December 28, 2015

My highlights of style in 2015

Before 2016 rings in, I want to mention a few of my favourite style trends to emerge in 2015. Style is something that constantly evolves and changes as life transpires. Some of my inspirational stylists this year were beauty vloggers like Chloe Morello and Rachael Brook, and sydney trend setters posting instagram shots with lush layouts of fashion, accessories and beauty products.

Of course Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Elle remain constant sources of influence, largely because they dedicatedly present fashion houses collections and keep us informed in all we need to know. Travelling to Europe this year also meant I could see designer collections first hand and see the trends first in the Northern hemisphere, knowing what I could expect to hit down under later that year.

Last but not least, what my friends do with their fashion and accessory choices always inspire me, as well as women I spot in my daily life. I admittedly check out women much more than I do men. People watching gives me some of my greatest style thoughts.

Here is three trends I will be taking through to the new year.

Ear Cuffs

Not brave enough to pierce my ears beyond the school girl pearls in each ear, ear cuffs allowed me to experiment with jewellery not usually for those less adventurous types. Ear cuffs come in all different sizes and placements with different stones, metals and designs. Ornate ones create a dramatic effect and small dainty pieces dress up a simple ensemble.

Rachael Brook - Ear Cuff Amber Sceats
My ear cuff from Mimco
Chloe Morello

Reflective sunglasses

Straight off the runway, the latest trend in sunglass wear in high gloss reflective pieces that will make a statement. Aviator shape, bright colours, loud styles and bold metals, this trend isn't subtle.

Mini Cross Body Bags


Long strap or petite handles.

Structured and super cute. May contain studs, tassels or buckles.

THE bag trend of 2015 and it's here to stay.

What trend got you excited this year?

December 21, 2015

Sweet omelette - protein packed paleo breakfast option

Sweet Omelette


  • 1 egg and 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons of almond or hazelnut meal
  • a few chopped pecan
  • 1/2 scoop of protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons of stevia or date sugar
  • spray coconut oil
  • sugar-free pancake syrup or maple syrup to serve

  1. Whisk the eggs together and add in the nut meal, pecans, protein powder and sugar. Mix until combined.
  2. Heat a small saucepan and coat with coconut oil. Once it is hot, add in the omelette mix.
  3. Cook for a few minutes before flipping one side over to fold the omelette. Turn the heat on low and cook for a few more minutes until the egg is set.
  4. Flip onto a plate and serve with syrup.

December 20, 2015

Healthy Christmas Treats - Paleo Rum Balls

Healthy Rum Balls

  • 150g raw almonds
  • 80grams almond meal
  • ½ cup of desiccated coconut 
  • 2 scoops vanilla Sun Warrior Protein/ protein powder (you can omit this if you want)
  • A dash of vanilla essence
  • One shot of rum (you can omit if you don't want the alcohol!) 
  • 2 cups of loosely packed medjool dates, soaked
  • Water from soaked dates
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder

For Mixing through/ coating balls:
  • Loving Earth Deluxe Bukinis
  • Cacao nibs
  • More desiccated coconut

  1. Firstly, soak the dates in hot/boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes - this is particularly necessary if you buy the sealed packet in the baking section and not fresh dates as they are more dry.
  2. Place almonds, almond meal, cacao powder, cinnamon, coconut and protein powder in a blender or food processor or blender and mix until the almonds are crumbly.
  3. Add the dates and the rum if you are using. Slowly add drained water until the mixture starts to come together. Stop adding water when you reach your desired consistency. 
  4. Mix through cacao nibs and bukinis 
  5. Roll into small balls and coat in desiccated coconut 
  6. Store in the fridge – Makes around 20-25 balls
(Paleo, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

December 07, 2015

Hot Yoga: Sweating your way to Success

I braved my fears and took a hot yoga class last weekend. Let's face it, yoga on a good day can be challenging enough but trying to pose and breathe in a balmy 37 - 40 degree studio can be down right impossible!

The room felt like a hot day in Singapore, when the air is thick with steam and the heat promises an afternoon rain storm. I dressed in appropriate sweat-proof yoga gear; something that would absorb moisture but not show any evidence of the impending sweat session. I once wore light purple tights to the gym once and it was not a pretty sight.

Strangely you get used to the warmth in a way that never seems to happen in the real world. As we went through a series of poses and stretches, I forgot about the temperature all together. We were all sweating but the air is so warm you can barely feel the wetness on your skin. Holding poses is a bit tricky when you are drenched in sweat; you can't hold on to your own limbs as they slip from your grasp. Downward dogs can be face plants and your palms slide around on the mat.

