Addiction Hope: The Mother-Daughter Addiction

“…She flipped the truck into a ditch and just left the scene. Nikki…we can’t find her.”
I hung up. My momma: the adult, the child, my everything.
I slid to the floor and smacked my head with my fist.

“God, help me!” I thought. I desperately wanted the pain to end, and for our lives to be normal, but life had been chaotic for so long, perhaps this was our normal.

…I let the cold water wash over my blistered knuckles and stared into the mirror. The only face I recognized was Momma’s; she was all I wanted. Her reflection blended into mine and brought me face-to-face with some disturbing truths. Why was I incapable of taking care of myself? Why couldn’t I take care of her? “God, where are you? Don’t you love us?” I thought.

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

For most of my life, I never wanted to come to terms with the fact that I was an addict to pretty much everything. Addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, fame, success, love, food, on and on. Basically, I just wanted anything to simultaneously temper the sting of loneliness and boost my low self-esteem.

Read more on Addiction Hope.

Peanut Butter Power Bars

You will need:

1.5 cups rolled oats, blended into a fine flour
1/2 cup rice crisp cereal
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

 

To make:

Line an 8″ square pan with parchment paper. Blend together the oat flour, rice crisp, and salt in a large bowl.

Add the peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir well. Press into pan and roll until smooth. Place into the freezer.

Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a pot over low heat, stirring until smooth.

After freezing the mixture for about ten minutes, remove from the freezer and slice into bars. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and refreeze. These can be stored in the freezer up to a week or longer in a container.

Remember to eat mindfully 🙂

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

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Holiday Eggnog French Toast

A fabulous meal to serve for brunch or anytime you like, this french toast is taken to a whole ‘nother level with the use of pure eggnog! Nothin’ says the holidays quite like the taste of eggnog, and this recipe is sure to be a hit with everyone.

I was introduced to this special french toast by Cynthia Tassell, from Camano Island, Washington, and she learned of it from a friend she went to school with. Isn’t it funny how life is? We never know how we will discover our greatest treasures sometimes, and I am grateful these sweet ladies shared this gem with me, so now I can pass it on to you!

God Bless,

You will need:

Large glass pan

Butter/oil/non-fat spray

2 eggs

1/2 cup of eggnog

Four slices of at least a day old, old-fashioned buttermilk bread or similar, thick bread

Topping Options:

A couple of bananas, sliced any way you like ’em

Whipped Cream

Powdered Sugar

Hazelnut Syrup, Sugar-Free

Pumpkin Pie Spice

To make:

Whip the eggs with the eggnog and pour into the glass pan. Soak the bread into the eggnog mixture. Slice your bananas, and prepare your powdered sugar in a bowl as you wish and set aside. Heat the griddle to a medium-high temperature and add your desired butter/oil/non-fat spray. Transfer the bread onto the griddle, and cook for a few minutes on each side, until all parts are golden brown. Be mindful to observe the bread during the cooking process so that it doesn’t burn. Once the bread is golden and finished, you are done! Place each slice onto a plate and add your desired toppings! I love mine with all of the fixins’! Remember to practice mindful eating. Be in the moment, eat at the table, and enjoy every bite calmly.

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Chia Seed Banana Bread! :D

There’s nothing like warm, fresh bread out of the oven! This bread is special because it combines organic whole wheat, bananas, and chia seeds which fill your tummy and make your heart happy. 🙂 And the smell…come on now, who doesn’t love the enticing smell of freshly baked bread in the oven? You know when I was a little girl my mom made all of the breads homemade, so I try to carry that tradition on as often as I can.  I can’t always make the bread at home, but when I can, I am transported to holiday times with my mom, peering over the counter and watching her make the most delicious whole wheat and pumpernickel breads from scratch.  I think that the memories and habits we carry through from generation to generation are so special, and I hope you enjoy this delightful Chia Seed Banana Bread as much as I did.

God Bless,

<3 Nikki DuBose

You will need:

3 TBS melted unsalted butter, plus some extra for softening the pan

3 bananas

1 egg

3/4 cup stevia/monk fruit equiv.

2 cups organic whole wheat flour

1 TSP baking soda

1 TSP baking powder

2 TBS chia seeds

10″ x 3″ round pan or 5″ by 9″ loaf pan

To make: 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Use some of the butter to slick the pan and set aside. Peel the bananas, mash them well in a large mixing bowl, and then stir in the stevia/monk fruit and egg. Mix completely and then add the melted butter. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and chia seeds. Gently combine the dry ingredients into the wet and blend well but do not over-mix.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for forty-five minutes. You will know it is done when a toothpick is placed in the middle and comes out clean. The bread should be golden brown, and the sides should fold away from the pan easily without breaking.

Let the bread cool in the pan for at least five minutes before removing.

