Eco, Green or Sustainable

I have been cleaning up our life one step at a time. I want to move us to a more enviromentally friendly lifestyle. We bought Raffaello reusable diapers for at home and biodegradable ones for school and if we need them while we are out. We already eat very local, mostly from my in-laws garden and I try to save as much money as possible and not waste food. I meal plan in order to not need to buy extra ingredients.

I am now trying to buy most of the food that we do buy to be organic and for all of our products to also be natural. This is a difficult endeavour where we live though, I have searched through our local stores for organic cleaning products and don’t usually find many products. I am also spending more time shopping around to find material products that need to be sustainable (Raffi is in dire need of a new backpack for school after he lost his…).

Amongst all of this, I am continuining with yoga daily. If I don’t find time to come to the mat, I feel like something is missing. Yoga has helped me considerably with depression and anxiety.

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Breaking Food “Rules”

As many as eating disorder recovers know, we put rules on food. Big rules, rules we can’t break or we suddenly blow up to 500 pounds overnight or the world falls apart if we break them. We stick to the rules and we live by the rules. We create these rules ourselves though, they aren’t rules “normal eaters” have.

In my journey to recover from my eating disorder, I am trying to break the rules that constrain me. These rules also constrain us from enjoying life, like everyone else. One of my main rules I have had for a long time is to not eat a big lunch. Lunch should be small. Lunch should leave me hungry, hungry enough for a snack. Hungry for a bigger dinner. In Italy, lunch is the bigger meal, so you can see where I quickly ran into problems with my “rule”. Even after living here for 2 years it is hard for me to accept this rule, I still struggle with it and usually on eat a “big” lunch on Sunday, when I am home with my family and want to keep the traditional large Sunday lunch for my husband. I always approach this meal with anxiety. Anxiety of eating too much, anxiety because I know I will feel full after eating. Feeling full usually starts a downward spiral…I think all day after that I ate too much and go into a feeling of panic.

I have been trying to focus on “eating what you want” and nothing more.I still struggle with it though, I still don’t like a large meal at lunch and usually avoid it. Lunch in my “rules” should be a sandwich or a salad and nothing more. Today, I broke the rule. I got home from work, I didn’t feel like a sandwich or a salad and made ravioli and a side of edamame we had in a freezer. I ate it, noted how delicious it was and moved on. It was refreshing to eat in peace and to remain in peace after the meal. It wasn’t a big portion, it was still “small enough” but it wasn’t a sandwich or a salad.

There’s still a lot to work in this journey to complete eating disorder recovery and I am not sure when or how I will reach it, but I am hope to be going in the right direction.

Some breakfast pictures from the past two days:

Eggs cooked in butter, a piece of zucchini bread from the freezer, cherries

Scrambled eggs, IKEA cinnamon roll (frozen) and pineapple

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and finding a niche

What should my blog focus on is a question I am always thinking about. I’m not sure where to go with it. I want to follow a pattern, not post random subjects. Living abroad and raising children abroad is a niche but it is not a niche I find myself very passionate about. I have been living abroad for 13 years, it’s a part of every day life and I don’t even know where I am “from” anymore. I’m American on paper but I lived most of my adult life in Switzerland, which is what I always find myself missing, not America. I also lived most of my time in Switzerland with my Italian husband and quickly adapted to an “Italian way of life”. Now that we live in Italy, moving here wasn’t a huge culture shock.

One thing I find myself passionate it about is food, intuitive eating, and eating disorder recovery. Also PPD and depression in general. So that being said, I’m going to focus blog on mental health, with a little daily life thrown in as well. As well as the difficulties that arise when you must express yourself in a foreign language to a therapist.

To leave you with a picture of my breakfast today, simple and perfect, Cheerios with a banana:

Catching Up

What has been going around here? We have been trying to enjoy the short spurts of sunshine and warm weather when it isn’t raining, which seems to be often these past few weeks. I feel like we get closer to summer and then a rainy, cold, windy day comes to remind us we’ve still got time until summer.

I have been walking in an effort to get exercise. Ever since I fell I am afraid to run. Walking has been a blessing though, slowing down and noticing everything in town has led me to discover a lot of stores and things I’ve never seen before. I found a cute Bulgarian shop run by a sweet Bulgarian woman who was so excited to introduce me to Bulgarian food. I’ve also noticed a few clothing stores I’ve never seen.