I thought I would only make it to 60 minutes but as the instructor finished the class at 90 minutes I couldn't believe how fast the time had gone despite the challenging nature of the class. It was a refreshing and energising way to start the morning.

More about Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is also called Bikram yoga. It can burn as much as 2500kj in one sweaty session. The 90-minute workout is scientifically designed to systematically work every part of the body – from massaging the internal organs, flushing out the cardiovascular system and stimulating the endocrine and nervous systems, to toning and stretching a range of ligaments and muscles in the body.

Not only are the health benefits plentiful and the warmth of the environment a welcomed bonus from the numbing cold outside, it can also help protect you from catching a nasty cold or flu. Studies show the raised temperature in the room and the sequence of poses can assist in stimulating the thymus gland which improves T-cell function and the proper functioning of your immune system.

Even if you take it easy, Bikram yoga is not for everyone. It isn't recommended for pregnant women in their second to third trimester, unless experienced. Bikram Yoga can be practiced by all age groups, young and old. Though if you have concerns or other medical conditions like high blood pressure or a heart problems, it's recommended you get the go-ahead from your doctor first.

You also need to double your water intake (about four liters) to compensate for fluids lost through perspiration in class.

Avoid eating two hours before class and hold off on drinking more than a glass or two of alcohol that day as it dehydrates. And don't be afraid to show a little skin: wear light stretchy workout gear and leave the tracky pants and heavy t-shirts in the locker room.

November 10, 2015

Cryotherapy - Gigi Hadid's pre-Victoria's Secret prep!

Forgot the sauna, the next extreme temperature to endure in the name of beauty is ice cold! A part of elite sports star regimes, celebrities and Park Avenue princesses, cryotherapy involves locking your body in freezing temperatures to stimulate blood circulation. 

According to Karl Benn, manager of the Cryolab in Sydney, Australia, after just one treatment a patient’s white blood cells increase four-fold and they’ll have burned hundreds of calories while inside the cryopod. Sounds easy?

This alternative health treatment originated in Japan, and is popular in Europe and the United States. The cryotherapy process involves exposure to cold, dry air for up to three minutes. Nitrogen gas chilled to below 150 degrees shocks the body by revving up blood circulation and stimulating the immune system.

In the weeks leading up to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (which just took place today), a little out-of-the-box beauty prep is to be expected. Gigi Hadid used cryotherapy as part of her preparation routine to ensure her body was looking it's absolute best. 

"I did cryotherapy yesterday, which is freezing-cold, but it's really good for blood circulation. And, you know, after having two workouts a day for a week, it's really good for healing your muscles and feeling fresh and having good energy," she tells Refinery29 backstage. 

"I did it once before, and my mom does it a lot. I wanted to do it before the show, and it’s great," Hadid says.

During the three-minute sessions, clients are placed in a 1.8m tubular machine pumping out air hovering between an icy minus 120 and minus 180 degrees Celcius. It’s the treatment du jour for people who want to boost their metabolism, loosen their muscles, flatten their stomachs, reduce cellulite and allegedly burn up to 3350 kilojoules without moving a muscle.

Science says these machines can reduce inflammation in the body but are not miracle calorie torches or a quick way to lose weight. 

The cooling of the body has an anti-inflammatory benefit,” says Park Avenue plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Levine. “But cryotherapy as you’re talking about it, is akin to a medical fad,” he says, pointing fingers at the industry’s claims that a person can burn hundreds of calories during one speedy session.

“If there was a way to burn 800 calories in three minutes it would be a whole lot more popular than it is,” says Levine, “and a whole lot more than the $90 that they’re charging for it.”

Would you try it or have before? 

November 09, 2015

Banana Bread - Skinny, Vegan and Gluten-free options

The perfect recipe to use those overripe bananas in. 

- 4 very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of stevia or white sugar
- 1/2 cup of milk of your choice
- 1/2 cup of macadamia oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 egg or egg replacer
- 1 1/2 cup of self-raising flour or gf alternative
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- slivered raw almonds 

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare a loaf tin by coating in oil (or use a silicone non-stick pan).
2. Mash together the bananas and add in the sugars, milk, egg and oil, mix together well.
3. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and ginger. Combine with wet ingredients but take care to not over mix or beat to keep the cake light.
4. Pour mixture into a loaf or cake tin. Top with sprinkled coconut or brown sugar and the sliced almonds.
5. Bake for 1 hour until cooked through the middle.
* This recipe also makes delicious banana muffins. Put the mixture into muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes at the same temperature.

