At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

It's time to kick those habits in the butt!!!! ;)

Haha I know this is a rather stupid name for ablog post, but...well I couldn't think of one more apt!! :o

Because this is something that we ALL have to do, that I have to do...that being, of course, to kick the ED habits and behaviours right in the butt and out of our lives.

ED habits and behaviours may be small, or big. They might be quite explicit, or barely noticeable at all. But none of them are at all helpful to recovery, in any way whatsoever, and only help to contriubite to the vicious cycle of the eating disorder. Once you get stuck into a habit, whatever it may be, it is very, very difficult to break it again and a behaviour or action which at one time might have seemed abnormal and odd becomes a daily practice, almost like a ritual. You feel compelled to skip your 11 o clock snack... as that, the Voice in your head tells you, is what you have been doing for the past three days, or so... so why not do it again???

Anyway, it is vital in recovery to step out of your comfort zone and face all of your fears...yes, even your biggest nightmares and anxieties have to be confronted, faced head on. And this includes working on all those habits and compulsive behaviours.

Now I know my method might be a little bit silly, but hey, I'm going to give it a try anyway...yesterday I made a list of all the ED habits which I myself know I practice on a very regular basis (some of them, every day). And, week by week, I am going to take a small number of these behaviours ( my key worker suggested five a week which I think is manageable!!) and focus on trying to refrain from engaging in this particular behaviour for the remainder of that week. As with everything in recovery, it's always a good idea to take things one step at a time. If you try to take on too many things at once, it's easy to become overwhelmed and your anxiety levels will shoot up sky high...and you might feel so overcome with apprehension that, instead of conquering any of your fears, you end up challenging none of them!!! So take small steps, baby steps if you must...but take those steps. In keeping with the baby metaphor - that little baby learning to walk, tha'ts what recovery can be likened to sometimes, in a way. It takes him a while to get onto his feet, and when he does so he is wobbling and stumbling all over the place, and may take a few falls. But he never gives up, he never stops trying...and if he perseveres and believes in himself and refuses to give up...before he knows it, he is standing on his own too feet...he has done it, despite all the struggles and the falls and the tears, that little baby has done it. And believe it, we can do it, too. We can overcome all those struggles and bumps and trips upon the road. We can and will make it to full recovery. NO one is an exception. EVERYONE can reover...if they are willing to put enough determination and strength and perseverance into recovery, as that little baby put into his bid to walk by himself.

Anyway - to retun to my original point!!! I wrote out all my ED habits and behaviours on one big list and drew little bboxes beside them , and decorated my list in pretty colours, me being me, haha. And I selected five habits which I am going to work on this week, and then in 7 days time I plan to review my progress and see if I succeeded in omitting - or redicing, at the very least - my usage of these habits/behaviours. perhaps you could give this a try too. Sit down and think very, very hard about any ED habits or behaviours which you know, deep down, are present on your life right now. Be honest with yourself and get them onto paper.

When you successfully manage to omit or reduce your use of the habit or behaviuor, it is always a really good idea to treat or reward yourself after doing so. For example, for me, if I manage to not do any pacing for at least 5 out of the 7 days this week, I am going to reward myself by going for a little walk in Phoenix park before going into the hospital one day next week. For another habit I might treat myself to something nice, for another have a bath (awwww <3 ), etc.

Anyway, here is my own ED habit/behaviour list whcih I am going to start working on, 5 a week, starting from the top and working my way downwards.


  • Not cleaning my yoghurt pot at snack/after lunch( I usualy leave a good spoonful sitting at the bottom :(
  • Leaving a bit of milk/hot choc etc in the bottom of the glass/mug
  • Not thanking Mam when she makes me dinner or lunch ( as I am usually afraid that if I did so she would give me more the next time)
  • Not ever letting myself say things like, "that looks really yummy" "I'm hungry", even though that might bbe what I'm really thinkng
  • Picking crusts off bread/toast
  • Putting skimmed or semi-skimmed milk on cereal
  • Having small bowls of cereal andbeing frugal with milk on it
  • Feeling compleed to always have the exact precise amount of foods every day - the same amount of cereal always has to be in my bowl, the same size piece of toast/bread, the same amount of chocolate on my dessert, etc
  • Picking little bits off food or pushing small bits off the edge of my plate
  • Not cleaning bowl/plate or always leaving a small bit of food on it
  • Pacing 
  • Being a little frugal with the fillings of my sandwiches 
  • Skipping snacks if my family/care team are not there to support me.
Wish me luck everyone <3 I know this is going to be tough, as some of the above I have been doing for the past 8 years, so I know this is NOT going to be easy...but I know I have to take courage and BELIEVE in myself. A dear friend once told me, that if you truly believe, you CAN do anything...nothign is impossible. So tell yourself today, that I can, and will, reach full recovery. And so take those first few baby steps, and never, everlet yourself give up. <3




Be free, like Benny...:) <3 xxx

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The transition...

And so on the 23rd of March of this year, my consultant told me that yes, the time had come for me to go home. It was the words that I had been waiting for for what felt like a lifetime. Weeks and weeks had flitted by until it almost felt like I had been enclosed behind the grey walls of the hospital for the entirety of my life...as if I had never been to school, had never been to college, had never visited America or Spain or had travelled by myself a couple of times in the past. The hospital had almost become my home.

This point leads on nicely to the first piece of advice I am going to give you below...the aim of this post today being to offer a little advice to anyone who may be, or will be, making that same transition which I myself did, on that day in March. or rather, this advice can in a way be relevant for anyone in any stage of recovery. I also thought I would tell you a little about my own personal experience of leaving the secluded inpatient setting of the hospital, and the fears, anxieties and challenges I faced.

When my key worker first mentioned to me that discharge was being negotiated amongst my care team, I experienced a rush of different emotions. This was it. This was the moment I had been waiting for…for so, so long, But alongside the relief and the shock and the soaring, incomparable feeling of joy that pulsed through my body…this is it, this is finally, finally it. After nine long, hard weeks, I am finally going home…

There was something else, too…something which I had never, not for the whole time I was in hospital, anticipated. I was afraid, very, very afraid. Because I knew once I stepped out through those sliding doors at the front of the hospital…that Iwas on my own, in a way. It was up to me to keep my eating disorder at bay…my life and recovery was essentially now in my own hands.

ut this is something very, very important to bear in mind in recovery. Many eating disorder sufferers, including me, are filled with fear and apprehension at the thought of change. They avoid it if they can and take steps to minimise any sort of changes in their life. but what is important to realise here is that change is an unavoidable and essentially fundamental part of the human existence, and that we will all have to face up to and accept the various different changes that crop up during our lifetime.

