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Bulimia Recovery #21 - Top 4 Essential Foods In Bulimia Recovery
November 21, 2011

Early on in my bulimia recovery, I had absolutely no idea what to eat...

For most of my life I had been either restricting, bingeing or purging... "Normal Eating" was a foreign concept to me!

At first I experimented with just eating salads and fruits... This lead to binge eating almost every single time.

Then I tried to eat protein and vegetables, without any carbs... By the end of the day I was in the bakery buying enough bread for my entire family.

Finally, I decided to do some research on what foods I actually needed in my recovery... What foods would help reduce my binge urges and help nourish my healing body... With a bit more experimentation and a little time, I discovered exactly what food groups I would eat in my recovery and why they were so important...

Here they are...


The importance of FATS

I avoided fats like the plague during the early days of my recovery... But I learnt, very quickly, that this isn’t a good idea...

Without fats, you simply won’t feel satisfied after your meals.

You’ll keep going back - looking for more.

It if you want to beat those binge urges then make sure you pack your structured eating plans with...

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut
  • Fish
  • Seeds

Most fats are delicious! And natural, unprocessed fats are healthy too!

I’d like to pay extra respect to Omega 3 fats...

These special little guys work hard to create new neural pathways in your brain - which are the building blocks of new habits... Such as the habit of normal eating...

So try to get a little omega 3 into every day!

An easy way to do this is to add walnuts and flaxseeds to the salad part of your meals and then drizzle over them with olive oil. Yum!


The importance of CARBS

Carbs are the primary energy source for your body...

It makes sense then, that your brain has developed a clever device to REALLY let you know when you’re running low on them...

When you restrict carbs, your brain releases a neurochemical called Neuropeptide Y... This neurochemical is responsible for those mega carbo cravings...

So instead of just eating one piece of bread, you feel like you need to eat 10.

To keep Neuropeptide Y at bay and prevent carbo binge urges, you need to make sure that you eat enough carbs.

Here are some of the carbohydrates you could work on adding to your structured eating plans.

  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams and carrots
  • Fruit
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains

Try not to be scared of adding these foods into your meal plans... If you don’t it could come round and bite you in the bum!


The importance of PROTEIN

Protein is important to help you rebuild your bulimia damaged muscles.

This in turn will help you speed up your metabolism...

The equation goes like this...

More Muscle = Faster Metabolism

Throw into the mix that protein also reduces binge cravings and you can see why it’s an essential on any recovering bulimics menu!

Protein doesn’t only come in the form of red meat, which can feel a bit overwhelming in the early phases of recovery...

Here are some other good sources of protein...

  • Chicken
  • Beans
  • Seeds
  • Lentils
  • Fish
  • Cheese


The Importance Of Fresh Fruits and Leafy Vegetables

Fresh fruits and leafy greens are high in nutrients that our bodies need to heal. I found that in my bulimia recovery I craved these big time and I put it down to my body healing after 10+ years of abuse! Fruits and leafy vegetables are also high in fiber which will help to cleanse your body and rid it of waste and toxins.

Some people have commented that too much fruit early on in recovery can cause bad bloating... I found this to be the case only with apples! But we are all different - so experiment with different fruits and see which ones suit your healing body best in recovery :)



It was just today that Em from The Bulimia Recovery Program was talking about her fear of carbs - especially grains! She said:

"What frustrates me is that I know that I want it, and I still seem to think that a piece of bread is gonna have huge consequences on my body. Negative ones I mean. I know that's the opposite, that my poor body cries for grains."

My response to her was:

"I can relate to your fear of grains... Since I was a little girl I was bombarded with messages of "Carbs will make you fat" "Bread is a naughty food" "Potatoes are fattening" and so on and so forth... Maybe you were the same? What I have realized through recovery and the years since is that no food is 'bad' for the body... All food is simply energy and some energy has more nutrients than others. I try to eat mostly nutrient rich foods - but if some of the foods I eat aren't high in nutrients, this is totally okay. You could always start off by adding very small amounts of grains/carbs into your meal plans... Maybe just a cracker on the side of your lunch... or a biscuit and a cup of tea after dinner. Whatever you feel you can handle. As you begin to eat grains and see that your body can handle them... you will begin to chip away at the fear. "

So thank you Em for inspiring me to write about "Foods you need to eat in bulimia recovery" for today's newsletter! :)


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Sending you lots of love and recovery vibes!

xox Shaye

P.S. Today I'm shouting out to Michel who posted this on his BRP blog today: "THREE WHOLE DAYS without any binging and purging...the Recovery Guide does work you guys!!! It really does. Planning on stretching these 3 days to a week, then to two weeks, then a month...and then hopefully for the rest of my life. I haven't felt this good in a long time and am so happy and proud of myself for working through the MANY tough urges that have come. We CAN DO THIS!! I believe in myself and all of you. Love you guys" Congratulations Michael - you rock!

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