November 01, 2015

Halloween Bloody Dagger Cupcakes - gluten-free!

Bloody and gorey, these cupcakes have been stabbed to look Halloween appropriate. You could also make these cupcakes vegan if you wanted by changing the cupcake base. These cupcakes are easy to decorate and don't require a special level of cake mastery! The little daggers I purchase at Wheel and Barrow, and you could find icing decorations at speciality food stores, cake suppliers or online.


  • 1 1/4 cups (175g) Cup4Cup flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon (3.2g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (6g) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (110g) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (127g) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of butter/vegan butter
  • 3 tablespoons of strawberry jam
  • dagger fondants 


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

3. In a large bowl, combine Cup4Cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to combine.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the eggs and beat for about 10-20 seconds. Add in sugar and beat on medium for about 30 seconds. Add in vanilla & vegetable oil and mix.

5. Reduce mixer speed to low, slowly add in half of the flour mixture. Add in half the buttermilk, then the other half of the flour and combine. Then add in the rest of the buttermilk and beat until just combined. The batter will be thick.

6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Spoon batter into the lined muffin pan, filling each one about ½-way full.

7. Bake cupcakes in oven for about 12-14 minutes and until cooked through.

8. Cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

9. Beat together 4 tablespoons of vegan butter or normal butter with 1/2 cup of icing sugar to make the frosting.

10. Frost the cupcakes. Warm some jam in a small bowl and transfer to a zip lock plastic bag. Cut a small hole out of the corner of the bag and drizzle the jam onto the middle of each cupcake and around to look like droplets. Secure the dagger in the centre.

October 26, 2015

Vegan Stuffed Capsicums

It's super easy to swap meat dishes for vegetarian alternatives! 

Vegan Stuffed Capsicums 

  • 4 capsicums 
  • 1 packet of vegetarian mince
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • finely sliced mixed vegetables (I used cabbage, celery, carrot and broccoli) 
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • pitted black olives
  • nutritional yeast
  • herbs and spices to taste

  1. Stir fry your vegetables with garlic and vegetarian mince until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, olives and walnuts. Stir and leave to cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. 
  3. Cut the tops off your capsicums and take out the core. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees fan forced. 
  4.  Spoon the cooked mince into the capsicums, top with nutritional yeast flakes and put on a foil covered tray. Cover all the capsicums with a sheet of foil before putting in the oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes and serve with a side salad.

October 15, 2015

Get Glowing - The Best Highlighters

Highlighters are the jewels in anyone's make up collection and can take your look to a new level of glamour. The highlighters I will share with you leave either a subtle glow or a sparkle that lights up a room. Whatever your desired finish, these are tried and tested favourites. 

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder

A stunning baked powder that can give a subtle glow with a light touch or a glamourous sparkle dusted generously onto the cheekbones. This powder is gold based and is super fine, melting effortlessly into the skin.

Hourglass Powders in Diffused Light and Ethereal Light 

These powders are so stunning and will give your skin a glow that appears to come from within. Hourglass powders are perfect to set your make up with if you have dry skin or don't like a flat matte look. You can also use these powder as a highlighter alone to accentuate cheekbones. Diffused light is yellow-based powder which brightens the skin instantly and ethereal light is a whiter powder perfect for under the eyes.

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

Heavy-duty highlighting will ensue once you buy this powder. A bright gold colour, this one is not for the faint-hearted highlighters, leaving you shimmery and shiny like a disco ball. Naturally, I love it.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

If you are lucky enough to hunt one of these powders down (almost always sold out), it should last you a lifetime of highlighting. Similar to Mary-lou Manizer, this powder will give you a fierce shimmer and is probably best suited to those who like a bold effect. Use with a light-hand as a little will go a long way to leaving you as a glowing vision.

Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo

A mix of a silver and pink highlighter shades, this powder duo can be used mixed together to give a gorgeous glowing cheek or isolated as a highlighter and blush. I love changing up the tones of my highlighters to cool as a change from warm gold tones. Again this is another strong highlighter and will have everyone admiring your skin from afar.

Nars in Albatross 

Another cooler toned highlighter, this pearly white powder will leave cheeks glowing with every turn. Another great powder to use in the inner corner of the eyes and on the tip of the nose.

Mac Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle

This highlighter is so feminine and sparkly, leaving a glittery finish to your highlight. Not as finely milled as the other powders mentioned, this powder will a more flecked shimmer finish. A really pretty highlighter to use for parties or night events.