Anyway, my point here is that it is important not to get "stuck" at any stage of recovery because you are too afraid of the enormous, seemingly overwhelming change that awaits you, if you dare to step out of your comfort zone. But I can't stress enough how important it is that you do this. Take me for example...before I went into hospital I was absolutely terrified of the unfamiliarity and rigidness of the environment that awaited me, as well as the drastic changes I knew I would have to make in my own life. But I put myself out there and made those changes, and here I am now. I breathe, I think, I open my eyes and see the world in a whole new different light than I did before...and I am still fighting. Making that change didn't kill me. It only made me stronger. And so it was when I left hospital, too. I had, in many respects, bbecome "settled" into that safe, warm, but essentially unrealistic environment.  Butmy care team knew it was time for me to move on, and spread my wings a bit. I needed to make that change, as the world of the hospital was not my home and neither did it provide an adequate representation of the real world, either. And the true test really does come when you go out into the real world and start working on creating yourself a  world of your own, a world and a life free and uncontaminated by an eating disorder...

Keep track of everything that is proving difficult for you. Self-monitoring is absolutely CRUCIAL. As is having support and someone to talk to. Whatever you do, DON't bottle in your true feelings. Look out for the early warning signs of a relapse. I might do a more detailed post on this, but some of the ones to look out for are:


  • Secrecy/deceitfulness around food, what you are eating and how much, exercise etc
  • Not being able to relax and feeling very restless and guilty for sitting down.
  • cheating on your meal plan
  • Not finishing what you should be having even though you think you might have room for it
  • Throwing away food, in a way which is secretive and you fear getting caught doing it
  • Being defensive or angry if your loved ones pick up on an old habbit you've taken up again
  • telling yourself it's "okay" to skip something
Remember...catch it before the urges ge stronger. Once an old habit you thought you had kicked sets in again, it becomes very hard to get out of it once more, so don't  give the ED that chance. <3 xxx

The daisy-covered fields of my home. <3 xxx

Monday, 27 April 2015

Jammy Dodgers!! :)

A childhood favourite of mine!!! I LOVE jammy dodgers and they always remind me of picnics when Iwas little <3 I dedicate this recipe to a special friend of mine who also shares my love for these delightful little biccies...she showed me a pic of her own and OMG they were exquisite!! Needless to say, mine didn't look quite so professional ;) but there was no compromise on taste though..they were as yummy as I had intended ;)




Ingredients

  • 125 g butter, diced
  • 160 g plain flour
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1large egg yolk
  • About half a pot of any jam of your choice – raspberry is the traditional filling and is quite possibly my ultimate favourite ;) but you could try using strawberry, apricot, blackcurrant, blackberry…whichever takes your fancy ;) and for extra prettiness why not use a number of different coloured jams? One point of note, though: smoother jams so generally work better than chunky ones in these biccies!! ;)

Method 
  • Sieve the flour and salt into a big bbowl and stir in the sugar.
  • Add the diced butter and rub lightly in, using your fingertips, until the mixture ressembbles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Make a little well in the centre of the mixture, and then add the egg yolk, pouring the teaspoon of vanilla extract on tip of the egg yolk.
  • Gently Draw the flour around the edges of your "well" into the centre where the yolk is. Mix very gently with your hands, until a soft, moist dough is formed. 
  • Wrap the ball of dough tightly in clingfilm and then pop it in the fridge for a minimum of half and hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 170c/fan 150c. Line three trays (or two large) with bbaking paper.
  • Take the dough out the fridge and remove the clingfilm. Cut into two equal sized pieces. Roll out one of the halves, using a rolling pin, between two pieces greaseproof paper, which should both be dusted very lightly with a sprinkling of flour. You should roll it into a neat little oval or rectangle, and the dough should be a thickness of about 5mm.
  • Use a 7 cm round cutter, lightly dusted with flour, to stamp out little circles of dough. Gather up the scraps of leftover dough and then roll them out again with the other unrolled half ball of dough. Cut out more circles using the same cutter. In total, I got about 20 little circles. 
  • Place 10 of the circles of dough on the baking trays.
  • Now you need to cut smaller holes in the centre of the other 10 circles!! Of course if you have a very small cutter (about 2cm  or there abouts in diameter), this is definitely the best thing sto use. I on the other hand am not so fortunate to own such a marvellous baking utensil;) ...so what did I use instead..? The plastic top of a 1 l milk cardboard carton , dipped in flour!! ;)
  • Place the "holy" :p cirles on the baking trays too, allowing room between all circles to allow for spreading. ake for 10-15 minutes. When cooked, they should be a very pale golden. The shortbready biscuits will still be slightly soft at first - not too hard or dark in colour - but they will harden as they cool. 
  • After about 15 minutes transfer the biccies until a wire rack to cool.
  • When the biscuits are cool, (or this can still be done when they are slightly warm, just not too near their removal from the oven as at that point the biscuits will be still quite delicate ) spread a generous dessert spoonful of jam over the top of each on of the shortbread rounds(the ones WITHOUT the little holes at their centre). 
  • Sandwich each one of the jam-covered rounds with the remaining shortbread circles (the ones with the little hole at their centre). Sprinkle with a little icing sugar if you like. :) xxx


Saturday, 25 April 2015

It takes, it takes, and then it takes again...it will never be enough for the ED...

My ED took away...

My happiness and my freedom.

The smiles that were true, not fake. A face that was full of life, rather than a mask behind which I hid so many feelings and thoughts and emotions.

My sense of self-worth, of self-esteem. Every scrap of my confidence was gone, smoldered into ashes, the day my ED came into my life.

My concentration, my self-belief. I believed I had become...an imbecile. Who couldn't do anything, except whatever it was which this Voice in my head dictated. My willingness to succeed, my passion for the things that I loved. All of these it took away...because it made me believe that I was useless, useless at everything, and that there was no point in me even trying.

It took away so much laughter. year and years i could have spent laughing, and finding myself, and living the life I loved. but instead, those eight years were mainly spent in isolation and fear, loneliness and deprivation...

And I was too weak to fight back.

And no one understood me, and I didn't even understand myself. The only person...the only thing that I could turn to, when my tears turned into rain and it felt like the whole wide world had turned its back on me...was my eating disorder, the friend who was that close to me, I could hear its Voice in my ear with every thought that passed through my head; whose soft whispers could be heard from the moment I stood up in the morning till when I closed my eyes to go to sleep at night. I need you, Emmy...and even more importantly, you need me...

But all EDs are the same in that they are pretty ruthless in this game they play, of conning and lying and taking. I didn't even realise how much was being taken away from me...until the moment came when it was much too late to retrieve some of what I had lost. And now, I'll never be able to ride a beautiful white horse like Cecily and Narcissus did in Morokia. I'll never be able to ski the Swiss Alps, or go ice skating with my friends. I'll never be able to participate in a marathon, or taker up Irish Dancing again like I always wanted do. The reason for that being, that I have serious osteoporosis, and the risk of my fracturing a bone when doing any of those activities is too high.

And all because, of this little Voice in my head, who I believed, for all those years, was my friend. But this friend betrayed me, and stole from me, and, in fact, very nearly killed me. It took away so, so much from me...some of which I know now, I won't ever, ever get back.


