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Health & Happiness: Battling Mild Food Anxiety

Banana RecipeBanana Bread Granola | minimalistbaker.com

Today I had banana, yoghurt and honey for breakfast while I read some business articles online. It may not seem like anything of note to you, but earlier this year I honestly hadn’t eaten a banana for at least 16 years.

I struggle to eat some foods, mostly ones that are good for me. Simply put, some foods freak me out. Usually the ones that are processed to hell are fine, but that’s not great for my body. When I had counselling earlier this year we spoke briefly about food anxiety. I was apprehensive to bring it up in our sessions because I thought it sounded silly, but I was so relieved to hear it’s a real, genuine issue.

Sadly some people have it in the extreme for which I can only recommend therapy (honestly, it’s not as scary as you think!). However if you’re battling mild food anxiety like myself, you’re not alone. Here’s how I’m making progress to improve my diet:

// Why. To start with we discussed why I wouldn’t eat certain things and the resounding problem was that I thought some foods were gross. Fruits and vegetables are grown in such an environment that I deem them to be dirty and tainted. It might help you to chat with someone about why you won’t eat an item, get them to ask you open ended questions so you can’t avoid the answers.

// Write a list. Create the ‘banished list’ from your head onto a piece of paper. Order it with the things you find the most difficult at the top so you can attack it from below, the easiest.

// “So what?” Pick an item from your list and tell a specific story out loud and go into detail to really dig into the problem. I told my banana story and my counsellor asked me a great question, it was, “So what?!” So what if I ate it and the worst thing I imagined happened, what would that mean? I would eat something dirty, something that shouldn’t have been there. “So what?!” I would have something foreign in my body, something gross. “So what?” Whatever it was it would probably be destroyed by my stomach acids, digested and become a waste product. It probably happens all the time without us knowing. There’s something about following the thought through that makes it less scary. The idea of something is often worse than the reality, for me anyway.

// Avoiding it is your first mistake. Digging in to the problem, thinking about the negative thought that I’d usually try my best to avoid, really made me see how unnecessary it was. How the big dark storm cloud really was just a fine rain shower. It didn’t leave anything unsaid to linger in my mind and grow into a monster. All my cards were on the table.
So we wrote a list and I started with salad as the easiest. We set a challenge for me to grab a handful of salad and stick it in my sandwich, instead of picking out individual leaves that I deemed appropriate to eat. Avoiding it forever will not solve the problem, the act of doing it anyway is often the only way to combat this type (and many types!) of anxiety.

// Create a distraction. It’s not an easy task, but the advice I was given was to not think about what I was eating, to not inspect it to see if it was OK like I usually would, to eat while distracting myself like watching TV or using my phone to check Instagram for example.
It works on and off, the war isn’t totally fought and won yet and I still have many items on my list; I haven’t even begun to tackle meat related products yet, but I’ve made progress. It’s important to separate the things you’d like to be able to start eating and the things you just really don’t like. Banana is one of my favourite flavours, so it seemed bizarre that I wouldn’t eat the actual piece of fruit.

// Back to bananas. Somewhere in the middle of my list lay bananas. For 16+ years I wouldn’t eat bananas because my Nan once told me a gross, potentially made up, story about them. Sure the first time I tried it, I choked on a bite. It’s incredible that my mind was so closed down it made my body physically reject what it thought I didn’t want to swallow. Now I cut them into tiny pieces and cover them with yoghurt and honey, it’s so tasty and makes the whole task easier.

This morning I ate bananas for breakfast without breaking a sweat, didn’t even think about what I was eating until half way through. The banana battle is won and I’m determined to win the war.

Loves x xx

P.S. Did you find this useful? Read more Health & Happiness topics!

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Outfit Post: Burgundy & Blueberry

Ladies Lumberjack Shirt

I’m crazy about this Autumn; All my knitwear is freshly laundered and for the first time smells gorgeously cruelty free as we’re embarking on replacing all our household products with lovely brands that are against animal testing! If you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments.

I’m totally into these delicious berry shades this year and this shirt from Dorothy Perkins perfectly encapsulates those colours. I bought some shoes at the weekend that I’m excited to match with it so I’m sure I’ll be showing you another way to wear a lumberjack shirt this Fall. The Minnetonkas never fail, though!