Relax and remember to enjoy your creation! Eating mindfully is the key to a healthy and happy mind, body, and spirit. 🙂

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Lovely Sherry Crab Meat

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, I used to eat crab, lobster, fish, and shark right off the boat, and sometimes, right off our dock in our backyard. My dad still has a tiny handmade fishing boat that he and his brother take out often, and my mom used to catch fish and taught me how to prepare and of course, cook ’em! One of my favorite dishes is alligator, and every time I go home I try get some of it downtown. In one of the houses we lived in we had many alligators in the reservoir. It was totally normal to see the alligators in the water during the daytime from our yard, and at nighttime we would see their red eyes glowing in the darkness and hear their low, slow, growls.

I guess you could say that seafood is an enormous part of my culinary makeup, and I am so proud of my Charlestonian heritage! I love using my tried-and-true Gullah cookbooks from the lowcountry, but I modify them to fit a healthy lifestyle. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Here is a simple yet delicious crab meat recipe that I took from one of my Charleston receipts and modified it slightly.

I call it: Lovely Sherry Crab Meat

*Note: I accompanied it with vegetables to keep it fresh!

You will need:

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1 pound of white crab meat

4 tablespoons of yogurt (Note: I used  goat’s milk yogurt, but any will work here, and if you want this dish to be ultra rich and creamy, I imagine a thick greek yogurt or greek goats milk yogurt will work best!)

4 tablespoons of hazelnut flour (Note: This flour is significantly lower in carbs and sugar, suitable for a healthy lifestyle)

1/2 pint coconut almond milk

4 tablespoons sherry

3/4 cup sharp grated cheddar cheese

Pepper to taste (Note: I used A LOT of pepper as dishes from my beautiful hometown are somewhat spicy. So, alter as you see fit, but I think that the more pepper in this dish, the more authentic it is!)

Nonfat cooking spray or butter/olive oil

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To make:

In a pan over medium heat bring together the yogurt, hazelnut flour, and coconut almond milk. Next add in the pepper and sherry, mixing well. Remove the pan from the fire and add the crab meat. Pour the spread into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray/butter/olive oil. Sprinkle with the cheese and cook in a hot oven just until the it melts on top, but do not overcook it.

*Note: You can subsitute 1 1/2 pounds of lobster or shrimp for the crab meat.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Ice Cream

This recipe is a bit time consuming but SO worth it!

(Note: Please make the Almond butter cups ahead of time and refrigerate them until they harden. Then break them apart organically into crumbles to add into the ice cream just before the ice cream is done mixing in the machine.)

 Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Ice Cream

 

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Almond Butter Cups

You will need: 

7 oz. 100% dark chocolate (70% or above is ok, depending on your preference)

1/2 cup natural almond butter

2 TBS. Torani sugar-free vanilla syrup

1 TBS. Stevia/monk fruit

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

To make: 

First, separate the dark chocolate into smaller pieces and then melt on a double boiler, stirring continuously until perfectly smooth. Line the muffin pan with paper cups and pour a teaspoon of the chocolate into each cup. Blend the almond butter and remaining ingredients, then roll into teaspoon-sized balls before pressing into each chocolate filling.

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Cover every cup with the remaining dark chocolate and refrigerate them until completely hard. After they have hardened, break them into chunks and use them for later in the recipe.

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Next, for the ice cream!

 Dark Chocolate Ice Cream 

You will need: 

13.5 oz Coconut Almond Milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup equivalent Stevia

Chocolate Sauce (Recipe is below)

Half the batch of the Almond Butter cups, hardened and crumbled

To make: 

Add the coconut almond milk to a saucepan over medium heat, and stir for about seven minutes. During that time add the vanilla extract and sweetener, stirring to combine well.  Cover in a container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until the mixture is cool.

While the mixture is cooling down, make the chocolate sauce:

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Dark Chocolate Sauce

You will need: 

3 TBS. coconut almond milk

1 TBS. cacao powder

1/2 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate (100%)

2 TBS. Stevia/monk fruit extract

1 TBS. melted coconut oil

1/4 tsp. vanilla

To make: 

Combine all of the ingredients while waiting for the ice cream to set.

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Once the coconut milk mixture is ready, add it to your ice cream maker and make it according to your machine’s directions. My ice cream maker takes around 30 minutes to produce one batch, however different styles call for different times. Just before the ice cream is done churning, add the almond butter cups and drizzle in the chocolate sauce.

You can serve this immediatley or freeze it for another couple of hours, whatever you prefer!

