I've been noticing lately that similar themes have been popping up in my life, my sessions with clients and my conversations with strangers. Perhaps the universe has plans, or perhaps the energy of the whole world is converging in funny ways that cause many of us to experience the same things at the same time.
I love synchronicity and really anything that makes the world feel a little smaller and more connected.
Of late, the recurring theme has been an inability to feel full: an unsettledness that causes us to eat more than we need, to not feel able to stop eating once we've started or to feel drawn to foods we know we'd rather avoid.
When this happens, there can be a number of explanations. Nutrient deficiency, a lack of protein, too much sugar, dehydration, fatigue... or, most often, a need to feel something other than what we're feeling right now.
Food - in a lot of ways - can be connected to comfort. If you think back to your infancy, feeding often had more layers than just being the antidote to hunger. It was calming, quieting, reassuring... And there's nothing wrong with that! We are wired to want food, to enjoy it, to feel comforted by it.
When this becomes tricky is when we no longer feel in control of our eating. We learn this out-of-control feeling, this uber-association, if you will, with food bringing calmness when nothing else will. In fact, if unchecked, we can learn to associate all negative states of being with food: Tired? Eat. Bored? Eat. Irritated by someone at work? Eat. See where this is going?
I'd guess that it's no coincidence it's cropping up for so many at this time of year. This can be a chaotic time of year. No wonder our little brains are going 'just eat! eating is easy! eating is calm! you'll feel better! comfort! quiet! yay!'.
And then before you know it, you've eaten all of the week's leftovers in one sitting without really tasting anything or knowing how you did it.
Know that there is nothing wrong with feeling joy from food. In fact, please feel joy from your food! If it's not joyful, it shouldn't be coming into your body. Just do notice those moments that feel like they're beyond the place of joy and tiptoeing into the realm of control, fear, anxiety, calmness... the line is fine, so it's worth noticing for yourself when eating turns into a mechanism of avoidance.
Sound good? Comment below if this sounds like it's familiar. Using food to control your circumstances, quiet your anxiety or inject some joy into unpleasantness isn't abnormal, believe me! Just know that you have options when it comes to finding more joy - and less guilt - in your food, and finding alternative ways to tackle those situations when they arrive. (For more, check out the Rewire Your Food Brain e-Course, or send me a note. This is my favorite stuff to talk about.)
Alrighty, so now that we're paying attention to the food/comfort continuum, let's play with a recipe that is both super nourishing AND super satisfying... it hits all of those nice chill-out spots in the brain (nutrients! creaminess! flavor!) and it so simple to make, you'll be extra impressed with how good of a cook you are and issue some immediate high fives to your bad self.
Blended soup. With avocado. And carrots. And ginger, because it's good for you and it tastes wonderful.
So simple (with an option to make it more complicated if you'd like).
Toss your ingredients in the blender. Blend. Put them in a bowl. Eat them. Feel like you've done something rad for yourself (because you have).
If you're into making it a little more complicated: juice your carrots instead of blending, separating the pulp out. (Perhaps use it in something else, like this Peanut Butter Carrot Cake for your dog!) Then combine juice and all other ingredients in the blender.
This will keep for a few days in the fridge and is so tremendously nourishing, with just enough sweetness from the carrots, that you could have it for breakfast and feel like you're having a smoothie. Good days - and awesome food choices later on! - start with good choices first thing.
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (or ~1 1/2 cups fresh carrot juice)
- 1 nicely ripened avocado
- 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional
- Combine everything in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth. Top with seeds, if using, and serve.