Lin is just fifteen and is already able to offer a valuable lesson to us all. She has an ardent passion for fresh, natural food… especially chocolate (cacao). She links her passions with literature, writing and photography, to produce a space where people can feel inspired to embrace mother nature's foods.
She is an advocate of body positivity, self-love and nourishing one’s self and health through both physical and spiritual facets! From battling an eating disorder in her youth, to now being a leading foodie in the world of Instagram; this is her humble story of how she rediscovered her relationship with food...
Food Matters: What was your relationship with food prior to your health journey?
I was using something that was meant to be a way to nourish and care for my body in a destructive manner directed in a negative and detrimental way towards myself--I was being controlled by an eating disorder and my relationship with food was frankly awful! I resented myself, fell into depression, and felt empty and emotionless--with only a desire to use food to continue harming my body.
Food Matters: What was your biggest struggle in recovering from your eating disorder?
My biggest struggle was realizing that I needed and deserved help--for so long I had been battling the fact that something was wrong with me, struggling with denial, too caught up in the controlling grip of a destructive mindset to see the truth. I didn't think I needed any help--I thought I was perfectly fine mentally and physically, which was perfectly ridiculous.
The delusion was one thing, because I began to see what I had really led myself into after refeeding and getting nourishment into my brain and body--it was accepting that it was the biggest hurdle. Accepting that I needed help, and forgiving myself for doing this to both myself and my family.
Food Matters: What role has food played in your healing?
Food used to be my passion, even before my eating disorder--I managed to channel something that gave me happiness and joy into a weapon against myself. In the process of recovering, I was trying to rediscover ways to nourish myself and allow myself to heal both physically and mentally. Through this process I somehow stumbled upon the idea of turning my recovery into something I enjoy again by making new dishes--I tried cooking and baking so I could try new food and reintroduce different forms of nourishment to my diet as compared to the previous restricted way of nourishment as dictated by my eating disorder.
From there, the method of channeling my love for food through creative means came when I decided to also combine my cooking and baking with photography. Learning to love food again both gave me a creative outlet that has grown into something so amazing and beautiful that connects me with many people over the globe today, and the passion I had for food grew so much stronger and more important than the voice of a silly disorder.
Food Matters: What words of wisdom would you share with someone facing an eating disorder and how they can develop a healthy relationship with food?
I would tell them that there is a life beyond what the disorder is putting them through--a life beyond this destructive relationship with food, a life beyond feeling miserable, a life beyond stretching oneself to the brink of exhaustion, a life beyond the controlling grip that has their mind in thrall and that will eventually only lead one down a path of utter destruction and grief. They all deserve to live--living beyond this eating disorder. They deserve to eat as much of what they want, deserve to love themselves, deserve to be free and truly happy once more.
I would tell them to realize that this can't be the way they keep on living--no one deserves anything that horrible and terrible controlling their lives. Recognize that things cannot go on this way, recognize that they need help, and go and seek that help. Realize that one should live and eat in a way that your body will flourish under and that makes them truly happy--and that they should love themselves for who they are.
Food Matters: What is one of your all-time favorite healthy recipes?
One of my favorite recipes is for a simple chocolate smoothie--I make this on school days where I have so much work but I need a quick snack! I blend the chunks of a frozen banana, half a ripe banana, about 1/3 heaping cup of greek yogurt, 1 tbs cacao powder, 1 tbs peanut butter or almond butter, some cinnamon, a splash of soy milk and some chopped dark chocolate until everything is thick and frothy and magic! It is so velvety rich and creamy with loads of beautiful chocolate flavor and takes absolutely no time to whip up at all!
Where can you see more of Lin? For a nice dose of inspiration, check out Lin on Instagram and follow her @tumblinbumblincrumblincookie or check out her blog here. Her space is definitely not short of a nourishing recipe!