Q&A: PART 3: All Things Nutrition, Health, Fitness, Skincare, Eating Disorder Recovery, Supplements, Social Media, Daily Life, Cooking & Makeup!
It’s that time – TIME FOR THE THIRD Q+A ON THE BLOG!
Here I’ve compiled a list of a lot of questions that I get asked quite often to give you guys a permanent reference point to come back to if ever these questions come to mind! Please know that these Q+A posts don’t mean that I don’t love interacting with you guys via direct message, through comments here or on Instagram or any other way. Don’t be shy to continue sending your questions, feedback, criticism & message my way!
Q: What is my favourite lip balm?
A: I have a few go-tos!
- Tatcha Camellia Oil Gold Spun Lip Balm
- Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm
- Fresh Beauty Advanced Therapy Lip Serum
- Givenchy Beauty Hydra-Sparkling Lip Balm
Q: What order do I apply my skincare products in?
A: See my full post here: Skincare Products Are Fun & All, But What Order Should You Apply Them In?
And to read about all my tips & tricks regarding winter skincare (because yes, winter is upon us, click here: My Go-To Guide For Winter Skincare Swaps a.k.a. How-To-Get-Your-Skin-To-Brave-The-Freeze-&-Still-Keep-That-Radiance-G(LOW)oing!
Q: Do I have any salmon recipes up on the blog?
A: There’s something I don’t love about cooked salmon & I much prefer a cooked filet of white fish, such as mahi-mahi, cod, halibut, or haddock or a filet of seared tuna! But, I do have tons of recipes on the blog for which you can swap the white fish used for salmon!
- Lemon Dijon Maple Dill & Cilantro Flaky AF Baked Cod
- Clean Eating Mahi-Mahi Tartare
- Cod & Mango Tartare with a Zesty Lime, Sesame & Soy Sauce
- Honey Dijon, Lemon & Harissa Marinated Wild Cod with Loads of Spices & Fresh Cilantro on a Bed of Roasted Balsamic Vinegar Asparagus
- Miso & Sesame Marinated Flakey AF Cod
- Maple Balsamic & Dijon Oven-Baked Cod on a Bed of Broiled Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Onion, Garlic Spinach & Gluten-Free Noodles
- Asian Coconut Garlic Ginger Cilantro Oven-Roasted Mahi-Mahi
- Maple Dijon Oven-Baked Cod Crusted with Charred Basil, Dill & Cilantro on a Bed of Roasted Asparagus, White Beans, Green Peas & Kale and Cabbage Slaw Smothered in a Sesame Ginger Sauce
I also have a recipe for salmon tartare HERE: Kelly’ in the Kitch’s 10-Minute Salmon Tartare a.k.a. The Cleanest-Quickest-Simplest-Easiest-BUT-Yummiest-AF-Salmon-Tartare-That You-Ever-Did-Eat-Oops-I-Mean-DEVOUR
Q: How do I make my coffee in the morning?
A: I use 2 Nespresso capsules (my favourite are the Arpeggio, Ristretto & Vanillio). I then use my Nespresso milk brother to froth some of my homemade nut or plant-based milk depending on which one I meal-prepped that week (hemp, cashew or almond, usually!) & then once it’s frothed, I poured it into the mug & top it with Ceylon cinnamon!
Q: What is the name of the course I’m doing to become a holistic nutritionist & health coach?
A: The course is given by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is a school based in New York. To read more about the school & the program, check out their website!
(P.S. Guess who graduated from there too? THE BABE BEHIND PURELY ELIZABETH!!!!!)
Q: Where did I learn how to cook?
A: My mom was an amazing cook & most family dinners & holidays were hosted at our house so I grew up watching her cook. Safe to say, I got a couple hacks from her, but overall, I’m self-taught!
Q: Any swaps for kombucha if you simply can’t get past the fermented taste?
A: YES. Obvs. Have you met me? To get the benefits of probiotics, try a sparkling probiotic beverage, such as Kevita (Love the lemon cayenne, strawberry & mango flavours!).
Otherwise, if you are simply looking for a beverage that provides health benefits (as opposed to just drinking water) & aren’t necessarily looking for the probiotics, you can also try coconut water. It contains potassium, magnesium, copper, antioxidants & tannins, which are known to reduce inflammation. It also contains tons of enzymes, which helps with digestion, as well as electrolytes & may help boost metabolism.
Q: How do I incorporate the Algenist Liquid Collagen product into my routine?
A: I alternate; sometimes, I use it in the morning (to replace my vitamin C serum), sometimes, at night. I use it as a serum, and personally, I prefer to use it in the daytime because it really gives a nice glowing & brightening effect so it sets a good base for my makeup!
Q: Are Tatcha products worth the price?
A: YES. YES. YES. I’ve used their cleanser, lip balm, dewy skin mist, water cream, essence & vitamin C mask & I can seriously say I would re-purchase every single one of these products. They contain very nourishing ingredients & they’re super gentle. I didn’t react badly to ANY of them & I’ve already started to see amazing results with them (such as brighter & firmer skin), so it’s safe to say that they’re pricey, but with reason!
Q: What are my go-to eye-care products these days?
- Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue
- Kate Somerville Retinol+ Eye Cream
- Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum
- Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten & Depuff
Q: Do I weigh myself now that I’m this far into recovery?
A: Nope! I haven’t stepped on the scale in months (except for doctor’s appointments) & it’s the best feeling in the world. At my doctor’s appointments, I make the conscious decision to turn the other way & not know the number (my doctor simply informs me that I’m doing well & I have nothing to worry about!). I do think I’ve reached a point where I’m strong enough to weigh myself every now & then and not get triggered by it, but I haven’t in a while & I don’t feel the need to at this exact moment.
