Before the refeeding or recovery from ED, it does not matter what you had been eating, how much food you had been consuming or how much you survived on just plain O2. What matters is what you eat during your recovery, how much you eat and how you conquer your fear of consuming food every 3 hours. (It is imperative that in refeeding one makes the right choices regarding their nutritional intake, as it will psychologically influence their eating habits for coming years).
In Islam they say it takes 40 days of practice to break your ego and bad habits. I firmly believe in 40 days practice to form new positive habits and to break away from the restrictive cycle of anorexia nervosa.
I was referred to eating disorder unit in my local vicinity. I had to be there by 9:00 am for breakfast and would come back home after my afternoon snack.
I remember my first day and the meals that I had to consume in groups.
NHS Eating Plan for First week in recovery and refeeding
Break Fast– 9:00am
(this remained same for whole week, though you can pick between a varied selection of cereals, such as weetabix, frosties, bran flakes, porridge etc)
200 ml Milk
1 Cup of any of the following cereals: Cornflakes, Frosties, All Bran, 2 x Weetabix
200 ml Fruit Juice- Cranberry , Apple or Orange (spoilt for choice)
Morning Snack 11:00 am
200 ml Milk
Lunch 12:30 pm
1 serving of Veg Lasagnia (about 150grams)
1 scoop of mash potato or 1 serving of potato croquette or whatever type of potato is on menu.
Dessert Muller Yogurt
Afternoon snack 3:00pm
Fortisip – not everyone has fortisip, it all depends on your dietitian:( – (you can pick from Strawberry, Tropical, Toffee, Choco, Vanilla and Caramel)
Now what do you eat at home?at home my meal plan included:
1/2 chappati with 1 serving of any curry
or 200 grams of baked potato with 1/2 can of baked beans or tuna with butter and salad
Dessert Fruit yogurt or rice pudding or (whatever I told my dietitian in my distorted mind that I’ll be having at home).
200 ml Milk and 2 fruit shorties
Hmm so was I skeptical of this meal plan? No, not in the beginning, because so many of these foods were not part of my daily diet at home, so I was pretty much clueless when day after day varied pasta, veg dishes and fish dishes appeared on my lunch menu.
In the first week of refeeding, you are monitored closely for fluctuation, edema and etc. And yes I slept through most of the week, after brekkie (cat nap), after lunch (snored for 30min, was a bliss as my disordered mind completely shut down). Indeed with refeeding chemical balances in your body change and strangely your starved brain starts to function cognitively for once.
I really wonder what secret ingredients they used in my pastas and potatoes to achieve these results.