Hello 2017! And hello to everyone who has stuck around with me for the past 2 years. It’s been a roller coaster ride. I moved from Hong Kong to Los Angeles to Atlanta and then back to Hong Kong. I traveled all over the world, started my own business, and celebrated my grandmother’s 80th birthday. I’ve grown and changed so much that it’s hard to put into words.
I’m happy to be celebrating the 2nd anniversary of A Sunshine Mission. It was my New Year’s Resolution to share my recipes as I tried and failed and tried and failed again to figure out what healthy really means to me. Thank you all for joining me on this journey, which has culminated in me finally finding my balance. I’m excited to announce A Sunshine Mission 2.0! It’s a new year and a new me.
I’ve been holding myself back from finding happiness for so long. On top of that, I haven’t been entirely honest with myself. It’s because of my supportive family, friends, and this community that I’m able to finally open up about my struggle with multiple eating disorders.
It’s an issue that is so hyped up and stigmatized, leaving many girls and women in the dark feeling alone. But I’m here to say you’re not alone. After graduating college, I lost a drastic amount of weight while studying abroad in Hong Kong. It was caused by a combination of factors. I was a super picky eater, didn’t like the food there, and felt super uncomfortable in my own skin. I’d gained a lot of weight in college as a result of eating mostly junk food and fast food, binge drinking, and not exercising. Therefore, my self-esteem was at an all-time low.
Losing weight made me feel better about myself, but the problem was I didn’t realize just how much weight I was losing. I struggled with anorexia, bulemia, and body dysmorphia which spiraled out of control. It got to the point where my friends, family, and boyfriend were seriously concerned about me. I didn’t want to hear it at the time, but I needed help.
Back track for a sec: right before leaving to study abroad in Hong Kong, I found out that I’m lactose intolerant which meant no more meals consisting of cheese quesadillas, grilled cheese, cheese dip, etc. I was basically eating everything cheese-filled, chicken nuggets, and french fries. Not the most healthy of choices.
I wasn’t always a big meat eater (besides my weakness for chicken nuggets) and couldn’t eat dairy anymore. Couple this with being in an unfamiliar country and culture and I lost myself. Which led to the disorders discussed above.
After moving back to LA, I became vegan because it seemed like the best option. However, the problem was I did so at a time when I was most vulnerable. I’d already lost a lot of weight and became obsessed with exercising. I limited myself severely: first no meat or fish, then no dairy, then no gluten, then no refined sugars, then no processed foods. I fell down the rabbit hole. I wanted to get better, but I struggled with gaining weight back.
I thought of veganism as a way for me to take control of my eating disorders, hoping it would help me get better. But it just became an excuse for me to further limit myself. I deluded myself into thinking I was happy and “healthy” when I was actually miserable.
Fast forward through two years full of struggles (which included permanently moving to Hong Kong) and here I am. Last year was significantly better for me, but still I wasn’t fully there yet. I ate my very first (sustainable, pasture-raised, free-range) egg in over 2 years on New Year’s Day and I even drank a little bit of champagne on New Year’s Eve. I am sharing this with you because I made a promise to be completely honest and transparent.
I’m no longer living by labels when it comes to food. Labelling myself made me harshly self-critical and worsened my mental health. Which is why now I like referring to myself as plant-based which is a more all-encompassing term for someone who eats primarily plant foods. I still eat a 99% plant-based diet, with an occasional egg thrown in the mix.
I’m happy to announce that I no longer struggle from an eating disorder. I feel free. I’ve made a promise to myself this year that I will love myself fully and completely. I will give my body the love and care it deserves. I will be the best version of me that I can be and share this love with those around me and the world.
I’ve sat here for hours trying to decide how to best word this. I hope sharing my story helps shine some light on the truth behind eating disorders. I also hope that it helps inspire others to openly share their stories as well. I’d like to thank Renee from Will Frolic For Food for sharing her #realdietstory which really helped me gather up the courage to share mine.
And a final note, I’m not saying anyone should or should not be vegan. I just believe that everyone is unique. You should do what feels right for YOU. It was important for me to understand that this means something different for everyone.
* Cue big exhale. Now if you’ve stuck around through all that, I’m really uber excited to share this delicious recipe for the best ever dairy-free breakfast potatoes.
Side note: If you’re wondering where I’ve been the past month, I traveled with my boyfriend’s family to Vietnam, then went home to Atlanta for Christmas, and to NYC for New Year’s. Thanks for being patient and I hope you enjoy my first recipe of 2017!
- 1 large russet potato
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt, to taste
- Cut up the russet potato into cubes.
- Add cubed potato to a pot and cover with water.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain potatoes.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add cubed potato.
- Mash gently with a fork.
- Cook for 6-7 minutes until crispy, tossing occasionally to prevent burning.
- Add salt to taste.
- Dig in!