I am trying my best to answer as many E-mails and Questions as possible. Please bear with me and accept my sincerest apologies on delay.
I received a very heart-breaking E-mail from a sufferer in USA.
I’ve suffered from Anorexia, Bulimia, Anorexia, Bulimia for 13 years now. I suffer from deep depression. I will never forget last year when I woke up in a hospital bed the morning after I took one too many of xxx and xxx. At the age of 26 years old my marriage had ended and along with it my dream job. I didn’t really wanted to live. Alone in my apartment surrounded by reminders of failed marriage, I turned to food for comfort. I started to binge and purge 5-10 times a day. The future looked dark and frightening. One year of vicious binging and purging destroyed my health and my sanity. I started to collapse and was forced into taking leave of absence from work and that’s when I hit rock bottom. I have entered recovery on shaky legs now. I live by myself and it’s so easy to fall into pitfalls of ED rituals and behaviors. I see food as an enemy. I don’t think food and I can ever be friends. I would like to know how did you and other sufferers befriend food? What inspires you to eat now? Doesn’t it petrify you that what you eat will convert into fat? 27 Year Old Female USA
The wound is the place where the light enters you. Rumi
I love this quote by Rumi. It shows us personal wounds can be healed ,we all experience dark moments in recovery, but it is these toughest times that can turn out to be the most profound.
‘Food is the Fear that Needs to be Conquered’.
We all have our rituals and behaviors around food. Before I started this blog, my life was so good that a mere look at the food and I was literally paralysed with fear, I would just go rigid, stare into space, and then run and hide (sniff sniff). Anyway that’s my deep dark past, but it takes ages to come out of such fears. After a beautiful feeding experience at the eating Disorder Unit, I came out half sane, half insane and it was during those times I started a blog where original idea was to advice the whole medical and psychiatric faculty, how Re Feeding should happen in Hospitals and how people shouldn’t be forced into doing things they don’t want to do.
One fine day few of us came together on Skype to talk about our chaotic eating regime. We were trying our best to break free from the restrictive cycle of ED. We all would spend hours justifying our eating. I was a liquid/smoothie person, a sufferer from Melbourne was a gluten free person, one from Montreal was a vegetarian. The problem was we were all incredibly unhappy with our lifestyle and it was having an impact on our relations.
I only started to see food as a friend when I relapsed and hit rock bottom. I was waiting for a referral to an Eating Disorder Unit when I decided to challenge my food fears. The inspiration came from a sufferer in Iran who had no food fears and used food as a medicine to support the healing of mind and body. She told us to go Cold Turkey on our weird ED rituals and sponsored us to eat from the Kitchen of Prophet Muhammad (saaw) for Forty Days.
“Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.”
We Started off with Twelve Foods and it took me Forty Weeks to Eat these Twelve Foods. What Can I say except I had plenty of free time to spread out these 12 foods over the forty week period (Oh those challenging times and how no body wanted to celebrate me spending three days eating two figs, sniff sniff).
In Eating, we also followed Mindfulness and Islamic Etiquette of Eating.
We Educated ourselves about these foods and their healing properties.
Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come? Elif Shafak
Prophet Muhammad’s diet was a simple complete balanced diet. We followed that diet and we didn’t feel challenged.
And then Miracle happened, all these irrational fears began to subsides. We then realized we Loved Prophet Muhammad (saaw) too much to dislike the foods He ate.
Today, three of us have a good health, we no longer discus food. I can eat any food (except chocolate and this Lebanese drink, made with double cream, avocado, honey and dates) without fear and that’s liberating. Letting go off rigid rules around food was a key to defeating the Demon of Eating Disorder.
In Recovery In Dark Moments
“When the past calls, let it go to voicemail. Believe me, it has nothing new to say.”
In our Recovery, In our dark moments, we are inspired by Prophet Muhammad (saaw). When we eat from his kitchen, Food becomes thy Medicine and blesses our Body, Mind and Soul. When we are sad, upset, and very depressed, we pray to Allah, listen to the ‘Heart of Qur’an’ Sura Yasin and send Salawat on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his Family.
“Everything has a heart and the heart of the Glorious Quran is Surah Yaseen. Whoever reads Surah Yaseen, Allah records for them a reward equal to that of reading the whole Quran 10 times.” [Maqal, Tirmidhi 2812/A & Dhahabi]
We remind ourselves: Each illness has a cure but it is unto man to research and find the cure. “(God) will never place a burden on a soul that it can not bear.”
Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full. Elif Shafak
This Video is made by Allan especially for this special person in USA. I hope you’ll all enjoy it.
Eating Disorders Inspired by Prophet Muhammad (saaw)
Be Inspired! Eat From the Kitchen of Prophet Muhammad (saaw) and Bless Your Health with this Nutritional Soup.
Pumpkin Soup For The Prophet
Recipe Taken from Eco Muslim
Pumpkin was one of the favourite foods of Prophet Muhammad (saaw).
He, peace be upon him, loved pumpkin so much that he would eat it over the meat in a stew or he ate it first-as is the correct way to help digestion: eat the veggies before the meat.
As narrated by Anas who said,
“I saw the Prophet being served with soup and containing gourd (pumpkin or squash) and cured meat, and I saw him picking and eating the pieces of gourd.”
– Bukhari Volume 7, Book 65, Number 348.
Pumpkin is cold and dry and relieves the heat of an inflamed stomach. It’s high in fibre so it’s good for the heart and digestion. It is also high in potassium and vitamin C, which is good to boost the immune system.
Its “coldness” is harmful to one part of the stomach so tradition and science calls for it to be eaten with something like onions or ginger (Zanjabeel), that is moist in the first degree and hot in the second. Ginger aids the digestion and is also good for the liver; it’s also an aphrodisiac and should be eaten proportionately if you are not ill.
Pumpkin seeds good for the prevention of prostate diseases and associated urinary problems. They contain L-Tryptophan, a natural preventative against depression. They also contain high levels of zinc that protects against osteoarthritis, and are anti-inflammatory without the side effects of drugs. Eat them freshly scooped with yoghurt or dried and roasted with sunflower seeds.
Cooking time 45 mins
• 2-5 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
• 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered (1 extra for caramelising)
• 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
• 1-2 cups of chopped, de-seeded pumpkin (keep the seeds)
• 1 parsnip chopped (optional)
• 3-5 cloves of garlic, chop and leave for 1 minute to process
• 3 fresh parsley stalks
• 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
• 1 teaspoon of sea salt
• 1-3 dried bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds (jeera)
- Put all the ingredients except the pumpkin into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes.
- Let the vegetables cool for 5 minutes. Take out the bay leaves and then blitz with a hand-held blender or pour into a jug blender and blitz until smooth.
- Pour the soup back into the saucepan and add the pumpkin chunks. Cook on medium heat and covered for another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shallow fry a sliced onion in vegetable oil for approximately 5 minutes till it starts to brown. Add cumin seeds and fry and stir till golden brown. Set aside on a plate.
- Now add 2 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds to the pan and fry till they begin to pop and turn light brown. Be careful not to burn them.
- Ladle the soup into a bowl, add the onion-cumin masala, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and add a splash of olive oil. Serve with lemons wedges.
Take Care of Yourself. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) loved Beauty.
“I have never seen someone with long hair and red clothing look more handsome than Rasullullah (saas). His hair reached his shoulders.” (Shamaa-il Tirmidhi, Islamic Book Service Publications, New Delhi, 2000, p. 11)