6 years

There are few people who know every little detail about me.

Come to think about it, my parents and my baby sister are probably the only people that know me, every little scar, freckle, talent, and experience I have been through.

That’s probably because they have each played essential roles in my life.

Plus, they are blood…the only people I can trust.

I’ve been in remission for 6 years.

No, I wasn’t addicted to drugs or sex or shopping.

It was deeper than that.

When people think “eating disorder,” they may automatically assume that it has to do with food.

But really, they are completely and utterly wrong.

An eating disorder has absolutely nothing to do with food and everything to do with what that person is going through, or has gone through, or circumstances in their life that they can’t control so naturally…

FOOD becomes the only thing that they can control.

That was it for me.

In college, I was always hard on myself.

I felt that I owed it to my parents to make good grades as they were shelling out thousands to give me a great college education.

So, I worked hard. I graduated with honors.

My eating disorder began when I was a freshmen in college.

I was skipping meals and exercising until my calorie balance was in the negative.

I probably dropped 30 pounds my first year of college.

I think my parents assumed that this was typical for a girl who was super type A and an excelling student.

It wasn’t until my junior year of college when my sister and I moved into an apartment together that she noticed what was going on.

I wasn’t leaving the house or interacting with friends because everything involved food.

I controlled every bit of food that went into my mouth and ate on a schedule.

If I was one minute past 6 a.m. for breakfast, I would skip it.

I never ate lunch.

I ate dinner for about 3 people because I had anxiety about school or work or life in general.

I remember my sister calling my parents and telling them to get up to Austin as fast as they could.

If she hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

That was only the beginning.

My parents were going through an extremely rough time in their relationship during my senior year of college.

I being the oldest of two daughters carried all the weight on my shoulders.

Nobody asked me to, but I felt as though it was my job to be the glue that held my family together.

I remember the day I graduated college like it was yesterday.

My little sister took photos of me dressed up with my hair in curls and told me I looked beautiful.

How could I be beautiful when I was a skeleton?

I wore 4-inch heels across the stage to receive my diploma and I thought that my knees were literally going to buckle beneath me.

It wasn’t until my doctor diagnosed me with osteoporosis of the spine at age 23 that I decided I could no longer abuse my body.

And here I am today…healthy and stronger than ever.

6 years recovered from my eating disorder.

This picture of my spine isn’t of me trying to be sexy or sultry.

I’ m not that type of girl.

It’s real and raw and it’s of the very thing that scared the shit out of me.

People always ask me about my relationship with my sister.

It’s unbreakable.

If it wasn’t for her intervening in my life…I would be dead.

It’s the truth.

There is so much more to this story and I will be sharing my story with a group students this year.

Today is the first day of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

If you know someone who is suffering with an eating disorder, please reach out…you may be that one person who can help them when everyone else has turned a blind eye.

Thank you all for continually supporting my blog.

MANGIA!!!

Healing the Heart

Y’all.

I know I have been neglecting this little blog of mine, especially in the recipe department.

I apologize, but life has happened.

These past two months have been filled with heartbreak, excitement, tears, smiles, laughs, and new opportunities.

I’ve learned a lot. I wouldn’t change anything about it, except that I would loooooove an explanation.

I would love an explanation for why some things happened.

Why do these things occur at all?

I deserve one.

If I get one, I may never know.

On the upside, I have really had the chance to focus on myself these past few weeks and gone on a few spontaneous mini trips where I have floated in a lake, been burnt to a crisp like bacon from the sun, had dinner alone, bought myself a beautiful dress (just because) and listened to a variety of rap tunes and Tori Kelly on repeat, because any white girl with a soulful voice speaks to my heart and because rap artists can express what’s in my mind without me having to say it. 😉

I have learned that each day isn’t perfect. There are days where I am pumped to get out of bed, workout, and have morning coffee while talking to the baristas at my favorite coffee shop.

But then, then there are days when I walk my dog and I burst into tears (definitely happened), or I take a shower and my tears are heavier than the water that is coming out of the shower head.

Whhhhyyyyy?

Because I’m only human.

I have emotions.

It’s perfectly ok to have bad days.

I think the toughest things about break-ups are the memories that you create with that person.

I love to make memories. It’s my favorite part about life.

But really, it’s hard to pick up a tennis ball and play fetch with my dog…when the tennis ball was given to him by the very guy that vanished out of my life.

I can’t even look at a red rose in the supermarket.

All other colors…yes.

Go for it.

But red, nope.

For someone who grew up helping her grandfather pick red roses from his garden….this.really.sucks.

I can’t think about trips to Greece, or Nashville, or Georgia, or going camping, or even look at an REI store because i had “we” plans with this person, not I plans.

So, how do I pick up the pieces? How does my heart heal?

It takes time.

What’s crazy is that one day, I will have thanked all of the people who broke it.

I like to think about it this way: During my life, my heart has been and will go through experiences that will gut it from the inside out. Those experiences will rip it bare and I will eventually get those pieces of my heart back, but this time, they will be better. They will be stronger than before. It’s the kind of feeling that I get when I buy a new pair of shoes and look at my old pair of shoes side by side. It’s always difficult for me to part with the old shoes because they have carried me many miles, been through wear and tear, and have scratches and coffee stains, and dirt under the soles. I will probably keep them just in case. But the new shoes represent the ability to accept change and growth. They are ready to endure everything the old pair of shoes has and more.

