I’m often asked the question “what does recovery feel like?” What does it look like? How does it smell / taste?

…Ok I don’t get that one.

But much like any city, movie, food or situation you have yet to experience first hand, it’s almost impossible to truly relate to it. It’s hard to KNOW what it’s going to be like – what to prepare for, and how to decipher if you’ve reached it-  and I understand that. But trust me, it’s a new sensory experience. 

I can’t help but be reminded of a scene from last season of The Bachelor with Nick Viall. 

Before you think… Seriously, Kate?!? Hear me out…

Does anyone remember last season when Kristina described her childhood and experience immigrating to the United States? How she felt scared to leave Russia because it was familiar, and seemingly safe? Yet it was as if she was living in black and white. And remember how she shared with Nick (and a tearful audience of millions in their living rooms) that her teacher told her at 16 “in America you’ll live in color”?

Obviously the circumstances and challenges are different in this comparison, but overall I think THAT is a great description of what it is like to shed an eating disorder, and live without one.

It’s more colorful.

ed recovery looks like kaleinit

So in 5 simple but powerful words, this is what I have found recovery to “look” / feel like. 

It looks like…Willingness.

Recovering from an eating disorder requires a lot of this. More often than not, overcoming an ED means tackling much more than the physical. It’s not always about weight maintenance – in fact, usually that’s secondary to the “root” of what caused someone to react to life through disordered eating and negative body image / body dysmorphia. I want to take a second and get statistical about the prevalence of these mental illnesses, and then back to willingness. 

  • At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. 
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • More Statistics here.

 

Often times, recovery requires letting go of something. Letting go of past resentments, and/or forgiving yourself. This can be some heavy shit. It’s not easy, it’s certainly not fun, and it’s truly work to learn where anxiety around food or a negative body image stem from. So it comes down to being willing and receptive to the process, a willingness to let go of the familiar.

Those in recovery typically need a strong support system throughout – be that family, friends and/or significant other + the guidance from mental health professionals. Why? Because overcoming disordered eating takes repeatedly doing something that is the OPPOSITE of what you want to do or what feels familiar, safe and “black and white”.

Repeat after me: “I’m willing. I know that recovery takes strength”. 

Seriously, willingness to work on yourself is bad ass. 

 

what ed recovery looks like kaleinit

Gratitude.

A HUGE piece to the puzzle (in my opinion) is gratitude.  Gratitude and any form of spirituality is extremely personal. I used to have no form of spiritual practice or belief. It was not until I realized I couldn’t recover alone that I allowed myself to have faith in something larger than myself. Today I choose to not so much subscribe to a religion, but rather believe in something powerful as guidance. Call it the universe, spirit, or anything you’d like, but I have found comfort in finding gratitude despite the difficulties and pain that my eating disorder caused me.

Simple ways to easeee into living from a place of gratitude includes writing gratitude lists, meditation, practicing mindfulness and finding the beauty in things (nature, pets, love, music,) things OUTSIDE yourself.

I also like to practice gratitude for my ability to own and reside in a healthy, capable body.

It’s humbling to remember how valuable our health is, how LUCKY we can be to move our legs (rather than hate their size) and remain thankful as health is truly never guaranteed. 

Joy.

YAY! Here comes the fun stuff. I started heavy but what about JOY AND FUN AND FREEDOM? Those come with recovery as well. You can enjoy your favorite food without looming anxiety, laugh (genuinely), admire and support another woman’s beauty without comparing it to your own, go out with friends on a Friday night, or vacation with your sweetheart without thinking about your weight or calories, or “diets” or gyms, or secrecy or shame. 

AHHH. Incredible, genuine, REAL (!) joy. 

Joy is the most rewarding part of the process, I believe. It’s what makes you sit back and say to yourself “THANK GOD I did this for me.”

Repeat after me: “I deserve a life full of joy and fun and freedom, without disordered thoughts or behaviors.”

Imperfection.

 Let me just say, I have my bad days. There are days I look in the mirror and say “Ugh. What. The. Hell!”  I’ve cried (more than a few times), felt angry at my new body, discouraged with the process, and then I refer back to number 3, and get back to gratitude. 

Repeat after me: “I am perfectly imperfect.” 

Hope.

 Above all – recovery is colorfully hopeful. 

Your heart and mind widen to the possibilities of your future. You’re more present. You’re more excited about the opportunities ahead rather than being laser-focused on the contents of the next meal or the details of an anticipated workout. 

You create room in your life to live your truth rather than define yourself by restrictive details such as weight, size or shape. Life becomes MORE than the numbers, your appearance, and quite honestly yourself. Being stuck in an eating disorder often feels isolating, lonely, and pretty self centered, sometimes. If we’re lucky enough to be human beings , (which by the way my favorite business hardass to follow, Gary Vee, often reminds his audience that the chances of being human are 400 TRILLION TO 1. Yup.) don’t we want to, and deserve to, feel anything but isolated?

Repeat after me: “I choose to feel more hopeful about my colorful future, rather than live in fear of what’s to come.”

 

There you have it. The way I’ve defined recovery in 5 words… simple? Not really.

Worth it? Very. 

