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Depression isn’t a Joke

March 2, 2017 in Recipes

It’s Thursdayyyy!! One more day till I’m home. And three more days till I’m off to West Virginia where I will be spending my spring break on a service trip! I am SO excited guys.


This post is a tough one. It’s real and it’s raw. And it may be triggering to some, so please put yourself first. But I feel compelled to talk about it, so here we go.

Depression is not a joke. It is not just feeling sad. It is not something that should be looked lightly upon. It is a real issue. 

I don’t think I talked about it a whole lot on this blog yet. I know I have on Instagram, but not so much on here. I struggled. I struggled a whole lot towards the end of last semester. It hurt. I was shattered, I felt like I had been broken into millions of pieces and left with nothing. Depression sucked the life out of me. My relationship hurt me. I was not okay, I was not fine; even though those words became a part of my daily conversation.

The thing is, I thought I had it all last semester. I got a boyfriend, I had friends, I had this blog, I had yoga and working out, I had my family: so why was I feeling so low? I asked myself this all the time. My thoughts started to steadily decline once Halloween hit. It was as if I was walking around with a cloud over my head. And each day it felt as if the chances of the sun peaking out were slim to none.

I told my best friend how I was feeling. It’s like I knew why I was sad, but I was in such denial of it all. So I cried every single day. This became a norm for me. It was my only way to cope: crying. In the past I would have used food or exercise, but that is not a coping mechanism for me anymore. My best friend always told me, “Do you think it is your boyfriend? You were happier single!” I got frustrated with her and knew that wasn’t the case at all. I finally had a boyfriend and was in my first serious relationship. I should be happy, right??

But the thing is, I knew deep down she was right. I missed my time to myself. I didn’t feel like I was growing as a person in this relationship. I just felt sad. I felt numb. My insecurities grew, and as I began to know this person more; I realized he was not the one for me. But I couldn’t let go.

November was an extremely challenging month for me. I felt bad for the people in my life, as I just simply wasn’t myself. I wasn’t peppy or goofy, I wasn’t passionate or excited; it’s just like I was there- I was just existing. My best friend told me to journal out what I was feeling, and I knew that with each journal I was getting to the core of the issue. But I would not tell anyone what that issue was.

I need something. I’m not sure what. I need a fresh breath of air, because I feel like I’m drowning a bit. I’m doggy paddling in the largest biggest freaking waves of the cold Atlantic ocean and I’m tired of just doggy paddling, I’m tired of feeling weak. i don’t know what I need. I need something, I just need to feel. I need to feel excitement. because I’m losing that. Losing my relationship with God. Losing my invincibility. I feel like I’m losing my bliss. -Journal entry, November 17, 2016

The amount of pressure I was putting on myself to be fine was insane. I felt like a fraud. Here I was, writing a blog on mental health and eating disorder recovery; yet I was sobbing and walking around with depression on both of my shoulders. I felt guilty. Guilty for being depressed. Guilty because I had so much to be thankful for, but I could not shake this feeling.

If there is one thing I repeated to myself during this time over and over again, it was Philippians 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” In the days that I did not want to face the world. The days where I crawled back into bed after working out and stayed there for a majority of the day. The days where I sobbed and cried to my mom about how hopeless I felt. Somehow, I knew that I could get through this awful time. Because the Lord would give me the strength to do so.

“Surviving is an art that is painted across your body.”

Surviving was an art painted across my entire body from head to toe. I was not living, I was simply surviving. Getting through the days. I didn’t enjoy anything anymore. I stopped finding pleasure in writing and yoga, I stopped volunteering as much. My life was falling apart. I was watching it right before my eyes, but I did nothing to stop it.

“It’s like when someone says, ‘How are you?’ Do you say, ‘Well, my head hurts and I’m lonely and depressed and I’m worried about everything and the world is collapsing and full of evil’? Or do you say, ‘I’m fine’?”

