Permission to Process (please!)

Recipe: Thanksgiving in a Bite

We are always told we must take care of ourselves first. No problem! I’ve got my morning yoga practice, I drink my healthy green smoothie, and then I run around like a chicken with its head cut off and somehow still think I will have time for emotional processing. It’s all good, after all I’m taking care of myself right? It’s really easy to go through the motions and convince ourselves we’ve got it “under control.” And it’s funny how that last one (that’s right, the one involving feeling and emotions) seems to be the first to get bumped off the “to-do” list! But isn’t that the most central part of taking care of ourselves? Tapping into our feelings and so we can then give our inner self what it needs?

Going to that “place” isn’t always the most appealing option, particularly when there’s a house in need of cleaning, a dog in need of walking, or kids in need of feeding. Even when we mentally put it on the list, the aforementioned can easily crowd out our good intentions. That’s why we need to make room for our internal space on our external schedule. Having a penciled-in time to process can be the one point of sanity and/or grounding in an otherwise tumultuous or emotionally charged day, and that often requires going beyond ourselves and reaching out to find that physical space. Sometimes we need someone or something to help us get there.

For me, that space is a yoga class. No matter how run off my feet I may feel in a day, the moment I walk into a class, sit down and come into my body, I release a huge sigh of relief as my emotions finally have a chance to surface and be released. I find a good therapist can also do that for me. Any situation that holds a space for us to process and gives us permission to release helps us to re-align with our inner selves and keep us in the flow. You’ll know you’ve found this space when you feel like you’ve come home, when you feel you are free to be who you are, as you are. What or who holds that space for you?

I found this recipe on a blog under the name “Vegan Turkey Breasts” — but this recipe is so much more than a turkey knock-off. Fall and Thanksgiving is a time for savoury: sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary – all of these herbs promise the warmth and comfort of this time of year. These patties, with a good gravy and some cranberry sauce, hit all the sweet spots of the season, minus the bird. I plan on pulling this one out at Christmas too! 

Thanksgiving in a Bite (aka Vegan Turkey Breasts)

8 oz tempeh
6 oz tofu
4 tbsp miso
1-1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut up the tempeh and tofu and blend in a food processor until crumbly and well mixed. In a small bowl, mix together the miso and mustard. Set aside.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet and fry the onion until soft (6-8 minutes). Add the sage, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tempeh-tofu mix and the miso-mustard to the pan and saute for 8-10 minutes, until starting to brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When the mixture is cool enough to touch, form into 4 patties with your hands. Brush the patties with olive oil and bake from 25-35 minutes until golden brown.

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