Minnetonka UK

How To Layer For Autumn

The shirt is 2-3 sizes bigger than I’d normally go (it’s a UK 18) for two reasons. One: It was the last one in the store, haha! Two: because I really wanted this loose, slouchy fit. I’ve stopped caring about size labels because nowhere can guarantee the same fit. I often take two or three sizes into the fitting rooms so I can pick out what suits my shape as well as my size. If in doubt, I go big. I love loose tops with skinny jeans and I can always pull them in with a belt over leggings or tights. I have such a variety in my wardrobe now that it just doesn’t bother me if I have to size up anymore. I apply the same rule to band shirts, I get the biggest they have and chop it down to my own specifications.

Autumn Style

Burgundy & Blueberry Outfit

Yorkshire Fashion Blogger

I’ve had a bit of a rough summer, but I’m so excited for all things now the weather has turned: From fashion to my business to my blog. You’ll start to notice things changing around here over the next few months as I develop more of a focus, but there’ll be more on that later. Please do let me know if you have a favourite feature that you don’t want to disappear, though! You can get me on Twitter if you’d prefer not to comment.

Casual Outfit Of The Day

Shirt | Dorothy Perkins  //  Jeans | Dorothy Perkins  //  Cardigan | Topshop
Minnetonkas | c/o Surfdome  //  Earrings | Onetenzeroseven

Loves x xx

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Getting A Dog While Renting

Pets In Rented House

Not long after we moved into our current home I became desperate for a dog. Sadly one by one the family dogs had moved on to Doggy Heaven and for the first time in my life I was without a dog. Of course being a renter it’s not easy to keep a pet, so here are my top tips for getting a dog while renting:

// Ask. Our contract didn’t allow us pets, but being the sort of person who isn’t afraid to ask for what I want I went ahead and put in a request to change that. It seemed like a total long shot and our letting agents flat out said no, but our Landlord wanted to think it over. We had talks about it where our landlord voiced his concerns giving us a chance to ease his mind on certain issues. Despite being advised strongly against it by the letting agents, he finally made the decision to write a dog into our contract.

// Offer a larger deposit. We rounded up our security deposit to allow for any additional damage that may be caused by the dog.

// Make compromises. We were due to have a brand new kitchen fitted and the hallway carpets ripped out and walls decorated, so instead we agreed to put that off and get a dog instead. The following year (I presume after our Landlord checked the dog wasn’t programmed to destroy!) our new kitchen was fitted anyway, but we painted our own landing walls and kept the old carpet. That way when we move out it doesn’t matter if the carpet is ruined by the dog because it needs changing anyway.

// Agree to additional cleaning. We had a full carpet clean added to our contract so when we move out we are required to get a professional carpet cleaner or have the cost taken from our security deposit.

Getting a dog for renters

// Adopt a rescue dog. Often dogs from rescue centres, particularly slightly older ones, are already housetrained before they come to live with you. This minimises any accidents that may occur or any damage to the house. We also got a massive folder full of our dog’s medical and behaviour history, which leads me on to my next point…

// Create your dog a CV. Hopefully your dog is the poster pup for good behaviour, so gather up recommendations from your vet/neighbours/previous landlord so your landlord has evidence that your dog is well behaved, instead of just taking your word. If you don’t have a dog yet, Dogs Trust can advise you about your new pal!

// Don’t forget insurance!! Argos Pet Insurance asked me to share their services with you guys and I cannot stress how important it is to get insurance. Not only does it cover you for unexpected vet fees, but it also covers for third party liability so your landlord can rest safe that you’ll be able to pay your rent! It also shows you’ve taken the responsibility to look after your pet.

// Be responsible. If you have a long history of being a good tenant, paying on time, not holding wild parties and not causing any damage to your property your landlord will have a stronger trust in you to act the same with a pet.

// Get it in writing. When we went to adopt Frank, because we lived in rented housing we need to provide a letter from our landlord to state that we were allowed to keep a pet. It’s also important to get any stipulations into your contract and signed so no-one can go back on their word at a later date. A dog is for life.

Getting a dog while renting

If you have any specific questions, please do ask in the comments or @me on Twitter! It may seem like a long shot, but it’s worth a try. Trust me.

Loves x xx

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