On almost a daily basis I announce that I am giving up sugar for good. And then my husband lovingly reminds me of the all-or-nothing tone of that declaration and to practice what I preach. If there are certain foods that are so-called problem foods for you (i.e., binge territory alert or foods that don’t agree with you) then maybe it’s time to “change up” rather than “give up” that food. Before you can start to explore a different relationship with this food, you’ll want to ask some questions about the pattern at play.
Is it an ingredient or a particular food? Is it all types of this ingredient or just certain types? For example, if it happens to be sugar, is it all forms of sugar or mostly white refined sugar? Is it a particular type of sugary product? When does the so-called problematic eating behaviour happen? Is it a certain time of day that this food sets you off? Is it a certain emotion or circumstance? When is it you want to turn to this food?
Now for the creative part. What in this food category does work for you and feels good to you? Does eating a homemade gluten free cookie sweetened with maple syrup impact you differently than a store bought cookie made with white flour and refined sugar? Maybe there’s a variation of this food that feels more safe to you. Next, consider timing and context. What would it be like to have that same cookie before you eat your lunch rather than after dinner in front of the TV? Or maybe your thing is chips. What if you had a handful of chips alongside your dinner instead of habitually eating the whole bag after dinner in front of the television? Or better yet, what about pausing before reaching for the Doritos and having a moment of mindfulness about whether those cheezy crunchy triangles are really what you need right now. Once you have a sense of the scene and you’ve played around with some ways things could look different, you can start to experiment with ways of tweaking your consumption to break the association between this type of food and [insert behaviour that isn’t working for you here].
There are small adjustments we can make that set us up to feel good, while not depriving ourselves of those foods that we enjoy/crave but tend to get out-of-hand for us. It starts with playing around with our options and changing the association our brain is making to the food and the circumstances in which we over-consume it (i.e., time of day, while doing a certain activity, when feeling a certain way, etc.). We can have our cake and eat it too in a way that works for us and feels good.
So speaking of eating chocolate pie for lunch, I did that very thing yesterday—this very slice in fact. And it was decadent and delicious and I enjoyed every bite! This recipe is simple yet fantastic, and surprisingly high in protein thanks to our friend Silken Tofu. I adapted the recipe from NamelyMarly (found here ) and included the modifications I made to it in the recipe that follows. (I was unsure about the use of figs in the crust so I mixed in some dates –however, the figginess of the crust was divine and I’d be tempted to go full fig next time!). I also love that this pie does not need to go in the freezer, which lends itself well to immediate gratification!
Chocolate Mousse Pie
- ½ cup dried figs
- ½ cup pitted dates
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 cup pecans
- Pinch of sea salt
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 package silken tofu
- 1.5 cups dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup good quality dark chocolate bar broken up (or more chocolate chips)
Combine crust ingredients in good processor until sticky. Line a pie plate with parchment and press crust into plate. Melt chocolate over double boiler. While melting, combine other ingredients in a blender and puree together. Add melted chocolate and blend through. Pour filling into crust and let set in the fridge for an hour or so. Wowza!