I do believe there is nothing wrong with keeping track of your weight if you are someone who sin’t dealing with or who hasn’t recently dealt with an ED because it is healthy to do so & is a way to stay on track and motivation. But, I think for those who have dealt with these issues or are currently dealing with them & who might put themselves in a position where they don’t practice weighing themselves in a healthy way, they run the risk of turning it into an obsession & further fuelling the illness or hindering recovery. It’s crucial to move away from the numbers & focus on how you feel more than anything.
Q: How much of every supplement do I take per day?
A: Generally, I follow the instructions for use on the bottle. EXCEPT, if I think it’s too much (& if I know I’m already getting a lot of whatever that supplement is through my nutrition) OR, for example, with collagen, I won’t take my capsules if on a particular day, I’ve had two scoops of the Vital Proteins collagen products, because then I’ll be taking too much collagen!
Q: What’s a good vegetarian swap for ground chicken or turkey in recipes?
A: Sprouted green lentils (or chickpeas, but I feel like lentils will give you more of a similar texture to ground chicken!).
Q: How can you incorporate more greens into your life?
- Matcha lattes (Links to recipes will be posted below in another question about matcha)
- Homemade green juice!
- Add greens to your smoothies (sneak them in & you won’t even realize they are there!)
- Try the Udo’s Choice Green Superfood Smoothie mix (all you have to do is add it to your blender with some nut milk, adaptogens, protein &/or other powders!).
Q: Where can you get Egyptian Magic in Montreal?
A: Food de Toi or Le Brow Bar. You can also order it online from Vitacost or directly from the Egyptian Magic website!
Q: Can we see a picture of the inside of your weekly planner?
Q: Where can you find Purely Elizabeth in Montreal?
A: Chez Anna on Sherbrooke!
Q: Where can you find my anorexia recovery meal plan?
Q: What are my favourite day & night serums, day & night moisturizers & exfoliator?
- Day serum: Ole Henriksen Vitamin C Serum / Drunk Elephant Vitamin C Serum / Algenist Liquid Collagen;
- Day moisturizer: Tatcha Water Cream / Sunday Riley Tidal / Peter Thomas Roth Hyaluronic Cloud Cream / Egyptian Magic / Kate Somerville Brightening Vitamin C Moisturizer;
- Night serum: Good Genes by Sunday Riley / Drunk Elephant C-Framboos;
- Night moisturizer: Kate Somerville Brightening Vitamin C Moisturizer / Sunday Riley C+E CEO Cream / Egyptian Magic;
- Exfoliator: Peter Thomas Roth FirmX Exfoliator (See my full post on it here: Beauty Product Review: Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Exfoliator a.k.a. Buh-Bye Dead Skin, Hello Freshness!
Q: Are my probiotics in capsules & do I take them every morning?
Yes! I take them every morning with breakfast & the rest of my supplements. Sometimes, in the short-term, probiotics might cause gas, bloating or burping. Usually, this is temporary & often happens to those with a weakened or damaged immune system. My suggestion would be to continue for a few weeks if you just started (at least a month) & if you see that after that time frame, you are still feeling bloated, try another brand & see if it agrees with your system more.
Also, if your gut is really unhealthy, odds are it is filled with a lot of bad bacteria & they will not necessarily all get eliminated immediately or at once.
Sometimes, it takes some time & toughing out & it should only be temporary! Don’t despair! It gets SO MUCH BETTER in the long run.
Q: Do you need to do the LSAT to apply to Ontario law schools & do you need volunteer experience?
A: Nope! If you do it (for example: if you are also applying to American universities), you do, however, need to declare it & tell them your results. But, it is not an admission requirement for Ottawa universities.
As for volunteer experience, I had some from high school (breast cancer research fundraisers, other fundraising events etc.) & some experience volunteering at a local synagogue for a few years, but not much else. Of course, volunteer experience is something many schools do value so if you do have it, LIST IT in your application.
Q: What do I use to make my zucchini noodles?
The Starfrit Serializer, which you can get at Wal-Mart, for a measles $19.99!!!!
Q: Do I only use sea salt on my food (or do I use table salt) & what’s the use of sea salt in lemon water?
A: Yes, I only use sea salt on my food. I’ve completely eliminated table salt from my diet because it’s processed & heated at such high temperatures that it literally loses all its vital minerals & nutrients. It also usually contains an additive or synthetic chemical to prevent clumping (some of them sometimes contain aluminum derivatives or MSG). It’s also coloured with white bleach. Sea salt, on the other hand, is harvested & dried in the sun so it won’t lose any of its nutrition. basically, lathe trace minerals that we need for immune, thyroid & adrenal function re stripped out of table salt because of the way its made.
To read about why I add it to my lemon water, click here: Lemon Water a.k.a. The-Only-&-Healthy-&-Best-&-Yummy-Way-To-Start-Oops-I-Mean-Detox-Your-Day-Right.
Q: So many influencers seem to be able to afford it all (gym memberships, supplements, organic raw foods, skincare, etc.) – HOW DO THEY DO IT?
A: Guys, it’s no secret that living the life I live costs is expensive, from the organic food, gym memberships, to investing in expensive skincare. It’s only natural for people to wonder how on earth people who live such a healthy lifestyle are able to afford it.
First off, as you guys know, I moved back home so I currently live with my dad and my sister. Automatically, that helps & makes this lifestyle a bit easier to sustain because I don’t have rent or a mortgage to pay & my dad pays for groceries. Rent & mortgage is a huge burden for many families. When I was married, I owned a house with my husband so I definitely know what that’s like!
However, I did also start to live this lifestyle before moving back home & I definitely had to make sacrifices. And that’s really where the answer lies. I’m able to afford to sustain this healthy lifestyle because I make concessions & sacrifices elsewhere. If you guys know me personally, before ED & even during it, I was probably the most avid shopper out there. It’s no secret. I literally LIVED in malls & shopped a lot online. I spent most of, if not all, my extra money on shopping. I think many girls go through a stage in their lives where they don’t really know how to properly save up. In retrospect, when I think about it now, I probably didn’t need half he things I bought.
