When I think about loss and moving through hard times, I immediately think about the power of food in the healing journey. My business was founded upon feeding my loved ones and I am constantly striving to figure out ways to feed people happier. Below are some of my top tips for using food to help heal your heart.
Food for the Soul
First off, I am not here to tell you to down green juice and smash salads from the word ‘go’. Everyone needs to go through their hardship on their own terms. The end! Some experience major loss of appetite and others eat their feelings hard. It’s pretty much one or the other, from what I’ve experienced, but both can be really hard on your system and overall wellbeing. Identifying where you are at is the first step and then setting yourself up for success is key. Not eating? Be sure to get some nutrients into your beautiful body. Even if that means eating an avocado straight up with a spoon. And water - please hydrate yourself as much as possible. Non-stop eating? Make sure that you are getting as many veggies in there as possible. Chips are delicious, but try switching them out for some hummus and rice crackers to change it up.
When it comes to eating during hardship, keep it simple - soup, smoothies, avocado toast. These are things that pop into my head when I think minimal effort. What are your go-to’s when you are too busy to care about enjoying a good meal? I like to have berries, peeled banana and dark leafy greens in the freezer at all times plus some dates and hemp hearts in the pantry so I can always make a smoothie.
If you’re up for it, this would be an excellent time to play in the kitchen. My time in the kitchen is super cathartic, it’s kind of my meditation. Focusing some energy on your wellbeing and going through the process of creating really nourishing food will send some serious endorphins to you brain.
Here is a list of some blues-busting foods:
Seek out good fats (unsaturated), omega-3 fats, zinc, tryptophan, and vitamins B & D. I think this goes without saying, but coffee, alcohol and sugar are best in moderation (or not at all) - but again, not always the most realistic. Every day is different and the best thing that you can do is tune into what your body needs and do your best to provide it.
Food and Friendship
Also, if you are going through a challenging time, please let your most nurturing friends help you. Trust me, they will jump at the opportunity to step in and help with some meal prep, pick up groceries, spoon feed you - whatever it takes! If you need space, ask them to drop things outside your door. Bottom line: you don’t need to go it alone.
I’ll leave you with this - I don’t know the exact science behind it, but I know for sure that carbs make people happy. Fucking carb load for life if that’s what feels right. My go-to when I’m going through shit is Mac and Cashew Cheese (recipe below). I will make the biggest pot and then eat it over the course of a few days, preferably under a duvet in an outfit made entirely of fleece. By the time I can see the bottom of the pot, my body is screaming for something green, so back out into the world I go. I think it’s about striking something that resembles balance and not being too hard on yourself. Take it one day at a time.
Wishing you well and sending love,
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Return of the Mac Recipe (Dairy-Free Mac + Cheese)
1-1/4 C raw cashews (raw is not necessary but if they are salted you can skip adding more)
1/2 C nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
3-1/2 C nondairy milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 C coconut oil (but any oil will do)
1/4 C light (yellow or white) miso
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 bags (16oz) macaroni pasta, cooked (I use brown rice macaroni)
1-1/2 tsp of truffle oil (I recommend it)!
A little dash of turmeric gives you that KD colour
Get the water boiling and the pasta cooking.
In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, cornstarch and oil(s). Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease heat to low-medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until cornstarch dissolves.
While the milk concoction is simmering place cashews in a large-sized bowl of the food processor and finely grind–just don’t let the cashews turn to a paste. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in spices.
With the food processor running, gradually add milk/oil mixture to cashew/nutritional yeast mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Next blend in miso and lemon juice.
Combine cashew cheese with macaroni noodles and serve.
Sometimes (pretty much always) I blend fresh basil or some tomato sauce (or both) into the food processor after the nut milk and miso go in to make it rosé. I like it best if you cook the noodles slightly al dente and then throw it in the oven with Daiya brand cheese on top and truffle salt at 350 degrees for a few minutes while cleaning up. Enjoy!
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