September 29, 2015

How To Host A Hens Party - Theming Ideas and More!

Have a theme! I chose shades of pink to keep it looking super girly

Make sure you organise stages of the night - we all went to dinner after drinks at home

Think about props! My bridesmaids organised an amazing Photo Booth

Dress up the Hen! As the hen, I got my special outfit of a flower crown and sash

Make a spread - my bridesmaids set up a beautiful gold and pink table of snacks and cupcakes 

August 12, 2015

Vegan gains: How to body build on a vegan diet

CHICAGO Bears defensive lineman David Carter maintains his 136kg frame eating a vegan diet.
The 1.96 metre tall 27-year-old has swapped his protein shakes and steak meals for an entirely plant-based diet and feels more powerful and healthy than ever before. 
Suffering with pain in his shoulder and hands, he had tendinitis and had lost feeling out of three fingers on his hand. At the time he thought dairy was the answer and he proceeded to add a series of ice cream shakes and litres of milk to his already heavy diet. Through continual health research, David stumbled along a documentary on veganism, which claimed dairy contributes to some forms of tendinitis.
“So the next day I went vegan. The first thing I ate was a bean burger and haven’t eaten meat since,” Carter told GQ.
“People ask me if I want to get a steak and I tell them I actually don’t eat that, or any meat or dairy. They’re usually thinking, ‘Wait, you’re supposed to be small and weak.’ But of course they can’t say that when they’re looking at me.”
David lost more than 18kg in the first four weeks of going vegan. He claims his strength in the weights room increased significantly almost immediately and so did his endurance and speed on the running track. The pain in his joints disappeared a few weeks later.
Despite his health improvements, David needed to increase his mass to continue as a strong force in his NFL position. The climb back to the 136 kilos was more of a challenge as a vegan.

David Carter says he’s in the best shape of his life.
David Carter says he’s in the best shape of his life. Source: Twitter
Health organisations recommend average adult men who exercise regularly consume around 3000 calories a day. Since going vegan, Carter has started aiming for 10,000 calories a day and more than 540 grams of protein. A standard day includes five sit-down meals and another four 568ml shakes, made up of cannellini beans and sunflower seeds.
He credits the diet for why he was recently signed by Chicago after being cut by Jacksonville Jaguars before the 2014 season.
GQ lists his diet as:
Oatmeal with hemp protein, bananas and berries.
568ml ounce smoothie made with cannellini beans, banana, strawberries, and spirulina.
Brown rice and black beans topped with avocado and cashew cheese.
Another 568ml smoothie.
More of the brown rice and black bean combo.
Another 568ml smoothie.
Couscous with onion and garlic, and spinach salad with bell peppers.
Another 568ml smoothie.

May 27, 2015

Kesha's Eating Disorder Battle

Kesha revealed the pressure of her career began to lead to an eating disorder. "I convinced myself that being sick, being skinny, was part of my job," the pop star writes.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs,” she recently told Vogue in an interview. “It’s been quite a journey. [With the criticism about my body], I went to a dark place.”

As a teenager with a budding pop career, Kesha sought to be different by talking about sex and drinking but felt that gender stereotypes led people to believe she was a "train wreck" rather than a rock & roll star. That's when she gave in to outside pressures.

"The music industry has set unrealistic expectations for what a body is supposed to look like, and I started becoming overly critical of my own body because of that," she wrote in Elle. "I felt like people were always lurking, trying to take pictures of me with the intention of putting them up online or printing them in magazines and making me look terrible. I became scared to go in public, or even use the Internet. I may have been paranoid but I also saw and heard enough hateful things to fuel that paranoia."

“Slowly but surely my self esteem [started to] deteriorate,” she told Vogue magazine. Although she knew that she was harming her body by not eating, she admits, “The worse it got, the more positive feedback I was getting. Inside I was really unhappy, but outside, people were like, ‘Wow, you look great.’”

"I had been abusing my body," she wrote. "I just wasn't giving it the energy it needed to keep me healthy and strong." “There was a lot of not eating – and I started to think being hungry to the point of feeling almost faint was a positive thing."

Her mother told that she watched her beautiful, self-confident, brilliant daughter be berated and ridiculed for her looks and weight to the point that she almost died. "The doctors told me her blood pressure and sodium levels were so low, they'd never seen it that low except with someone who'd had a heart attack or stroke. They said it was a miracle she hadn't already dropped dead on stage."

