Radiate Love Gala

Come join me and Project HEAL – Southern California Chapter, September 25, 2015, as we celebrate recovery, community and choose love over fear! The evening will include hors d’Oeuvres, an open bar, and a silent auction as well as guest speakers. All proceeds will go to the Project HEAL treatment grant. To purchase your tickets, please visit radiatelovegala.eventbrite.com

 

RLGInvitation

Raw Reflections of Self Esteem From a Thirteen Year Old

*Note: B.E.A.U.T.Y is meant to serve as a tool to release feelings and to build confidence in an otherwise damaged society. Our perception of beauty today has been lost and many times we feel ugly inside, instead of the perfectly created souls we are. The content submitted is raw and unedited, as every individual has the right to express their perceptions that have led them to where they are today.  The sole intended purpose of B.E.A.U.T.Y and all content therein is to bring healing and the message that full recovery from all eating disorders, mental health issues, abuse, and negative situations is possible.

When we hear the word “self-image,” what comes to mind? The mental pictures we form about our identities may be a reflection of  the positive and negative experiences we have encountered over a lifetime. Sometimes the manners by which we perceive ourselves is consistent, while other times we are capable of changing our mirror formations radically in the blink of an eye. Whatever the case may be, our self-image is critical in how we interact with ourselves and the world around us. Our image is a mere representation of what we show to outsiders; are we giving a correct portrayl of who we are to those around us? Are we honest in our spirits first, and letting that flow to our physical image?  So often in life we wear many masks to various associations and crowds of people; we desire our image to be one thing to one group, and another thing to another. The problem with this is that we can never be anyone but our true selves, and if we don’t know who we really are, we will never live fulfilled. We musn’t live life for others because truly no one is going to be approving of us all of the time. We must connect with a self-image that is peaceful and content at our core, and be satisfied with the image that is projected for all of the universe to see.

How and What I feel about Image

by Jacaila, age 13

 Image to me is a bunch of crap society makes up to make us feel bad. I mean I didn’t receive proper care when I was five years old! Don’t get me wrong, I care about image too. Whenever I think I look good, somebody always has to tell me I look horrible. It brings my self esteem to an all time low. I’ve always tried to figure out how girls can be “ana” or “mia.” I tried to be like that once but food is just too good! When I say, “I tried,” I meant it. I purged and starved myself, tried diet pills without eating anything after words. In fifth grade things were changing for me, just because of someone’s opinion of me. The boy called my “ugly.” It took me awhile but in my mind I thought he was right. Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was ugliness. My whole attitude changed, grades slipped and relationships slowly disappeared. In sixth grade, self-harm played its way into my life. I couldn’t stop, therapy wasn’t helping at all and life wasn’t getting better. So I feel that self esteem, image and what we think about it is restricting us from thinking better about ourselves. In conclusion, image is just society’s way of keeping us down.

*Jacaila is now fourteen years old, and has a more positive view of herself through working recovery.

Pineapple Pancakes

These are the ultimate treat for me!  Pancakes are something that terrified me for years because of my struggles.  I am grateful for eating pancakes as it is a marker of overcoming and letting go.

This recipe uses two kinds of flour: almond and organic whole wheat.  I like to combine the two because it gives the pancakes a more consistent feeling rather than a cakey turnout.

I hope you enjoy my pineapple pancakes!

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

You will need: 

1 cup of almond meal/flour

1 cup of organic whole wheat flour

2 TBS stevia/monk fruit/agave/organic raw cane sugar

1 TBS baking powder

1/4 TSP baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

1 can of freshly crushed pineapple (I bought a package of fresh pineapple and crushed them myself)

3/4 cup of coconut almond milk

1/4 cup of canola oil

Light whip cream and sugar-free caramel syrup to top (or top with apple butter)

To make: 

In a large mixing bowl combine the almond and whole wheat flour together. Next, add the stevia, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate medium bowl mix well the eggs, freshly crushed pineapple, almond milk, and canola oil.  Now pour the pineapple mixture in with the flour, and stir until everything is slightly lumpy, but smooth.

Place a pancake skillet or pan on the stove and raise the heat to about medium.  Cook about 1/4 of a cup of batter at a time, and let it sit for about three minutes on each side, turning when the bubbles form and the edges start to dry. The pancake should be golden and crispy on each side…but if you “mess up”…don’t worry, it’s all about progress, not perfection right?

Serve immediately and place a dollop of light whip cream on top. Pour  caramel syrup over the top (I got mine from Starbucks!), or get more creative and make your own delicious sauce 🙂

 

 

 

B.E.A.U.T.Y Art Project “Insecurities”

BeautybySusieF2Here is another art piece by Susie Fernandez and her creative art students from Long Beach, California.

The theme of the picture is, “You are more than your insecurities.”
Do you ever feel as if all you can focus on is the things you don’t like about yourself? How about redirecting that energy and focus on the things you love about yourself?! Did you know you are made for greatness? You really and truly are!

We all have insecurities, but they do not define who we are. In fact, the things that make us different are also what make us extra special 🙂

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Gaining

The Hope Diary: Gaining

July 9, 2014

You can’t paint over pain.

Gaining weight in recovery from anorexia and bulimia has been hell. There’s no ice cream-caked way to sugar coat the horrendous feelings that have surfaced once I actually started to put down my addiction, and picked up life again. Not numbing myself with food, drugs, or alcohol left me stone-cold naked and faced with thoughts and emotions that I had buried years and years ago; and many that I did not even know existed.

The sexual abuse began in my childhood and resurfaced in the modeling business. I used food, and later drugs and alcohol, to forget the experiences and dull the nightmares that I was having of being used for my body and thrown away like yesterday’s trash. I lost my identity over the course of my life, and between all of the mental problems with my mother, I often considered suicide. I began to see myself like a monster in my teenage years, and I felt like my eating disorder was my best friend, and the only thing I had to live for. Sometimes when life was really low, I found myself debating between only the eating disorder or killing myself. I truly thought that I was so low, so degraded, that I had nothing to live for. I had been so shamed in my body since my childhood, that I had come to view myself as an object, which is what others had treated me as.

Gaining weight in recovery has given me my strength back physically, mentally and emotionally, and it has enabled me to deal with the underlying pain underneath the eating disorder. When I was first sexually abused at the age of eight, I began to overeat to try to bury the shameful feelings that I had. Therefore, as an adult in recovery, at twenty-nine years old, I am working every day to value and love myself at a healthy weight, and not feel ashamed of the person that I am. There is a mental and emotional reflection I guess you could say that stares back at me sometimes, even without a mirror, and that is because of the tremendously damaged little girl and adult girl from the modeling industry that really got hurt from the constant abuse.

Gaining weight is my “sharpened Savior” in a sense, because it is a necessary tool that has been molding me into the true person that I really am, and need to be in order to face all of the monsters from my past, and the ones that will inevitably reoccur. Knowing that God is with me throughout everything is my hope and comfort.

Don’t give up. Wherever you are at in recovery, embrace it. You are strong. You can do this. I know you can. I believe in you.

God Bless,

 

B.E.A.U.T.Y Art Project “Shine”

DuBose.Nikki.BeautyProject.Shine“All of the stars twinkle for you. This world needs your beauty! You shine so bright!”

I hope you never go another moment wondering if you are special.  Look up at the stars in the sky at night and know that God made them for you.  The stars shine for you to soak in and meditate on.

Did you know that you were born to do great things in this life, and burst with your inner beauty just like the stars?

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Art Project “You Are Amazing”

 

“All of my love coming your way. Just want to say, you’re amazing!”♥♥♥♥

We can change the course of another’s life simply DuBose.Nikki.BeautyProject.Amazingby spreading love and kindness. What can you today to spread love to others?

God Bless,
Nikki DuBos

B.E.A.U.T.Y Project Art in Honor of My Mom

"Each tiny leaf upon this tree will tell my message: I love thee"
“Each tiny leaf upon this tree will tell my message: I love thee.”

My mom was a deep person who loved nature and art, among many other things. She always tried to spread her love to me and my brother in her artwork, and I am happy to share that with you. We all express our love in different ways, and I think it’s important to accept that love for what it is, instead of trying to change that love to fit our desires. We are all here on Earth trying to do the best we can.

We love and miss you mom.

