Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

A Cookbook for People with Eating Disorders?

Eating disorder recovery is about regaining a normalized, balanced relationship with food—but not just food. It is also important to develop healthy attitudes toward the more social aspects of food preparation and eating. That is something that Francesca Baker understands well. Baker, a writer who lives in the UK, is in eating disorder recovery herself. She knows first-hand how tough it is to develop a healthy relationship with the act of eating, and she has authored her very own cookbook, Eating & Living: Recipes for Recovery, that tackles these challenges head-on. The idea of this book came from Baker’s own experience talking to the patients in an inpatient treatment facility. “Quite often, people really love food and really miss food, especially when your body starves,” she notes. “We were talking quite a lot about food because you have to eat six times a day," she says, "You're kind of [thinking] 'I really miss this.' And, we found ourselves talking about the things we really liked and wanted to be able to cook again.” So she crowd sourced some recipe ideas for a cookbook. The menu items included in the book emphasize balance and nutrition, as well as the joy of cooking. Moreover, each recipe comes with a personal meditation about healing, recovery, self-love, and starting over. We at Castlewood love this idea, because we understand that recovery is not just about food, but also about the experience of cooking and eating. That is why experiential therapies are so important to our treatment process—including:
  • Eating independently
  • Eating with a group
  • Meal planning
  • Cooking independently
  • Cooking in a group setting
  • Binge exposures
  • And more
We are happy to see efforts being made to emphasize a balanced approach to nutrition and to eating—and are proud of the role we get to play here too. What’s your take on this cookbook project? Let us know!