Guest Chick Shelly Bell talks addiction

Shelly Bell

A different tone for today’s guest chick, but an important one.  Shelly Bell wrote A Year to Rememberto share her strength and hope with food addicts everywhere.  A member of Romance Writers of America, she writes both women’s fiction and paranormal romance.  You can follow her at,, her book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Soul Mate Publishing (for iBooks and other e-readers)

Shelly, thanks for sharing your story and providing a great-sounding recipe.

Recovery from Food Addiction

More than two years ago, I walked into my first twelve-step meeting for compulsive overeaters. Immediately after, I wrote down my problem foods- foods I binged on or which led to a binge. It was a very long list, but a commonality glared at me, telling me what I already knew. Most of my problem foods were made from wheat, flour, or sugar.  Although the twelve-step program doesn’t tell you to eliminate any foods from your diet, I knew that for me, eating a piece of bread is like an alcoholic drinking a beer. Even if I didn’t binge on the bread, I’d crave it the rest of the day. It would consume my thoughts until I gave in to the voices in my head demanding to be fed. It would lead to a binge on anything from bagels to chips to candy bars or all of the above.  So on June 1, 2009, I gave up eating wheat, flour, sugar and drinking alcohol.

The first thing people say when I tell them I gave up sugar is that they could never do that. I knew if I continued my compulsive overeating, it was only a matter of time before it killed me. Frankly, I’d rather live a long healthy life than eat a piece of cake. A few months after abstaining from these items, my blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar reverted back to the normal range. For the first time since I had my children, I had energy to play with them.  My lifelong stomach troubles disappeared as did the body aches and pains doctors had suggested were from fibromyalgia. My moods stabilized and my anxiety lessened. Now I recognize it was my body’s way of telling me I was allergic to these problem foods. They were physically, emotionally, and spiritually toxic to me.

A Year To Remember

Once I stopped binging, I found I had more time on my hands and decided to start writing. The idea for A Year to Remember came to me on the way to the movie theater and I sent my kids and my husband in to the theater, while I wrote the outline for the book in the lobby. I loved Jennifer Weiner’s Good in Bed and Jane Green’s Jemima J but I wanted to write a different story about a fat woman, one which addressed that for some people, losing weight or accepting your weight wasn’t the answer. For some people, weight is a symptom of the disease of food addiction. So that’s what I wrote. My story is about a twenty-nine Jewish psychologist who vows to meet and marry her soul mate before she turns thirty. She also has an addiction to food. It’s not an autobiography, but I certainly used some of my own experiences for inspiration.

People ask me what I eat if I don’t eat wheat or flour. I have oatmeal for breakfast and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein. I’m happy to report that while I’m not thin, I am healthy. Last week, I decided to create my own recipe for crustless spinach pie and eliminated both the phyllo dough and butter. It turned out pretty good! I had it for dinner one night and lunch the next day. I liked it better the second day.


1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess liquid
1 egg
1/4  cup 2% cottage cheese, small curd
½ cup feta
1 tbs. dried dill
½ tbs. dried minced onion
½ tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Spray 8×8 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add spinach mixture to the pan, spread evenly and pat down. Bake for thirty minutes.

Makes 2 meal size servings or 4 side servings.



10 thoughts on “Guest Chick Shelly Bell talks addiction

  1. Thank you for sharing your battle and triumph with us, Shelly! I can relate to so much of what you’ve gone through. I love bread–any and all. I’m working on cutting out or at least minimizing my intake of foods that aren’t doing my body any good.

    I’ve never been a dill-lover, unless it’s a pickle, but your recipe sounds yummy. I believe I’ll give it a try. 🙂

  2. OK… this makes me want to make my family’s recipe for spinach roll-ups… it uses lasagna noodles, so it isn’t really a player for those that have removed flour from their diets…

    However, it was basically my mother’s response to the American classic dish of baked lasagna, which she despised. Instead, she came up with spinach roll-ups, and to me, it is the true definition of lasagna, not that stuff that every other kitchen in America seems to make.

    I’ll have to do a write up of it sometime to submit… 😉

  3. Thanks for reading and commenting. Jon, I’d love your lasagne recipe. My kids love it and I substitute noodles for eggplant for me. BTW Lis, my recipe can be made without the dill. My husband doesn’t like dill either.

    • Oooh! Yes, eggplant strips would work just fine as a substitute for lasagna noodles! I had forgotten that was an appropriate substitute.

      It would change the taste a bit, but I think it could be done. When I do the cooking and write-up of the recipe, I’ll try and remember to include that tip for the gluten impaired. It may take me a while to get to it, however… I am on a burrito with ground turkey kick right now. 🙂

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