No triggering comments, please. By that, I mean, please don't comment about how much or little food it is, or how my choices could/should be healthier or lighter, or anything about weight loss or weight gain. Only supportive comments are welcome on this post. Other ones may get you banned. I'm serious about this, because it's really hard for me to share this with you guys, so please be respectful of my wishes.
I'm not posting this as a DIET TIP or as THE ONLY SOLUTION FOR RECOVERY but simply to show you what's going on with me, to give you an idea of what recovery looks like for me.
Okay... here goes.
At Renfrew, the focus is on food exchanges, not on calories or macronutrients.
However, I tracked a few days worth of meal plans into My Fitness Pal before I deleted that app/site out of my life forever, and found that it's anywhere from 1600-2000 calories daily, and very balanced as far as macros go. This is not a weight loss plan, but my nutritionist says that my body will eventually adjust at where it's meant to be if I stick to this plan, especially once my ED behaviors cease completely and I start incorporating regular movement/exercise into my life again.
The exchanges represent the food groups, and they are: protein, starch, fat, fruit, vegetables, dairy, and dessert.
I eat three large meals and one snack daily, along with 2-3 desserts weekly.
For me, and I'm told that there are 3 Renfrew meal plans, but mine is this:
Breakfast- 3 starches, 1 fruit, 1 fat, 1 dairy
Lunch- 2 starches, 3 proteins, 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 2 fats, 1 dairy
Dinner- 2 starches, 3 proteins, 1 vegetable, 2 fats, 1 dairy
Snack- 3 mixed exchanges of my choice
Desert- 1 "normal" serving of any dessert I want to eat
Here's what makes up 1 exchange:
Starch- 1/2 c grain, 1 serving any packaged items (1 pop tart, 1 granola bar, 1 handful of potato chips, etc.); 1 slice bread; 1 small tortilla
Protein- 1 oz protein (meat, meat sub); 1 c beans = 3 proteins
Dairy- 1 c milk, 1 serving yogurt, 1/4 c cheese
Vegetable- 1 c vegetables, or one medium vegetable
Fruit- 1 c fruit, or one medium piece of fruit
Fat- 1 tsp fat (oil, butter), 1 T nuts, 1/4 avocado
I have basically started to eyeball everything but dinner's beans and grains.
So many things that I love about eating this way...
Probably my favorite is that I am eating all of my favorite foods all of the time, including pop tarts and pizza. I am truly starting to learn that there are NO BAD FOODS, especially when I stick to this meal plan because it's such a good variety.
Also: It's a LOT of food! This satisfies me so much that I'm hardly ever hungry outside of meal times. My binges (which are now very rare, thanks to treatment) are now completely emotional, they are never triggered by hunger. This makes them easier to identify and usually preventable.
Things that I've learned: I was NOT EATING ENOUGH before treatment. My "feed bag" that I bring with me to work every day is huge now, because I have enough things in there to truly nourish my body for 2 meals and 1 snack. (I eat my snack around 4 during the work week, to prevent the after-work-hunger binge).
Also: I'm not lactose intolerant. I used to be, but now my stomach seems fine, even though I'm drinking milk with breakfast and eating yogurt or cheese with the other two meals. I think that I may still be slightly intolerant, but because I never eat JUST DAIRY, it's always with other food groups, that helps my stomach to handle it.
I use the app Rise Up! to do food and feelings journaling throughout the day. The app also features affirmations and coping skills activities. I love it, and it has been an important part of my recovery.