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Inviting Discomfort (& dill pickle kale chips)

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Food can be a pretty all-consuming aspect of our worlds—being preoccupied with food and eating is a safe place to hang out. It’s familiar and predictable, and it never challenges us to be uncomfortable in other ways. At least when we eat, we can control the discomfort, right? And you can’t tell me eating a whole box of cookies isn’t uncomfortable (hello buffet pants!)!  Are there ways other than food we can use to control discomfort? For example, when we put ourselves out there or take a risk, it’s new territory—new and UNCOMFORTABLE territory. It takes us out of that insular and isolating world of our eating disorder and makes us reflect on how we want to show up in the world. If there’s one skill that emotional eating (and yoga) has taught me, it’s how to recognize and tolerate discomfort.

Think of it this way. We already have the ability to tolerate discomfort, albeit in a specific way. When we turn to food, we swap emotional discomfort for physical discomfort. We can build our tolerance for discomfort by playing around with being uncomfortable in other ways, ways that we get to control and moderate. You could start small and maybe go by yourself to a place you’ve never been before. Or maybe challenge yourself to pay a compliment to a stranger. Maybe take a class in something you’ve always wanted to try or hold a difficult yoga pose for longer than you normally would. We can also invite discomfort by making different choices, setting boundaries, or leaving jobs or relationships that don’t feel good for us. Whatever your level of comfort with discomfort, I challenge you to challenge yourself in whatever way big or small. Where will you invite discomfort?

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Dill Pickle Kale Chips

It’s picnic season and nothing makes a picnic like dill pickle chips. Are you with me? So why not combine the dill pickle nostalgia with kale, everyone’s favourite (okay, mine…) leafy green. Kale chips are the perfect tag-along picnic food. I used my dehydrator to make these but you could easily do this in your oven at a low temperature over an hour or two. The coating for these chips is inspired by the creamy dill potato salad dressing from Oh She Glows Cookbook (p. 107). Enjoy!

  • 2 bunches of kale (black or green), washed, de-stemmed and torn into pieces (about 6-8 cups)
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tbsp dill pickle brine
  • 1 cup fresh dill
  • 1 green onion
  • Lemon juice from one lemon
  • ¼ tsp salt or to taste
  • Pepper

Blend ingredients together. Add a touch of water to thin if needed to blend, but try to keep as thick as possible. In a large bowl, mix kale and sauce until kale is well coated. Spread out evenly on your dehydrator sheets and dehydrate on highest setting overnight.

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