How do you see love and beauty?

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

Party Friend

I believe that anything can be exchanged for another addiction; food, sex, alcohol, drugs, nothing is off limits if we are careless. This series is in memory of my late mother, who died in 2012 of alcoholism. She also struggled with an eating disorder many years ago, and in some ways I write of certain instances in my life not to criticize her or anyone else, but to try to show why in general we might develop addictions and disorders. Thank you for reading.

I remember the night my mother and I were driving in the grey minivan in the pouring rain. I was thirteen years old, and Mom had already downed a few too many beers before we left the house to hit the bars in downtown Charleston. She was pretty tipsy at this point, I felt somewhat embarrassed for being in the car with her, and scared out of my mind that she was going to get into an accident. Although at this point in my life I was used to her drunken antics, I still could not wrap my mind around being my mother’s party friend instead of her daughter.

Mom whizzed steadily down the freeway, going above the speed limit but was careful not to catch the attention of any police. With her belly button newly pierced and her recent significant weight loss, I felt tremendously confused about my relationship with my mother. I desperately wanted to help her, however every time I tried to approach and talk to her about what she might have been feeling, she shut me out of her world. As we continued to speed down US 17 towards downtown Charleston, my mind recalled the months earlier when I went into her bedroom to ask her a question about my homework and I found her in her bathroom, door open, sitting on the toilet, lid closed, with a beer in her hand. Our eyes met before I could open my mouth to speak and she must have noticed the shocked look on my face because she just slammed the door on me right then and there. All of the emotions I had felt then came flooding back as I sat with her in the speeding van; what was happening to my mom? Was I to blame?

I loved my mom deeply yet I never felt connected to her because she did not let me in; private and isolated from everyone, she chose food, abusive relationships, and alcohol to be her best friends. I never got to bond with my mother; I only found myself in situations where I came to her rescue. My emotions with her were always on a panic basis, and I lived in a constant state of fear and apprehension. Even as I am writing this my nerve level is high; I am sweating a bit and and I feel tense. I know that writing is critical for recovery and so that is why I chose to take up this form of expressing my thoughts.

Going back to that fateful day in the minivan, as she exited off US 17 and drove into smaller, darker roads, I felt uneasy at the speed in which she maneuvered freely. I shouldn’t have been too surprised however; for about four years at that point she had already been drinking a bit and driving me and my younger brother to and from school, and sometimes drunk. This gloomy, rainy night with her, however, felt long and drawn out, as if I knew beforehand that something terrible was going to happen.

Not long after I sensed the impending doom, our van drifted over into a one-way road where several cars were flying at us, no stopping in sight. All at once I saw my short life flash before my eyes, and I didn’t know what to do. In that moment all I could do was scream at the top of my lungs, “MOMMMMM!” I grabbed the wheel, and looked at her as she attempted to be a drunken superhero by sipping yet another swig of her beer before managing at the last second to take control of the car and pull us over onto the tiniest sliver of the concrete embankment. A hair-split of a second later, the cars whizzed by, angrily honking at us. We were safe, but only by a miracle.

I couldn’t fathom in that moment what had just happened; or rather, what hadn’t just happened. “Mom, we almost got into a head-on collision! Because you are drunk, and you don’t even care!” I shouted at her from across the van. She paused for a few seconds and then covered her face with her hands, trembling slightly all over. All I could do was study her every movement; the pace at which she breathed, and if she made any kind of noises. I was infatuated with my mother’s lack of response and concern in that moment; in fact it was a trend as always in my life that I was dying for any kind of love and affection from her. A couple of minutes passed by before she slowly raised her beautiful black hair and looked at me with quiet, tear-stained eyes. “I’m so sorry, please forgive me,” she whispered as she attempted to start the van and roll it out of the embankment. “Jesus, mom, we could have been killed!” I cried, “What were you thinking?” Silence. Nothing. No response. Just the usual kind of deep pondering that often took place after a crisis. I plopped my head back against the car seat and zoned out, and Mom cranked up the radio to a moderately high level again. “Just do me one favor, ok? Don’t tell your dad, whatever you do,” she said barely above the music. I reluctantly nodded my head in agreement, but only because I was afraid of everyone in my family at this point in my life.

Why did I have to be ruled by fear?

To be continued…

B.E.A.U.T.Y Project “Self-Awareness”

Taking time to be quiet and listenDuBose.Nikki.BeautyProject.SelfAware to what our bodies are telling us is vital not only for recovery but also for everyday life.  We all need moments to unwind from stress.

Carve out ten minutes in your day with no distractions, and breathe in deeply and calmly.  How do you feel?

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Project Art “Every Step”

"Every Step"

The road of life is filled with ups and downs. Recovery, however, is a whole ‘nother kind of journey, huh? Your perseverance and will to keep going no matter what comes against you makes you incredibly beautiful. Be proud of every step you take, and take life one moment at a time. ♥

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Project Art “I am Free”

I am Free!

Focusing on our inner beauty allows our true nature to shine through. When we build our identity based on our spirituality, values, strengths, and gifts, we are free to be happy!

What are you made up of from the inside? Do you feel free? Why or why not?

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

Face of Fear

Moving in the face of fear

drowning in a sea of devils,

I saw hope all around me

pushing me forward.

I suddenly felt courage

like never before.

‘Who are you?’

The devils sneered,

‘How dare you try to pass by.’

Dripping with uncertainty I glanced down

With one hand I gripped my fist,

pointed my finger in a demon’s eye

and screamed,

‘Who are YOU!’

blowing them away with one breath,

laughing as I passed by.

©2014 Nikki DuBose

B.E.A.U.T.Y Project “Healing” Poem by Joan

My heart caught on fire

with a glimpse of heaven

wounds of sins healed…

touching my soul.

I asked Jesus for forgiveness,

purple of the summer night

moon bounced off the silver sea.

Heaven embraces the horizon

feeling the winds of passion

I heard Jesus whisper…

‘follow me.’

Crispy Hazelnut Tomatoes

So my brother Anthony is probably going to be so embarrassed when he reads this, but I just have to share this story with you all!

When Anthony was around three years old he was outside crawling and playing near the vegetable gardens that our mom had planted. Mom had taken the clothes down from outside and had gone upstairs for what seemed to be only a few minutes. Anthony and I were outside by ourselves and somehow during that short time of mom’s absence, Anthony picked over sixty green tomatoes from mom’s vegetable garden! Our mom came back from inside the house and was livid needless to say, however she made the best of the situation and our family ate fried green tomatoes in every shape and form possible for about two weeks straight.

(Note: A little oil goes a long way)

 Crispy Hazelnut Tomatoes

You will need:

2 Heirloom Tomatoes

1 egg

1 cup Hazelnut Meal

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (add more if you like)

3 tablespoons coconut oil ( a little goes a LONG WAY!)

To make: 

Heat an iron pan with the coconut oil, but be careful not to burn.  Slice the tomatoes thick.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Take each piece of tomato and dip it into the egg first, then dip into the hazelnut meal with the pepper mixed together before dropping it into the pan delicately. Cook only once on each side until golden brown.

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You’re done, but not before you sit down and enjoy each bite slowly and mindfully! 

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

 

 

 

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

Our Angel Mom

Sandy Cargile memorial video by Nikki DuBose from nikki dubose on Vimeo.

In honor of our beautiful mom. There really are not enough words right now to express how much Anthony and I love and miss you.

Love,
Your babies

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

 

 

 

 

 

2014 LA Artist Initiative NEDA Walk

What an amazing turnout we had at this year’s Los Angeles NEDA Walk in sunny Santa Monica, California! As I take a while to pause and reflect on all of the time and energy that was put into preparing, sharing and executing this inspiring and emotional event, I am sad that it is now over, but I am also ready and preparing to have an even bigger and better time for next year’s event.

When I was approached by NEDA to captain the LA Artists Initiative Team, which first started in New York City, I felt grateful and blessed to be a part of such a momentous occasion and felt unsure if it was something that I could be responsible for. Was I meant to be a leader? I am so flawed!

Read more on NEDA.

NEDAwareness Week 2014 is Officially here!! Show Your Support!

I am thrilled that NEDAwareness week 2014 is upon us and kicking once again! This is a great chance for people all over the world to get involved on social media, the workplace, school, home – everywhere!