Our hearts are forever changing from experiences in life, but in the end, our hearts are the one muscle in our body with the most character because they have been continually torn apart and rebuilt.

Here is to my new heart and all of the life experiences we are going to have together.

MANGIA!

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Houston Press Menu of Menu’s Extravaganza

Y’all.

I have partnered up with Houston Press for their Menu of Menu’s Extravaganza on April 5th.

The Menu of Menus® Extravaganza presented by Stella Artois is one of Houston’s largest food & wine events featuring over 40 area restaurants alongside wine, beer and cocktail sampling. The event will also feature the 5th Annual Iron Fork Chef Competition will showcase two of Houston’s most popular up and coming chefs as they face off in a head-to-head cooking competition that will be judged by local area celebrities. The winning chef will receive the “Iron Fork” award and bragging rights for the next year! During the exciting cooking competition, guests will enjoy cocktails, wine and food sampling from a number of the city’s best restaurants. Ticket price includes food and drinks for the evening. The event is at Silver Street Studios and is from 7-10 p.m.

Great food and drinks and amazing chefs and ME!?

Yes, you want to come.

Guess what?

I am giving you a pre-sale code that is good until 10 a.m. this morning!

Just enter “MANGIA16” at checkout 🙂

Regular priced tickets are on-sale today at noon!

You can purchase them here.

You must be 21+ to attend the event!

What are you waiting for?

Let’s do this 🙂

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New Skinnygirl Protein Shakes and Bars Review + Giveaway

Y’all.

Let talk about healthy snacks and shakes.

I have been representing Skinnygirl this past year and I was so excited to hear about the launch of their new protein shakes and bars.

Protein is absolutely essential to your daily diet.

With my busy lifestyle, I often find it hard to get enough protein at breakfast, lunch, or during my snacks and often find myself compensating for my lack of protein by trying to consume it all at dinner.

No bueno.

Luckily these new Skinnygirl protein shakes and bars have arrived to help us reap some of the benefits of added protein:

 Metabolism: Protein speeds up your metabolism because the body uses more calories to break down protein compared to fat or carbohydrates.

Oxygen: Protein carries oxygen throughout our bodies.

Immunity: Protein provides antibodies to protect us from infections.

Maintain Healthy Weight: Protein helps you feel full and satisfied. Research suggests getting 30% of calories from protein may help curb appetite.

Muscle Health: Getting protein in our bodies within 30 minutes after exercise supports lean muscle growth and recovery.

So, how much protein do we really need.

To calculate your protein needs use this formula:

Weight (lb.) x .38 = Grams of protein needed/day

The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 46 grams/day for the average woman.

We can achieve this by getting at least 25-30 grams of protein from a total of 3 meals and 10-15 grams of protein from 1-2 snacks daily.

The truth is: We all snack A LOT, and we should, but let’s all make an effort to snack wisely. This allows us to avoid consuming our energy from sugary snacks or not even snacking at all which can make us feel tired in the middle of the day.

This is not fun.

WE NEED ENERGY. Good energy and good protein.

Enter the Newest product from the Skinnygirl line…Skinnygirl Protein Tasty Nutrition Shakes.

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Each 11.5 oz. has 80 calories, 0g sugar, and 12 grams of protein. Plus, they are gluten-free and low fat.

With these amazing nutritional facts, my first thought was…this has to taste like cardboard.

WRONG!!!

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The Rich Chocolate Brownie flavor was ultra creamy, with the perfect chocolate flavor, not too intense and the perfect cold snack after a hot, humid run here in Texas. It literally tasted like I was drinking dessert…only healthy dessert 🙂

The Vanilla Bean Sundae held true to it’s name…it tastes just like vanilla bean ice cream. All you need is a cherry on top.

I was absolutely wowed by how good these protein shakes were.

Very impressive Skinnygirl.

Skinnygirl Protein Tasty Nutrition Bars are the same flavors you’ve come to love, but reformulated to pack in more protein for less calories. Each bar contains 150 calories, 10g of protein, 5-7g of fiber and are gluten-free and kosher.

The flavors are Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter with Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Almond with Coconut, Dark Chocolate Pretzel, and Lemon Swirl.

Guess what?

These New Skinnygirl Protein Tasty Nutrition Shakes and reinvented Skinnygirl Protein Tasty Nutrition Bars will be available in Walmart stores this November.

The shakes come in a 4 pack for $5.78 and the bars are $4.88.

Even cooler?

I’m about to give you a chance to win both!

To Enter the Giveaway please do one or all of the following (leave a separate comment for entry):

Follow Skinnygirl Daily on Facebook.

Follow Mangia and SkinnygirlDaily and Tweet: “I just entered to win a sampler pack of @skinnygirldaily new tasty protein bars and shakes from @misschelsmangia #skinnygirlprotein”

Follow Mangia on Facebook

Leave a comment telling me how you get protein in your daily diet!

I will announce the giveaway winner on November 15th. Happy entering!

This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to Lauren Ayumi who responded that she loves to get her protein by eating nuts. I will be contacting you shortly.

MANGIA!!!