Me and Mam and Dad, all those years ago, before everything changed...before the Voice entered my head and began to take everything away from me...

So please, if there is one message you can take away from this post today, it is this: It will never, never be enough for the ED. You say to yourself, I am going to try to lose weight until I can fit into a size 6 dress, and then I will stop, of course. I don't want to be skinnier than that. And so you restrict, and over exercise, and throw up, or do any of the other things that you might do, in order to achieve that low target weight.And then, yes, you've done it...you can easily slip into that tiny size six dress in H&M, and alot of your clothes in your wardrobe don't seem to fit you anymore. But then...but then what? Is the ED satisfied? No, of course not. You continue to restrict, you continue to try to lose weight, because the sense of achievement you have got from reaching that small size is just so irresistible, you decide you might as well keep going and see if you can drop to a size 4, and the ED Voice applauds you at every meal that you skip, every run that you force yourself to do in the pouring rain, every cookie which you refuse at the get together with your friends. And it's the same kind of scenario, with restriction and overexercise and any other ED behaviour you might engage in. You tell yourself, I won't eat breakfast today, and then that'll be it; I'll eat well for the rest of the day. But then...what happens? You've told your family you ate breakfast; not one morsel of food has passed your lips; it's now eleven in the morning and your stomach is empty and hollow and all you can think about is food, food, food. But is the ED Voice satisfied? Is breakfast the only thing which you "Miss out on" during the day, despite your initial good attentions? Is this enough for the ED???

Just remember...
The ED Voie takes, and takes, and then it takes again. And it will continue to take away from you, until there is nothing left for it to take.

Never forget that it will never, ever be enough for your ED. <3 xxx


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Cinnamony-Coconutty-Carrot Cake!!! :)

I know I am posting alot of fruity cake type recipes at the moment - I hope this is ok with everyone! ;) The reason for this being is that my granny is over visiting us as we speak and she does needless to say love her fruit cakes ;) And here is the cake I made today - a scrummy moist carrot cake flavoured with a wee bit of coconut and a sprinkling of cinnamon! :)
Ingredients..

  • 150 g coarsely grated carrot (I used 2 medium sized carrots. Top the carrots and remove the outer skin before grating them. Dont worry if the amount is a little abbove 150 g of course! :)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125 ml sunflower oil
  • pinch ofsalt
  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125 g light brown soft sugar
  • 25 g dessicated coconut

Method..

  • Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan. Grease a 20 cm square cake tin. Line the base with baking paper.
  • Sieve the flour, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Stir in the brown sugar. before you add the sugar, sift through it with your fingers to make sure there are no hard little clumps. Crumble these between your fingers so that they disintegrate into fine grains if you come across any.
  • Beat the eggs lightly in a jug. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add the beaten eggs and the oil. Mix well with an electric mixer for about three minutes until well blended. Pause the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through the mixing to assure it is all nicely incorporated.
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold in the grated carrot and the coconut.
  • Transfer to the prepared tin. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until risen, golden and slightly firm to the touch. 
  • Cool in the tin and then cut into 12 (or 9 or 16, depending on how big or small you want them:) ) squares. Once cool , store in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge, and eat within three days. The carrot cake is so moist that it usually doesn't keep as long as other cakes might, especially in warm weather! So be sure to eat it up when it;s still lovely and fresh :)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Betrayal...

Today, and in some of my future posts, I thought I would adopt a slightly different approach in my writing. I am going to directly address my eating disorder. If you haven't ever done this before, perhaps just take a few moments to read my own one, and then try it out for yourself...

It's like you are addressing an old friend, in a way. It's a friend which has been with you a long, long time. This friend did make you happy. It gave you focus and direction, something to strive for, a sense of achievement. You and this friend were always together. Everywhere you went, this friend went with you, without fail. It was there for you when things got tough, and it acted as your guide, in a way, helping you to navigate your way through those difficult days. But yet it still remained for you when the load was lifted off your shoulders once more, loyally sticking by you and assuring you that it will never give up on you, that it will never let you down, that it will be there for you, always, forever...

But ultimately, this friend has betrayed you. It has trapped you in its intricately woven web of lies, has left you broken and bound and helpless. this friend, who conned you into thinking that you were the one who was in control. Whereas, in fact, the reality is the complete and utter opposite.

For nearly every single thing you do, nearly every single thing you say, nearly every single fleeting thought that passes through your head...so, so much of each and every one of these things is inextricably connected to your eating disorder, whether you may be conscious of it, or not.

You used to make me sit up late every night, as long as I could possibly manage to keep my eyes open for...then you made me get up earlier than everyone else. I never allowed myself to lie in, because you gently persuaded me that it would be lazy of me to do so, and, if I got up earlier, I would have more "freetime" on my hands...except, no, it wasn't free time...it was anything but free. I was your captive, and I was trapped in your cruel, remorseless, pitiless grip. 

No...you never allowed me to lie in or rest. I was drained and exhuasted, but yet still you dragged me onwards, deeper and deeper. You did not allow me to sleep for more than 6 hours on the dot each night. The Voice in my head told me that this was good for me. That if I stayed in bed for that extra half hour, that would mean less calories used up. less time to exercise and burn off the paltry bits of food I would allow my self to consume that day.

I walked around each day at college with eyelids heavy with sleep and unshed tears,and an even heavier heart. For I knew that it was going to be another long,long day, a day in which I would be too tired to focus in lectures, or get any sort of work or study done. I felt useless, stupid, pathetic...but then the Voice's soft tones were in my head once more, reassuring me, soothing me. Yes, Emmy, you may be all those things...ut you always have me, and I will always be here. I will protect you from weight gain...you will always be the skinny one. And as long as you have that, as long as you have me, it will all be ok...I won't let you down, Emmy.

Lies, lies, and more lies...:'(


When it all began...so much hidden behind a smile and a happy little wave.




 That's just one of the many, many ways in which that Voice in my head sought to control me. Sadly, each and every time it succeeded. i never even tried to fight back, because I believed that it was speaking nothing but the truth.

But now, I know, and you know, that now is the time to stand our ground against that Voice. The friend which has betrayed you, and will never stop betraying you. It will take and take and continue to take until there is nothing left to take. 






Monday, 20 April 2015

ANOTHER Blog Challenge!!! ;) Your favourite.....??? ;) A to Z!! ;)

Hey hey hey what's going on here....I haven't done a BLOG CHALLENGE for ages!!!! Anyway here is another pretty stupid one which I made up myself haha...but hey it was fun to make (and do!!) all the same!!! ;)

Oh and one more thing - Im really sorry about that weird looking post that was on here yesterday!! It was an unedited post which I was using to store baking pictures and I guess I must have pressed the publish button by mistake :( sorry about that!!! :(

Favourite...? A-Z ;)


Animal? I have always loved ducks, ever since I was a baby...and Ducky, my old cuddly toy duck who is as old as I am, is one of my most treasured possessions. I also love rabbits and over the oast few years I have had three beautiful rabbits in total, who I loved fiercely. Their names were Poppy, Smudge and Snuffles. And dolphins are also among my favourites, as are horses. I think they are just so beautiful <3



Book? aaaahhh this is so so hard...there are so many which I have read, and loved. Though if I really had to choose, my favourites would probably be: The Baker's Boy by J.V Jones, The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory, and The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick :) I love fantasy and historical fiction!!!