To find out how you can get involved in this year’s NEDAwareness week, please visit their site.

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Recovering From Anorexia and Bulimia: Loving My Jiggle

After taking a year and a half off work from modeling to recover, I feel so freaking happy to say that I am getting my booty back, my boobs back. I feel things jiggle when I walk. I have arm muscle now. I can eat to my hearts content and have a big, curvy body that is sexy.

Do I regret coming out about having an eating disorder? NO!

Do I regret sharing photoshoots that show myself at a low weight?  NO!

Why?  Because I am proud to help others who are also suffering from anorexia and bulimia and I am not afraid to show how recovery looks like, the good, the bad and the scary.

I am so happy that my body is growing to whatever size God made it to be. Let it grow baby!!

How am I preparing for NYC? Eating to my hearts content and letting go of all fears that used to consume me!

We are all already perfectly made!

Let the journey continue!

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

My Reality of Recovering from Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: A Happy Life

When I entered into recovery in 2010, I was in for the shock of my life. I was blindly going where I had never been before and I was accepting all of the bells and whistles that were to come.

Fast forward four years later and here we have January 2014. Where am I now in recovery? I am very grateful to say that God has seen me through some (for lack of better words) hell-hole days, weeks, and years, and He has Blessed me with pot holes of light that have kept me going. I have had months of steady recovery and then BAM!, I have fallen into relapse so fast that I thought I wouldn’t make it out alive.

*I have seen my body go up and down and up and down and I have felt myself have the emotional capacity many times of a 5 year old.

*I have had to re-learn to eat and have had to learn pretty much the library on nutrition and how to apply it to my daily eating habits.

*I have had some MAJOR physical side effects as a result of hurting my body for 20 years, and have had to accept and take care of myself in a whole new light, and not complain.

*I have had to relearn how to percieve myself and how to relate to the world and to others.

*I threw out the scale. I do not know how much I weigh, nor do I care! I am a firm believer that my worth and value are not rooted in my weight, size, or physical appearance. I believe it is the inner person that is important and this is what I have been working on.

*I have been working with the National Eating Disorders Association for the past year and I am so grateful to God that on March 8, 2014, we will be holding our Los Angeles Walk in Santa Monica, California. NEDA formed the Artist Initiative Team and they asked me to captain it for LA! The Initiative is for people working in the entertainment and artisitc industries who want to stand up for divirsity and fight against eating disorders. I am very honored and proud to be apart of this developing program with NEDA!

If I could tell my 8 year old self to never lean over the toilet again, I would scream as loud as I could, “STOP!”

Please do not ever ever hurt yourself! There is SO much more to life than ourselves, and our weight, and what we look like. We can think beyond ourselves and help other people who are hurting, for starters. Addicitons are so self-centered, and once they start, they are almost impossible to stop.

Now I just eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. If I feel like I ate too much, oh well! It is just a feeling, and like everything with time, that feeling will go away. I don’t need to do some crazy hurtful thing to myself. It is just nuts. My body deserves so much love and delicious, healthy food is love. I work out, but I do not over exercise. I just focus on living a healthy lifestyle. I focus on health, and not on a size or a shape. I want to be happy! Don’t you?

Grecian Banana Cream Pie

There is one dessert (ok, about a thousand) that I just can’t resist, and that is whipped banana cream pie!! I love the simplicity of the dessert yet how daggon’ INSANE it tastes!! Am I right, or am I right? No matter where I am at, when I taste a banana cream pie, I feel like I am twelve again, sitting in mom’s kitchen, reminiscing with my family.

I made this pie for a friend’s birthday over the holidays and it was a hit (Thank God!)

Grecian Banana Cream Pie 
You will need:

Crust

2 Cups Roasted Almonds
4 Tbsp Butter
9″ Pie Pan

Filling

3/4 – 1 cup Light Whipped Cream or *Soyatoo! Whipped Topping if Lactose Intolerant
1 Cup Greek Yogurt or *Goats Milk Yogurt if Lactose Intolerant
1 Mashed Banana
1/4 Tsp Vanilla
1/4 Tsp Vanilla Bourbon (optional)
2 Tsp Stevia/Splenda/Monk Fruit Sweetner

Top it off with:

Thinly Sliced Bananas
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Sprinkle of Cacao Powder

To make:

First, let’s prepare the delightful crust! It’s as easy as one, two, three!

*Melt the butter and chop the two cups of almonds in a blender until they are finely done.
*Mix together the almonds and the butter and make sure it is thoroughly combined.
*Press the nut crust mixture into the bottom of a 9″ pie pan, and smooth it out so that everything is even and covered.

You’re done with the crust honey buns, let’s move on to the filling!

*In a large bowl with a masher, mash the banana.
*Gently combine the banana, whipped cream (or Soyatoo! Whipped Topping for lactose intolerance) and greek yogurt (or goats milk yogurt for lactose intolerance).

Almost there!

*Spoon the Grecian Banana Cream Pie Filling into the Almond Nut Crust and smooth it all around with a spatula. (I like to use this time to make pretty little swirly designs).
*For best results I recommend sticking this baby into the ‘fridge for an hour or so before serving, BUT you can serve it immediately. Woohoo!

*Layer it with sliced bananas right before you serve and sprinkle cinnamon and 100% Cacao powder over the top.

You’re done!

Don’t forget to eat and relax! You’ve worked hard for this 🙂

 

Cereal Baked With Love

I love the reality of being able to enjoy a big bowl of delicious cereal that is homemade!

This cereal is good for you, so bake and eat up! You can double or triple the batch and save for a granola to top on your yogurt as well! ( Parfait, anyone?)

Cereal Baked With Love

You will need:

4 egg whites
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 Tbs. organic ground flax meal
4 Tbs. almond meal/flour
2 Tbs. Stevia/monk fruit
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of almonds/pecans/walnuts/any nuts you prefer
Your favorite fruit (I used strawberries and bananas, yummy!)
1 cup of Flax milk with added protein
olive oil cooking spray/butter

To make:

*Preheat the oven to 275°
*Whisk together the lemon juice and the egg whites until they are fluffy.
Fluffy Egg Whites and Lemon Juice
*Add in all other ingredients just until combined.
*With a spoon, put batter onto a greased baking sheet in 1″ strips.
Put batter in 1" strips
*Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden browned.
*Let cereal cool, then place in bowl, top with fruits and pour with your favorite milk! (I prefer Flax milk with added protein).
top with your favorite fruits!
*Eat, enjoy and be merry! Life is short!

 

Understanding How Perfect You Really Are!

Recovering from anorexia and bulimia IS a long and tricky road. There are so many days when I feel on top of the world and others when I feel like I want to throw in the towel.

Feelings and emotions are normal, however, and should be welcomed openly because they are signs that we are not numbing or stuffing them down with addictive behaviors.

Physically, we see our bodies grow and change into the way that they are supposed to be as we re-feed ourselves, and this can provoke many uncomfortable thoughts and behaviors.

Its ok! If you need to cry, scream, yell, write, call someone, whatever, please do so. Any form of healthy release is great and encouraged. Don’t expect others who have not gone through an eating disorder to understand how you feel because they just cannot. Instead stick to your doctors, therapists, 12 step support group friends, etc. Anything else is really just co-dependency.

One of the things that has really helped me during re-feeding and watching my body change as I gain weight during my anorexic recovery is constantly asking God (my Higher Power) to help me to see myself the way that He sees me. To understand that I am beautiful and wonderful in His sight. I have to break away from that child-like box that anorexia put me into and accept that I am growing into the beautiful 28 year old woman that I AM! It is a renewal of mind, body and spirit into this amazing creature that God has made. How dare I destroy that? I am a warrior, a Woman of the Most High God, and He has a big future for my life.

So I just really encourage you today that wherever you are in your life and road of recovery that you are NOT alone. Your feelings, thoughts, physical body and spirit are unique yes, but they are being shared with countless others who are also recovering. Do NOT GIVE UP!! Become the beautiful masterpiece you were designed to be so that you can achieve all that you have in your heart!! YOU DESERVE IT!!