Ever since I started living this healthy lifestyle, I realized I’d have to make certain concessions regarding shopping & the luxury of just going to the mall and buying whatever my heart desired or whatever caught my eye if I wanted to be able to continue to afford a healthy lifestyle. Now, I can’t even tell you the last time I went into a mall aimlessly & spent hundreds of dollars on things I didn’t need. I now know that I have other more important things to buy: supplements, organic food, upkeep my gym memberships, skincare etc. My investment in my health is worth SO MUCH MORE to me. I used to be really materialistic. I just always wanted more, more & more. And I didn’t even need it. Now, I go shopping when there’s a great sale to take advantage of it or when I know I really needs something.
It’s safe to say my perspective and priorities really shifted. And it’s hard, a girl my age would love to go to the mall and buy whatever her heart desires, right? But I know that if I do that, I won’t be able to spend on things I need and use daily as part of my lifestyle and routine. This is a very personal thing & you really need to decide what you are willing to concede on & habits you are using to that you’re willing to let go of.
You also have to be mindful & pick and choose what you do. I eat certain organic foods, but I haven’t made the switch to organic, natural or green skincare, or organic produce because it’s just TOO EXPENSIVE! Maybe you’ll choose to go fully organic food-wise, but you’ll spend less on serums and skincare, or you’ll go to a less luxurious gym – it’s really up to you & you need to ask yourself what YOU VALUE, what YOU PRIORITIZE & what STANDS OUT TO YOU.
It’s also crucial that you don’t overwhelm yourself & try to do it all at once. It’s physically & financially impossible. I don’t know how anybody could sustain it & it’s no use putting that extra emotional, mental, physical & financial strain on your life. Start slow! For me, it started with food because I knew that in implementing my new meal plan, I wanted to change my lifestyle and invest in healthy food. Then, my nutritionist started suggesting supplements. Then, I got the “okay” to start going to the gym & then I got into skincare (& started to slowly give up splurging so much on makeup!).
All this to say, if I had to summarize it, it was really about shifting my priorities & realizing that the things I learned to value, prioritize & adopt overtime were things that would become part of my lifestyle and routine and make me feel better as a person. Sure, shopping makes you feel good int he moment, gives you instant gratification, but what does it give you in the long run? Does it do any good to your body? To your mind?
If you’re someone who is used to certain luxuries that are not necessities, it’s sometimes hard to give them up. It was hard for me to justify not going to a mall because I knew I would spend uselessly. And it’s safe to say, making lifestyle changes ins’t easy nor is it easy to break or crack habits. I’m not telling you to do it overnight. But I’m telling you it’s worth doing. But first, you must come to terms with the fact that you cannot have it all. Pick & choose your battles, what you value & what’s important to you. And yes, on social media, it seems like some people just have it all. THEY DON’T.. They’re either making a sacrifice somewhere else, getting sponsored left right & center by brands & getting free product, or are simply very fortunate and are the exception to the rule. The average person cannot have it all.
My approach is really to focus on the things that will provide me with long-term results & not instant gratification. Sometimes, we all need retail therapy. TRUE. But, that’s all it is. Instant feeling good int he moment, but it doesn’t take away anything you are going through or improve your overall state of well-being. Nourishing your body with the right foods, treating your skin properly, self-care, working out etc. are all things that are good for you mentally, emotionally & physically. You are fighting aging, disease, things that might affect you in the future. A nice pair of boots or sweater won’t do that for you. You cannot replace the way you feel when you adopt a healthy lifestyle with a material object.
Once you learn to value all those things and more importantly, start to see the amazing ways you’ll feel with all these healthy changes, you will see that the material things are so secondary. It’s really a case by case thing & what you value and what works for you might not be the same as the man or woman you listen to on social media. Don’t just watch what you see on social media & replicate it robotically. DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO FOR YOU.
Q: What’s my take on quinoa?
A: I love quinoa & it’s an amazing source of plant-based protein, that contains tons of fibre, iron & magnesium. Since I don’t eat a lot of red meat, getting iron from other sources is crucial for me to prevent fatigue, weakness & energy slumps.
Here are some of my quinoa recipes:
- Chopped Kale, Cucumber, Pumpkin Seed Vegan Quinoa Salad in a Chipotle Lime Dijon Dried Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Kelly’s Clean-AF Morroccan-Inspired Quinoa & Chickpea Protein-Packed Power Salad
- Kelly’s Asian-Inspired Sweet & Savoury Quinoa Salad Tossed in a Peanut Maple & Sesame Dressing
- Kelly’s Clean-Eating Vegan Quinoa Burgers
- Clean-Eating Pecan & Dried Fruit Quinoa & Oat Cookies
Q: How can you incorporate matcha powder into your life?
A: My fave ways to use matcha are in smoothies, protein balls, cookies, other baked treats & of course, MATCHA LATTES!
- Matcha Collagen Gluten-Free Overnight Oats
- Dreamy & Frothy Matcha Coconut Latte
- SUPERFOOD Greens Vanilla Vegan Protein Shake
- Coconut Collagen Vanilla Bean Matcha Latte (With A Superfood Twist!)
- Gluten-Free, Vegan & Refined Sugar-Free Matcha Cacao Collagen-Infused “Beauty” Macaroons
Q: What eyeliner / mascara do I use on my waterline?
A: I use the same Rimmel Exaggerate eyeliner in black (from the drugstore) on my waterline as I use on my eyelid. But, I also apply mascara to my bottom lashes, which helps make it look more dramatic.
Q: What do I think of the Biossance Vitamin C Rose Oil?
A: Kelly In The Kitch seal of approval: GRANTED!
