest of the week.

Hope you enjoy–and I’ll be back soon with a post to follow up my intro to “Getting Healthy…Period!

Happy Sunday & stay hungry,

K. (aka @MissSkinnyGenes)

P.S. I’m curious: what other recipes are you “addicted” to? What kinds of foods would you like to learn how to cook? 

Good News & Gratitude on my California-versary!

Sorry to interrupt the flow of the new series on “Getting Healthy…Period” (no pun intended…sort of) so early, but I needed to write today’s post…today. So here you go. ALSO: if you read nothing else, scroll down to the part where I tell you my good news. (Hint: it involves an amazing podcast!) 

Fortune Cookie "You will move to a wonderful new home within the year."

The fortune I received on my birthday, November 23, 2011.

Today is January 11, 2013. In the real world, it’s not a particularly special day. Maybe there are a few of you out there celebrating birthdays, but it’s not a government or religiously sanctioned holiday. Maybe some of you are rejoicing in the fact that it’s Friday morning, and there are only a few more hours until your weekend, but I know there is an equally large number of you out there who are working retail or hospitality or food service et. al, and today is just another day in your week. It’s not Friday the 13th or the only day when the date will be 12/12/12…it’s just an ordinary Friday in an ordinary week in the beginning of another ordinary year.

Except, for me, today is special. Because today is my California-versary.

In the car with my dog on the way to the airport

On our way to the airport

One year ago today, my life took a dramatic left turn, and I cannot be more grateful for all of the beauty and the pain and the setbacks and the growth that I lived through in the year that ensued.

When I moved here, I was a vegan with a dream of starting a cookie business, working in a retail job and depressed, anxious, in pain from a mysterious ankle injury, and still renting out space in my head to a 12 year old eating disorder and exercise addiction.

Today, I eat the way my body wants me to eat (which, right now, is low carb/Paleo). I still dream of starting a business, but I have the skills and the plan to make that happen. I am still in pain due to my ankle, but that injury forced me to spend five months discovering that I wanted to be a writer–and forced me to go out and do something about it. Now I’m working in a dream job as a marketing copywriter, doing freelance on the side, and keeping up with this amazing blog.

And this blog…I am so grateful for this blog. What started out as a way for me to explain why I ate my first hamburger in 13 years became the vessel through which I began to chart a course away from ED, a course that still takes me through some very choppy waters, but one that has also allowed me to wash up on the shores of support–from new friends and old, all of whom I am beyond grateful for.

No Negativity Allowed Here sign and the view from my window

The view from my window on my first day in California

Is my life perfect? No. I am so, so glad that it’s not. If my life were “perfect,” I would never have opened my eyes to the fact that there is more to life than the Ivy League, I would never have wanted to learn about business or nutrition, I would never have learned to say no to abusive relationships (including the most abusive of all: my relationship with ED).

And if my life were perfect, I would never have gotten to California.

Is California perfect? Far from it. But it’s pretty damn good for where I need to be now.

And where I am right now? Well, you can find me ON JIMMY MOORE’S LOW CARB CONVERSATIONS PODCAST!* (Yes, that’s right: I’m so excited that I’m yelling.) Please go take a listen! You can find it on iTunes or on lowcarbconversations.com. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Low carb conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends

You guys…it’s been a hell of a year, but I finally have the faith that I’m going to make it. And I am so, so grateful to each and every one of you who have joined me on this journey.

Stay hungry,

Kaila

*Can I just say “thankyouthankyouthankyou” to Jimmy Moore? I’ve been listening to about 1-2 hours of podcasts on average since I first discovered ancestral health in May. That’s about 7.5 months of almost-daily podcasts–or almost 260 hours!

I blame all of the incredible, prolific, charismatic, brilliant podcasters out there for making me engage with my ED and start seeking new solutions (Abel James, Diane Sanfilippo/Liz Wolfe, Sean Croxton, Robb Wolf/Greg Everett, Chris Kresser, Roger Dickerman/Colin Champ, Dean Dwyer, and Pat Flynn to name a few…), but I have to “blame” Jimmy Moore the most for convincing me to give a high fat diet a try. Because of him, I stopped counting calories and fearing fat–and fat, it turns out, was the very thing that my poor, nutrition starved brain needed in order to start balancing its chemistry.

And with balance, came the strength to fight back at my ED. With strength came the power to believe in the ability to heal. And with belief in my healing came the desire to share that with others.

And that’s all of you.

So thank Jimmy & friends (like Dietitian Cassie & Todd Dosenberry!) for unknowingly supporting me in my journey, and rest assured that I want to pay it forward and pass that support onto those of you out there who struggle to fight this battle as I did and still do. Know you’re not alone. And I’m here if you need me.

P.S. If you’re new to my blog, first and foremost, I encourage you, as I’ve encouraged all of my readers, to reach out if you need help, if you need a (virtual) hug, or if you ever need to talk. There’s a contact me form on the site, and you can always find me @MissSkinnyGenes on Twitter.

If want to know what the heck this blog is all about, here are a couple of places to start:

The first post! 

The first hamburger I ate in 13 years.

The post where I realized that this was actually a blog about ED. 

An archive of all of the posts tagged “About Me”

And some of my most popular posts:

Food addiction Archive (Dirty Secrets from Eating Clean & Calories In vs. Calories Out)

The “Skinny” on Strong

Comparing Apples to Apples: A Rant

Arguing Semantics With Myself: What Shape Did You Mean? 

Comparing Apples to Bacon, Or When Healthy Lifestyles Become Diets 

Getting Healthy…Period.

Shredded Abs, Low Body Fat, No Period

Since I feel like we all know each other so well by now (said the girl who developed a parasocial relationship with the internet), I want to post about a very exciting first–and ladies and gents, I apologize if any … Continue reading

De-Motivation for the Former Fitspo Follower

"I don't always laugh out loud, but when I do, I'm reading the Bloggess"

Ladies and gents, this may be the funniest post I’ve read all year. (Shut up, I know it’s January 3rd.) Seriously–whether you love Fitspo or hate it, I think you’ll find the Bloggess’s anti-pinspiration absolutely hilarious. Enjoy your Friday, friends. … Continue reading