Want to know more about my story? Read this post, or listen to this episode of the Actually Adultish Podcast where I discuss my journey! 

xx

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ways to take care of yourself on sundaze.

i loveeee me some self care.

we all need to indulge in it. it allows us to recharge for the week and shake off any stress. and if you’re a creative trying to balance “real life” work and creative outlets/passions (in my case, the blog) then you DESERVE it.

moms do. students do. dogs do. we all need self care.

shit, grab your dog and cuddle – that’s one of my favorite ways to de-stress.

I found that when I began setting time aside for myself, my moods remained more level, my creativity was higher, my productivity during the week more sustained and I felt generally better about myself. sounds like there’s nothing negative with self care.

so to honor the day of rest, I’m sharing a couple ways I’m taking care of myself today and tips on how to incorporate more self care into your routine. but first, some “myths” about self care…self care

self care myths.

contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t need to be expensive. sleep in, walk in nature, paint your nails, dance in your living room, make tea, journal, take a bath, call your best friend, watch a movie you love, the list goes on. yes, it can be that simple.

you don’t have to be alone. sometimes, when people think of self care they assume self reflection, meditation or general down time to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.  while these are fantastic and true, I’ve found that one way to care for myself if to surround myself with those I love.

last sunday I was at the beyonce concert with two girlfriends, singing my heart out, shaking all this jelly, and among many other peopl in a packed NFL stadium.

not exactly, chill. but it fed my soul. I left feeling confident, energized and had made memories with two women I love. three ladies, if you count queen bey.


what I’m doing today: a few self care suggestions…

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reading.

current reads: the skinny confidential sent me her book, and I’m so grateful. you guys know how much I adore Lauryn, I’m catching up on all her tips and laughing because I find her  so damn funny- order here. 

i love hearing how others stay healthy and fit. i’m fascinated by other women’s routines, favorite foods, etc. even if it’s not my thing, it’s interesting to see a topic i love so dearly through the eyes of another.

speaking of, I’m reading Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson. she’s gorgeous, she’s healthy, she discusses feeling good in your skin, loving yourself and more.

I’m enjoying her tips on mindfulness, meditation and ayurveda.

and third, I’m still savoring Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. you know those books that you purposely drag out for a while? this is one. it’s all about combating fear to live your most fulfilling and creative life. I suggest it to ANYONE.


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journaling.

i like cute journals and patterned pencils. i type and type all day long, so there is nothing better than a pencil to paper.  get out your thoughts (or to do lists) before the week begins.

lately, I’ve been into bullet journaling. any opinions on it? maybe I’ll write a post on it soon.

this journal is great because it reminds me of camping adventures. without the actual camping….

 sipping tea.

it’s the epitome of self care. i prefer sipping Yogi tea detox tea. it’s semi spicy in flavor. roasted dandelion root is fantastic for cleansing.

i also think tea should be sipped while curled up on a soft surface, preferably with fuzzy socks. yeah, even in mid june.

lately I’ve been into these essential oil towelettes by  sage tonic. these are lavender scented. I rub them on my temples and it’s refreshing and calming.

cup of tea self care .jpeg


 get a self care package.

a new monthly subsc
ription box is available through caring crate. the founder, Janelle, felt that a monthly reminder of self care and mindfulness would help those experiencing mental health issues, chronic illness, etc.

with the intention to raise awareness around mental health, this subscription box is curated to spark joy, promote inner peace, and provide helpful reminders to slow down and show yourself compassion.

i loved the lavender scented body balm, the garden in a bag (how cute!), and the mandala cards for coloring.

so sweet! if you want to subscribe, visit caring crate!self care caring crate.jpeg

 

make a sweet smoothie! 

last but not least, I’m sipping this peaches and cream smoothie.

I made it by blending:

1/2 cup of lite coconut milk (from can)

1/2 frozen banana

2 sliced peaches

i added a dollop of whipped coconut cream and voila. a summer inspired milkshake smoothie.


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there you have it, a few ways to unwind and care for yourself. caring for yourself is a form of self love. find my thoughts on self love in this series I did last fall.

you deserve to have fun, relax, and feel your best. have a wonderful week! xo

 

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Guys, holidays are weird. They stir up a lot of emotion in people. That’s why I thought some holiday self care tips would do us some good. This time of year, there’s joy, cheer, tradition and a lot of love. It’s beautiful and contagious and just plain awesome.

But if we’re getting real, all that excitement can be a bit draining- it’s A LOT  to make every holiday party, see every loved one, pick all the perfect gifts to give friends and family, effortlessly wrap them like you’re Martha freakin’ Stewart, and stay healthy and happy (and rested!) during the process. And if you’re more of a perfectionist, you might pressure yourself to practically become one of Santa’s Elves come December 1st.

holiday self care tips

Although I wish I was Buddy the Elf, I’m sadly not and I think the holiday hoopla really stirs up a lot of expectation to be so. damn. happy. 

The MOST important part of this time of year is to be present. Both in the company of others and with yourself. Enjoy it…. The holidays only comes once a year after all. But also cut yourself some slack if your sister’s, best friend’s, son’s gift ends up being not the most innovative. 

