I don’t tend to share many recipes on this blog. The reason being that when it comes to helping women improve their health, I believe that we need to start with how we think and feel, before we can confidently change how we act.
Also, as much as I love food — and I really love food — my weekly meals are very simple and not particularly blog-worthy. There are only so many times that I can share a photo of grilled salmon, chicken curry, veggie stir-fry, overnight oats or broiled lamb chops until we all get a little sick of it!
Even if I kept a more food-focused blog (as I did hilariously, and with terrible photography, at Blushing Strawberries in 2010/2011), that alone won’t make YOU a healthier eater.
Because here’s the thing: it’s not your access to healthy recipes that’s the problem, it’s your unwillingness to cook them.
In previous posts I’ve touched on:
>>> And why you need to reduce your consumption of sugary processed foods.
Today I want to tell you how proper nutrition was essential in my recovery from binge-eating.
Full disclosure: I am not a psychologist or dietitian, nor do I have any training in the field of eating disorders. What I do have, however, is my own experience, and my understanding that it was a combination of self love practices and proper nutrition that helped me create a healthy relationship with food.
If you’ve ever binged, or regularly tend to over-eat, you’ll know how physically and emotionally exhausting that process is. My personal experience was that I would restrict calories throughout the day and then binge at night. By the time I went to bed my stomach was so tight that you could have popped it with a pin. After every episode I would cry myself to sleep, and the next morning I would wake with equal parts indigestion and massive guilt. The cycle continued.
To overcome binge eating I tried to place (further) restrictions on myself:
- Certain foods wouldn’t be allowed in the house
- I’d eat with smaller bowls
- Breakfast became my biggest meal and I would attempt to eat a peasant’s dinner (this was awful…dinner is my favorite!)
- I would avoid eating snacks at parties, only to go home ravenous and polish off three bowls of cereal
- I asked my husband to “not let me go back for seconds”
- Every morning I would blame and berate myself…unsurprisingly, not a terribly effective strategy.
I’ve since learnt is that wasn’t the fault of the food, the crockery, the willpower, etc. The simple truth was that I was starving, and you might be too.
If you’re not eating your fill of nutritious foods throughout the day (yes, fats and carbohydrates are included), then your body will always be crying out for more. The problem is that when you’re running on empty, when its dark outside, and you’re wearing your sweatpants… that more tends to be easy-to-access, processed crap, and a lot of it.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be your future reality. If you want to find food freedom in your own life, then you have to stop being afraid of eating.
When you eat well — when you eat enough of the good stuff, and mindfully enjoy some of the treat stuff — it becomes easy to enjoy your food and your good health, without willpower, deprivation, or the obsessive need to check your weight at the end of any big meal.
So your goal for this week is to take a keen look at your plate and ask if depriving yourself of proper food is actually your biggest health and nutrition downfall.
And to help make things a little easier, I thought I would post a recipe today! These are my spinach and feta muffins, and they’re wonderful to grab as breakfast-on-the-go, a healthy snack, or as a side to a luscious lunch salad.
Gluten Free Spinach Feta Muffins
- 2 cups spelt flour or all purpose gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large handful baby spinach leaves, torn
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree*
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 100grams) crumbled feta
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin liners.
2. Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring with a fork to break up any clumps. In a separate bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients EXCEPT for the feta.
3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into the dry. Use a large spoon to fold together until combined.
4. Spoon batter evenly into the muffin liners and crumble feta over the tops of each muffin.
5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the muffins comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then remove and continue cooling on a wire rack.
*Purchase pumpkin puree cans in the supermarket. Check the ingredient label, they should read pumpkin only. This is different from pumpkin pie filling which has sugar and spices added. To make your own puree: peel and chop a medium butternut squash or 2 pounds of sweet potatoes. Place in a pot of boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes or until soft. Drain and then puree in a blender. Measure out about 14oz or 400g for the recipe. Freeze the rest to use next time.