Two years ago Nicola Davis would never have thought she would be enjoying the meals her family tucked into. The teenager had begun starving herself and exercising frequently and quickly lost over two stone to become dangerously underweight.
Nicola survived on extremely low calories, which saw her weight drop to 6 stone. She continued to put together tasty dishes for her family but wouldn’t eat any of them herself.
But the good news is that the 19-year-old is now in recovery and she credits the healthy recipes she made with helping her get there.
The Wiltshire teenager recently shared an Instagram image showing how much her appearance has changed in the last two years. Back then she was thin, she says, but that meant she was also “lonely, tired, weak, miserable, pain, numb, starving, moody, unstable and just plain old sad. (sic)” In the righthand image she clearly looks healthier but she also looks so much happier.
Nicola’s Instagram feed is also packed with pictures of the nutritious, delicious meals she whips up to ensure her recovery stays on track.
Nicola says she never counts calories any more and has published a book of the recipes that helped her get back to a healthy weight, all cooked from scratch.
“Making the cookbook really pushed me towards recovery,” she told MailOnline. “I didn’t put a single recipe in there that I wouldn’t eat myself. I had been baking all the time and was coming up with loads of recipes for fun, but I didn’t actually eat any of them. It wasn’t until I had been doing it for a couple of months that it got to the point where I felt it was a bit harsh that I wasn’t allowing myself to eat anything I was making.
“One of the first things I let myself eat was apple cake, which I made with healthy ingredients, after my family went absolutely crazy for it.”
Nicola, who has also struggled with depression, said there is a huge gap in the market for her cookbook as most recipe books simply promote dieting. “I never had anything physical to help me,” she said of her recovery process. “I went to therapy and I had doctors and things like that, but there was nothing I could really relate to. I want this book to be a resource that people can go to and engage with. It was written by a young person like them, who has been through what they are going through.”
Recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks have been designed to be “easy to make, non-threatening and visually appealing,” says Nicola on her website.
“Every recipe can also be easily adjusted to suit your comfort level, using a step-by-step guide, altering ingredients or quantities to ease you gently into recovery at your own pace,” she adds.
Eating disorder charity Beat will receive 10 percent of the profits from the sale of the book. Contact Beat for help, information and support if you are affected by eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight and shape.