You’re going to be GIVING so much of yourself this month. It’s important to remember that you won’t be your BEST self for your loved ones during this time unless you’re being good to YOU as well.

There could be some not so cheerful stuff going through your head this month. Such as missing a love one who’s passed, or challenging your negative beliefs about food and your body when there’s food – EVERYWHERE, or just feeling a bit lonely this Christmas (divorce and break ups happen…) when that mistletoe is staring you in the face. Who came up with that tradition, anyway?

These kind of feelings are okay, too.

Speaking of traditions. Usually when one is disrupted due to a circumstance like I listed above, that can kind of bum us out, understandably. Time passes and things change. And we as human beings can be a little put off by change. Noooo, really??

Let’s face it, for a lot of people the month of December doesn’t look like a Christmas movie. Real life is still going on. Like careers, kids and more. There’s a magic in the air no doubt, and the decorations and traditions are fun. But responsibilities don’t pause, bills don’t take a break, and your social calendar is more crammed than it’s been in months.

Again, all the more reason to prioritize your self-care routine this month. It’s merited, it’s deserved, and every Sunday of December I’m going to show you how to do it. 

Each week we’re gonna take self-care a step… further.

Below are the 4 topics we’ll be discussing in December. I start with the basics, our actions. Then we go a bit deeper with words, followed by core beliefs (and why they can be so triggered during the holidays) and lastly how it’s actually a form of self care to dream of a future full of comfort – plus it’s perfectly timed with the New Year around the corner.


Part 1: Actions. The first, and most simple step.

Part 2: Words. The spoken and the silent.

Part 3: Beliefs. What you think you become.

Part 4: Dreams. Manifesting a life full of comfort.


So let’s jump right into part 1, shall we?  First week of December, we’re going to think about our actions and how small acts of love and care for ourselves can replenish our energy to give.

Challenge yourself to find NEW ways to care for YOU. Beyond the pedicures, cups of tea and bubble baths (although those are all fantastic). I broke down the types of self care activities into a categories below. 

Let’s start with ACTIVE self-care.

The stuff you actually doooo (or spend a little money on).

Examples include:

At home spa day- XMAS style. Light candles that are holiday scented, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your bath water.

Work out! Go to a fitness class you haven’t been to before. I suggest hot yoga- warms you right up from the winter chill!

Wake up 20-30 minutes early and dry brush, oil pull, and drink warm lemon water. 

Order a healthy meal delivery or grocery deliver. Take the pressure off, but know you’ll be eating well.

Buy yourself flowers. Arrange them. Put them in the place you spend the most time.

Drink some greens. Make smoothies and fresh green juice. 

Listen to a great podcast. 


holiday self care tips

my favorite face mask from Franklin and Whitman. – Use KALEINIT15 for 15% off any F&W Product.


Get yourself some winter-y loose leaf teas. Make yourself a cup of tea mindfully.

Volunteer. Materialism is in the air. Give back, and you’ll feel incredible.

Go listen to live music. I’m not sure why, but I’ve (pretty much) never seen a live performance I didn’t enjoy. 

These are the somewhat typical self-care acts we think of that include pampering, doing something comforting or fun, or trying a new activity. These are fantastic for the days you want to just make yourself feel special, and when you want to invest in yourself (both through time or money).


Next up, SPIRITUAL acts of self-love/care.

Things you can do alone, simply, silently and without very many things. 

Examples include:

Meditating for a full 20-30 minutes. Ahhhhh. Learn how to make this less challenging here. 

Reading a book about mindfulness, meditation, self love. What I’m currently reading? The Untethered Soul. I waited until I felt ready for this one, and started it last night. It inspired this series of posts!

Coloring a mandala.

Praying or writing to a higher power (the universe, God, that’s up to you).

NAPPING! Sleep cures all. So does a laugh.

holiday self care tips

Journaling

More specifically, a gratitude journal (SO important this time of year)

Yoga! Doesn’t need to be a class. It feels amazing to flow freely and just go with it.  OR sit in child’s pose or legs up on the wall pose with hand at your heart and the other hand on your belly. Listen to your breath.

Unschedule something. Take a commitment off the list – I suggest something work related.

Go for a run or walk without a phone or music. Notice the noises around you.

Write affirmations. **More on how to do this next week!

Sing your heart out to Christmas songs in the car (yeah… I consider this spiritual)


holiday self care tips

These self-care suggestions are great for when you’re feeling tired, worn down, frazzled, over committed, and cynical. Cause it happens! If you find yourself getting easily frustrated by the holiday traffic at the stores, or just can’t imagine the thought of going over to your cousin’s for drinks, probably a sign you need to check in with yourself. Use them to replenish yourself emotionally, to quiet your mind, and prepare for the next round of holiday commitments!


SOCIAL ways to care for yourself.

Because it feels amazing to be in the company of those who lift you up.

Examples include:

Facetime someone who lives far from your home (I do this with Sapana of Real and Vibrant a lot, ha!)

Call your grandma. Don’t laugh! It brings grandparents (or any older family member) SO much joy, and will make you happy, too. And don’t tell me you don’t forget to call her sometimes!

Go for a long brisk walk with a friend. Snow on the ground? Bundle up and link arms with your bestie. Just get moving (and chatting).