Shocking stories emerged of Kesha's management pressuring the star to immediately lose weight. Her mother recalled her manager saying, "You need to lose weight! I don't care what you do... Take drugs, not eat, stick your finger down your throat."

Although Kesha wrote songs like "We R Who We R" and "Warrior" that told people to love themselves, she felt like a phony. “I wanted to be genuine. But I was sad.” Upon finding the courage to accept that fact, the singer wrote that she decided to practice what she preaches.

I called my mom one night and I told her, ‘I need help.’ I went to an eating-disorder specific rehab site where a nutritionist taught me that food is a positive thing for your body,” she said. “I realized being healthy is the most important thing I can do for myself.”

In January of last year, Kesha checked herself into treatment for anorexia and bulimia. “I went to an eating-disorder specific rehab site where a nutritionist taught me that food is a positive thing for your body,” she says. "That first day at the treatment center was the scariest of my life," she wrote. For the first week, she barely spoke. "I was terrified and vulnerable."

The pop star spent two months in rehab and emerged feeling like she knew her self-worth and didn't have to worry about how others, including paparazzi, saw her. "I feel stronger now," she explained. "Strong enough to admit that I needed help and strong enough to have faced it head on.... Even I need to be reminded that we are who we are." Since her therapy, the singer admits she’s entering a new phase of self-love in her life and accepting herself.

“I’m trying to embrace the skin I’m in,” she said. “It’s difficult sometimes. Every day I have to look in the mirror and make the choice to be kind to myself. This is who I am – I have to love that.” “Part of being healthy is being positive,” she said. She doesn’t listen to the haters online, but instead tries to find peace in her life. “I run a few miles on the beach every day, and I got into Transcendental Meditation,” she told Vogue. [It reminds me] to be grateful for where I am, for my body, and my face – as imperfect as any of it may be.”

Moving forward, Kesha has transformed her look. She has removed the dollar sign from her name and lightened up on the makeup and glitter. It looks like the pop star is truly transforming inside and out. “I really wanted to make a change—be more raw and real,” she says.

May 12, 2015

A Story of Overcoming Binge Eating

Out of Control: A True Story of Binge Eating

Published: February 20, 2007

In 2007, Harvard published a survey finding that binge eating is by far the most common eating disorder, occurring in 1 in 35 adults, or 2.8 percent — almost twice the combined rate for anorexia (0.6 percent) and bulimia (1 percent).

Yet unlike the other two, binge-eating disorder is still not considered a formal diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association. I’m mystified as to why, and when you read my story you may wonder as well.

It was 1964, I was 23 and working at my first newspaper job in Minneapolis, 1,250 miles from my New York home. My love life was in disarray, my work was boring, my boss was a misogynist. And I, having been raised to associate love and happiness with food, turned to eating for solace.

Of course, I began to gain weight and, of course, I periodically went on various diets to try to lose what I’d gained, only to relapse and regain all I’d lost and then some.

My many failed attempts included the Drinking Man’s Diet, popular at the time, which at least enabled me to stay connected with my hard-partying colleagues.

Before long, desperation set in. When I found myself unable to stop eating once I’d started, I resolved not to eat during the day. Then, after work and out of sight, the bingeing began.

I learned where the few all-night mom-and-pop shops were located so I could pick up the evening’s supply on my way home from work. Then I would spend the night eating nonstop, first something sweet, then something salty, then back to sweet, and so on. A half-gallon of ice cream was only the beginning. I was capable of consuming 3,000 calories at a sitting. Many mornings I awakened to find partly chewed food still in my mouth.

And, as you might expect, because I didn’t purge (never even heard of it then), I got fatter and fatter until I had gained a third more than my normal body weight, even though I was physically active.

My despair was profound, and one night in the midst of a binge I became suicidal. I had lost control of my eating; it was controlling me, and I couldn’t go on living that way.

Fortunately, I was still rational enough to reach out for help, and at 2 a.m. I called a psychologist I knew at his home. His willingness to see me in the morning got me through the night.

Just talking about my behavior and learning from the psychologist that I was not the only person with this problem helped relieve my despair. Still, he was not able to help me stop bingeing. That was something I would have to do on my own.

I finally reached the conclusion that if I kept eating that way, the dreadful foods would end up killing me. And I knew by then that diets were a disaster, something one goes on to go off, only to regain what one has lost. So I decided that if I was going to be fat, at least I was going to be healthy.