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God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

 

 

 

 

 

The Hope Diary: Recovery in the Midst of Mortality

Alright, so, yes, I have come out to say that I have suffered for the majority of my life with an eating disorder. But, let me clarify, this is NOT in any way, shape, or form to promote or encourage anyone out there to have or to “wonder” what it is like to have an eating disorder because simply, they WILL. KILL. YOU. They ARE, Point, Blank and simple, an ADDICTION, like every other addictive substance, i.e., alcohol, drugs, etc. They fill the void of deeper emotional and mental issues that need to be taken care of by doctors and therapists, and GOD!! If I had only known then what I know now that I needed Jesus, to fill the hurts that I was using food and later other drugs and alcohol to fill, what a LOT of hurt and pain I would have saved my mind and body from going through. But you know what? I am so THANKFUL that I went through it all, and so GRATEFUL to God that I got help for it at such a young age so that I can hopefully be a voice to help people all over the world.

Because if I am just another face on a magazine cover, pretending that I look this way naturally, or that “I do not have do anything to look like this, or that my life is perfect, then that would be a TOTAL SHAM, not doing YOU ANY service, and my life would be unfulfilled for God. I am a lover and a helper, not a faker and a user. I know that with eating disorders the biggest cause of keeping them is to not speak about them…they are the great big elephants in the room, that people will go to bed with and die with. They are the “magic slimming pills” that I am so sure many people who are reading this want to chop my head off for sharing because their disease HATES the fact that I am trying to shed some much-needed light into the wounded souls of sufferers. But if you keep silent about them, you will keep silent all the way to the grave.

When I first thought about sharing this with the world, of course I was more scared than I have ever been in my life, but then I remembered that God says in Romans 8:31,

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”

So, I know I have nothing to fear knowing that God is with me and my sole purpose is to offer my experience, strength, and hope (my ESH) to countless others who suffer all over the world.

Today I would like to share on Food, Addictions, and Mortality

My mom passed away on August 25, 2012 in an automobile accident and she struggled most of her life with many addictions. In the final few months of her life, the whole family had gotten together to help her get cleaned up in a recovery home and while there, I genuinely saw her as I had never seen her before. She was happy, stable, clear-minded, hopeful and radiant. She and I spent what would be, unbeknownst to both of us, the happiest and final two weeks of her life together. I felt hopeful and serene that everything was going to be alright. I had placed the situation in God’s Hands, and I trusted Him, no matter what the outcome.

Three weeks after I left her, she died. What I have experienced is something like I could never write down in a billion books. I don’t even know the depth of my own sorrow for her.


Photo is of me and my brother spreading some of my mom’s ashes in the Mount Pleasant River.

Addictions kill if left untreated. If you think that a food addiction will not kill you, please think again. I remember growing up that before my mom developed her other addictions she had had a terrible time with bulimia. She openly shared about her bulimia with me and some of the family before she passed away while she was staying in the recovery home. I know that my mom was trying to connect and help me in any way she could with my disease. You see, at the root of any addiction, is an addictive behavior, which tries to cover deeper emotional issues. It is the emotional and mental issues that need to be dealt with properly, but you cannot do that until you stop the addictive behaviors. If you stop one addictive behavior it is likely that you can pick up another easily, just like I have and just like my mom did.

I have had my fair share of addictions in my past. If it wasn’t for the food, it was smoking or the other. Until I sought help two and a half years ago I was a total mess! The food has far and between been my biggest problem, and when my mom passed away it made me face my own mortality. It was tough enough to go to her funeral and know that she died way too young at 45 years old, but myself, at 27, well, I wasn’t too far behind! If we have suffered with the same problems then it made life and dying all too real and that reality stung colder than the iciest, black winter night on my naked soul.

How do we cope with an eating disorder especially when faced with our own mortality? How do we deal with our addictions when going through life and the loss of a loved one? One Day at a Time. By accepting every day that we have a life-threatening illness that, if left untreated, will lead to our untimely death, and that we are powerless over our disease. We must turn it over to the care of God as we understand Him, and seek to do His Will in our life, not our own. The 12 Step Program has been my one of my lifelines as well as journaling my thoughts, reaching out for support, and being that support system for others. One of the greatest enemies addictions have is a life lived for helping others. Getting out of self and living for a life of selflessness is Step 12 of the 12 Step Program. Once I adopted these behaviors and ways of life, I saw my Spirit rise to a whole new level. I no longer lived to eat, I ate to live. I lived to serve God and found myself asking God, “What can I do for You today? Who can I help and encourage today through You?”

With these new-founded ways of life, I have learned that even in the midst of my mom’s death and facing the reality of my own, I have a guide on how to get through it calmly and with a stable Spirit. I do not have to go through life another day depressed and defeated. However long God has me here on this Earth, I will live it with confidence, Faith and to the fullest, knowing that He has an incredible journey left for me to fulfill and help others through the lessons I have learned.

One Day at a Time, you can defeat your disease with God.
God Bless,
<3 Nikki DuBose