A good 99% of the time I said I was fine when my mind was at war with each other and when I just wanted to breakdown and cry. I was fine. Of course I was fine. When my boyfriend asked how I was, when my best friends asked how I was; it was an automated response. I was just fine. And that was that.

It wasn’t until December 2, 2016 when I realized I couldn’t keep lying to people. I couldn’t keep telling them I was just fine. That night I self-harmed. And at the time, it was the only escape I felt I had. An escape from my brain, an escaping from my chaotic life. An escape from a life that I once loved and now hated. Reaching for the scissors and etching a mark into my skin was the only way I felt I could cope.

Three days later, the same thing happened. I reached for my keys because the pain felt unbearable. I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore living like this. And that day I knew I needed to make some changes in my life.

“You’ll have moments when you feel like a lion, and moments when you feel like a mouse. Just know that no matter how you feel, you still have a heartbeat and a soul worthy of love, so learn to roar even when you feel small, because you are more than the feelings you may have.”

I entered a group therapy program. Got put on a new medication, finished up school from home and ended the current relationship I was in. Found some of the root causes for why I was so depressed, and began to find the slightest bit of fight in me.

12/13/16- JOURNAL ENTRY

I FEEL SO HAPPY AND LIKE MYSELF AGAIN AND I HAVE SO MUCH HOPE!!

Things were still hard, but the pieces of my life were slowly gluing themselves back together. I thought it was the end of the world that I no longer had a boyfriend, yet I realized that this person was not making me happy. In fact, he was making me quite sad.

“It’s not normal for your boyfriend to rely on you when he doesn’t do a thing for himself. It’s not normal for your boyfriend to make fun of your passions. It’s not normal for your boyfriend to make you feel uncomfortable. It’s not normal for your boyfriend to pressure you to do ANYTHING.”

My relationship was not a normal one. It was not a happy one for me. I loved the idea of having a boyfriend, of having that relationship status on Facebook. But I did not love this person.

“At 17 or even 32, nobody is worth stressing over, like move on, leave people behind, go find yourself, the world is yours, life goes on.”

My life did move on without this person. I found my medication and group therapy to be a tremendous help for me. Being surrounded by others who truly understood what I was going through was exactly what I needed. I found my excitement about things coming back. I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me either. Life throws us obstacles and challenges, and this was one of mine. It was not a straight path getting to where I am today, in fact there were quite a bit of hiccups along the road. But I am here, I am alive and I am not simply just surviving: I am THRIVING. I have found a new love and appreciation for my independence. An appreciation for my struggles as through them I learned so much about myself. A greater love for God. I felt more certain in myself, and that I could do this. That I did have strength and fight in me.

I finally started to believe the one thing I was telling myself through this awful two and a half months: That I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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My left arm tells a story. The two ribbons are a symbol of the battle I fought with anorexia. The battle I almost lost my life to. And the 4;13 + is a symbol of how I can do all things through the Lord who gives me strength. In every obstacle thrown at me, in every mountain placed in front of me: I have God by my side. The semi-colon is a symbol for not sinking, for my life continuing even though I wanted an end to it all at times. Even though I felt so incredibly worthless and useless, I did not give in.

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you. They’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”

I am thankful for the struggles God has placed in my life. For through them, I have discovered so much about myself. I have discovered that without my struggles, I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.

If you made it to this point. THANK YOU FOR READING ALL THIS. It is long, it is a tough subject, but it is one that needs to be talked about more. So thank you for getting to this point and being so incredibly awesome. No questions, but always open to thoughts and continuing the conversation in the comments. So much love for you all. <3 

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Guest Post- Cranberry-Apple Walnut Bread

November 23, 2016 in Recipes

Hi guys! I am officially home for Thanksgiving break 🙂 So exciting to finally have some time off!