Make xmas shopping a day with your girlfriends. Don’t run out to the mall after work one day when you’re already dreading it. Bring some friends, help each other find the best deals, take a break for lunch, and make the whole experience less stressful.

Host or put together a dinner for friends. Everyone does it for Friendsgiving in November, let’s try it again in December.

Plan a holiday movie night. Snuggle up with the boo, wear fuzzy socks or themed PJS, make hot chocolate. Turn on your favorite Christmas Classic – the whole nine. Nobody is judging you for being a kid again.

Plan a new tradition with someone. Go out and make something up and promise one another you’ll do it again next year.

These kind of self-care activities are the REASON for the season. To spread love and kindness to those who love you. With the emphasis on tradition and cheer this time of year, chances are these types of self-care will feel really fulfilling and it’s the stuff memories are made of. Because do you really remember the gifts you received growing up? Nah….


 CREATIVE acts of love and kindness.

Gets your out of your comfort zone, into your creative zone, and sparks joy.

Examples Include:

Make your own beauty products – Try the book Homemade Beauty for Ideas

Spend the day with your camera. Keep it in your bag, capture anything and everything that brings you joy. Feel free to use your phone.

If you’re like me, editing photos on various apps (VSCO, Snapseed,) can be really…fun. Maybe it’s the blogger in me, but download these apps and play around with your favorite shots. Don’t worry about the instagram. Just have fun.

Get in the kitchen and cook. Experiment. There are a few recipes on this blog if you need inspiration…


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find these cranberry walnut baked oatmeal cups in the GOOD scty!

Draw. If you suck, who cares? If you don’t suck… keep drawing/painting/creating.

Do an activity you used to love as a child. I used to take ballet and ride horses. What’s your thing?

Make your own gifts for co-workers and friends. Or make your own ornaments or decorations. Note: This is only self-care if you enjoy DIY projects, not if you think it’s what you should like doing. 

Write. Write letters, write blog posts, write poems. Just write.

These types of self care build confidence. Creative activities put you in your “flow state” which is incredibly therapeutic and very mindful. 


The challenge this week? Find time to do two things from the list above, in two different categories. Maybe you’re used to social or active self-care, so try creative.

 If completing two is a breeze, do two more from the remaining lists.  Schedule it in your calendar if you must. Don’t allow all the OTHER things on your to do list keep you from having an enjoyable, relaxing, and self-loving week.

Comment below which you’ve tried in the past, what you’re committing to this week, and what you think of the idea to GIVE to yourself, to be your best self for the others in your life this season?

And get ready to tackle WORDS – the spoken and the silent self talk, next self-care Sunday! 


 

holiday self care tips

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any fellow NJ/NYC/PHL friends reading? if so, join me for Rock The Farm Festival on the 27th! I know I’ve mentioned in many, many posts my love for Trevor Hall. I discovered his music early in college, and have watched his style evolve as I have personally grown as well. I truly connect with the powerful lyrics and calming melodies and feel so grateful for having found his gift. it doesn’t hurt that it’s the best music to practice yoga!

corny? maybe, but the power of music is real. and it also has the power to unite people in a way like no other. 


trevor hall


rock the farm has great music…

so, when searching for Trevor’s tour dates, I came across the Rock the Farm Festival, and was shocked that it was taking place right here in my home state. 

I’ll be attending this year to enjoy the music, Trevor (swoon), the multiple yoga classes, and plenty of food from the tasty food trucks!

sounds like a quintessential summer afternoon, right? a festival with multiple stages, performances from artists such as Trevor Hall, Chadwick Stokes, and Artimus Pyle Band, just to name a few.  here’s Trevor 


rock the farm festival schedule


…and a great cause!

 but the best part of Rock The Farm, is the event’s dedication to raising awareness around addiction. As a non-profit, Rock the Farm is a benefit for CFC Loud N Clear Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing support and resources for individuals and their families while in recovery for substance abuse. 

although not personally affected by substance abuse or addiction, I know many who have suffered near and dear to me. I also know that substance abuse carries a great deal of shame, judgement and stigma like any other mental illness or mental health concern. 


rock the farm yoga schedule

yoga schedule this year!


CFC offers prevention programs that travel to local schools, to intervention/family support, to scholarships for treatment, and resources during the transition back to a healthy life in sobriety. 

recovery is difficult. it’s heavy, and it’s absolutely a journey. what I absolutely love is that the festival serves as a breathe of hope, positivity, and encouragement to those who need the support while prioritizing their health and wellbeing.  

so in addition to a good cause, a great line up, and the chance to take part in a few yoga classes and sample food from a huge group of food trucks? not too bad! now you need the details….

when and where?

the festival will be located at Brookdale Community College – 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738

starts at 1 and we will be rockin’ till 10 pm. 

ticket discount!

so- if you want to join me-pick up tickets here! and I have a deal for you all…

use the promo code “KALE” for $10 off your ticket price.  

hope to see you there! (and so does Trevor!)

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meg rhn kaleinit


meet meg.

I connected with Meg through social media, and she’s quite possibly the sweetest human. I love her work, her podcast and the clientele she works with…

I’ll let her fill you in! enjoy the first “blogger babes” feature!


