The Emergency Tool Kit

Sometimes things feel wonky. We feel anxiety and panic. We may not know what’s going on with us. That’s okay. We don’t need to. We just need to get through.

Think about it this way: if your boat is flooding, are you going to waste precious moments trying to figure out what caused the leak? No way! You’re going to bail water like crazy and try to stay afloat! If things are feeling crazy, and you (or your food) are feeling on the verge of spinning out of control, you need to radio for backup to keep yourself safe and on solid ground – even if you have to hold on for dear life until it passes and you get there. This post is about how to hold on.

I’ve referred to these waves before. This is when it’s important to bust out your emergency toolkit and take stock (or create one if you don’t already have one). Afterall, you wouldn’t get into the boat without a life jacket and a bailing bucket now, would you?

Your toolkit is YOUR toolkit, and it’s going to look different than mine. Think calm. Think soothing. Think comfort. What brings those things to you in a deeply nurturing way?  Here are some of the things in my 9-11 toolkit if you need some ideas of what kinds of things can go in there:

  • Bach’s Rescue Remedy (trust me on this one!)
  • Sleep (sometimes you just need to crawl under the covers and call it a day)
  • Reach out – contact a friend/therapist, someone who “gets it,” and by “it” I mean the eating stuff
  • Distraction – find a healthy NON-FOOD related activity like watching a feel-good movie or reading a fun book.
  • Long deep breathing
  • Cuddle – your sweetie, your dog, your teddybear, a pillow, whatever!
  • Pray – ask the universe, God, your higher self (whatever you believe in) for strength
  • And finally, BE KIND.

This last one is a biggy. It’s about honouring where you are at and so much more. On a side note, Geneen Roth said something really profound on the Oprah show that relates to kindness: “We somehow believe that if we hate ourselves enough, if we shame ourselves enough, we’ll end up thin, happy, peaceful people…. Somehow if I torture myself enough, I’ll end up feeling great about myself and about my life, as if hatred leads to love and torture leads to contentment.” In other words, you need to step out of the judgement and into self kindness. This means that whatever you are experiencing is okay! You give yourself permission to have the experience, and you acknowledge that YOU are okay in spite of it. This kindness is something that needs to be incorporated all the time, and not just in those moments of crazy.

If things are feeling out of control, use your toolkit. The important thing to remember is that it will pass. You’ve gotten through before, and you will get through again. Get through first! Once you’ve reached safety, then you can go back and figure out what triggered you in the first place.

And now, a recipe that will change the way you eat cookies forever. I have never read so much positive banter about a recipe yet! This recipe kept cropping up on all sorts of different vegan blog sites and after making it myself, I understand why. You will never go back to your standard chocolate chippers after this one! These make a great snack in the afternoon when you are craving something sweet, yet substantial. Thanks Dreena, you are my new vegan hero!

Super-Charge Me! Cookies

Makes 11–12 cookies. Wheat-free (using spelt flour & oats).

1 cup quick oats
2/3 cup spelt flour
1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 –1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
3–4 tbsp carob or chocolate chips (optional; or use more dried fruit, nuts, or seeds)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup flax meal (not flax seed)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp almond butter (may use cashew, peanut, hemp seed butter)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp organic canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and carob or chocolate chips, sift in baking powder, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flax meal, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet evenly space apart, and lightly flatten. Bake for 13 minutes (no longer, or they will dry out). Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute (no longer), then transfer to a cooling rack.

Recipe © copyright Dreena Burton (eat, drink & be vegan)

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