- gentle, hydrating & made with clean ingredients!
- contains plant-derived squalene, which like collagen, is something our bodies produce naturally, but production depletes overtime & must be replenished!
- firming, brightening & imrpvoes texture!
- contains rosehip oil, the benefits for which you can read about here: A Breakdown of All (Well, Most) of the Skincare Benefits of Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Oil
Q: Where do I buy frozen organic tart cherries?
A: You can buy frozen organic tart cherries at most health food stores (I get mine at Tau usually), or even at Cotsco. Last time I went, about two months ago, I found a massive bag of organic ones!
Q: Is the Thayer’s toner rough on the skin?
A: No! It’s actually so light that it almost feels like water. I didn’t experience any tingling or irritation when using it. It also does not contain much in terms of ingredients (It’s made with aloe, witch hazel & a few other very clean ingredients).
TIP: Whenever you’re contemplating trying a new product, you might want to consider comparing the label of the new product with the ones you’ve reacted badly to in the past, or with the ones you’ve reacted well to & loved, so that you make sure not to apply anything to your face that you might react badly to again.
Q: Did I do any exercise while following my meal plan in recovery?
A: Nope! I wasn’t allowed to whatsoever. I started recovery in February. I only got the green light to start doing yoga & walk outside in May, and to start actually working out (cardio, strength & spinning) in July.
Q: Any good detox supplements for digestive issues in eating disorder recovery?
A: Personally, I wouldn’t take anything that resembles a laxative or that has a similar effect to laxatives in recovery. It’s very easy for people in recovery to get obsessed or addicted due to the release & relief. And often times, this might lead to over-abuse, which is counterproductive to recovery & weight gain. I would try to stick to curing the bloating with more natural ingredients & FOOD, such as probiotic rich foods, fennel seeds, turmeric capsules, fibre-rich foods, staying away from artificial sweeteners & processed foods, reducing sodium content & eating frequent smaller meals, lemon water etc. Check out my full post on how to fight the bloat here: My Tips & Tricks To Fight The Bloat!
Q: Do gummy vitamins cause weight gain?
A: No. They hardly contain anything and weight gain is definitely not a concern. BUT, they do contain added sugar. Most of the time, the sugar is refined or artificial. They also often contain artificial flavours & ingredients that may cause bloating, such as: glucose syrup & food colouring (look for annatto on the label). The sugar:nutrient ratio is usually not great (sugar is usually higher).
Q: What do I know about the reverse effects of maca on the skin?
A: Maca plays on & helps balance your hormones, which is why a lot of people are worried about its reverse effects on the skin (as you guys know, hormonal imbalances tend to appear on the surface of the skin, unfortunately – especially around the time of the month!). The main issue is that you can’t really know until you try. It definitely has a host of other health benefits that make it worth trying. Your best bet is to try it out & monitor your reactions.
Q: Can-B-complex vitamins cause breakouts?
The only way I’ve read that B-complex vitamins may cause breakouts (& specifically B6 + B12) is if the supplement is made from CYANOCOBALAMIN, which is a synthetic chemical that contains cynaide molecules that are basically poison & need to be removed from the body by the liver. The issue is that the way the liver gets rid of it is through the skin.
Also, B6 has been shown to reduce estrogen & increase progesterone. If estrogen levels are low, this often means higher relative testosterone levels & that can lead to higher levels of sebum production. Other than that, I have never heard or experience anything regarding breakouts with B-vitamins! Make sure to read your labels.
Q: What is my fave go-to lipstick?
A: Mac Cosmetics – Brave. LEGIT THE MOST PERFECTLY-PERFECT PINK!
Q: Do I have a recommendation for a body lotion or moisturizer with no scent to use after the shower?
A: Yes! J.R. Watkins Lavender cream. It’s sold at the drugstore, is super affordable & is very lightly scented & is 99% natural!
Q: Any tips for sudden breakouts that might be due to to threading?
A: I would just put some aloe on it to calm it down. I wouldn’t put anything too strong on it because if it’s just redness, it’ll probably go away on its own. There’s no need in risking irritating it more. I would also be very gentle when washing your face (don’t scrub) with cold water or a hydrating cleanser that has no alcohol or perfume. Go for moisturizers & toners that are water-based, hydrating & toners that contain witch hazel or rose water.
Q: What would I consider are the top 5 easiest, quickest recipes for meal prep from my blog?
- Meat protein:
- Plant-based protein:
- Vegan Buckwheat Groat Salad With Walnuts, Pecans, Fresh Herbs & Sweet Pear In A White Wine Vinegar, Lemon Honey & Cumin Vinaigrette
- Kelly’s Clean-AF Morroccan-Inspired Quinoa & Chickpea Protein-Packed Power Salad
- Kelly’s Asian-Inspired Sweet & Savoury Quinoa Salad Tossed in a Peanut Maple & Sesame Dressing
- Vegan/Clean-Eating/Gluten-Free DOUBLE Chocolate Cookies
- Gluten-Free, Vegan & Healthy-AF 3-Ingredient No-Bake Applesauce Brownies a.k.a. Every-Possible-Reason-to-Fall-In-Love-With-‘Da-Coco-Oh-That-Crumble!Gluten-Free, Vegan & Healthy-AF 3-Ingredient No-Bake Applesauce Brownies
- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Refined Sugar-Free No Bake PURE BLISS Granola Bars
- Veggies: See full guide here: My Go-To Guide For Roasting & Sautéing Veggies From Start To Plate To Devour a.k.a. Making Your Meals (& Life) Easier One Day At A Time!Warm & Comforting Maple Cinnamon Roasted Carrot Rounds
Q: What do I think of the Sun Warrior Protein?
