Ever feel like you are being followed around by a hungry, stray cat and the more you ignore it, the louder its cries of distress become? Okay, maybe not exactly – but stay with me. It’s cries become so aggravating that the issue soon becomes about avoiding the cat, rather than simply figuring out what it needs! Starting to sound familiar? Where I’m going with this is that feelings and food are kind of similar – think of feelings as the crying kitty and food as the avoidance strategy. Pretty soon, the issue becomes about the food (and the related behaviours – binge, purge, restrict, preoccupation) rather than the initial feelings that started the whole thing. The more you ignore them, the louder they get, and the more you turn to your food “things” to drown them out.
So, here’s a little exercise, which, if you are like me, you might feel a little resistance to because it’s going to take you to that place that you’ve put so much time and energy into avoiding! But just try it. This is especially helpful to do post-binge or anytime when you feel like your food is running the show. You will need a timer, loose comfortable clothing, and a place to sit where you won’t be disturbed. I sat on the edge of the bathtub after my morning shower.
Set your timer for five minutes. Close your eyes. And breathe.
That’s all there is to it! Chances are this will bring up some emotion. You might cry or whimper. Whatever your experience, just be with it. Feel connected to your SELF.
When the time goes off at the end of the five minutes, you can either call it a day, or set it for a few MORE minutes. That’s right. When I did this, I wanted MORE! Connecting felt so good, I wanted to stay in that place for longer. Or, the feelings may be so intense that five minutes is all you can handle. That’s fine. That’s why the timer is so important. It gives our feelings a safe container so they don’t take over and it gives us permission to feel them.
Imagine doing this every day, checking in. If you’ve already compiled a mental list of why you can’t take these five minutes for yourself, I assure you, YOU CAN. And after awhile, I bet that cat’s wailing will subside. I bet your food will calm down too.
I was at a vegetarian potluck last week, and one girl brought these delightful little balls of wholesome goodness – similar to the ones you can find in raw food or health stores for $2 a piece! I’ve been searching for the secret recipe to make these at home for a very long time, and when I bit into one of these, I knew I had found it. And yes, at first glance they may resemble the equally delicious Power Snacks, but these aren’t as sweet, and the tahini in them creates a taste and texture that is truly unique. Plus, there are no grains involved, just straight-up seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Go on. You know you want to.
Ariel’s Tahini Peanut Butter Bliss Balls
Makes 15 (or so)
½ c tahini
¾ c peanut butter
1/3 c honey or agave would work
¼ c cocoa powder
¾ c sesame seeds
½ c coconut
¾ c sunflower seeds
¼ c raisins
Combine tahini, pb, honey, and cocoa. Add seeds, coconut, and raisins. Form into balls, place on cookie sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes.