I have reflected on past habits before. It’s amazing how much your diet/lifestyle can evolve once you start embracing health, and get to experience what feeling GOOD is like.
On the subject on “going it alone” – without anti depressant medication, that is – it’s remarkable how a healthy lifestyle benefits you emotionally as well as physically. The last few times I went un-medicated (for Depression & Anxiety) I thought I was “healthy.” BUT, I could never maintain being OFF the meds and feeling GOOD. My idea of “healthy” back then, and my practise of “healthy” NOW are two very different definitions of “healthy.” Confused?
I will do my best to explain…..
A few years ago I was un-medicated and functioning. I wasn’t a Depressed-mess, no – curled up in a ball in a small dark room (my bedroom, or “cave” as Viper calls it)…. but was I happy? Not really – just keeping my nose above the water I would say. My diet was “healthy” – yes I ate LOTS of fruit, vegetables, pulses, beans, tofu – but I also drank, smoked and burnt the candle at both ends. That pretty much cancelled out the “good” part of my diet, no? I worked and worked and worked and then partied on the weekends. Keeping busy kept my brain from going to dark places (or so I thought)…. but I was really just working myself into the ground, and ignoring my body-cues to slow down. My diet included a LOT of “diet” products (toxic chemical SHIT now I look back and shudder) – think “sugar-free!!!” and “99% fat free!!!” and all that marketing jargon that is designed to make you think you can eat 10 X the amount of something because it is 99% free of something or another.
I was also addicted to Diet Coke…. the evil of all evils. ’Oh, it doesn’t matter – it’s like half a calorie.’
Half a calorie, maybe…. but 100% chemical CRAP. No wonder I felt average at best.
I was afraid of fat. I ate my fill of nuts and seeds, yes – but fat was to be looked upon as the enemy…. the stuff that would make the booty jiggle and the under arms continue waving, long after you had bid someone adieu. I would love to go give “Lou-of-low fat diets-past” a good slap and tell her to start eating coconut oil by the spoonful and see how much BETTER she feels (not to mention awesome skin – my skin was horrendous during this phase I might add).
So, to cut a long story short, I could never maintain this lifestyle without starting down that slippery slope of sadness and winding up back on medication.
Flash forward a few years, and the difference in my health, eating-awareness, and the way I feel is pretty incredible. By slowing down my life (in some ways – I wouldn’t call racing after a toddler a sedentary lifestyle)… embracing yoga & meditation…. practising moderation when it comes to drinking….. quitting the evil habit of processed foods, however “healthy” the marketing is….. kicking nasty socially-induced crutches like ciggies…. filling my life with positive people and REAL FOOD.
The difference between then and now gives me the motivation that I need to KNOW that I will be able to be a happy, healthy person without anti depressants. They kept me on an even-keel for awhile, yes…. but they are not the be-all and end-all. Medication helped me stay “neutral” – but I really believe that a healthy lifestyle and positive planning are the tools that will get me back to ME. Fingers crossed, huh? As I always say: Chocolate helps too.
Crunchy Quinoa Crackers with Chocolate Coconut Coating
(Vegan… gluten/wheat/soy/nut/corn/refined sugar free. Anti Candida friendly)
- 1C sunflower seeds
- 1+ 1/2C cooked quinoa
- 4T water
- 35 drops vanilla stevia liquid (OR 2T liquid sweetener of choice, but decrease water measurement to 2T)
- 1T psyllium husks (ground flax would work here too)
- 1T chia seeds
- 1/2t vanilla extract
- 1/2t sea salt
- 4T cacao powder (or cocoa/carob)
- Whizz sunflower seeds in a food processor until they form a “flour” – just like almond meal, but with seeds!
- Pulse all other ingredients together in a food processor… a soft sort of dough ball should form.
- Roll out dough ball between 2 sheets of baking paper using a rolling pin – if you like a thin + crispy cracker then roll out dough to 2mm in thickness. Slightly thicker at 4-5mm for a chewier result (both are yummy).
- Either use cookie cutters or simply cut into squares to create your crackers.
- Bake thinner crackers at 160 degrees C on a fan-bake setting for 35 minutes, flipping crackers over a few times (every 10 minutes just flip ‘em over). Turn oven off, leaving crackers inside until cool to REALLY crisp them up. For the chewier/thicker crackers (4-5mm) bake them for 45 minutes at the same setting, flipping as per instructions above.
- Dip to coat in this:
- 1/4C (SOLID measure) coconut oil.
- 3T cacao powder (or cocoa/carob)
- 2T hot water
- 15 drops vanilla stevia liquid
- 3T toasted coconut shreds (or raw are fine… brown lightly in a dry fry pan to really get that beautiful coconut-ty flavour though)
- Toast your coconut and then chuck directly on top of the solid coconut oil… the heat from the toated coconut will help it melt, along with the 2T hot water.
- Combine all ingredients well, ensuring no lumps of un-melted oil.
- Chill in fridge to “set” the coating.
- Store crackers in the fridge…. in a sealed container.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I ate the whole batch in half a day. It’s funny: when you start eating whole, plant based foods…. it just seems like you body screams “YES!” and you can eat and eat and eat (as I do) until the cows come home (if you have cows?)