A: It’s a raw, vegan superfood protein powder that’s sprouted & fermented! It’s made with whole grain brown rice protein & has a complete amino acid profile. I’ve used it in smoothies, baked treats & no-bake raw balls/cookies & it’s safe to say it does not have a grainy texture whatsoever! What I love most about it is that it doesn’t have that gross protein aftertaste (like many Whey proteins do). It’s also soy-free, non-GMO & contains no chemicals, fillers, additives or artificial flavours.
Q: Who are the doctors who made up my treatment team in recovery (AND WHO LITERALLY SAVED MY LIFE!)?
- Howard Steiger: He’s the head of the Douglas Eating Disorders Facility but I was treated privately.
- Linda Falcon: She also works at the Douglas ED Facility, but I was treated by her privately, as well.
- Physician: Catherine Haskins.
Q: How long do my blog posts take me?
A: My health-related posts (tips and tricks, supplements, meal prep, healthy snacking etc.) always take longer than recipes because I have to get all my thoughts down & it’s really months of research & experience that accumulate. I do a bit of research when I’m writing them but a lot comes from past research, experience or books I’ve read. The recipe posts take less time depending on whether I go into detail about the benefits of certain foods I’ve used, for example, if it’s something different that I think people don’t necessarily use everyday.
Q: Will the Tatcha Camellia Oil Cleanser make the skin go through a purging process (breakouts) like other oil cleansers?
I can’t say yes or no for sure because everyone is different. But, most probably. It’s similar to other oil cleansers in the sense that you’re fighting oil with oil. If your pores are clogged & there is a lot of buildup & oil that must come to the surface, it might cause temporary flares or breakouts but eventually, it’ll go away & your skin will be brighter, softer & clearer. For cleansers, it’s best to give them a chance for about a month to go through a full skin cycle to see if you are really noticing a difference. Obviously if the breakout is really bad, irritating or hurts you, you might consider switching. But I personally didn’t experience any bad reaction.
Q: If I had to choose, which would I pick between the Tatcha Camellia Oil Cleanser or the Living Libations Sea Buckthorn Cleanser?
A: As you guys know, I’ve been using the Living Libations cleanser for months. It’s an amazing cleanser & has done wonders for my skin. The ingredients include jojoba, coco cream, seabuckthorn, tamanu, lavender, vetiver, grapefruit & palmarosa. All of them are amazing & super nourishing for the skin. I was obsessed with it for a really long time & I still am. But ever since I discovered Tatcha, I do have to say that I think it might be my new favourite. It’s a very close call. But I’ll explain why I prefer Tatcha & what I use to still get Seabuckthorn oil into my body & on my face.
The two main ingredients in the Tatcha one are Japanese Camellia Oil (tsubaki), whose main purpose is to seal in moisture & nourish the skin. It also contains vitamins A, B, D, E & omega-3, 6 & 9 fatty acids. The only thing it doesn’t have that the Living Libations has is omega-7, which is a very rare form. Another ingredient in the Tatcha cleanser is the Tatcha signature Hadasei-3, which is a tripod of anti-aging Japanese superfoods with a goal to help reveal healthy, radiant & youthful looking skin. It’s also made with certain rice bran oils, which are also very nourishing for the skin.
The reasons that I would choose Tatcha over Living Libations are:
- I find it does a better job at taking off makeup!
- Also, I’m able to use it and get all its benefits, as well as take advantage of how gentile it is & how well it takes my makeup off & still be able to get the benefits of Seabucjthorn oil through capsules or by topically applying the essential oil to my face (I use the Sibu brand capsules & oil). In doing this, I ensure that I’m getting the omega-7 fatty acids that I don’t get from the Tatcha cleanser, as well as the other benefits that Seabuckthorn oil provides!
- If you make Seabuckthorn a part of your skincare routine, you can use it in the same way you would use any other essential oil, such as rosehip. You can apply it after your serum before your moisturizer or before your serum, or mix it in with your serum! Or, you can also add a few drops of it into your moisturizer (most moisturizers contain some sort of essential oil). I personally prefer to use it at night because I like to let all the nutrients from the oil seep into my skin & work their magic overnight & I wake up with soft & plump skin (It also leaves a bit of an orange-y film on the skin).
Q: What are my favourite wellness / health-related books?
- Fat For Fuel by Dr. Joseph Mercola;
- The Gut Balance Revolution by Gerard E. Mullin;
- Clean by Alejandro Jugner;
- The Plant Paradox by Steven R. Gundry
Q: What brand is my weekly planner?
A: Kate Spade!
Q: What are some of my fave classes at the gym?
Spinning, body design, insanity boot camp, body sculpt, hit fit (boxing with standing punching bag), hot yoga, pilates, punch & HITT (boxing with high intensity interval training), 6Pack+, spin circuit, turbo kick (kind of like kickboxing).
Q: In recovery, did I ever feel or deal with guilt when re-feeding? And was I ever scared that I’d start eating and not know when to stop?
In the beginning, after every meal I ate, I dealt with guilt. I think it’s completely normal because in the beginning, mentally, we are not at a point where we are able to disconnect from the fictive being that anorexia is. We feel like we are still “one” with anorexia & withe very meal, it feels as though we are betraying “her”. I know, it sounds crazy to someone who did not go through this, but the hold that anorexia has on you & your mind is INSANELY STRONG. It’s 100% normal to feel this way in the beginning because it’s hard to let go of something you’ve been so faithful and committed to for so long.
For me, the guilt started to go away when I saw how much beer I was feeling and looking. Suddenly, I rationalized with myself & even when I felt guilty, I acknowledged that it was because I felt like I was betraying my illness but that the results spoke for themselves & outweighed the feelings of guilt. Eventually, it went away completely. I began associating food with happy thoughts, looking forward to it & not feeling guilty about it. The guilt, remorse & the feeling that you are betraying something is a part of the process & a necessary part of easing into recovery & recovering in general.
