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.Read More »
As was discussed in the previous post, getting back into the driver’s seat with binge behaviour is about changing how we choose to relate to our binges; it’s also about creating a space for things to be different. Here is a simple but really powerful technique to empower yourself in the face of a binge. To employ it, you need to take a few minutes in a safe (non-binge) mindset and space. It’s something I did many times in my own therapy, and only recently did I realize that it’s a therapeutic technique called “The Miracle Question” (or some form thereof)—developed by a chappie named Steve de Shazer. The basic premise of the question is to ask “How would your life look if you didn’t have X problem?” (To read more about its use in a therapeutic setting, go here.) The idea behind this question is to shake up our perspective from what can be an all-consuming preoccupation to a mindset of hope and possibility.
So are you ready? Take a pen and paper and explore the following: If by some miracle you could wake up tomorrow and be free from binge eating, what would be different about your life? What would be better? Take some time to visualize a day in that life, from how you feel when you wake up in the morning to how you spend your evenings. Write it out in as much detail as possible. How are you feeling in these moments? Light? Joyful? Attractive? A sense of peace or calm? Sexy? Energetic? Feel these things in your body as you close your eyes. Breathe into these feelings. Take a few moments to breathe into this life and connect with these sensations: this is your life without the binges.
We can also take this question to the pre-binge moment, when you have the choice to go down binge- road or not: “If by some miracle, I could magically bypass this binge, what does that look like? Where are you? What do you choose to do instead? Would you be in your favourite pair of PJs cuddled up on your couch with a good book? Would you be doing some stretches or deep breathing on your yoga mat? Having a phone call with a good friend? Taking a bubble bath? How does THAT feel? Do you feel empowered? Nurtured? Visualize in as much detail your ideal binge bypass scenario, the one that feels loving and safe and nurturing.
At first it might be really difficult to visualize how life might feel without bingeing, but these questions help us to conceive that it’s possible. To even just consider an alternative plants a seed in your mind that there could be another way—a different outcome, a different reality. If you can spend time in the feeling created by this visualization for just five minutes a day, you can call it back to mind when that binge seems inevitable and insurmountable, and you will remember that you have a choice. The more often we experience feeling good in our bodies, the harder it is to disconnect and go to that self-destructive place. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel that way. What matters is that you know that you CAN feel that way, that IT IS possible and that the CHOICE rests with you! When we pave the way mentally then, the next time a binge beckons, we might consider bypassing the binge and going straight for the self-nurturing good stuff.
Did someone say good stuff? I have been blissing out on some amazing food lately, and no exception was this recipe—a perfect addition to a tapas-style meal with some good friends. AND, almond cheeze is a wonder in and of itself in that there are so many delicious by-products that occur from making it. It’s a truly delicious process (and be warned, it is a process!) from start to finish!
- 2 cups almonds
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp herbamare or sea salt
- ½ tsp of garlic powder
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ cup water
- 3-4 probiotic capsules
- Garnish- Parsley, wedge of lemon
Soak almonds in water overnight. Blend in a high powered blender and strain through a nut bag or cheese cloth, leaving some moisture in the almonds. Set the “milk” aside for another use (Delicious Byproduct #1). Add the remaining ingredients to the pulverized almonds with the exception of the probiotic capsules. Blend again and squeeze out the excess moisture (if using as a spread, you will want it a bit moist). For a crumbly feta, squeeze as much moisture out as possible! (Delicious Byproduct #2 – this will be a thick cream, delicious served over steam veggies or yam wedges). Break open the probiotic capsules and mix the contents into your cheeze. Place in a glass jar to begin the culturing process. Allow to sit in a warm dark place for 24 hours. When done, squeeze out any excess moisture using a cheese cloth or nut bag and store in the fridge (for spread consistency). For feta consistency, bake for 30-45 min at 350 until top is cracked and edges have browned. Serve as a spread on crackers, crumbled into salads, as a dip, in wraps or sandwiches, etc. or serve it up all fancy on marinated raw beet slices (proceed as follows).
- 2 medium beets
- ¼ cup balsamic
- ½ cup flax or olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
Combine everything but the beets in a shallow baking dish. Wash the beets thoroughly and slice thinly using a mandolin or sharp knife. Place in the marinade and marinate for 6 or more hours. To serve, spread a nice thick slather of almond cheese on top of each medallion, garnish with parsley and a squeeze of lemon and serve on a nice plate to wow your guests.