City? I haven't been to many cities as of yet (though I fully intend to in the future of course ;), though I think out of all of the cities I have isited so far, my favourites would have to be York in North England, Canterbury, near where I used to live down in Kent (both of these being historical towns and very beautiful, with lots of magnificent architecture); and San Diego in california was also very nice.

Destnation for a holiday? Mallorca probably ;) though I do think California and Orlando are also high contenders, because of their weather and Disneyland, of course ;) and also I have to say,West Cork will always have a very special plae in my heart and I will cherish the memories of my holiday there forever.

Era of history? Medieval of course!! ;)I don't really know why but I have just always been fascinated by this historical period from which we derived our concepts of knights in shining armour, princesses stuck in rotting old towers and grumpy old kings who sat on thrones all day and ordered around their downtrodden peasant subjects. But I also find Anceint Egypt really interesting too.

Fruit? Definitely bananas and apples!!! ;)

Ghost story/legend/fairytale? In ireland we have a lovely legend alled Oisín in dtír na nÓg. You might have heard of it, but basically it's a story of a hero falling in love with a beautiful lady on a white horse who is a princess of a land where noone ever gets old. He goes back to her country with her and they are married. He eventually returns to Ireland on the white horse to see his family, but years have passed while he has been in the Land of the Youth and all of his family are dead. oisín then sees men trying to move rocks and, despite his wife's warning not to dismount from the horse, he approaches the men and tried to help them, but he falls off the horse and instantly is transformed into an old man. I know it's a terrily sad story but the whole idea of the beautiful Tír na nÓg, the magical horse, the heroic Oisin and the beautiful Niamh..it just has all the elements!!

Hobby? Hmm....baking, cooking, walking Benny <3, knitting, writing, travelling, cycling, dancing, reading, hiking...the list goes on!!! ;)

Item of clothing? Of what I have?? umm so hard. But I do love my little black dress with the white ducks on it. I got it in New Look for fifteen euro in a sale a few years ago, and I love it so much. I wear it everywhere! I think it is quientessential of my own personal little style ;)

Journey? I do love the road journey down to my grandparent's house from Holyhead. We have to drive along the beautiful Welsh coastline and it is absolutely gorgeous, all mountains and beaches and cliffs.

Kind of way to spend your free days/holidays? If it was a free day at home, it wpuld have to be walking Benny with my family, doing a wee bit of cooking and baking, spending a bit of time outside in the garden, soing a wee bit of blogging in the morning. If Im on holiday it all reall depends on where I am and what the weathers doing.

Language? I do love Irish, even though I am useless and have forgotten alot of what I one knew so well. I love the sound of italian , and would love to be able to speak it. And I really like Spanish too and am hoping to get to grips with the basics of that this year!!!

Movie? Ahhhh!!! Ok. Frozen, Stardust, Fly Away Home, The Lion King. (i hate them sort of questions as you probably have just guessed. ;)

Name for a baby girl/bboy? I have so many names which I love!!! I do love some of the Irish names in particular: I really like Gráinne for instance (it means love in Irish <3 ). I know some might laugh but I really like flower names like Lily and Poppy and Lavender, haha. To be honest there are tonnes of names I like and I would bore you if I listed them all. My favourite boys name would be Connor. Dont ask me why ;) I have no idea, haha!!

Object in your possession? Ducky <3, my laptop, my little chain with "live the life you love" on it,

Place on earth? Home <3 , Sligo, West Cork, Kent (the White Cliffs espeially <3), Mallorca.

Queer/unique habit of yours? being able to make people smile even when I didn't think I did anything that funny. :p

Room in your house? probably my conservatory. I adore the conservatory as it is so lovely and warm to sit in when the sun is on it, and you have a gorgeous view of the back garden. It has big glass windows that overlook it all, and I often go and sit by those windows and watch the house sparrows hopping around in the bush nearby <3

Subject at school? It was probably either home economics, biology or geography, or history!!

Time of year? Too hard to pick...I love them all for different reasons :p

Unproductive activity you like to do? :p I know this is a stupid question, I hope you get what I mean by it. Mine for example would probably be : staring out of the window on a bus, car or train, just looking at everything and anything that passes you by, going on Facebook in the evenings ( a habit I need to start decreasing somewhat, though :/ ), and doing those online Disney quizzes. Unproductive, ut fun. and ha, ha. I guess doing blog challenges could come in here as well.

Variety of dog? Oh I love all dog breeds...but I have a big weakness for dalmatians, huskies, red setters...and springer spanials, of course... ;)



Way to relax? Hmm, it would depend on the weather and time of day. In the evenings I like nothing more then to sit on the sofa with my cat and drink hot choc and watch a movie or read or blog!! If it's a nice sunny day though, sitting in the sun witha good book is always very pleasurable indeed.

Xmas activity? (as in, something done only at Christmas time. ) probably either putting up the Christmas tree,, sitting around the roaring log fire with my family on Christmas evening, opening the prezzies (or wrapping them before hand!! ;) and Christmas baking!!! I also love getting, wrapping and giving Xmas prezzies to all my loved ones.

Yummy treat? ;) Awww you know don't you?? ;) (clue: it is warm, chocolatey, and is drunk by me about three times a day!! ;)

Zzzzz..now Im going to bed Im too tired to think of a z question, haha. Please please PLEASE do feel free to join in!! Comment/link your blog below!! <3




Saturday, 18 April 2015

Looking back...my 20th year.

April, 2014...
I turned 20 on the 17th of April 2014. lectures were over, and I was in the middle of the study period before the examinations, supposedly revising. But I wasn't, of course. I was unable to.
Because nearly every single thought, of nearly every single minute of each and every day...was bent towards food, overeating, exercise, body shape, and maintaining my low weight.

This month I went to the counsellors at Trinity, knowing that I just couldn't, couldn't go on like this. I told them about my struggles in college, my inability to study, my fears about failing my exams and being unable to continue at Trinity.

But I didn't tell them what I needed to tell them more than anything else at that time. That I had an eating disorder, and I was bbarely able to keep my head above water because of it.

May 2014.

It was in the first week of this month of 2014, when I realised something which I had known, deep down, for such a long, long time.
It was this month when I acknowledged I had an eating disorder, and actively started working on change...

Summer 2014...this summer, I went to Mallorca, I travelled to England alone to see my Granny, I met up with friends and made jam and summery cakes and went for long walks with my family. And for the first time in what seemed like a lifetime...I experienced a sort of happiness, a freedom I had never felt before. I was starting to break free from the bonds of my eating disorder. I felt invincible...I really, truly thought I had nipped this thing in the bud. But then the days began to shorten and the shadows began to creep back in, and college beckoned to me as that beautiful summer which was Summer 2014 was drawn to a close.