K: Hi Meg! First off, tell us a bit about yourself, your background and what you do in the health/wellness field?

M: Hello! Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I am completely honored! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Meg Doll and I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist living in a pretty city called Saskatoon in Canada! Although I live in Canada, I have an online holistic nutrition business and work with clients worldwide via Skype! I am a two time eating disorder survivor, so today it is my passion to help others with eating disorders, disordered eating (because there is a difference!), and other mental illnesses, which is what I specialize in my private practice!
However, I am also very passionate about adrenal, hormonal, and gut health since the functions of these organs and systems can take a hard hit during an eating disorder and require attention when recovering.
In addition to my online business, I have a podcast called The Nourished Podcast, which comes out with new episodes every Tuesday and can be found on iTunes. I also created an online program called Eat Feel Live Love, which is a 28 day online program/challenge that educates how to eat real food, use it for healing, and how lifestyle and self love factors play a huge (and important) role in achieving overall health. The next group for this program will be starting in fall of 2016 and you can get more information about it at eatfeellivelove.com.

K: You are open about your experience with an eating disorder. If you could offer a piece of advice to anyone struggling, what would it be?

M: It’s hard for me to just choose one thing as I work with women struggling with eating disorders on a daily basis and recognize that everyone is at different points in their recovery, however, there is a message that usually all of my clients benefit from:

You need to separate yourself from the disorder.

 
I think all too often we tend to “own” or disorder and think WE are the ones with the problem, however, that’s very far from the truth. Recognize that it is a disorder controlling your thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. and begin to take action. Make the powerful step of denying it, disobeying it, and, quite often, doing the complete opposite of what it wants you to do. This is something I work on with my clients every single session and the first step to making life lasting changes.

K: I love listening to your podcast. What inspired you to choose a podcast over projects? Had you ever worked on one before?

M: Thank you so much! I really enjoy recording and working on my podcast, so it’s so nice to hear you enjoy it! I had never done a podcast before, but a girl (now my best friend and business partner) approached me about starting a business project together and we both thought a podcast would be a great way to share our message and spread our knowledge as we are two holistic nutritionists! Now it’s been over a year and our podcast is doing quite well, which we are so grateful for! More and more people are tuning in every week and we look forward to continuing with it!

K: Do you have any suggestions for health bloggers who are looking to embark on a new project, or expand their blog?

M: Network, network, network! And have patience! A lot of people ask me this question, but what many of them don’t realize is that I have had a blog for over 5 years. It takes time to gain a loyal following, which is why I say patience is so important, however, networking is also important. It’s a must to make friends and connections with other bloggers and people online. You’re not going to grow/expand if you don’t reach out!

Make yourself known!

K: You must be busy with all of your projects! What is your favorite way to stay fit, and how do you make time for yourself and prioritize exercise?

M: I love to stay active, but I’m pretty relaxed about it, which is what I find works best for me. I love being intuitive in all areas of my life, so I try to be as intuitive with exercise as I can be, as well. Currently, I’ve just been doing at home workouts for the past couple of months and it’s been feeling really good for me. Actually, I’ve recently shared my exercise approach on a recent episode of my podcast, episode #60! My workouts are usually bodyweight or involve a couple of dumbbells or barbells. Being strong is a great feeling, but so is just movement. So, I don’t stress about being the strongest or the most fit because that’s not my goal. My goal is health and happiness, so my exercise and the way I move my body reflects that.

K: I was honored to be included in your Freedom Friday series. You brought up a fantastic topic where we defined freedom. What’s your definition?

M: What a great question! I don’t think anyone has ever asked me this before! I’m always the one asking this question! To me, freedom is not being tide down to the “shoulds” or any rules. It’s about letting go of what’s holding you back at the time and embracing what you need in that very moment. I found freedom in authenticity and self acceptance, which I think is very important to point out and include in my definition, as well.
(find my freedom friday feature HERE!)

K: Lastly, how do we keep in touch with you on social media??

M: I would love to keep in touch with everyone!

You’ll find new blog posts on a weekly basis at megtherhn.com, new episodes of my podcast every Tuesday on iTunes by searching and subscribing to The Nourished Podcast, and also make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter where my handle is @megtherhn! If you are interested in working with me one on one, I do have a couple of spots for new clients opening up soon, so email me at megtherhn@gmail.com if this is something that interests you!


are you a blogger (woohoo!!) are you a babe (of course you are!), comment below and share what you’re up to, or let me know of any bloggers you would love to hear from!
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blogger babes kaleinit

a new blog series is coming!

starting wednesday I’ll be featuring Q+A convos I put together with some bloggers I’ve connected with in the health and wellness blogisphere. they all have different backgrounds, creative focus, and long term goals. but what they have in common is that they inspired me with their message and purpose. they’re all extremely talented.

I have been FASCINATED with bloggers and blogging long before I started my own blog. ask my dear friend and roommate in college, Rachel. I remember reading her an introductory post for a blog I originally wanted to pursue.