Today, my great friend Marina is sharing a recipe with y’all. And it sounds pretty amazing if you ask me! Thank you for this recipe and guest posting girl. 🙂


Cranberry-Apple Walnut Bread

Hey everyone! I am SO excited and honored to be guest-posting for Lyss today. She is such an amazing friend and woman I’m so lucky to have her in my life! We have so many things in common, especially when it comes to food.

Namely, BREAD. 😀 I mean, who doesn’t love bread right?!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of having different kinds of breads for Thanksgiving too! Wait, hold up…..that’s right, people. Thanksgiving is just a week away! It’s CRAZY!

We usually make this recipe every year at the request of me or my aunts, and we share it at the table with everyone during dinner. It’s my Mom’s famous Cranberry-Apple Walnut Bread! With the tart and plump cranberries, sweet apples, and crunchy walnuts, this bread is the perfect combination of your favorite fall flavors! Don’t forget the cinnamon…

Since this bread is so easy and delicious, I knew I had to share the recipe with you all today. There’s no way I was keeping this a secret!

Here are a couple tips:

  • You can use any apple you like, but I used 2 very large McIntosh apples because they’re easy to chop and cook beautifully! This is mostly a dinner bread in my family, along with some pumpkin bread, which both aren’t too sweet for the savory dinner.
  • Do NOT use whole walnuts for the bread, make sure you buy them already chopped or roughly chop them before you mix them in. Nobody wants to be choking on a walnut while they’re trying to enjoy their mashed potatoes. Bottom line: chopped walnuts!
  • If you’re using frozen cranberries, make sure they’re slightly thawed before putting them in the bread. It makes them easier to stir and won’t turn the batter red.
  • Finally, add that FULL teaspoon of cinnamon, it enhances every flavor in the bread and is the father of all spices when it comes to baking!

Ready to get baking? Let’s go! 🙂

Cranberry-Apple Walnut Bread

Author: A Dancer’s Live-It

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 60 mins

Total time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 12

With the tart and plump cranberries, sweet apples, and crunchy walnuts, this bread is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table!

Ingredients

  • Wet:
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped apple (2 big apples)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1 egg
  • Dry:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, slightly thawed)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and grease a loaf pan with PAM and set aside. (I used a 9×5 loaf pan, but I’m sure you can use an 8×4).
  2. Combine apples, sugar, and oil in a medium mixing bowl. Add in egg, mixing well.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate large mixing bowl. Add apple mixture, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moist.
  4. Stir in cranberries and walnuts. Spread batter evenly in loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. ENJOY!

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Look at the gorgeousness…

Funny story, we’re actually not making this kind of bread this year, but I hope you all get to try it!

Thank you again to beautiful Lyss for having me, happy cooking everyone, and enjoy the rest of your day! 🙂

Be well,
Marina


Now tell me: 

Favorite bread?

Are you a fan of baking? 

Happy Wednesday friends 🙂 Have a good one!

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Homemade acai bowl

June 22, 2016 in Recipes / Yummy Eats

Hi guys and happy Wednesday! I got a recipe for ya: say what?! Yeah I’m not a recipe connoisseur by any means, and I give so many of you huge props for being able to experiment and create in the kitchen: maybe with time I’ll learn to be more like that! Who knows hehe.

Anywho, I’m going to be sharing a simple yet delicious recipe I’ve been loving lately.

Acai bowls– I’m in love with them. I would get one from this local place more often, but my wallet wouldn’t be too happy with me. So homemade is the trick!

Here’s what you need: 

-1 Sambazon acai pack (I found these at Whole Foods!)

-1 frozen banana

-1/2 cup frozen mango

-1/3 cup strawberries

-1/3 cup almond milk

-1/2 cup water

~Blend

~Put into bowl

~Cut a few strawberries for the top. Top with granola, chia seeds, and hemp hearts for a nice authentic-like acai bowl.

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What I love about this? It’s nice and thick and super fruity: with granola and the chia seeds + hemp hearts, it makes the perfect breakfast! Just like an acai bowl, without having to pay the 9 bucks!