It’s really just something that you need to tough out in the beginning & you’ll see that naturally, it will go away as the recovery progresses & as you go through therapy & become more mentally stable & more able to disconnect yourself from anorexia & it no longer controls you.
In terms of whether I ever worried I would start eating & never stop, this is something I’ve gotten asked a few times because it’s known that there are instances where people in recovery will end up developing binge-eating disorder and not being able to control themselves around food. IMO, when that happens, it means that during recovery, that person did not teach its mind or body to eat intuitively. Eating intuitively is something I’ve really been focusing on so I can’t say that I’ve dealt first hand with that feeling of starting to eat and feeling like I won’t be able to stop & then not eating at all to avoid it.
But I also do know that it is something that happens to a lot of people in recovery. My advice to you if you want to prevent that from happening is to inform yourself, read, educate yourself, do research, read books about intuitive eating. It is the best & smartest way to learn to eat & have a healthy, balanced relationship with your body & food. The idea behind it is to eat when you’re hungry & to stop when you’re not. But, it’s a lot harder to implement in practice. It sounds simple, but it’s not, especially in recovery. When you first start recovery, you’re taught from the beginning to be stringent & strict with the meal plan, but suddenly, as your weight is restored, and you step into the period of weight maintenance (& no longer progressive weight gain), you must learn to let go of the meal plan. But, the meal plan is something you held on to for so long because it was bringing you progress & it was kind of like your security blanket. This is why t’s hard to get go & learn to eat normally and develop a healthy relationship with food where you listen to your body, hunger cues & cravings.
Keep in mind that when in recovery, you come from a place of starvation and deprivation then, you must get into following a really strict meal plan & then, once weight is restored, and you want to maintain it, you have to readjust again. This all happens in the span of a year, or 6-8 months, so it’s definitely overwhelming. This is why so many people develop binge-eating disorder post-recovery. They don’t know how to let go of the meal plan, they’re afraid to let go because they fear it will bring them back to ED, but they also know that they have to let go and they just don’t know how to. It’s really all about finding that balance and developing your optimal healthy relationship with food & ultimately, learning to eat intuitively.
Q: Do I have any blog posts on anxiety?
- Anxiety: Be A Voice, Not A Victim.
- What Is Anxiety? & My Top Natural Remedies (& A Few Other Pointers!) For Coping with Anxiety.
- Anorexia & Anxiety… DOUBLE WHAMMY. & DOUBLE THE FUN!
Q: What’s the difference between almond meal & almond flour?
Almond meal is more coarse because the almonds are usually ground with skin on, whereas almond flour is made from blanched almonds (skins are removed), so it’s more finely ground.a
Q: Is agave syrup considered a healthy sugar substitute?
A: No. It’s basically syrup that uses a very highly processed procedure that strips it of the naturally occurring agave juice (which is where nutrients like antioxidant & anti-inflammatory properties are found), so it actually ends up containing tons of fructose. A lot of people believe that it’s healthy because it’s lower on glycemic index than other sweeteners but it’s misleading because almost all the sugar in it is fructose.
Q: What is the best time of the day to drink kombucha if you have a sensitive stomach?
A: Before meals to help with digestion. It’s best to avoid before bed because some kombucha contains caffeine. I drink mine mid-day between 3-5pm to help with digestion (snack & dinner, which is usually one of my bigger meals) & for an energy boost (during fermentation process, iron is released so it’s a great source of iron. Drinking it first thing in morning could be harsh on an empty stomach.
Q: What do I think of shiratake (or tofu) noodles?
A: They are not horrible if seasoned really well, but personally I don’t eat them because they don’t contain much in terms of sustenance or nutrition & I cannot get over the slimy texture and fishy smell. With some brands, the smell goes way after a really good rinse, but they are just unappetizing to me. If you have gluten concerns, I suggest that you go for a good gluten-free pasta made with lentils, quinoa, brown rice, chickpeas or edamame. Pastas like these are so much more nutrient-dense, filled with protein & are super filling & jam-packed with fibre.
My fave brands are:
- Explore Cuisine
- Tolerant Foods
Q: Easy & HEALTHY snack options?
Check out my post all about healthy snacking – you are bound to find TONS of options there (so many, you’ll have a hard time choosing!). Everything You Need (& Want) To Know About Healthy Snacking a.k.a. Why I Believe in Snacking If It’s Done Right (& Right Doesn’t Mean You Can Never Let Loose!)
Q: What do I think about senna for digestion / detoxification?
Senna acts as an irritant in the colon & enhances muscular contractions of the intestines, as well as keeps fluids in the gut, softens intestinal contents & stimulates bowels to empty. It’s basically a naturally laxative.
But when “stuff” moves more quickly through the intestines, it can cause certain side effects, such as stomach discomfort, diarrhea, gas, bloating or cramps. If taken in high doses or for more than 2 weeks, it can can bowels to stop functioning normally as they begin to rely on it & it may cause dependence on laxatives. Laxative addiction and abuse is a very common symptom when it comes to eating disorders.
Personally, senna is something I abused whenI had my ED. I used it in hopes that it would have a laxative effect & help me lost more weight but because I abused it, it made my digestive issues worse. I tried to justify my abuse based on the fact that it’s natural but at the end of the day, it was still abuse & it was still a very bad ED behaviour. I do not recommend this if you suffer from any eating disorder or have an addictive personality.
Read my post about how to fight the bloat, as well as my post all about gut health to figure out how to attack the root cause of our digestive problems & make them go away or get better permanently.
- My Tips & Tricks To Fight The Bloat!
- Everything You Need To Know To Heal Your Gut a.k.a. GO WITH YOUR GUT, ALWAYS.
Q: Who does my hair?
A: Nolan (Check him out on instagram: @hairbynolan)! HE’S AMAZING!
Q: How do I find the time to do it all?