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

Leading the Way: NEDA Artist Initiative Team

“Hello, gorgeous people, my name is Nikki. I am a model, host, commercial actress, writer, believer and dreamer. I am an advocate for NEDA, and sponsor those in eating disorder recovery because I am a survivor of a seventeen year battle with bulimia and anorexia. At the height of my modeling career, I was known for my beautiful curves; however in Europe as my battle with anorexia overcame me, I became known for my bones. Recovery for me has been filled with years of ups and downs but I decided from day one to never give up. I was fighting for my life and striving to be a role model for everyone suffering silently in the modeling industry and beyond. I am forever grateful to be free of addiction and pain, however I know that it is only because of my God, and by helping others every day with my story. Now, if I get back into the modeling business, I am calling the shots! I don’t care how much I weigh, and I refuse to surround myself with a team who would ever try to make me lose weight. I believe that our value comes from who we are on the inside and this is the message I want to leave behind for generations to come!”

Read more on NEDA.

 

The Hope Diary: Step Twelve: Helping Others

We have now arrived at the twelfth and final step of the recovery program. Congratulations! Give yourself a huge hug and relish how far you have come to reach this point. Your recovery is the cornerstone of the success for the rest of your life.

Step twelve touches on what is single-handedly the most important part of daily recovery. Although all of the steps are essential for a healthy soul, mind and body, the twelfth step is crucial because it instills the importance of giving away what you have been given. After all, where would we be if recovery, support, and guidance had not been given to us by others all along the way?

Helping other people get their life back on track by sharing our experience, strength and hope can be done in the form of sponsoring up to the level of your recovery or by being an accountability partner.  Just being kind to others and allowing positivity and love to flow through your personality to the world around you enables all kinds of continual healing to take place. When we don’t pass on the knowledge that we have received, we run the assured risk of falling back on our own recovery and becoming selfish and proud.

The steps need to be repeated for the rest of our lives. We never become “too good” for program; rather, our success in life is dependant upon our daily surrender to God and being willing to work on ourselves. Recovery is a beautiful thing; how will you pass it on today?

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Our Mission
Isaiah 61:1-3

1. How have I passed through the pain and despair of enslavement to addiction and moved into healing and freedom?

2. Having had a “spiritual awakening” after being set free from my addiction, am I excited or hesitant to share my experience, strength, and hope with others who are struggling with addiction? Why?

Our Story
Mark 16:14-18

Describe the story of your spiritual awakening and how the first eleven steps have brought spiritual principals, truth, and healing into your life. Describe what you were like, what happened, and what you are like now.

Sharing Together
John 15:5-15

1. Am I connected to the vine? How do the Twelve Steps help me to “remain” in him?

2. Is my recovery attractive to other addictive/compulsive people because I am becoming more loving rather than condemning those who need my help?

3. What am I doing to reach out with Jesus’ love?

Listening First
Acts 8:26-40

1. What is my attitude about sharing my story of recovery? Am I reluctant to tell my story, or am I the type that wants to share too much, too soon, with too many people?

2. From either extreme, am I willing to wait for God’s timing for sharing recovery?

3. Do I see my story as valuable to God’s plan? Describe how.

Talking the Walk
1 Timothy 4:14-16

1. Paul encourages Timothy to “throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.” What changes in my life can others observe since I have been sober and working the Twelve Steps?

2. Paul wanted Timothy not only to teach others, but to be an example. When I share my story with others, am I preaching, or sharing my experience, strength, and hope.

3. Am I able to let the other person make his or her own decision by relinquishing control and letting God do his work?

Never Forget
Titus 3:1-5

What do I remember about my last drink or my last binge? Describe that last time, including actions, feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that led up to it and followed it:

The Narrow Road
1 Peter 4:1-4

1. Peter pointed out: “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy-their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties” (1 Peter 4:1-2) the pains of recovery.

2. Does the approval or judgement of others keep me from sharing recovery? Do I fear negative rumors?

3. How can I work the Twelve Steps on this fear?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Eleven: God’s Will be Done

Step eleven of the twelve step program teaches us that recovery is a daily renewal of our minds, bodies and souls. Without surrendering to God’s Will for our lives it is impossible to have a successful and abstinent day. I tried to live my life in recovery my way for a long time until I finally became exhausted because I kept ending up in the same place: failure! I just said “Ok God You win I give up! Your Will be done not mine!” Now whenever I feel myself getting frustrated it is a warning sign that I am trying to live life on my terms, and so I have to 1. Stop and 2. Simply ask God for His help. Man what humble pie tastes like going down! But the rewards of humility and surrender surely are sweeter than trying to do things alone.
Prayer does not have to be fancy. God wants us to come simply as we are. I often pray “Father, your will be done, not my own. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.” God is a God of hearts.

What is your Step 11 Prayer that you can use throughout the day?

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook for the following questions.

A New Hiding Place
2 Samuel 22:1-33

1. How was addiction a hiding place from life for me? Compare this with having God as a hiding place.

2. Describe how I experience “conscious contact” with God:

Thirst for God:
Psalm 27: 1-6

1. What do I most seek from God?

2. What is difficult about trusting God with my requests?

Joy in God’s Presence
Psalm 65:1-4

1. What keeps me from accepting God’s forgiveness?

2. What scares me about knowledge of God’s will for me?

Finding God
Psalm 105:1-9

1. Is my life changing daily? Am I noticing when I am resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid today? Identify ways that I am changing:

2. Am I aware of others’ feelings, needs, and rights? What have I noticed today?

Powerful Secrets
Psalm 119: 1-11

1. What am I hiding in my heart–secrets of old behaviors and issues, or God’s Word?

2. List what I can thank God for today:

Patient Waiting
Isaiah 40: 28-31

1. How does impatience show itself in my attitude and behaviors?

2. Am I impatient about my progress in recovery? Do I expect myself to “get it” the first time? Do I expect perfection?

3. Why is it hard to “trust in the Lord”?

Friends of the Light
John 3:18-21

1. In what areas of my life am I still afraid to seek God’s will?

2. When I think I am hearing God’s will, whose power do I act on? Am I tempted to do God’s will in my own power?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Ten: Taking Daily Inventory

Step ten is the first step that I take daily in order to keep myself in check. When I find that my character or food plan might be getting a bit sloppy, I try to immediately surrender myself to God and ask for His help to renew my mind In Him and take account for exactly where I am going wrong. In doing so, I am able to get back on track much faster and have a fruitful day. In the past before I found strong recovery I just kind of floundered around mercilessly inside and felt very lost. My mind was weak because I had let the eating disorder and other problems control it for many years. Thank God for His Grace and the twelve steps of recovery to bring daily help in every single situation that can arise.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Personal Boundaries
Genesis 31:45-55

1. In order to restore trust in relationships, what particular weaknesses do I need to set boundaries around?

2. Is there a trusted person to whom I can clearly define my commitments? Who? What commitments am I willing to make?

Repeated Forgiveness
Romans 5:3-5

1. Do certain behaviors and character defects that show up in my Step Ten inventory point to a pattern? Which ones? What is being revealed to me?

2. Am I having trouble admitting these promptly and forgiving myself?

3. Do I give myself grace? Why or why not?

Dealing with Anger
Ephesians 4:26-27

1. What is my first response when I am angry? Lashing out? Stuffing down? Avoidance and covering up?

2. How was anger dealt with in my family? How did my mother deal with anger? My father? Which pattern do I follow?

3. When I am angry, can I promptly admit it? Why or why not?

4. Do I have support people who can help me learn to deal with anger more appropriately? Am I willing to ask for assistance with this issue?

Spiritual Exercises
1 Timothy 4:7-8

1. As this continual inventory is important for spiritual fitness, where in my daily routine can I set aside time to make myself self-assessment part of every day?

2. Do I have any resistance to evaluating my defects daily? What are my objections? What do I fear?

3. An example of a simple, daily, personal inventory:

Where have I been selfish, dishonest, fearful, inconsiderate, or proud?

What have I done right today?

What do I need God's help with tomorrow?

What am I grateful for today?

Perseverance
2 Timothy 2:1-8

1. How do I see my recovery as a war against addiction and as a fight for my soul?

2. How do I see myself as an athlete in training for the marathon journey of recovery and serenity?

3. Am I working in every season and situation? planting seeds of recovery by applying the Twelve Steps to my life?

4. Where do I lose heart in fighting, training, and working through the Twelve Steps?

Looking in the Mirror
James 1:21-25

1. Have I been quick to recognize but not take action in a particular area of my life or defect of character? If so, I can take action without self-criticism by going back through Steps Six and Seven, then Eight and Nine on that particular area or defect.

2. On what area or defect do I need to take action today? This week? This month?

Recurrent Sins
1 John 1:!-10

1. Have I hoped for immediate release from my defects as I may have had from my addiction? Have I perhaps unknowingly hoped that by doing all this step work I could attain perfection? Write any thoughts and feelings that arise from reading this meditation:

2. Am I clear that I still need inventories to continue my spiritual growth? In other words, have I developed enough humility to accept that inventories will be a regular part of my journey?
Explain:

3. Am I sensing that my conscience is returning or developing so that I more easily recognize my faults? Am I humble enough to admit them more readily? Record any progress you've noticed in your conscience:

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step 9: Direct Amends

In step eight we took inventory of all of the people we had hurt and how it had affected us; and in step nine we lay out a plan of action with our trusted sponsor. We discuss how we can execute making amends with them except when it would be problematic for them or us. For example there might be past relationships that come to a point where it would be easier to “bury the hatchet” by not ever saying anything bad about them ever again rather than contacting the person directly because doing so would damage their current situation (eg marriage or work).

Step nine might sound like a harsh and frightening dose of reality if we are not prepared for it, but truly when are we ever really prepared for anything? I believe the best way to receive healing and to grow, is to face the fear and go through it rather than to run away from it. The pain of doing things we might not always want to do makes us stronger, wiser and better people for ourselves and for the world.

Truly though we never have to be afraid because God is always with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. And when we really meditate on that and trust in that, we can be confident to move forward in step nine and in anything that life brings our way.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Long Awaited Healing
Genesis 33:1-11

1. Who are the people on my Step Eight list who strike the most intense fear in my heart when I think about making amends, face-to-face?

2. Do I have supportive people who help me gain willingness to take such a challenging step? Do I have an advisor or sponsor to work with me?

Keeping Promises
2 Samuel 9:1-9

1. How have my thoughts/opinions/ideas affected the decisions I have made?

2. Is there anyone to whom I owe amends due to forgetting, either on purpose or unintentionally, to fulfill a promise?

Covering the Past
Ezekiel 33:10-16

1. What forms of harm listed in Step Eight do I resist giving up in order to make amends with another?

2. What fears keep me from the life-giving process of Step Nine?

Making Peace
Matthew 5:23-26

1. What is my usual response or reaction to brokenness?

2. Does my amends list include people that have something against me? If so, do I have difficulty finding the courage to deal with them?

From Taker to Giver
Luke 19:1-10

1. List financial amends that you owe. Name the people and amounts:

2. Am I willing to go to any lengths to offer amends? What risks are involved?

Unfinished Business
Philemon 1:13-16

1. How far will I go to restore a relationship with another person, with God, and with myself?

2. Do I have any unfinished business left on my list? List these categories:

Money owed to people/jobs/businesses:

Any laws broken:

Broken; painful relationships:

3. Am I waiting for the certainty of forgiveness before I make amends? Am I willing to take the risk? Explain:

A Servant’s Heart
1 Peter 2:18-25

1. What am I afraid will happen when I attempt to make amends?

2. Do I fear that painful consequences will cause me suffering if I make amends? If so what is the worst that could happen?

3. Do I trust God’s will for me if I follow the challenge of Step Nine?

4. Which of the Twelve Steps do I need to focus on before I make these fearsome amends?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

Dont Wallow in the Spilled Milk: Forgive!

One of my sponsees asked how she could be free of all of the people and situations that had hurt her in her past.
This is a common question and something we all have to go through again and again for the rest of our lives. Unless we learn to forgive every time someone offends us we run the risk of holding onto unhealthy resentments that do nothing but hold us hostage in our addictions and keep us from receiving God’s Best Plan.
Let’s say for example you are holding onto resentments from a past relationship.
1. Past Relationship: The fact that you are Aware that you are resentful of your childhood bullies is the first step because it allows you to Accept you have those feelings and then be able to take the spiritual Action you need to be free of it…
3 A’s of Recovery
AWARENESS
ACCEPTANCE
ACTION

Ask yourself “Can I forgive this person/these people”..
If you find yourself saying “No! they hurt ME! I am still messed up inside and hurting because of them”… then just remember this…
When Jesus died for US He payed the ultimate price. He was and is Perfect and Blameless and took ALL of OUR sins and Never ever complained. In fact He did it out of the Purest and Highest Love and Loves us Unconditionally all of the Time. He Forgives us over and over again when we ask Him to sincerely and He is always waiting for us with open and Loving Arms; never judging. Surely we can forgive others just as God Forgives us.
If you still have a hard time feeling like you can forgive remember that you ARE SO MUCH MORE than your feelings and then ask God to help you forgive them. Pray and repent and get down on your knees. Write it out and pour your heart out to Him or maybe say a simple prayer. If you need to ask God to help you forgive them because you know that apart from Him you can do nothing then by all means do it.
But remember that forgiveness is not for the other person it is for YOU. You do not want to waste your life over broken memories and not receive God’s Promises. You do not want to be living off “spilled milk” and find yourself in your eighties one day still bent out of shape because of all of the injustices the world caused you.
After all what have you done to hurt others consciously and unconsciously knowing it…
Ponder that and write it down.

Glory Dance Day

And in these quiet places
in the secret moments of our hearts
a garden blossoms
Long awaited
it is the arrival of hope
faith and love
cultivated by a prism of miracles
Tiny angels dance around
in sweet succulent honeydew
to announce the presence
of victories’ glorious overdue.

©2013 Nikki DuBose

 

Dinner the Gerson Way

(Note: 6/6/2014 I am no longer doing the Gerson Therapy however I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a natural alternative to medicine). 

As a result of healing from bulimia and anorexia for seventeen years, I sought many nutritional programs on the road to recovery. The Gerson Therapy came when I was at my wits-end with a swollen liver and kidneys. After I felt God leading me to this radical yet simplistic approach to eating and health, I was set completely free of my pain within a month.

All recipes are taken straight from the powerful book I recommend, Healing The Gerson Way (Second Ed.) Thank you to The Gerson Institute and Charlotte Gerson for whom without none of this revolutionary healing would be possible.

Please read Healing The Gerson Way for more information. Knowledge is power! I use one serving of each ingredient and all are certified organic.

First Course

Tomato and Zucchini Salad

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

tomato
zucchini
green onion
beet
lettuce

Dressing:
flaxseed oil
yogurt
lemon juice

(Please Note: For the yogurt I use a Goats Milk yogurt).

Chop the tomato and zucchini into chunks.Tomato Zucchini Salad Gerson Therapy

Slice the green onion and add. Finely grate the raw beet (or chop cooked beet into chunks) and mix into the salad. Lay on a bed of lettuce. Pour over dressing.

thenikkidubose.com Tomato and Zucchini Salad Gerson_Therapy Nikki_DuBose All RIghts Reserved 2013

Second Course:

Tangy Tomato Soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves 2-4

1 lb. tomatoes
1 carrot
1 stick celery
1 onion
1 red bell pepper
little orange juice
yogurt

thenikkidubose.com Tangy Tomato Soup Gerson_Therapy Nikki _DuBose 2013 All RIghts Reserved Foodspirations

Chop tomatoes/carrot/celery and onion. Seed pepper and chop. Put all into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; turn down the heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Puree (with electric blender or food mill). Add the orange juice. Reheat gently. Add a swirl of yogurt before serving.

thenikkidubose.com Nikki_DuBose Gerson_Therapy Tangy_Tomato_Soup 2
Third Course

Baked Potatoes

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Baked potatoes should be thoroughly washed; not scraped or peeled. Bake in low oven at 300°F (149°C) for 2 or 2-1/2 hours or; alternatively bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F (177°C).

Fourth Course

Glazed Carrots with Herbs and Lemon

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 2

1 lb. carrots
1 tsp. sugar
a little water
1 tsp.lemon juice
mint
rosemary
parsley
flaxseed oil

thenikkidubose.com Nikki_DuBose 2013 All Rights Reserved Gerson_Therapy Glazed Carrots with Herbs and Lemon

Gently cool the carrots whole. When beginning to soften remove from pan and cut into 2-inch sticks. Return to the saucepan with the sugar and a little water. Heat until the sugar is dissolved; the water has been absorbed and the carrots are cooked. Add the lemon juice and herbs and heat for an additional two minutes. Place on a warm serving dish and serve immediately.

thenikkidubose.com Nikki_DuBose 2013 All Rights Reserved Foodspirations Gerson_Therapy Glazed Carrots with Herbs and Lemon (2)

So there we have our beautiful dinner of healing foods straight from the Gerson Therapy.

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

Healing My Body with the Foods I Eat: Healing The Gerson Way

(Note: 6/6/2014 I am no longer on The Gerson Therapy but I highly recommend it for anyone seeking a natural alternative to medicine. I do still cook their incredible and healthy recipes!) 

Healing The Gerson Way: if you are considering doing the Gerson Therapy at home or want to just educate yourself more in this area I highly recommend this book. It also includes their best-selling DVD: The Beautiful Truth. This therapy  helped to heal my body from the damages that incurred as a result from a more than seventeen year battle with eating disorders, drug and alcohol addictions. My kidneys, liver and digestive system were completely wrecked, and by using this book I was able to bring my body back to a place of stability.

Please visit the Gerson Institute Online at http://gerson.org/gerpress/ to find out more about the Gerson Therapy and how you can do it at home.
God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Eight: Reflecting on Who We Had Hurt

Step Eight requires tremendous doses of humility and courage as we ponder over the courses of our lives who we have hurt while living in our addictions. Sometimes we have mistreated others and were not even aware that we had done so. As we begin to meditate on those who had been affected by our irresponsibility we quickly find that we can list a slew of of people we had hurt.

This was a tough step for me the first couple of times I went through early recovery and now I really try not to hurt others. I may not always be where I need to be but with God’s help thank God I am not where I used to be! Take heart and know that although your healing journey may seem difficult or like a long road to walk on, that it is a path filled with healing and with healing comes many blessings and happiness. And we all deserve to be happy! Most importantly we all need to learn how to treat other people with kindness and love so this is a very important step to accomplish but with God’s help you can do it one day at a time.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Making Restitution
Exodus 22:10-15

1. How have I failed to respect the property of others.

2. Have I been so harmed or condemned by others that I have avoided responsibility for myself. By whom and when.

3. What excuses have I used for not looking at my behaviors.

Unintentional Sins
Leviticus 4:1-28

1. In what areas have I unintentionally harmed others with my words/moods/self-pity/depression/anger/or fears.

2. In what ways have I acted thoughtlessly without regard for others’ needs or feelings. When; To Whom;

Scapegoats
Leviticus 16:20-22

1. Have I been putting off making a list because I am afraid of some responses. Whose.

2. Have I held on to shame about a certain incident or relationships. What am I willing to do to let go so that I can become willing to make amends.

3. Is there someone I am having trouble forgiving who blocks my willingness. Who.

Overcoming Loneliness
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

1. How have I allowed isolation due to shame and guilt to keep me from supportive relationships.

2. What is the role of shame and guilt in my isolation.

3. Am I willing to forgive myself for the hurt I have caused others. Write a prayer of willingness to forgive and ask for God’s grace to heal these relationships.

Forgiven to Forgive
Matthew 18:23-35

1. Are there people on my list that I am having trouble forgiving for their part in our relationship. Who and Why.

2. What keeps me from letting others off the hook. Fear/Resentment/Caretaking.

3. What blocks me from forgiving others for the wrongs done to me.

a. Fear of what others would think of me. (Pride).

b. Fear of letting others see my hurts.

c. Fear of conflict. Protecting others feelings to avoid conflict.

The Fruit of Forgiveness
2 Corinthians 2:5-8

1. Is there anyone on my list whose behavior I do not approve. Who. Why.

2. Am I willing to let go of judgement and disapproval to open myself to working this step.

3. Have I been so afraid of rejection that I have delayed willingness to make amends. Who could reject me and why.

Reaping Goodness
Galatians 6:7-10

1. What “crop” did I sow while practicing my addiction.

2. Describe the correlation between healthy living and acceptance of the consequences for my addiction/behavior:

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

STOP! Before you even think about binging…

Binge stands for

Believe
Im
Not
Good
Enough

And you are more than good enough! You are a winner! A victor! A beautiful, wonderful, Blessed, important person of great destiny! A Child of the Most High God! So stop, breathe, and believe that you are more than a conqueror in Christ! Repeat those thoughts over and over and don’t stop. Train your mind for victory, because you are a winner!

 

One Year Later: Remembering Nana

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel read me 2013 Nana January 31

One year ago today, Nana passed away while I was shooting in the Dominican Republic with a very sweet crew. I never thought that in just a few months I would lose my mom and my mom’s mom. I have all the Faith in God that His Ways are Higher and that they are in a better place. We love and miss you Nana and Mommy. Here are some photos I took the day Nana passed away when I was in Punta Cana. She was one of the most influential people in my life and her passing has greatly affected me. She will forever live in my heart and soul. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

January 31 4 Nikki DuBose thenikkidubose.com Nana Punta Cana Nikki DuBose supermodel writer editor in chief SQUA.RE SQUARE LUXURY

Nikki DuBose thenikkidubose.com Nana read me Punta Cana Janurary 31 3

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose nana 7

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel read me Nana Punta Cana 2

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel writer editor in chief SQUA.RE SQUARE LUXURY Nikki DuBose nana

The Hope Diary: Step Four, Coming Clean of My Deepest, Darkest Secrets.

Now that I had one, admitted I was powerless over my addiction, the biggest step towards recovery I could ever take in my life, I then had two, allowed that God could restore me to sanity.

As I have discussed in my earlier Hope Diary entries, this was a journey that took a couple of years to walk down. I was constantly battling with myself, thinking that I was my own god and my pride is what kept me bound to my eating disorders during that time.

Third, I had to finally give in to God and just say, “Lord, Your Will be done, not my own.” I learned that every time I found myself in a tempting situation to give into my addiction, I would surrender to God and pray that prayer. Many times I have failed and slipped into the addiction like a bad habit, and on those times I know better that as a Child of God I do not have to listen to the lies of the devil that I am a failure. I get right back up, learn from my mistakes, and do my very best to not repeat them from that moment on. I see myself as a victorious person now, not as a broken person like I did most of my life. That victim mentality is what used to hold me back and bind me in my addictions. It doesn’t serve me anymore.

The fourth step is one that I see many people afraid to take. It is where we take “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” (Life Recovery Workbook). We go through our entire life, even our deepest, darkest secrets. We list all of the people, places and things that we have fears, resentments, angers and sadness against. We look at our own character and evaluate our defects. What about ourselves do not add up? Are we selfish? Angry? Corrupt? Do we use people? Steal? Lie? Cheat? We go by a recovery program workbook and disclose our information with a trusted sponsor, friend, pastor, or someone that we feel we can go to in total anonymity and confidence. We understand that what we share will never be revealed to anyone else and that this is to help mold us into better human beings. We also take a look at our strengths, because it is not healthy to just mark our weaknesses. We seek to become stronger and wiser as a result of this process, even if it is temporarily painful.

If you feel that you would like to get started with your Step Four Inventory, but are unsure as to where to go to begin, I have provided The Life Recovery Workbook Inventory to help get you started. There was a great quote that was shared with me from the AABB that says, “We are only as sick as our secrets”. When I heard that, I realized that a lot of the shame and guilt that I was trying to bury all of these years was dying to be set free. Once I began to share my deepest secrets with my sponsor, I received God’s forgiveness and was truly able to allow for healing to start flowing through my body, starting from the innermost parts of my soul. I had never experienced such Grace and rawness before. It was as if I was free to be the person that God had created me to be! What a glorious concept. No more hiding!

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook for the following questions:

Coming Out of Hiding
Genesis 3:6-13

1. When and in what ways have I led a “double-life”, looking good on the outside while full of shame about my addiction inside?

2. By hiding my problems with image management, how has my shame taken root and grown in my heart? Am I fearful to admit what is there?

3. Am I ready to deal with “the dirt”, to wash the inside so I can live free? What holds me back?

Facing the Sadness
Nehemiah 8:7-10

1. What painful memories keep me from going forward in writing a Fourth Step inventory? Describe them.

2; What have I been afraid of facing?