In September 2014 I returned to Trinity as a third year, to resume the course which I had always persued with such high hopes in the past, but had then, on entering the high flier's world of Trinity, had discovered that I hated every single thing about third level english studies.

In Octobber, on one of my many walks with my beloved Benny, I felt the first initial achey twinges in the instep of my right foot. I ignored it for two weeks...it refused to go away. It was almost as if my body was trying to tell me something, that it was crying out for help, that it wasn't long bbefore everything crumpled up again before my very eyes.

And then in November I returned to the doctor's clinic in Trinity which I had reluctantly attended back in october. And there I heard the news that broke my heart and brought tears of frustration, self-hatred and bitterness to my eyes. that I had been diagnosed with an eating disorder and that they were going to refer me, for "specialist treatment"...



Re Emily Snelgrove,

Emily has been attending the Health Centre with a significant medical problem and I have recommended that she go off books for the remainder of this Academic Year.

I have suggested a course of treatment and referred her for specialist intervention


Kind regards, (...)

(the email from my doctor to my tutor, to confirm that it was necessary I leave Trinity.)


What I had done, what I had thought I had achioeved...it wasn't enough, it was never going to be enough.

And so on the 21st of November I walked through Front Arch with the splendour and regal magnificence of Trinity at my back, wishing me a silent farewell. I knew that it was unlikely I would ever cal myself a student of that place of excellence and superb achievement ever again. I spent my 20th Christmas at home with my family and loved ones, and there, being surrounded so much warmth and love, I could almost forget about everything...everything I had done, everything that had happened, everything that was waiting for me in the months that would follow this bright, happy time with the twinkly lights and cosy log fires and colourful presents with the shiny ribbons.

And then on the 6th of January I went up to the clinic with my Mam and my sister...and it was there where I was told that I was to admitted as an inpatient.

On the 19th of January - that sunny, chilly Monday which i remember so well - Mam and Dad took me up in the car to Dublin, to commence my inpatient treatment in the hospital. And there I stayed, for nine weeks.

I lost count of the times that I cried, of the times when I would curl up on my soft little bed and tell myself, no, this can't go on. I am hopeless,  I am weak, I am the most stupid, pathetic, useless human being on this earth.

I truly believed that I would never, ever make it.

But nine weeks later on the twenty-third of March, I walked out of those very same doors...I had done it. I had survived, and as a result, I know that those things that I told myself weren't true...I'm not stupid or useless or pathetic, and I am most certainly not weak. Those few words which a dear friend once told me - "True strength comes in the moments when you think you can't go on, but you keep on going, anyway" - are so, so true.

And this applies, for everyone. When things get tough, when everything seems wrong and you feel like it al rests on your shoulders and as a result you should hate yourself, hurt yourself, starve or punish yourself...just please, remember this, and stop yourself right in your tracks. You are worth so, so much more than you think, and you should NOT feel like you should treat yourself in this way. You are strong and you do have the strength, the courage and the determination to go on. You are beautiful and you are one of a kind. there is and forever will be, only ever one of you.


Yesterday I turned 21. Im a young woman now, apparently. Haha. Well, at least this gives me the right I guess to say that yes I AM an adult and I  should in theory know what I'm talking about...and so you should all hear me when I say that You deserve life, love and happiness and that nothing on this earth has the right to take that away from you. <3 xxx



Thursday, 16 April 2015

My treatment as an Inpatient...and a little Advice :) x

I spent nine weeks as an inpatient in a mental services hospital in Dublin. It goes without saying that it was one of the most difficult and challenging periods of my life, but I know, without one shadow of a doubt, that it was also an imperative and crucially fundamental step in the progress of my recovery, and a necessary one. I don't think I would have got any further up that mountain if I hadn't forced myself into the environment of a hospital.


Anyway, I thought I would write a little post about my experience as an inpatient before I go on to tell you more about my life as a day patient, as well as give you a few pieces of advice which I took from what I learnt there myself.

My treatment in hospital helped me in numerous ways. Firstly, it helped me to gain the weight which I was too afraid of putting on by myself. Yes, I had managed to gain weight alone at home, but it was  a massive effort which both drained and frightened me enormously while doing so. Also, my time as an inpatient forced to face up to many of my fear foods. I was prevented from doing any exercise. At first, the anxiety brought up by this sedentary situation was more than just a little overwhelming. It was so, so hard and I had lost count of the amount of times I told myself I can't do this. But then...then it became a little easier. A little, mind. It doesn't just disappear overnight. But I kept on telling myself that this wasn't forever and that, if I stayed strong, it wouldn't be long until I would be bak on the bog with my Benny in the summer sunshine, feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and enjoying the feeling of movement in a way which was not obsessive or compulsive. And so I can safely say my hospital stay really did help me overcome my fear of resting and not exercising all the time.

My inpatient treatment also served to help me, in a numberof other different aspects of recovery which I know I could never have done at home. For example..I never knew that I was significantly deficient of many of the vital B Vitamins...and of course, the discovery of my osteoporosis was something I would never have discovered by myself at home, until it might have been too late, of course. 

I learnt alot there, on that brightly coloured, warm ward with the charming pictures on the walls, the squeaky clean floors and the flowery, thick curtains. I left the hospital on the twenty third of March 2015 as a maturer, stronger, wiser young woman. And from what I learnt I feel like now I have some advice to offer to you, regardless of whether you are an inpateitn or not, or what stage of recovery you are at. First bit of advice…when it comes to recovery, you have to focus on yourself. I know you might have heard this before but I’m going to say it again because honestly, it is so, so true. One of the first things I struggled with when I came to the hospital was comparing myself with the other patients there. What I ate, portion sizes, everything…it was very hard. If most of the other patients were having the fish and boiled potatoes for dinner, then I myself felt pressurised to do the same, instead of going for what I really fancied, the vegetarian option which was a cheese and tomato pizza with sweetcorn and a dressed salad on the side…like a sheep I felt compelled to follow everyone else. But then after a while I realised what I was doing was silly and wrong and wasn’t really getting me anywhere. Recovery from an eating disorder involves listening to your ody and ignoring that sneering little Voice in your head. It involves eating what you fancy, what your body is craving at that particular time. I think this is a very important thing to take on board in recovery, regardless of what stage of recovery you are at and whether you are recovering by yourself, in an inpatient setting or elsewhere.

Also…make a list of the things that you enjoy or which you find relaxing. Whenever the intrusive thoughts come in this list will be invaluable to you. So when you feel the anxiety bbegin to creep in, get stuck into doing something AT ONCE. For me this was always doing some work on my big personal collage. My friend had brought in a load of magazines and I could spend literally hours just going through them, cutting words, pictures, images, you name it – out and then sticking them onto my collage.

journaling is always quite helpful too I always found. Get those thoughts out on paper. It doesn’t have to be coherent or make any sort of sense. Maybe it’s just scribbles, maybe a long list of angry words. But the important thing is to get those concerns, those anxieties, those desperate, racing  thoughts out of you head and onto paper.