A: GUYS, I’M NOT SUPERWOMAN! Whatever I can do, you can do too! You just need to make a conscious effort in the beginning & commit to it!
Here are some tips:
- How To Do It All & Most Importantly, Survive It?
- 24 Hours Is Enough. I Swear! (But You Might Catch Me Running Around Like A Chicken Without A Head!)
Q: How on earth do I swallow all those supplements?
A: Honestly, you get used to it. In the beginning, it’s important that you pace yourself, make sure you are taking them with water & food (preferably). In the beginning, you can also split them out throughout the day depending on how many you are taking (take some with each meal) so that you don’t overwhelm yourself or your body. Then, slowly, you can start to take them at the same time everyday.
Q: Any exercise suggestions to lose weight in the chest area?
A: First & foremost, CARDIO! Cardio helps you lose fat throughout your body & naturally, it ends up showing in the breasts. Regarding strength training, I would go for targeted exercises, such as flyes, lateral pull downs & back extensions to help strengthen & tone the upper body muscles, improve posture, make you stand taller & feel less strain on your back from heavy breasts.
Q: What kind of law do I practice?
A: Civil & commercial litigation!
Q: How do I use EradiKate & what are some of the other products I use when I deal with a breakout?
A: Whenever I get a breakout or a pimple. I usually wait a day and see if it goes down on its own & I put nothing on it. If not, I use it the next day until the breakout subsides. I also use the Living Libations Seabuckthorn Cleanser, Sunday Riley Martian Toner, Kate Sommerville Clarifying Toner, Vitamin C serums (combined with a few drops of rosehip oil or Seabuckthorn oil or Sunday Riley UFO oil) & Egyptian Magic!
Q: How to make the perfect boiled egg?
A: Here’s how to boil the perfect egg á la Kelly In The Kitch:
- Add water to a small stockpot & bring to a boil.
- Once bubbling & boiling, lower your heat to MEDIUM (usually, around a 4-5) & use a slotted spoon or just a tablespoon to drop your eggs gently into the water (LIL’ TIP: This prevents them from cracking when they hit the boiling water!).
- Let them simmer for 8-9 minutes!
- Once boiled, remove the pot from the heat & run the eggs under cold water for about a minute! (ANOTHER LIL’ TIP: This will stop the cooking process & make them a lot easier to peel, not to mention, you won’t burn your fingers!). Be gentle when peeling them as they’ll still be a bit warm to the touch & keep in mind they’re soft-boiled & still yolky!
Q: When do you start to feel better in recovery? (It’s been a month that I’m in recovery & I still feel horrible, maybe even worse. I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel depressed & extremely tired, my body aches & I feel bloated everywhere. I feel like my body doesn’t know how to be healthy anymore because it’s confused as it’s so used to me abusing it).
A: All of these feelings described above are NORMAL in the beginning of recovery. The stomach pain, bloating and digestive issues are normal & lingered for me for at least 2-3 months. Your body has been starved and abused, used & deprived for so long that it doesn’t really trust you. Re-feeding is difficult because suddenly, you’re re-feeding your body with foods that are foreign to it & with quantities that it hasn’t been exposed to in a long time. But you have to push yourself, no matter how much feeling that way makes you want to stop with the meal plan & to stop pursuing recovery.
Due to this, you body has a hard time that you will keep doing that & persist doing it because it’s been starved for so long. You have to think about it as your body needing time to readjust to this newness. It won’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time. Not only does your body need time to readjust, but you’re also feeding it foods that it hasn’t eaten in such a long time & it probably developed intolerances to certain foods because of that. That’s why I always say that I don’t think it’s a good idea to eliminate entire food groups from your diet. When I started to reincorporate all the things I deprived myself of throughout my ED, I started feeling like absolute cr*ap. My nutritionist explained to me that it was normal because my body didn’t know how to digest or properly absorb the nutrients from these “foreign” foods.
When you’re really ill, your bodily functions slow down or stop working efficiently, such as: metabolism, digestive system & immune system. In recovery, all of these bodily systems need time to adjust & pick themselves back up!
Think about it like getting back into a relationship with someone: you’re getting back into a relationship with your body & with food. When you break up with someone, you sometimes lose trust in them. Your body feels the same way about you regarding ED. When you are so faithful to your illness for so long & when that leads to you depriving your body of what it needs, it learns not to trust you. You have to regain that trust and ta foundation. Your body needs to learn that you won’t betray it anymore & will continue with the ongoing process of recovery.
All this to say, from a physical standpoint, I started to feel better in terms of energy after about a month. The fainting spells, heart palpitations, weakness & fatigue started to go away. Feeling tired in the beginning is not abnormal. Your body has to work a lot harder than it has had to when you were dealing with your ED. Obviously, when you’re feeding your body properly, it has to work hard to digest the food. But, after ED, your body is so used to not having to work hard & suddenly, you’re feeding it quantities that it has to work hard to digest, foods that it hasn’t been fed in so long & that it’s not used to. So again, it has readjust!
From a mental or emotional standpoint, if you are feeling depressed, that might be one of the reasons why you’re feeling overly tired. Know that it gets better! My mental health took a lot longer to get better. It’s a really long process & still today, some days are very hard, but most days are so amazing!
The mental aspect of recovery & how long it takes to improve really varies from person to person. It depends how much the ED affects you, how long it’s been going on for, whether triggers are still present, whether you’ve found ways to cope with triggers, whether or not you’ve come to terms with some of the root causes of your eating disorder. Keep our mental stability will not come back if you are constantly around the things that triggered the illness in the first place. It really depends on the person. For me, it has been ongoing. I can’t pinpoint a moment in time where I can say that it’s the moment I became mentally stable.
