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 www.shellybellbooks.com, www.facebook.com/shellybellbooks, www.twitter.com/shellybell987and her book is available on Amazon ow.ly/93MzC, Barnes and Noble ow.ly/93MBE, and Soul Mate Publishing (for iBooks and other e-readers) ow.ly/93MEv.
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.
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.
CRUSTLESS SPINACH PIE
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess liquid
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.