And remember...the nurses and doctors are there to HELP you, in every single way they possibly can. Therefore, it is so, so important not to bottle up and keep your true feelings and fears hidden and under cover. It's absolutelyt crucial that you open up to them. tryust is an important part of the recovery process, too. You need to start learning to trust others, while they need to begin to start to trust you. 




I plan on writing more about this stage of my recovery in future posts, as there is an awful lot to be said about it I suppose and I feel like I gained alot of insight from my experiences in the hospital which I feel compelled to share with the world. <3 xxx

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Lemon-Scented Cherry Cake! :)

So English, so traditional, and so, so delicious...yes, it's the  charming cherry cake of old that everyone knows and loves!!! My take on cherry cake is flavoured with fresh lemon juice and zest for a delightful zingyness and extra moistness. It makes a gorgeous accompaniment to a cup of tea in the afternoon, or served warm with lashings of custard.
Ingredients...

  • 200 g margarine/butter, softened
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75 g ground almonds
  • 200 g glacé cherries
  • finely grated zest and juice of one medium lemon

Method :)

  • Grease a 20 cm round cake tin. Line the base and sides with non stick baking paper.
  • Preheat oven to 160c/fan 140c.
  • Rinse the glacé cherries in a sieve under the cold tap. Shake them well and then dry on kitchen paper or with a clean tea towel. Then, quarter the cherries with a sharp knife.
  • beat the butter or the margarine in a bowl with an electric mixer until very soft. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when you're down and whisk briefly once again so it is all nicely incorporated.
  • Beat the eggs lightly in a jug, and then pour about a quarter of the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar. Beat well, and then add another quarter, and beat again. Repeat with the remaining two quarters.
  • Put the quartered cherries into a bowl and add the almonds and a good spoon of flour. Mix well.
  • Sieve in the remaining flour and the baking powder. fold in gently with a large metal spoon. 
  • Add the cherry mixture and fold gently in once more, and then fold in the lemon zest and juice.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared tin.
  • Bake for 1 hour -1 hr and 10 minutes. After an hour check to see if it is ready. It should be a deep golden brown colour and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Be very careful though that it doesn't go too dark. If the skewer comes out clean remove from the oven; if its sticky with batter, return to the oven and check once again in 5-10 minutes.
  • Leave in the tin for about 20minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the paper and leave to cool.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Recovering Alone Advice

In continuation from my earlier post, Can I Recover Alone?, I just wanted to share with you some of my own advice and thoughts on recovering alone (ie without professional help), or at home. As I said before, recovering alone IS very difficult, but that does nt, in any case, mean that it is impossible. It all depends on the individual and there are many factors which need to be considered when such a fundamental decision is being made.

Anyway, I thoiught about this for a while and there are most certainly a few things which work for me, now that I am out of hospital and my recovery commences In my home environment. It is a difficult and tricky procedure, as it is important to remember that your home might actually have been the place where your eating disorder which essentially bred your eating disorder and allowed it to be developed, grown, or maintained.But remember..this is YOUR home, NOT the home of your eating disorder. So you now need to focus on working really hard on reclaiming your home for your own...and completely forcing the eating disorder out.

Anyway, here are a few little tips of my own which might be helpful to you if you are recovering alone or at home...


  • Firstly...the meal plan. I think having a meal plan is so important as it gives you guidance and structure in that it decides when and what you will eat. Write out the meal plan and tape it to somewhere you will be abble to see it easily - on your fridge, in your diary, on the noticeboard in the kitchen. 
  • Make a food diary...every morning, write out what you are going to eat that particular day in collaboration with your meal plan. I always liked to do this, because it then prevents any indecisiveness or "dithering" when it comes to choosing what you are going to eat that day. And then maybe if you want to tick boxes beside each item of food and tick them off as you go through the day. This might help you to stick to it better, too.
  • One of the key things to remember when you are recovering alone/at home...it is so, so importnat to make as many people as possible aware of what's going on for you. That was there are less ways for the eating disorder to hide and you will bbe able to receive as much support as possible. Show them your meal plan and let them know exactly what you're having.
  • always eat together, if you can. In addition to having more support during the meal and snack times, being in the company of others will divert you from the intrusive thoughts and won't leave you as vulnerable.
  • create a coping box ...I found this especially helpful when I was in the initial stages of my treatment and wasn't allowed to exercise :) but it also a very useful thing to have if you are struggling to distract yourself or divert yourself from engaging in unhealthy eating disorder behaviours. For anyone who doesnt know what a coping box is, it's basically just an old empty cadboard ox of any kind, filled with different sorts of items. Whenever you are feeling anxious, stressed, panicy, or need to distract yourself after a meal or from engaging in any compensatory/obsessive/unhealthy behaviours, grab the coping box and take one of the items from it. Each item in the box should be one in which you use in or associate with a hoy/distraction technique which you particularly like or find especially helpful. Before making the coping box make a list of such distractions and hobbies. Then put an item related to this activity in the coping box - maybe a paintbrush, knitting needles, your favourite DVD, a wooden spoon for baking, a board game, scissors and coloured paper for crafty things...the list is endless really. (Check out HERE to see this post! ;) . Once you have selected your item from the ox, get stuck into the activity right away.And of course as another funny way of passing the time you could spend ages just decorating and messing around with your lovely magic Coping Box! ;) 
  • Make an inspiration board or a collage!!! So fun and absolutely BRILLIANT for distracting yourself ;) (i wil try to get around to making my own inspiration board soon, and posting about it on here) 
  • This is another thing to bear in mind if you are recovering alone. Do you need any sort of medication? I strongly recommend having ablood test done as having an eating disorder could mean that you are deficient in a number of vital nutrients. You might need to start taking vitamins, or calcium tabblets. It's very important to make sure you are getting the  nutrients your body may be lacking in so do try to get a blood test arranged right away.
  • And....one of the most important things to remmeber, of all. If you cant do it and have to seek help...DONT think you are a failure. it does NOT mean, in anyw way at all, that you've failed miserably. Nothing could be so further from the truth. It takes so much strength to reach out and ask for help, and, rather than interpreting it as asign of failure in your recovery, you should simply regard it as just another necessary and important step towards getting better and healthy once more. Remember...we're only human. Human beings aren't meant to carry huge loads alone. <3 xxxxx
Benny is so happy, so free. And you have every right to be just that, too. Don't ever forget it. <3 xxx

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A wee update!!! ;) xxx

Hi everyone!!!