Eery single day, you feel a bit better than the last. But, I specifically started to notice that I was regaining my mental stability when I regained this desire to be around my friends & family and when I wanted to share about my life with them & talk about my progress. I also started to see that I was mentally stable when I was able to think about other things other than my meal plan, recovery and my eating disorder. And I spoke about this in my post about my divorce, but when I started to actually feel the heartbreak, that’s when I knew that I had the ability to actually let myself feel my emotions & be preoccupied with other things other than ED & recovery. A lot of the things I had repressed for so long came to the surface because I realized that there are other things in life, other than my ED. My heartbreak was always there, in retrospect, but I could never feel it because I was SO FOCUSED ON ED.
You’ll also start to notice that you want to open with people about life, about your illness & recovery, and that you want to share our progress. You will want to make up for lost time! In the beginning of recovery, I was still super thin & I was afraid to be around people because I felt they were always looking at me, talking about me & passing judgment. So, I hibernated in the beginning of recovery. But eventually, in April (two months after I started recovery), for the first time, I felt really excited to go do my family Passover dinner. I just wanted to be around my family. At that point, my physical condition was still quite alarming, but I had a desire for life, to be around my family and to be a part of the holidays (and that was something that for the past two years before that, I constantly avoided. I was never present & it became commonplace. Everybody knew why I wasn’t there, but they stopped asking).
I can’t pinpoint a moment in time. It’s more about pinpointing feelings, emotions that came to the surface, moods, behaviours and desires. That’s how I knew my life wasn’t solely about recovery or my ED & I wanted to put myself out there and break down my walls and just FEEL IT! I can’t really tell you that it will happen after 1, or 2 or 3 months. It really depends on your personal situation. For some, it might take a month but for others, it might take a month. it varies from person to person.
What you really need to focus on in the beginning is your nutrition because it’s ultimately what gives you energy, takes away the heart palpitations and fainting spells, makes you less tired & gives you desire for life. When you start feeling better physically, you tart to feel better mentally & emotionally.
In the beginning of recovery, I also felt worse than I did during my eating disorder. This is because when you decide to leave your illness behind & recover from it, you feel like you’re leavings something behind that you grew to love, be faithful to & be comfortable with. You feel like you are best friends with your eating disorder. You satisfy it. It satisfies you. It’s like a relationship & it’s hard to let go. So it’s normal to feel like crap in the beginning, but overtime, time heals. You realize that what you are leaving behind is bing left behind for the better & that you are opening your life to a new beginning & chapter. And this all boils down to sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. That applies in all realms of life & you have to come to terms with the fact that you’re not betraying anything – you really are just doing everything your power to regain control over your mental & emotional self & regaining control over you body.
Q: How do I decide what to meal plan?
A: The way that I do it is I meal prep before I go grocery shopping because my goal is really to use everything I already have in my fridge so that it doesn’t go bad. Sometimes, if I’m missing something, I’ll go do my groceries & come home and finish the meal prep then.
I like to meal prep on Saturdays or Sundays. On Friday, I look in my fridge & see what I have & then I’ll either ask you guys what you want to see more of or I’ll make a menu based on what I have!
I try to follow a bit of a regimen: some crunchy raw veggies to dip into spreads/dips, in bowls, salads, zoodles, two proteins (one plant-based, one meat protein, such as turkey or chicken), grilled/roasted veggies (varies from week to week) & sometimes steamed cauliflower for smoothies & some snacks (energy bites, protein balls, cookies, brownies, flourless chocolate cake, sweet treats, fudge, cookie dough dip – things I can have on hand when I get home from the gym. I love having homemade snacks because it makes it so much less tempting to go out & buy snacks that I don’t really know what’s in them!). I also try to make a spread or dip, or both, something I can use as a topping for bowls, or dip for veggies (kale & avocado spread, homemade almond butter, black bean dip, etc.). I also boil eggs often because they’re easy for lunch or dinner bowls, as well as roasting beets.
As you can see, I try to do a bit of everything from every food group so that I can combine them to make a dinner or lunch plate!
When I go to do groceries, once my meal prep is done, I’ll go buy all my fresh produce (fruits & veggies), eggs, etc.
Q: I was recently diagnosed with diverticulitis & chronic constipation & have been only consuming loaded smoothies, overnight oats, water & soups as my colon heals from an infection. I am taking magnesium citrate & probiotics & was wondering if you had any recommendations?
A: Diverticulitis is characterized by inflammation so I would definitely go for foods that won’t cause fires & foods that are easily digested so you can really clear the area.
- Bone broth is a great place to start. You can use it to cook or make soups, or drink it out of a mug with turmeric or ginger (anti-inflammatory).
- Steamed veggies are also better than raw ones (especially cruciferous ones) because they are easier to digest than raw ones.
- Avoid skins with rough skin & small seeds.
- Foods rich in fibre, like fruit, unrefined grains (oats are great, quinoa, fermented anything, sprouted lentils). BUT, gradually reintroduce them because fibre can also have reverse effects if you consume too much of it.
- Aloe & liquorice root can also help. Liquorice root helps lower stomach acid levels & helps clear the colon & aloe lines the gut with healthy bacteria.
- Krill oil is also great for inflammation because of the omega fatty acids.
- For constipation: I would recommend psyllium husk powder (add it into oats or smoothies)!
- Also, when buying supplements, always read your labels for the “non-medicinal ingredients” & look up any that sound weird or chemicals, because they can often lead to bloating & worsen digestive issues.
- Try to find ways to manage our stress because it can also have an impact on the health of your digestive system.
Q: Can chaga mushroom powder/tea help with digestion?
A: Chaga is an adaptogen similar to reishi or cordyceps. Regarding digestion, chaga has anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate any inflammation in the stomach or intestines. It also stimulates the liver to create bile, which helps the body digest & break down food better (especially protein). It also contains natural digestive enzymes & fibre & some acids that can get rid of bacteria found in the stomach.