3. What role has shame from past mistakes played in keeping me from starting and completing an inventory?

4. Does pride tell me that I don’t need an inventory? Have I told myself that others who are in more dire straits than I am are the ones who really need it?

Confession
Nehemiah 9:1-3

1. What behaviors over my lifetime have been offensive to God?

2. What destructive habits need to be identified and confessed to God?

3. What blocks and resistances do I have to being honest with God about my wrongdoings?

4. What consequences from past wrong choices am I living with today?

Family Influence
Nehemiah 9:34-38

1. Are there people in my family of origin whom I have blamed for my life situations and resulting addiction? If so, who?

2. What resentments do I carry toward them, even if unrelated to addiction?

3. What truly brought me into the bondage of addiction and dependency (what is my responsibility, my part in it)?

Finger-Pointing
Matthew 7:1-5

1. Is it easier to look at the faults and shortcomings of other people in my life, past and present (such as bosses, coworkers, classmates, church members, pastors), than to recognize my own?

2. What is the “log” in my eye, the blind spot that has caused me trouble and given rise to pride, finger-pointing, and eventually to addiction?

3. Where and when have I stepped on people’s toes and invited retaliation? Have I been proud, blaming, or tearful?

Constructive Sorrow
2 Corinthians 7:8-11

1. In what ways have I avoided facing my sorrow about how my addiction has impacted my life and the lives of others?

2. Am I willing to set aside time to grieve and allow humility to grow in me? When? What is my commitment to myself, my growth, and my recovery?

3. Am I bent on self-condemnation? Am I now willing to let God’s mercy go with me as I examine my faults and their impact on others?

God’s Mercy
Revelation 20:11-15

1. Taking a moral inventory of ourselves here on earth will help to prepare us for the life to come. Is anything standing in the way of my taking action, such as pride or fear?

2. As I trust God in Step Three, am I able to let go of pride and fear in Step Four and allow His Will to be expressed through me? If so, write out a prayer of trust and willingness to complete Step Four.

3. Write down a list and description of resentments, fears, wrongdoings, and character flaws such as pride, jealousy, domination of others, self-centered needs/wants, etc. (Use extra space if necessary.)

Fears:

Resentments:

Wrongdoings (i.e., what actions have I committed which oppose my own and God’s morals and values?):

Character Flaws (remember that honesty and humility are character strengths that we are building here, so be as thorough and honest as possible to move toward long-term recovery):

Where have I acted out of pride, vanity, or a sense of superiority?

Where and when have I tried to dominate others (e.g., at work, home, marriage)?

What makes me jealous, envious, or covetous (wealth, good fortune, successful kids, functional families, jobs, and/or positions of others)?

Where and when have I demanded that my wants and/or needs come before those of others, especially those of my spouse, children, or coworkers?

4. After careful self-examination, am I more convinced than ever that I need a Savior every day, not just for salvation, but to walk in freedom from addiction and sin? If so, write out a prayer to God that expresses your complete dependence upon Him for salvation and freedom.

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

“Six Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You” by Karla Downing

Christian Relationship Help: Six Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You by Karla Downing

“Forgiveness is a commandment for Christians (Matthew 6:14-15); yet, there is a lot of misunderstanding on how to forgive. This Christian relationship help gives you six tips on how to forgive someone who has hurt you:

1. Understand that it is a process.The first step is to commit to that process. Some people erroneously suggest that someone should forgive right away when they find out about a major offense. This isn’t possible. Before you can forgive, you have to know what you are forgiving. It takes time to figure out what has happened and how it has affected your life.

2. Reflect on the facts of the situation, your reactions, and how it is affecting you. You have to count the cost in order to forgive by first recognizing how you have been affected by the offense. This way you know what you are forgiving.

3. Understand what the offender did and why it was done.This is putting yourself into the shoes of the other person. It gives you a perspective that can help you to be empathetic. Hurt people hurt people. This doesn’t mean you excuse the wrong or not hold the person appropriately accountable; it only means that you try to understand the problems the other person had that would have caused him/her to do what was done.

4. Choose to let go of the right to get revenge.You turn the person over to God and allow him to judge in his way and time (Romans 12:19). This can include allowing the person to face the legal, relational, financial and situational consequences of his/her actions; however, you need to let go of your bitterness and resentment and not take pleasure in the person’s pain and demise.

5. Treat the person with dignity and respect.You want to love your enemies and offer them a cup of cold water, as Jesus suggested (Romans 12:20); yet, you can still set boundaries to protect yourself. This requires that you take a step of faith and treat the person well. When you do it, it will help you to maintain the forgiveness and allow God to work in the person’s life.

6. Choose to no longer be defined by the offense.This is where you integrate the offense into your life as another thing that has happened that you have walked through that God has used to shape and mold you. Your identity is not: “The spouse who was abandoned,” The parent who lost his child,” or “The unloved child.” You have a different perspective that involves acceptance, forgiveness, and faith and a self-image that includes how you have been refined through your life experiences and how God is using it for good.

This Christian relationship help offers you these six tips on how to forgive someone who has hurt you. These tips will enable you to move on from the offense in a way that sets you free and pleases God.”

God Bless,
Nikki

Fall Time Fun Back at Alstede Farms, NJ

Bunnies, cows, pigs, oh my!! I was in hog-heaven this Columbus Day weekend at Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ. Not only was the scenery surrounding the Fall-Festival breath taking, but the “scene” inside the park wasn’t half-bad either! From kiddies to pumpkin fudge (who knew?), animals galore to more Pick-Your-Own activities than you could shake a honey flavored stick at!!

I don’t know about you, but fall time is my absolute favorite time of the year. The beautiful colors on the leaves changing signal that the Holidays are a-comin’ and that the layers on my clothes will be a wrappin’!! I am so thankful for the beautiful seasons that God has created, but fall and winter have always been my favorite! You can be sure I will be blogging much more during this time as it brings back my childhood memories with my family, and I love to create that here on my website.

The Hope Diary: I’ve Found Something Better

I loved acting in school plays. I remember playing in “Peter Rabbit” when I was around nine and loving the feeling of being on stage. After the performance our family had a huge dinner and I gorged myself with all of the fixings and chocolate cake, then ran to the bathroom to cry my eyes out and threw up everything that my tiny hands could possibly manage to get out. I felt ashamed and horrified of my body. I felt judged by everyone in the audience and by my family. I wanted to be perfect; I wanted to be loved and accepted.

What seemed innocent and a “quick-fix” to appease my saddened emotions as a child, turned into a journey into hell for seventeen years that just about killed me. Let me tell you, I became SO attached to my addiction, I would have rather died with it, than gotten help. Me, need help? NEVER!! The perfect never need any help!! For we ARE perfect and we just don’t need anyone telling us how to do ANYTHING…right?

Not so! Thankfully in recovery, I have learned that no one is perfect except for God, and that I was made perfect and beautiful in His sight! When I was up there on stage playing “Cottontail” in the school play, I was a character, in more ways than one. I was a rabbit, and I was also playing the in-control, charismatic, perfect girl that I wanted the audience to see. In every day life growing up and in my early and mid-twenties, I tortured myself trying to hide the absolute mess I was inside and portray a “Barbie-doll” on the outside. I really thought that my worth and value was determined by how I looked and how much I could accomplish. My “best” was my beauty, and that scale slid drastically day to day. What a hell-hole to live in!

What an incredible release and power I have from the bondage of addiction to know that my worth and value is NOT based on the weight on the scale, the height, size or shape of my body, how I look, or how others judge me. My worth and value is based on the love of God and how He has molded me into His Image!! I know that I am a Child of Him, and with Him and through Him I can do ANYTHING in this life! I never have to feel down on myself again because I know where my self-worth lies. It lies in my God. I gladly trade the self-hatred and criticism ANYDAY for acceptance and loving my imperfectness knowing that it is God Himself who wants me this way! Who am I to argue with Him? I am but a little child learning in the road of life, and when that spirit of pride wants to argue and try to know more than God, it is the very thing that can cause me to fall right back into the addictive behaviors again.

Bye, Bye eating disorder, I’ve Found Something Better!!