Just a very quick post today - I just like to do this sort of thing now and again, a post in which I just send out a massive THANK YOU to you all: for reading my bblog, for leaving such helpful, lovely comments, for supporting and motivating me, and for enabling me to stay positive and to never give up <3 I have so, so much to thank you for. You might not even realise just how much you all mean to me, how much you have helped  my recovery. I am so, so touched and moved by your kindness and support and I wull never be able to thank you enough <3

I am always looking for ways in which I can improve my blog and make it more interesting and interactive for my readers. if you have any comments, suggestions, feedback, or requests in relation to what future posts I might include on my blog, please do feel free to contact me - I would love to hear from you. Just commnt or email me at emmmysnelgrove@gmail.com.

At the moment, my bblog mainly consists of posts in relation to eating disorder recovery, other personal posts, baking posts, and the odd blog challenege, of course. ;) I would love to hear your opinions on this format and any feedback would be so much appreciated ;) do you like the way my blog is structured and are there any ways you would like it to be changed or altered? :)

And you might have noticed I created a new page to day which I have been working on for absolutely ages!!! ;) It's called This is Me and this is My Story , and it's basically just a sort of simplified (note the sort of!!! ;) account of the story of me and my Eating Disorder, and I hope it will enabble you to get to know me a bit more and get a bit more insight into the life story of the person behind the blog.

Thank you so, so much <3 I hope you all have a lovely, positive week...and don't forget...never stop believing <3 

Friday, 10 April 2015

You are my Inspiration...:)

Me and one of the most inspirational people in my life...that being, of course, my wonderful, one-of-a-kind Mam <3

This was a rather difficult blog challenge to compile , for truly, there are so many wonderful, amazing people both in and outside of my life, who inspire me and fill me with hope every single day by their love, their dedication, their strength, their sense of hope.

Before I begin I just wanted to say this. To every single one of my family and friends out there... I just wanted to thank you with all myheart...and let you know that YOU are all such a true inspiration to me.


  • First of all...my Mam, who is probably the person who inspires me most of all. She is so, so much more than a mother to me. She has cared for me from the day I was born and nurtured me through the delicate years of my youth. she has always, always been there for me...even when it seemed as if everything was hopeless, and I had failed her in every single way I possibly could...she never gave up on me. 
  • My little brother who spent a total of three years undergoing treatment for luekemia. It was a hard, long struggle. But Matt got through it all. He was such a brave little fighter, and, over a decade later on, his courage  and determination never fail to inspire me.
  • My lovely blogging friends from all across the world... I an safely say without hesitation that each and every one of these incredible, amazing girls inspire and motivate me every single day. The stories of their individual struggles have touched my heart in so many different ways, as does their bravery, their persistence, their resolve to never give up and continue forward despite the odds, despite the fear, despite the uncertainty. You inspire me so, so much, girlees...you know who you are <3
  • My Granny <3 a truly wonderful lady who has the ability to always make me smile and laugh even when my skies are grey. She inspires me so much, in every single little thing that she does. I am so, so lucky to have a granny like her. She is truly amazing, even though she doesn't even realsie it, of course <3 
  • And then, of course...All those amazing, inspirational individuals out there, who are choosing to fight their eating disorder. I know, I don't really know you, and that our oaths might not ever cross in this life. But please know, just this...you ARE an inspiration to me. By choosing to fight, by choosing life over despair and pain, for choosing to believe and never lose hope.
  • The girls I know who have won that battle against that Voice in the head. Words can't express how proud I am of them, how happy I feel for them. They are the living proof that eating disorders can and will be beaten, and their stories of the battles that they fought - and won - against their own demons will never cease to inspire and motivate me.
  • Nurses, doctors, and all those working in the health services to help the all those who are sick to get better and lead happy, healthy lives again.
  • The volunteers and charity workers across the globe who dedicate all of their time and energy into helping those in need.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Can I Recover Alone?

Recovering alone...something which I personally have an awful lot to say about, for, after all, it's something which I put all of my heart and soul towards trying to achieve. But I'm not going to lie to you and enthusiastically pretend that recovering on your own - that is, without seeking professional help or going into some sort of treatment programme - is easy, as this is as far from the truth as it could possibly get. Recovering alone IS very tough. Is it impossible? No, of course not (in keeping with my theme from the other day, it would be most inappropriate to state such a pessimistic affirmation on here!! ;) ) - and I know some amazing people out there who HAVE recovered by themselves without seeing anyone. No, the message I am trying to put across to you here is that recovering alone is an enormous task in itself, and is just as hard, just as challenging as having to go into hospital as an inpatient to receive treatment for an eating disorder. Some might not believe me when I say such things, but trust me, I know. having spent a total of roughly six or seven months trying to recover on my own from an eating disorder that has held me captive for nearly nine years, I can confirm that. But that's not to say it's impossible. It all depends on the individual. For me, personally, my eating disorder was very strong and well engrained deep inside me. And so consequently I guess this is why I was forced to seek professional help - and by god, I am so, so glad that I did. if I hadn't, I can honestly say I dont know what really would have happened to me...

Anyway, that's for another post I think...!!! What I wanted to do today and in my next few posts was to give anyone out there who has chosen to recover by themselves - I wanted to give you some advice from the heart. And no I am NOT going to start off by saying You should just go and see a doctor and get professional help as I understand completely the apprehensions and fears you might have surrounding such an action, as I was in the exact same position as you, at one time.

I too was very, very reluctant to seek treatment for my eating disorder because I was scared of the limitations that would then be placed on me, on my freedom, on the lifestyle that I loved. I suppose, reflecting on it now, I was also of the mindset that I wasn't sick enough to go and seek treatment, that I didn't need to...that my problem wasn't that serious. That there were loads of people much worse off than me.

Now, I clearly see the problematical nature of thinking in such a way. First and foremost, whether you like hearing it or not, having an eating disorder IS a big deal and is most certainly NOT something you should be light-heartedly dismissing.

I think your decision as to whether or not you should choose to seek professional help should also be influenced on the severity of your eating disorder and your actual physical state. for example, if you are very, very underweight, I would strongly recommend you go to your doctor right away...for it's worth remembering that being at such a low bmi has many extremely dangerous and, potentially, fatal effects on the body which might require urgent medical attention which you simply can't sort out by yourself.

That said, I also wanted to make this very clear...even if you aren't that underweight, or not underweight at all...that does not matter. And if you feel that it is the right thing to do, for you, please, please, please, seek help right away. Don't wait a minute longer, for the ED to take away another minute, another hour, another day of your life, another year. Because trust me, even if you don't consider your own eating disorder to be "That bad" (as I did)...it is highly likely you are underestimating the seriousness of your condition.Anyone with an eating disorder has a RIGHT to receive the help and support they need, no matter what symptoms they have, no matter what bmi or weight they are at, no matter how long or how little time they have been sick for.