I actually had a few blog concepts prior to Kalein It that THANK GOD I didn’t follow through with. I wasn’t passionate enough about the topics, wasn’t prepared, blah blah. it was for the best. and hey, it’s the creative process.

but the thing I love most about blogging?

there is always something new to learn.

i’ve been blogging for about a year, and wow have things changed. I’d link one of the original posts but I rather not embarrass myself.

over the course of a year I’ve learned a great deal about things I was originally clueless.  I’ve become my own graphic designer, programmer, editor (not my best), photographer, chef of course, food stylist, marketer and general hustler.

oh, and I write.

writing was most definitely my first passion. when you begin blogging you believe it’s a lot of writing – which is accurate. it’s a lot of writing and a hell of a lot of everything else. you wear a lot of hats.

i absolutely love it.

and through extensive research (ie: pinterest articles, podcasts, ebooks, printed books, magazines, conversation) – I’ve found that many bloggers relate. the overwhelming learning curve is normal. phew!

in addition, bloggers share a common thread of having a story, a passion, or an idea that they NEED to get out into the world.

mine? my belief that weaknesses aren’t necessarily weaknesses – but rather a catalyst to discover your strengths. mental illness, eating disorders, past mistakes, shitty habits, anything negative you’ve experienced or are currently experiencing doesn’t define you or determine your worth.

mix this greater goal and message with my love of eating healthy and plant based food (it balances my mood), exercise (I prefer yoga) and mindful living… boom. kalein it.


first up, this week I’ll be featuring Meg Doll of Meg the R.H.N! 

Meg is gorgeous both inside and out. I recently answered her questions in her new Freedom Friday series as well!

Meg specializes in eating disorder recovery when working with her clients.

I’m so happy to have connected with her through social media, and I can not wait for you to hear more about her work as a blogger!

 

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how gaining weight made me a minimalist kaleinit

 

 

woah, what is she talking about now??

yes, I ask you to please hear me out on this one. as you know i’m open (very open) about my recovery with an eating disorder.

i’ve gained weight over the course of my recovery, and it seems to have come in stages. the past six months have presented a new stage, with additional weight.  i recently disclosed on the IG how losing my thigh gap was pretty big for me- and felt big to me- but regardless, I know that I’m deeply rooted in my recovery because of my ability to take it in stride. some may believe that my thoughts about it or emotional reaction to it means I’m still struggling.

let me fill you in.

everyday that an addict chooses to abstain, everyday  someone with a compulsion fights it, every time someone with an eating disorder chooses a recovery driven action rather than unhealthy behavior, it is a success.

focus on the good. the positive. the progress.

my acceptance of my body changing? i’m going to celebrate it.  even if it was difficult.

i will get off my body image rant, and instead begin to tell you how I’m now into the minimalism craze- see this recent post of other trends I’m loving- and why minimalism and eating disorders are somehow connected.

a goal achieved.

when i was at my thinnest, I was obviously seeking some kind of unattainable goal weight. no matter what number showed, it wasn’t the end of the journey.

what I loved though, was being able to definitively go for the smallest size in just about any store, and know that I wouldn’t need to reach higher. I had made it. Made it in the sense that I had reached an admirable goal. wow.

and if you knew how much I shopped back then, you’d know I really took full advantage of this achievement.

here i was, a college student in a beautiful place with endless possibility and opportunity available to me, yet that had become of one my biggest accomplishments? i’m not happy to admit it, but at the time my mind was spinning so quickly and steering straight down a narrow path that anorexia had determined for me.

it sounds incredibly vain, and i’m so sorry for anyone woman wants to slap me right now, but i’m being very serious.

much like how my view of myself, my world, and my goals have now broadened, my choices of jeans size have too. i now fluctuate, are unsure of size depending on brand, and that is perfectly ok.


I decided to STOP. stop believing that my anorexic laden jeans are ever going to hug my new curves, bigger booty or thicker thighs with any form love.

the purge.

that heading has so many underlying connotations. please, everyone trust me when I say I purged clothing.

there was definitely a period of time where letting go of my sick clothes was a non-negotiable. a hard NO.

“when I’m not bloated I can fit into them.”

“I can still wear them with a looser shirt.”

“well, let’s be real, after the holidays I’ll be back in them.”

“no, really, i need to get my ass back in the gym.”

that inner monologue lasted for a while until I decided to STOP.

I decided to stop believing that my anorexia laden jeans were ever going to hug my new curves, bigger booty or thicker thighs with any form love.

so i tossed them.

which then trickled over into tossing a lot of clothes and other “stuff” I had been dragging around from college apartment to college apartment, then all the way across the country back to new jersey after graduation. I tossed out things that I had purchased when I didn’t feel good about myself, and was seeking some form of fulfillment. they were clothes and accessories and shoes and bags that were just available, well priced, served the purpose of short term gratification, and then ended up forgotten.

they weren’t really my style, weren’t quality “investment” staples. most of them were just mediocre and now ill fitting.

what did i do? i bagged them up. bags and bags to be donated. loaded them in my car and said “bye bye sick jeans!” phew.

i didn’t hug them goodbye or dramatically stare out my rear view mirror as I drove away either.

and there it was… a sense of relief.

that stuff no longer served me. they probably never had, but they certainly weren’t bringing anything positive to the table. like anyone who’s ever had a reallyyyy, really bad ex.. it was time to cut ties.

the outcome.

no longer did I look into my drawers feeling shame or mocked by jeans that pinched my sides when buttoned. instead, I invested in dark wash, well fitting, better quality jeans. I found one basic skinny, one great boot cut, and a distressed jean I love to wear cuffed up.

they’re my tried and true. no matter how much sodium filled sushi I have the night before, or what time of month rolls around, they fit. they’re good to me. they feel much more healthy.

so I keep it simple and I find not only is it amazing for my recovery, but it’s also just easier. less laundry, less mess, less choices in the morning. my attention can be channeled on other things in the AM than planning the perfect outfit- like “will my readers be at all interested in hearing how I gained some weight and threw most of my shit out.”