Modern Day Hero: Tiffany Teate: How She Dedicates Her life to Young People Lost in The Sex Trafficking Industry

Meet Tiffany Teate. She’s your normal 22 year old, intelligent, healthy young woman who just recently graduated from college by day, and is helping to save children from the sex slave industry by night. She is a shining example that when you want to help in any way you can, God will use you to do just that in greater ways than you can imagine. Here’s her story for our August 2012 “Modern Day Hero”.
1. Hi Tiffany, Please tell us about yourself, and the wonderful work you are doing helping others get set free from human sex trafficking.

“I am 22 years old, recently graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a bachelors degree in Psychology and Dance. I was born in Florida but raised in South Carolina. Growing up in the south, I learned that women were expected to behave in a certain way. I was not kean on this but played the ‘southern belle’ game with a twist. I participated in pageants and won. I was very active in serving my community and lead several youth communities. I did this not to succomb to the wealthy white old men who ran things but to have a platform, to gain a voice. I saw many corrupt leaders at a young age and I wanted to be different. I also saw women misuse their role or platform in the community. It enraged me that there was a lack of virtue in the women that young girls were looking up to. The sacredness of a woman’s body and heart have always been something precious to me. I think that is why at 17 when I heard about young girls who were being sold for sex, enslaved, and beaten at times I fell apart. I felt too young to do anything at the time except for talking about it and telling people about human trafficking. I made a vow to myself that I would devote the rest of my life to the restoration of women who have either been involved in trafficking, sexual abuse, or have never heard they are precious and beautiful in the site of their Creator. I think that God is a God of healing and restoration- I believe with Him that it is possible for there to be an end to this multi-billion dollar industry of human trafficking.”

2. How did you get started to get involved in helping to stop human sex-trafficking?

“I met the founder of Redeem the Shadows at a human trafficking awareness convention in Palm Beach in 2010. I expressed my desire to get involved, and some ideas of how to raise awareness in the local community. (Florida is the number two state for human trafficking). I did not think to hear back from him but several months later while living in Australia, he emailed me and asked if I wanted to go on a tour of the united states raising funds for Redeem the Shadows and awareness of the Sex Trade. The majority of America had no idea then in 2010 that the issue even existed, especially that it was happening in the US. We have come a long way in the past two years. Accepting the invitation to tour would mean that I would have to turn down the offer of an Australian dance company that I had just auditioned for and that I would have to drop out of college. It was not a difficult decision to make however, God made it very clear to me that this is why I was created and he would provide the way. I returned to the states, and two months later hit the road for tour.”

3. How do you help these young people to get out of it?

“The actual rescue of the girls (and sometimes boys) has to be done by police or federal agents. However ANYONE can play a part in assisting in the rescue process by being trained to identify victims, and reporting them to the human trafficking hotline. There are obstacles in the rescue process because the pimps strip the victim of their identity both legally and psychologically. They replace their driver’s license with one that has a different name and age, or if they are imported they take their passports and create new ones. They are usually drugged and brainwashed to believe their pimp is actually looking out for them. This makes it very difficult for police to identify victims, build a case, and then have the permission to take the girls out of the pimps’ hands. The rescue process looks very different in Europe in and in Asia. Their legal processes are not as regimented but more dangerous. What’s worse is the police are sometimes the customers of the pimps. Redeem the Shadows, the nonprofit I work with, works to post the hotline help number in places where prostitution is apparent. By raising awareness in the community- it educates people to identify victims and get them to the police. We work with a rehabilitation center that is the only one of its kind in the state of Florida, specifically created to restore victims human trafficking. Wings of Shelter is the rehabilitation center that is assisting us in creating more homes for victims in Florida and hopefully in the United States. They have incredulous success with the youth that have come to their home. We believe it is because they share the love of Christ with them, which is why Redeem the Shadows has partnered with them.”


4. How do you help yourself to stay safe during the process?

“As I said before, my involvement is in the awareness and the aftermath. The rescue is executed via law enforcement. However- during tour, and awareness demonstrations- it is a daily issue to keep ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually safe. The last- being the most difficult, as we have learned: when you are doing work for the Kingdom, the enemy will try to nastily intervene. We have also learned that while working for the Lord- we have protection and favor. When we are on tour- we hold each other accountable to stay in the Word both individually and as a team and to let our words to each other be uplifting always, never letting Satan have a foothold. During a demonstration at a shopping mall, we (the three girls on the team) wore signs around our neck that said “For Sale” and our rate per hour. We had tape around our mouths symbolizing that we had no voice, or choice in the matter. Our eye makeup was smudged and hair tangled to show we were mistreated and unkept. The reaction we received from the public was disarming. People, especially Americans- simply do not want to believe that children are sold for sex. I know it is tough to swallow but we can not ignore it. Edmund Burke was correct in saying that evil prevails when good people are silent. Some people stared and walked away, angry; Some laughed. Some said we should leave; some simply denied it was not true, and did not believe the statistics we put on the posters such as the average age of a child prostitute or that it happened in the United States. Eventually we were asked to leave by the police and when we did not move quick enough, we were chased by cops and escorted out of the premises. These instances take a toll on us-we want to fight for what is right but we want to do it in a manner that glorifies Christ. We will not break laws or be disrespectful but some people simply can not handle truth.
The founder, Noel Thomas, had the chance to go undercover at a brothel in Texas posing as a John (a buyer). What he saw was devastating, girls who could not have been 18 in a neglected state- just waiting for the next man to use her. Noel was able to gather information and contribute to a case that the police were in the process of assembling. He put himself at risk-but knew the Lord wanted him there.”

5. Do you tell them about the love of God in this process?

“Yes. There are a number of great non profit organizations that are raising awareness, as well as funds for the rescue and the rehabilitation of victims but I chose to work with Redeem the Shadows because I strongly believe that this atrocity can not be mended without the Power and Healing of Christ. As hard as it is not to want to avenge this injustice with the pimps, Redeem the Shadows also has a desire for the redemption of the Johns, and the Pimps. They are also people that are lost and loved by God- we want to share that Love of Christ with the offenders. We pray that God will prepare us for this- to soften our hearts towards them and give us opportunities to share. This was difficult at first for me. When I hear the stories of the young girls, their torment and pain- honestly my reaction is to hurt whoever caused it. The Lord is patient with me, and reminds me they are His, too.”

6. Please tell us one of the most touching stories so far you have encountered.

“As I am involved with the awareness aspect of this fight against trafficking, I use my gift of dance to share, or show rather- the story of a young girl sold into slavery. I think that God gave us the ability to dance when words are not enough. That is why I began dancing- When I met the lord, I fell in Love and he left me speechless. All I could do was dance. Redeem the Shadows created a worldwide event to raise awareness on November 11, 2011 (11.11.11). I decided to choreograph a show that told the story of a young girl tricked into the trade. It was emotionally daunting to perform, getting into the character of a girl who’s body is sold and used is difficult- I can not imagine the reality. Afterward, i had several people tell me that they had heard about the issue- but it was not until they saw the dance they realized the extent of the pain. I also had a young girl come up to me and confess she was sexually abused but wanted to help other girls who also have been abused. I was completely humbled to see a girl who had been violated react in such a loving way. I think dancing brings words to life, sometimes people have to see it to believe it.”

7. Please tell us any way that we can avoid being a victim, any advice for parents, or to find out any information.

“I once read an interview of a Pimp that shared his tactics for spotting his next girl. He would look for a young girl who stared at the ground while she walked and when he approached her to tell her she had pretty eyes. She would not look him in the eye. Essentially, he looked for a girl who lacked confidence and did not think she was worthy of attention; These are the easiest to convince that the Pimp could be something for her. I was shocked when I read this. I realized then, If we were empowering our girls with encouragement, and the love of Christ- I think a Pimp would find it difficult to find his next girl. So Parents, let your children know they are loved, and worthy of it. So when they walk- they walk tall. A helpful link to report suspicious behavior, identify, or for facts is www.stophumantrafficking.org

8. Do you have a website or link online where we can find out more about you?

“yes, www.tiffanyteate.blogspot.com

“Win A Date With Nikki DuBose” via Do Something! Charity

I loved raising money for a good cause, helping young people, schools AND eating good food all at the same time!
Thank you to my friends at dosomething.org, charitybuzz.com, and the Teen Choice Awards. It was a memorable experience!
God Bless,
Nikki DuBose