Good News for Recovery + Life (April 2017) How to Eat with Gusto From what I can tell thus far, the ideal way to learn how to eat with gusto is to b

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Good News for Recovery + Life (April 2017)


How to Eat with Gusto


Malti enjoys her FAVORITE treat - freeze-dried mealworms!

From what I can tell thus far, the ideal way to learn how to eat with gusto is to become a tortoise.

If you can swing becoming a South American red-footed tortoise, even better.

My nearly three-year-old red-foot girl, Malti, was born ready to eat.

I wasn't present at her birth, but I suspect she shot out of that egg so fast, mouth wide open, expecting snacks.

In other words, no one needed to acquaint her with the joys of good cuisine (although there, our opinions tend to diverge a little....or a lot).

She ate like I apparently ate....until I reached the ripe old age of two.

At that time in my young life, two very stressful events occurred: we moved and my little brother was born.

I was the firstborn, and maybe it was for that reason my mom decided to keep a journal of my early years (it is worth noting no such journal exists for my brother).

In the journal, she makes a special note that, around age two, I started to resist eating lunch and dinner.

This went on for years. Just before I turned 11, restriction briefly turned into bingeing, which as rapidly turned into peer pressure, bullying and ridicule.

The bingeing then became restriction, which led to anorexia and then bulimia and then, a full three decades later, the beginnings of my currently solid recovery.

Whew. What a ride.

Malti has outgrown all her red-footed peers - male and female. Yes, her veterinarian and my friends and me and my family laugh about her robust girth. Her vet calls her "a little meatloaf" - but here, it is said with pride and a firm "atta girl!"

Malti had a rough start in life, and it is likely thanks in large part to her keen appetite that she has emerged from that period hale and hearty after all.

In this, as in many other areas, she has become a powerful mentor to me.

When I watch her scouring the floor for treats or literally lifting her plump body up onto her hind legs to score a dangling freeze-dried mealworm (her FAVORITE snack), somewhere in the dim recesses of my own memory a two-year-old me yells, "Yay! FOOD!"

At that moment, I get a glimpse of what life might be like if I were Malti, happening across a favorite delicacy (say, cupcakes or Starbucks) and just chomping on it before it can get away.

I think it would be wonderful. :-)

With great respect and love,



Is your pet also your mentor? I can totally relate!


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Connect with Pearl, Malti, Bruce & their mommy!

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About me & my sidekicks, Pearl, Malti & Bruce

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Me. Pearl.

Hi! It is so good to meet you here each month!

To learn more about my recovery story, I invite you to read "Beating Ana: how to outsmart your eating disorder and take your life back." In this book I share all the things I did to recover.

While writing "Beating Ana," I also founded MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders nonprofit mentoring community.

My newest book, "Love & Feathers: what a palm-sized parrot has taught me about life, love, and healthy self-esteem," is co-authored with my parrot, Pearl. The book focuses on the power of animal mentors in our lives.

Malti is my baby red-foot tortoise - she is a born adventurer and a bonafide foodie and an awesome addition to our little interspecies flock. Bruce, a five-year-old Texas 3-toed box turtle, is the newest family member to join our little flock.

==> To connect with me:

==> To connect with Pearl:

==> To connect with Malti & Bruce:


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©2017 Shannon Cutts

The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else. -E.E. Cummings

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