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter Everyone! :)

Happy Easter to all my so, so special readers, wide and far <3

What are YOU doing this Easter Sunday? Well, I'm not up to that much ha :p but yes as you've probably guessed, I have been busy in the kitchen this morning, making my very own hot cross buns <3 hot cross buns are a special favourite of mine at any time of the year so of course I had to make some delicious homemade ones with glace cherries and sultanas in them!!! :) <3 I can't wait to have one later on, toasted and spread with butter alongside my usual Mammy hot choc! ;)

And when I got up this morning the Easter Bunny had come round in the night obviously as I had my very own package of little chocolate bunnies...yep, the mini Lindt ones which I LOVE !! I would say it's highly likely that I will be having a few of them throughout the day...and also maybe on top of my banana pud tonight <3 melted Lindt chocolate...well never mind the actualchoc itself,  my own heart melts at the very thought of that... ;)





Anyway I hope you all have a lovely day <3 And I completely understand that easter is something which might be a major cause of anxiety for anyone with an eating disorder. And it makes me so sad and angry, that this horrible, horrible disease has the power to destroy the happiness of so many wonderful people out there in this world, and has turned what should be a day of joy and celebration into nothing but a source of fear, apprehension, stress and misery. It shouldn't be like that, and my heart goes out to anyone out there who is suffering.

my advice to anyone who is struggling, is to know that you aren't alone. Talk to someone about how you are feeling. Don't spend your day in isolation, as this just lets the ED thoughts and anxietiesfester. Surround yourself with people who love and care about you. Take time out to do something special for yourself. Maybe that might be having an Easter egg hunt if you have any small kids in the house, maybe making Easter cupcakes and spending time decorating them, maybe going for a little walk in the spring sunshine and looking at the daffodils and the crocuses all in full bloom.  Be proud of any small achievements you make today. Maybe having that bit of chocolate, maybe making some Simnel Cake with your mam and then having a slice with a cup of tea, maybe sitting down to enjoy a lovely easter Sunday dinner with your family.

And don't forget you can always email me  - I would love to hear from you and help you in any way I possibly can <3 here is my email address: emmmysnelgrove@gmail.com .

Happy Easter everyone :) and check out my hot cross buns in the pics below - I guess it's a bit late now to post the recipe :(  maybe that's one for next year!! <3 




 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Nothing is impossible when you believe.

I used to believe that I would be sick forever.

I believed that I was worthless and that noone would care if I lived or died.

I believed that attempting to recover from my eating disorder was useless.

I believed that I wasn't strong enough to carry on.

Perhaps it's best to return to that allegory of mine that I made some time ago, the allegory which compares the journey to recovery to the ascent of a steep, overwhelmingly tall, and undeniably hostile mountain...for to me and for many others, recovery is like that. And at first it might seem so hard, so long, so difficult, so tough...that you may think of it as a journey which is, overall, endless, futile, impossible.

But nothing is impossible when you believe.

And I can say, sitting here right now writing to you. That yes, I dared to believe that I did have the strength, the courage, the determination to touch with my fingers what I thought was unreachable. I dared to believe that I could recover, and that hope remains with me here now. For I've just overcome yet another difficult bump along that steep, rocky road, the road that winds its way up that enormous mountain of which I used to stand at the very bottom of.

Last Monday I was discharged from hospital to commence my treatment as a day patient. It's another step along this long, hard road, the road to recovery from an eating disorder. It brings with it its own sets of challenges, anxieties, apprehensions. It's a real test...the test of me, the real Emmy, against the cruel, twisted, manipulative Voice of my ED...

I've learnt a few things, as I;ve said before, since the day I first embarked upon this journey. And I want to share all those lessons that I have learnt with you, as I believe the importance of my messages this time cannot be underestimated. But today, I just wanted to tell you this. That to recover, you must believe. believe in yourself, believe in those who love and care for you, believe that one day you wil reach the very top of that mountain.

And though I know, deep down, I still have a lot more climbing to do before I reach that beautiful peak...I know that I have become wiser, and that the way I was living before I reached this place...that was not really a way of living, at all. It was quite the opposite...it was a way of dying. I could have killed myself...I was killing myself, slowly but surely. But now I have hope and wisdom and courage, and I am beginning to discover for myself who I truly am. Emmy, not Emmy with an E.D. And this is the same for you, too, and I hope with all my heart that YOU will begin to believe in yourself, too. That you will conquer your demons and your fears. That you will realise your dreams. That you can, and will, find happiness.

True happiness is possible.
Let yourself believe. <3 xxx





Thursday, 2 April 2015

Spelt bread!! :)

This is a really scrummy, crumbly bread made with wholemeal spelt flour - a flour now widely known for its health benefits, apparently. (as you can tell I am no expert on this! :p). But not only that, it makes a delicious loaf with a distinctive, charecteristic flavour of its very own. Its really nice toasted, or served with some nice smoked fish, or  simply spread with marmalde or jam or peanut butter. 

ingredients :)

  • 450 g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 30 g softened butter, cubed
  • 300 ml tepid water
  • a little olive oil
Method :)

  • Place the flour in the bowl and add the salt, the sugar and the yeast. Stir together until combined.
  • Add the butter and lightly rub in with your fingertips.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and Pour in most of the water.
  • Mix together with your hands to form a soft ball of dough. It shouldn't be too moist, but it shouldn't be too dry either: just soft and slightly smooth to the touch. Anyway, if it feels too dry add a little more water, and if it's a little too much on the sticky side add a little more flour.
  • Pour a little oil on your worktop. Spread it out with your hand, and then turn the dough out onto the greased surface. 
  • Knead for about 8-10 minutes. Don't worry if it doesn't feel quite so elasticy as normal bread dough. Grease a clean bowl and place the dough in it, and cover with greased clingfilm.
  • Place the bowl in a warm, draught-free place to rise. This usually take about 2 to 3 hours depending on how cold the day is. When it is ready it should have doubled in bulk and visibly risen up from the bottom of the bowl.
  • Give the dough a punch to knock out the air, and then turn onto the work surface again. Knead briefly for a few minutes.
  • Grease a 900g loaf tin.
  • Shape the dough into a smooth-sided, oval-shaped round. Do this by rolling it gently back and forth on the worktop into a rugby ball shape before gently pressing it down with the palms of your hands.
  • Transfer the dough to the loaf tin , gently pressing it down so it fits snugly in,
  • Cover with greased cling film once more and leave to prove for about 1 to 1 and a half hours until risen and doubled in size once more. As before, leave it in a warm, draught free place to do this. 
  • Preheat the oven to 210c/190 c fan. Gently remove the clingfilm from the bread and place in the oven. bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until risen and cooked. To test for doneness, tap the loaf on the base with your knuckles - it should sound hollow inside. 
  • Remove from the oven and turn out on a wire rack to cool. Wrap in a clean, dry tablecloth if you like your crust nice and soft. 
  • The bread is absolutely gorgeous eaten warm, but is is equally scrumptious toasted...slice your loaf into chunky, thick slices with a bread knife once it's cold if you want to use it for toast. It's best eaten on the day it was made, though if you are toasting it it should be fine for one or two days afterwards. Freeze any remaining slices and reheat in the microwave as required! :)