Rebalance Your Relationship With Food

Rebalance Your Relationship With Food

Please tell us about your new book 'Rebalance Your Relationship with Food'.

My book offers a range of simple, balanced recipes for everyday living, alongside positive messages about natural ingredients and inspirational quotes from real people trying to improve their relationship with food and their body. It's been designed to help people establish a healthy attitude towards food and an eating pattern that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Why do so many people have an imbalance when it comes to food?

Nowadays, we are bombarded with confusing messages about food. When you add this to the social pressure to be thin and the stress caused by modern expectations, there's no wonder that people struggle to find a happy balance.

Why did you feel it was important to target the cookbook to people who are battling with eating disorders or body image issues?

Disordered eating and body image issues affect so many people. I wanted to create an empathetic recipe book that represented simple, balanced eating and an appreciation for natural food, without overwhelming anyone. My book has been specifically designed to be calming, easy to follow and honest - I have cooked and eaten every recipe with my family at home.

Please tell us about overcoming anorexia nervosa.

I struggled with a lack of self-esteem and tendencies towards obsessive thoughts and behaviors that developed into a battle with anorexia in my early to mid-twenties. Subconsciously, I used food and exercise as coping mechanisms to help me predict and manage life, but inevitably, this was not sustainable long term.

When did you realize that your relationship with food was different?

When I was twenty, I remember thinking "I'll just eat half of everything I'd normally eat". Over time, I further restricted my intake and began to feel frightened of food. My behavior encouraged distorted thinking, which fueled my eating disorder, like an ever decreasing downward spiral.

At what point did you decide to set up a support service?

Specialist support from people that really understood had been fundamental in my recovery. So as soon as I felt well and stable, I set up an eating disorder support service in my local area (www.balancedmk.co.uk). Qualified counsellors and a dedicated committee of likeminded people worked together to provide guidance to people affected by any form of disordered eating. I wanted my experiences to help others.

What is wrong with food fads and diets?

Many diets dictate restrictions and encourage obsessive behaviors with food. I am an advocate of everything in moderation, including moderation itself.

Which fad or diet do you think is the worst culprit for having a detrimental effect on your health?

The sheer amount of diets on the market encourages people to yoyo diet, which confuses the body, negatively effects metabolism and can lead to distorted thoughts about food.

Why does moderation work more than elimination?

Unless there is a medical reason for eliminating a food group from your diet, I think that we should include all food groups. I believe that if we eat a variety of natural ingredients on a regular basis, combined with a sensible amount of positive exercise, then we will be as we should be.

What is next for you?

I will continue to run BalancED MK, whilst also promoting wellbeing through provision of personal training, my books and my blog - please see www.rebalancing-me.com for further information. I have started to offer one to one nutritional mentoring and love the idea or writing a second recipe book because I'm always coming up with new ideas in the kitchen!