Hi there and happy Friday! Well, we made it through another week. This was a tough one, I gotta say. I’m not sure if it’s end-of-the-semester stress, holiday blues or simply hormones, but I struggled emotionally this week. I don’t always have the best coping strategies for stress, either, and overeating is certainly one of my go-to tools. I think my habit to use food for comfort goes back to early childhood and those types of things are definitely hard to replace, though not impossible.This was the stack of flashcards for my Medical Terminology final. The card on top contains the suffix for the word “pain.” Hmmmm, irony?
There are a couple of reasons why I feel like this tendency to overeat is getting better, however slowly. First of all, the scope and intensity has diminished significantly over the years. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve had an episode of binge eating, although that feeling of being out of control still exists. Also, the types of foods that I might overeat on now are much, much different than they used to be. Still, even overeating on relatively healthy foods is not a good feeling or health-promoting.
The second reason why I feel more positive about the situation because I do have a lot more healthy stress-relieving tools at my disposal including working with a professional therapist on my overall emotional health, exercising regularly and connecting socially. For these reasons, I feel that the situation is getting better for me.
I’m sharing this with you is because I know many of us struggle with overeating and this time of year can be really hard for many reasons. It can be so frustrating to know rationally that eating a whole food, plant-based diet is ideal for our health, but to feel unsatisfied emotionally by those foods, especially since so many of us tie our comfort to food. I suppose the bottom line is to recognize and learn to deal with the fact that food is not the source of our emotional comfort and to replace that feeling with a healthier understanding.
Well, okay, thanks for indulging my need to express my thoughts on that. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that eating for emotional comfort is something I struggle with. Some of the previous posts where I’ve addressed the topic are here. Also, I feel compelled to remind you that if you are struggling with your emotional health, then please do seek professional help. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and you can start by looking on this website called TherapistLocator.net which is sponsored by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
I’m so excited to share a new dish with you today that is so easy and delicious! I was inspired to try a cheese sauce made from nutritional yeast after getting my recent purchase in the mail. I can honestly say now that there is a difference in flavor between varieties of nutritional yeast and it pays to find one that you really like. My sauce only has five ingredients, yet I thought it tasted totally gourmet and elegant. Here’s what it looks like in the Vitamix before I blended it:
Saffron Cheese Sauce
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
½ cup nutritional yeast
¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
Combine ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
It took less than a minute to get this sauce:
I decided to make some steamed cauliflower and kale to go with the sauce. I was really lazy so I just piled the veggies in the steamer, cauliflower on the bottom, kale on top:
Eight minutes of steaming and the veggies were good to go. Here’s my bowl with the cheese sauce on top:
I have never used saffron before and it added that gourmet flavor; I loved it!
Do you have any healthy vegan recipes to share? If so, please add them to the Healthy Vegan Fridays blog link-up party below. The three most popular recipes from last week were these:
1. homemade vegan pizza from chasity @ my healthy chef
2. red lentil and spinach curry (vegan tikka masala) from janet @ the taste space
3. bite-sized turtle candy bars from rachel@ almonds & avocados:
I am sending all of you warm thoughts for a healthy, happy weekend. I’ll see you back here on Monday where I’ll be blogging from my temporary residence for the next two months near Palm Springs, CA, where I’ll be enjoying palm trees, desert trails and sunshine!