Now tell me: 

Are you a fan of acai bowls? 

Do you like experimenting in the kitchen and creating new recipes? 

Have a great Wednesday!

Sending my love as always.

Xoxo

Lyss<3

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How do ya smoothie bowl?!

April 21, 2016 in Recipes / Yummy Eats

Hi guys and happy Thursday!! Hope you are having a great week- it is almost Friday! I posted a recipe a few weeks back and you guys said you would like to see more, so here are my go-to smoothie bowl recipes. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

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Berry Banana Smoothie Bowl 

~1/2 cup greek yogurt

~1/2 cup almond milk

~12 scoop Vega One French Vanilla protein powder

~1 frozen banana

~1 handful blueberries

~1 handful raspberries

~I handful blackberries

~Handful of spinach

~A few ice cubes

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With toppings, smoothie bowls make the perfect breakfast. I love the peanut butter cocoa whole foods brand cereal and hemp hearts for toppings!

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Tropical Fruit Smoothie Bowl 

~1/2 cup greek yogurt

~1/2 cup almond milk

~1 frozen banana

~1 handful pineapple

~1 handful mango

~1 handful strawberries

~1 handful spinach

~A few ice cubes

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I topped this one with hemp hearts, shredded coconut, and love grown chocolate crispy cereal.

Some other toppings I love are granola, chia seeds, or really any type of cereal! Love Grown chocolate o’s, snackimal cereal, or puffins are some of my favorites for smoothie bowl toppings.

Hope you guys enjoyed these recipes! Pretty simple, but they are delishhhh 🙂

Now tell me: 

Favorite smoothie combo? 

Are you a fan of smoothie bowls? 

Do you like chia seeds? 

Have a great Thursday guys! Sending you all my love,

Xoxo

Lyss<3

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“Waffle on!”

March 30, 2016 in Recipes / Yummy Eats

Hi guys and happy Wednesday! Half way through the week already! Woop wooop 🙂

Today, I’m actually going to be sharing a recipe with you guys… omg ik, crazy right?! I never post recipes on here but I just had to share this one with you because it’s so freakin good.

PROTEIN WAFFLES

Say whaaaat?!??!?

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“You should eat a waffle. You can’t be sad if you eat a waffle.”

An excellent motto to live by, which is why I just gotta share this recipe with you… duhhhh!

Protein waffles

-1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp oat flour

-1/2 scoop protein powder of choice (I love Vega One french vanilla and chocolate sun warrior protein powder the best!)

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-Stevia packet

Mix and stir in liquid ingredients

-1/3 cup egg whites

-Few drops of vanilla extract

-1 tbsp greek yogurt

-Enough almond milk to thin out batter (about 1/4 a cup)

Stir all the ingredients together, get out your waffle maker, spray that bad boy with some pam so your waffle doesn’t stick to it cuz boy would that be tragic. Dump that batter on the waffle maker, and wait till it’s finished!!

And top it with whatever your big heart desires.

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You could top your chocolate protein waffle with a banana, PB Crave cookie nookie peanut butter, and cinnamon like me. And your taste buds would be in legit heaven. 

OR

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You could top your vanilla protein waffle with banana, cinnamon, and Earth Balance crunchy coconut peanut butter. And have it with coffee of course to make for the most perfect breakfast everrr.

But you could also top your waffle with agave, honey, greek yogurt, berries, whipped cream, maple syrup, butter, nutella, cookie butter, cool whip, cashew butter, chocolate chips, almond butter… all that good stuff. The possibilities are ENDLESS!

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We have to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. But work has to come third.” 

Leslie Knope knows what’s up.

This recipe is super simple and always tastes amazing!! Def recommend it to you all. 🙂

That’s it for today, now you tell me:

More recipe or less recipe posts?

Your favorite waffle topping is _? 

Have a great Wednesday friends! <3

Sending my love as always.

Xoxo

Lyss<3

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