We’re an unlikely pairing–like Godiva and Diet Coke.
I’m a Massachusetts dietitian with 26 years experience and an expertise in treating eating disorders and Cate’s a driven, working mom recovering from anorexia in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve got sons in their 20′s, she, daughters in primary school. I’ve got a passion for full flavored foods mindfully eaten, she’s had a focus on eating what her anorexia won’t forbid.
It began with my blog, Drop it and Eat, and the honest comments about her struggle she frequently left on my posts.
But really it started with trust. I think she realized I got it, that I knew what she was going through. And that I believed deeply that recovery was possible. I so appreciated her honesty and her determination to move forward along this path toward full recovery.
After several months, Cate had a proposal. Would I be interested in contributing to an eating disorder recovery cookbook, by providing information and insights into the nutritional value of the recipes? And these weren’t just any recipes–but the 5 main dishes she relied on for many months to increase her intake. These were the very dishes she credited with moving her forward with her eating. And I, the very person who had given her hope that full recovery was possible.
It took me about 5 seconds to say yes, but I had a slightly expanded vision for the project. The recipe selection had to be broadened to include great quality, but easy-to-justify recipes. The dishes needed to push those in recovery to stretch out of their comfort zone. Miso soup and salads were out, but granola and crock pot chicken were in. And did I mention desserts? Yes, desserts had to have a place, because that’s what true recovery is about–including foods that taste good and that you enjoy, and you can learn to eat in control.
Food to Eat is finally available! It has been a difficult process–just like recovery itself–but we have both accomplished a great deal. Through the process of writing, editing, cooking and photographing, Cate has moved significantly from the place she began. I’ve learned more about the practical aspects of recovery–from mealtime management at our first meal together when we met at an eating disorder conference–to the need for patience and realistic goals. And we believe we’ve created a recovery tool that can really make a difference.
Give it a try. And let us know what you think! We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Lori Lieberman, RD, MPH, CDE, LDN is available for speaking presentations.