(comment below and let me know if you do.)

I know what I like. I like black, white, and earth tones. I like dainty jewelry. I like flats. I prefer solids to patterns. I really love a huge bag that holds my laptop and green juice.

do I ever dress up? of course!  I can bring on the sass. but for my everyday, rise and grind style, I don’t fuss with what makes me feel good.

I’ve found that having SOOOO MUCH, can become a distraction, eating disorder or not. challenge yourself to live with less. nurture yourself and those you value more. and please, if you’re doing a closet clean out- lose anything (ANYTHING) you haven’t worn in over a year. or anything you still have that is on this list.

then, see where else you could introduce minimalism in your life.

thank you for listening to my rant, and for allowing me to share how I made weight gain feng shui.

I appreciate you all, and keep me in the loop of your latest personal achievement worth celebrating. because they ALL are.

 

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meditation kaleinit


 

“recovery is not a destination where one day you will wake up and feel fixed but rather it’s a slow mending process that follows an imperfect line where progress is made over time. along the way your eating disorder will make it’s presence known as it fluctuates between being very quiet or very loud. use this as reassurance that you are healing by the mere fact that you are aware of the sounds it makes and in charge of the volume. “


 

finding this quote from Tina Klaus of Don’t Live Small was a sign from the universe, i swear. i have read it multiple times knowing how much i must remember that my eating disorder may flare+ fluctuate, but i remain in charge of the internal volume. i remain in recovery.

so i’m being a bit more candid in this post, less about tasty healthy treats + more about what i have experienced as well as continue to live with.

i’m curious who else had a difficult time with a “loud” eating disorder during this recent food-focused holiday? does anyone else find that their relationship with food + body image doesn’t feel stable? i know the stats- sadly i’m sure there are some nodding their heads at their screen.  View Post

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i love the woman i’ve become because i’ve fought to become her.


i’ve fought to become the person i am today. mental health is something i now feel zero shame discussing, yet i recognize that many remain silent.

i remember feeling the same fear in speaking up about the thoughts i was having. originally i had to fight alone, but over the years i have connected with others who understand. i’ve gathered skills + coping mechanisms, found what works best for me, + learned to listen to my body. i’ve also worked hard to reverse the negative thoughts through replacing them with positive ones + affirmations of self worth. simply thinking positively is a form of self love, a very powerful one at that.

it is serendipitous that this week is mental health awareness week +  during this self love series. if i could provide any form of advice to anyone, regardless of their specific struggle, it would be to keep fighting. i wish i could take away the isolation, fear, + shame around discussing personal issues or mental illness.  this week of awareness is another step toward the ultimate goal of ending the stigma.

i know how critical it is to have a support system + others who understand. however, it begins with the individual + no matter how much love everyone provides you, giving yourself that same love is the only way to fully recover + thrive.

throughout my eating disorder i was told to constantly challenge the wheel of negative thoughts that turned within my mind. to redirect the wheel. imagine not having control of a steering wheel, or being stuck in auto pilot, the thoughts just moving forward on their own.  it seemed impossible.

eventually, i had enough. put my foot down + decided i no longer wanted to be my own punching bag. my body didn’t deserve it anymore. this was the same body that allows me to give a hug, get through a yoga practice, + laugh (the deep belly laugh kind). it’s the vehicle that enables me to feel joy. what a beautiful vehicle.

you most definitely deserve to take control of that wheel. fight until you feel as if it is directed in your favor. remind yourself of your strengths daily + feel pride in yourself.  self love begins with the reversal of negative thoughts + by showering yourself with compassion.  just try it.

pumpkin1

here’s how:

step 1. pick your affirmation- “i am worthy” “i am lovable” “i am capable” – whatever resonates with you, the words you need to hear.

step 2.-38401094…. repeat. over + over tell yourself this affirmation until your negative thought pattern has been replaced. rewire that brain. take the steering wheel. 

oh yeah, besides all this self love stuff, this post is to celebrate  fall + the beauty of this season. i went pumpkin/apple picking yesterday. watch out for some apple recipes in the near future. i loved the peace of mind i felt as i enjoyed the beautiful day- without the chatter of negativity i used to hear even in the best of times.

apple picking

until the apple ideas begin, here is a recipe with yummy fall flavors. the granola is baked in minutes, can be easily gluten free + plus side, made my apartment smell like heaven while it cooked. oh, tastes amazing too.


love yourself // pumpkin, cranberry almond granola  //

pumpkin granolafor this granola you will need the following:

  • 3 cups rolled oats (gluten free optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 3 tbsp of flax seed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp of sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

preheat oven to 350 degrees. mix the oats, almonds, pepitas, cranberries, flax seed, coconut sugar, salt, nutmeg + cinnamon in a large bowl. in a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses + pumpkin puree over low heat until liquid. pour over the dry mixture and quickly combine. spread evenly on baking sheet + bake for 20 – 30 minutes shaking granola periodically for an even bake.

this week i challenge you to see the beauty not only in the season but in yourself. plus with a bowl of delicious granola, it’s going to be ok.