An Eating Plan

With my then-limited knowledge of nutrition, I created an eating program for myself: three substantial meals a day with a wholesome snack between meals if I was hungry. No skipping meals allowed. I stripped my apartment of favorite binge foods, though I allowed myself one small treat a day. And I continued with my regular physical activity.

After a month of eating three big meals a day, I had lost seven pounds. And I continued to lose about two pounds a month (as my weight dropped, so did the amount of food I needed to feel satisfied) until two years later I was back to my normal weight.

As I have learned from talking with experts who treat eating disorders, the factors that precipitated my binge eating and the route I took to “cure” myself are strikingly similar to the precipitants among their binge-eating patients and the therapeutic measures used to help them.

It is important for everyone out there with this problem to know that help is available.

While binge eating without purging occurs in 2.8 percent of the adult population, it is much more prevalent, as you might expect, in obese people.

Dr. Katherine Halmi, director of the eating disorders program at the Westchester division of New York Presbyterian Hospital, says 10 percent to 15 percent of the obese population has this problem, and among those who binge without purging, almost 90 percent are obese.

Dr. Halmi, who is also a professor of psychiatry at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, said she had found dieting a frequent “proximal trigger” among people with binge-eating disorder.

Other common risk factors, Dr. Halmi said, include a “personal disaster in a person’s life, like the death of a spouse, losing one’s job, having a serious problem at work, or being left by one’s husband for another woman.”

“People soon learn that binge-eating alleviates anxiety, similar to an addiction,” she said. “There’s psychological reinforcement of the behavior because binge eating makes them feel better at the time, even though they may feel upset afterward for having eaten so much.”

Dr. B. Timothy Walsh, an eating disorders specialist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center, says that when compared with equally overweight people who do not binge, binge eaters are more troubled by anxiety and depression.

Getting Help

The main goals of therapy are abstinence from binge eating, and weight loss or weight control, said Cynthia M. Bulik, the distinguished professor of eating disorders in the psychiatry department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Walsh adds that emotional relief is another goal, and that it sometimes results from achieving the other two.

Most popular at the moment is cognitive-behavioral therapy, with or without medication. Since binge eaters have highly irregular eating habits, the behavioral aspect introduces structure to their eating behavior: regular meals, including breakfast, and an afternoon snack if needed.

Dr. Halmi said those in recovery must not go more than four hours without eating, and that their diet should include foods they like.

The cognitive aspect tries to undo the unhealthy notions people have about food and eating, like “I’ve already blown it, so I might as well eat the rest of the ice cream” or “I didn’t eat breakfast, so I can eat more at night.”

“We also help them find more appropriate responses to emotional problems, like using relaxation techniques instead of food to deal with anxiety,” Dr. Bulik said.

The cognitive-behavioral approach, while highly effective in stopping binge eating, is less effective in achieving weight loss, she said.

Thomas Wadden, director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, has found that “a behavioral weight control approach” — a structured meal plan that reduces daily intake by 500 to 700 calories but allows a couple hundred calories from foods the person likes — is effective in stopping bingeing and also helps the person lose weight.

“We see an improvement in people’s moods,” Dr. Wadden said, adding that there should also be therapy to deal with relationship issues or self-esteem, if needed.

Medication is also sometimes used with the structured eating plan. Prozac and similar antidepressants and the anticonvulsant drug Topamax have helped some patients gain control of their weight and achieve abstinence from bingeing, Dr. Bulik said, though data are lacking on long-term effectiveness.

As for me, do I still sometimes eat “out of control”? Yes, now and then.

When I feel anxious or upset, I may polish off a dozen innocent-looking cookies or a pint of low-fat ice cream. But this is nothing like it once was. And since 1967, with minor fluctuations, I have stayed at my normal weight.

March 22, 2015

Paleo and Vegan Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Adding coconut yoghurt makes these muffins decadently moist and satisfying, pleasing all crowds. Packed with nourishing ingredients high in healthy fats and muscle-building protein, this is the type of cake you can justify eating at breakfast, lunch or dinner. For a dessert treat, serve with coconut ice cream or coconut yoghurt.

Paleo and Vegan Apple Crumble Muffins


  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 3 scoops of vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal or LSA
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of coconut yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of stevia sweetener 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large apple, diced 
  • shredded coconut for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees. Spray coconut oil in a silicone muffin tin or line with patty pans.
  2. Mix all ingredients together gently, in a large bowl, until combined. 
  3. Fill each muffin hole with mixture until divided amongst 12 cups. Sprinkle with coconut.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Let cool in the pan until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.