I’ve also been spending a lot of time working on my anxiety around food with my therapist and listening to inspirational podcasts about intuitive eating and healthy relationships about food. My therapist urged me to talk to my psychiatrist about the food anxiety as eating disorders are anxiety disorders. My psychiatrist prescribed me a long term, long release dose of Xanax to help with the anxiety of eating. I’m taking it now but hopefully soon I can reach a point of keeping the anxiety under control on my own.

Raffi is talking so much now, he has new words every day. He mimics his sister and wants to do everything she does, down to taking a purse out with him. Felicity has turned into a little girl, no longer a toddler. She loves to play outside and to be “boss” when she plays with her brother and cousin. They are both doing well at school, Felicity has many friends and loves her teachers. Raffi is happy to go to school every day and I believe a lot of his speech improvements is related to his teachers at school. Raffi will continue in the fall his same school and we are deciding now if Felicity will stay at the public school or go to the same private preschool as Raffi.

Have a good weekend!

Update on speding freeze, one week in

We’ve been in one week of trying to not spend money. I think we’ve done really well with food shopping. We used an app to have our groceries delivered which keeps us from impulse spending at the supermarket. We have used it twice, bit only for necessities, such as meat and fresh fruit and vegetables. So far it has helped with not spending as we are not going to the store to get anything and also picking up a few other random objects on the way. I’ve meal planned and focused on food we have so there is no last minute grocery store runs needed.

I had a few big necessities to take care pf this month that I couldn’t avoid. Raffi needed a need car seat since had outgrown his last one and was visibly uncomfortable in it. I spent a week shopping around on Amazon until I finally decided on one that was what I was looking for at a good price. I also needed to buy the kids new sneakers, Felicity’s were falling apart and Raffi had outgrown his. I also researched for both of their pairs and decided on a cheaper pair fo Raffaello since he goes through them so quickly and a more expensive pair for Felicity since she doesn’t outgrow shoes quickly but she also seems to ruin shoes quickly so she needs a pair that will hold up. One change I made for myself was coloring my hair back to a more natural color to avoid having to color it every few weeks and spending more and more money.

Lastly, we need to buy new clothes for a First Communion in the beginning of June so that will be the end of big expenses for us this month. I will update soon on how we’re doing with the budget.

Photos from this week:

Felicity on her school field trip:

Raffi in his new car seat:

No Spending Challenge

I spend way to much money on food and I really want to reduce that. Umberto and I have always been fans of cooking so we tend to spend a lot on food but I think it’s gotten out of hand. I want to take a challenge to only buy what we REALLY need and to at the most go the supermarket once a week, every time I go for one thing it turns into many things and I end up spending more money than I ever planned.

This week has gone really well, I’ve not gone to the grocery store once, I went only to buy some bread from the bakery one time. I’ve been using what we have and not making recipes that call for more than what we have. Hopefully the rest of the month will go just as well.

Food

What is your relationship with food? Is it good? Is it healthy? Is food just a necessary part of your life and nothing more?

I want to make peace once and for all with food. I had an unhealthy relationship with food in the past and still can’t make myself 100% at peace with it. Now, I am trying to make myself at peace with it. Trying to always remind myself of the principles of intuitive eating especially that nothing is off limits and to let go of a diet mentality. It’s easier said than done but step by step I know I will be able to finally be at peace with food.

I am struggling with the weight I gained during my last pregnancy and since I still haven’t lost those last 10lbs,I have gone back and forth of trying to lose them or just accepting it as it is.

If I’m going to be 100% honest, I know that I am also unable to lose the weight partially due to medication (antidepressants) I have been on since after Raffaello’s birth.

Will life really change if I lose 10 pounds? Probably not, nothing will change. I’ve also been advised by my therapist to not try to lose the weight yet, she believes I’m not ready yet for a diet. I’m still to frail from the past and a diet could bring out something more of depression or anxiety out. I’m in a good place now mentality, I shouldn’t threaten that for something as insignificant as a few pounds.

I will leave you with a food a photo of one of the happiest moments in my life, my son’s 2nd birthday.