+ if you’re not, remember that’s ok, too. you will be. + tell yourself how capable you are to kale it.

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“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by my self.” ~Brian Andreas


how beautiful and fitting is this quote about self love as the season changes. with any change of season, a fresh start is possible and there will never a better or more important time to begin loving yourself, your body and taking care of yourself than NOW.

in this 4 part series i plan to provide 4 new fall recipes – as well as a personal experience/tips regarding self care, self love, acceptance, mindful living and “kalein it.” every saturday for the next 4 weeks i challenge you to reflect on the ways you show yourself love + what changes you want to make to benefit your health + happiness.

it’s so easy to put off our needs for the needs of others. to wait for a new years resolution to begin a healthy diet, or simply believe we don’t deserve to think highly of ourselves. i promise that as soon as you start practicing self love, it enriches other relationships as a result. it brings you peace of mind, a confidence that is contagious + the tools to prepare for life’s little surprises.

so for part 1 i wanted to begin with some action.

so let’s start with self care. a form of self love, self care is something i now cherish and proudly practice often. however, it took a while to feel comfortable doing nothing or selflessly doing what my mind and body needed me to do. throughout recovery from an eating disorder and battling my depression/anxieties i was told how deserving i was of self care. believing it was the difficult part.  i had to think of it less like wasted time and more like small deposits to my well-being bank account. it can be a large or small act, but each time you care for yourself it adds a bit of wealth to your mental and physical health, making you feel really great.

there are technically no rules for “how to self care”, but if i were to create some guidelines they would look like this….

keep it non-judgemental: refrain from judging yourself. don’t judge the lack of productivity or the slow pace. don’t judge that it is causing other priorities to fall behind. (your health + happiness are serious priorities). don’t judge what you enjoy + most certainly don’t judge yourself for needing something to help cope with emotions + difficult times.

stick with personal preference: bubble baths are a go-to form of self care. they are the bread + butter of the self-care world. it definitely sounds relaxing. but i don’t really like bubble baths . i just never have + that’s ok. refer to rule number one above + stop telling yourself what you should be enjoying.

how to self care:

do something that makes you feel really happy. 

do something your body is asking for- exercise, sleep, prepare a healthy meal, receive/give a hug. 

relish in the feelings of comfort, joy and clarity this action brings. 

repeat often.

 i totally self-cared on thursday.

i slept in. i went to yoga. i listened to rain. i listened to my favorite band. i pet my dog (a lot). i hugged my boyfriend. i laughed with a close girlfriend. i made brownies (below is recipe, don’t worry).

looking at the above description of my day, i really didn’t do much. yet it left me feeling emotionally full in the best way.  it prepared me for the following day, left me recharged and refreshed. i remembered that i have every right to comfort myself when i start to feel it is needed.

not that i endorse food being comfort, however there are these brownies….

almond joy vegan brownies kaleinit

almond joy vegan brownies

almond joy vegan brownies

i got this recipe originally from an account i follow on instagram –  @thecolorfulkitchen – Ilene is absolutely amazing both with her original recipes and food photography.

i made a few edits based on what i had on hand. (my self-caring-self wasn’t running to a grocery store in the rain that day).


// what you’ll need //

1 tbs. ground flax seed + 3 tbs. warm water for flax egg

1.5 cups of whole wheat flour (can sub gluten free)

1/2 cup of raw cacao powder (use cocoa powder if you want a more sweet flavor)

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup of dairy free chocolate chips

1/3 cup of coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup of almond milk (or any dairy free alternative)

additional 1/4 cup of chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped almonds

coconut flakes – roughly 1/4 cup


// here’s how //

prepare the flax egg. stir the water + flax together. set aside.

preheat oven to 350 degrees + grease 9″ x 9″ baking dish.

in a large bowl whisk together flour, cacao, salt + baking soda.

in a saucepan on low, heat the chocolate chips + coconut oil until liquid.

transfer melted chocolate to bowl and add in the flax egg, vanilla, coconut sugar, and milk. stir.

add this to the dry mixture.

fold in almonds and remaining chocolate chips.

bake for 20-25 minutes. halfway through baking- sprinkle the coconut flakes on the top of the brownie batter. allow them to toast/brown a bit, but should not burn.

let brownies cool completely. and to garnish, melt chocolate and a bit of coconut oil then drizzle over brownies.


yum! now enjoy with no regrets! it is about balance. realistically if we never had brownies, we just wouldn’t be human. since they are dairy-free, egg-free, whole wheat, blah blah blah blah, have yourself two. it’s self-care-saturday after all….

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