Self-Care Sunday #7: Combatting Stressful Binge Eating

Happy Sunday to you all! I wholeheartedly wish that your week has been treating you rather swellingly. Mine has some ups and downs, but overall hasn’t been too difficult in hindsight. It has been quite productive in terms of writing and prepping posts, but absolutely horrendous with regards to reading. My positive goal for this upcoming week is to spend time with activities I love but haven’t been participating in as of late, such as reading and playing video games. If you find yourself struggling at all, take a break and try to focus on an activity that brings you joy and comfort. ♥

Today, I wanted to chat a bit about something that I have been struggling with for many, many years and in differing levels of intensity: stress eating. When I am faced with towering piles of stress or anxiety, my brain takes off on its own with negative thoughts and thoughts of failure, which then drives me to either crave a bunch of junk food (usually a chocolate treat of sorts), or I just cannot stop feeling hungry, no matter how much food I consume or water that I drink. Well… I have finally found a means of coping with this unhealthy method of dealing with overwhelming triggers or events. Does it give me 100% perfect results every single time? Hell no. But has it worked more often than not? Oh my, yes!

What is this miracle treatment you ask? Before I tell you, I want you to do me a favour and be as open-minded as possible. Because when this suggestion was first tossed my way, I laughed it off, believing it to the most ridiculous thing ever. Yet, I remained open-minded and tried it out anyway. Okay… I’m talking about SMOOTHIES!

I know. Shocking.

shocked


I have been sharing some of my smoothie shenanigans over on Instagram and Twitter, and today I wanted to talk to you guys about how and why I turned to this beverage-making party. When I first met with my health and wellness coach, she asked me what my biggest concern was, the one I wanted to tackle more than any of the other issues I had going on. Stress eating immediately came to mind. Food is comforting, whether they are ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies, a hearty chowder, a bag of potato crisps, French fries—whatever the ammo, the weapon is still the same: eating, eating, and eating. Yet, no matter how comforting food is, it doesn’t solve the problem, make them disappear, or absolve us of the emotions we are feeling. I can eat a plate full of chocolate chip cookies (my ultimate fucking weakness) and still feel shitty afterwards, except now I’m feeling even more negative; tossing in self-loathing and fatphobic musings. These things won’t make me want to confront my issues and find a way to be happier, they only mentally manipulate me further into the shithole that I’m stuck in.

My coach loves smoothies. She was similar to me—eating away her feelings—and it was worse for her as she is also a practicing medical professional. So, if she has an emotional day at work with patients, I can’t even begin to fathom the level of emotional intensity that it can bring up. However, when she decided that she needed to make a lifestyle change, for her and her family, one where she trains her body to get acclimated with fresh eating, she gave smoothies a shot. It’s still the best thing for her, particularly given her busy schedule, and it eventually led to more positive self-care decisions and then her aspiration to help others struggling like her, such as me.

When she told me her story, I knew that at the very least it was worth trying out. I mean, seriously, what would I be losing?

I’m not someone who eats breakfast. I wake up, make a pot of coffee, drink it all up, and then begin my work. I’m also terrible about remembering to eat during the day while I work. I am a bonafide workaholic, so when I’m working, I tune out the rest of the world and life. This is super fucking unhealthy for me. It also leads to more instances of sweet cravings when what I actually need is a nutritious meal. So, she suggested that for my first smoothie, I try a breakfast smoothie. I tried it the very next day, I only had the smoothie and no coffee until much later in the day, and I was completely blown away.

surprised

Not only did I feel fuller than I would have if I had only consumed coffee, I was fuller for much longer. I didn’t feel hungry again until about lunch time (approximately four hours). To top it off, I also felt better on the inside. There was a mild refreshing feeling in my tummy, which is damn difficult to explain, to be honest. But I didn’t feel bogged down or weighty. Additionally, the stress cravings were severely limited later on when I encountered a problem that normally would have sent me to the cookie jar.

My second day doing it, I had a different flavoured smoothie and then had my morning coffee about fifteen minutes afterwards. The fuller feeling lasted even longer this time, probably by an hour or so, and I felt more awake and even more refreshed. I suspect the coffee chaser had a lot do with that last bit. Nonetheless, it felt spectacular.

With these two days of doing it, I noticed something else that kind of blew me away. My typical day leads me into a round of depression by the time I head to bed. Even if I have a High day, come evening’s tide, I am ready to curl into a ball in a small corner and just withdraw. But I didn’t have those negative feelings. I didn’t feel the same level of depression that had become my bedfellow. This feeling was stranger to me than anything else.

After two weeks of doing smoothies for breakfast, and occasionally for lunch when I was super busy with work or life, I noticed that it began to impact my diet without my realising it. Now, I want to state upfront that I didn’t deprive myself from eating foods that I enjoyed. For example, I had one or two chocolate chip cookies after dinner a couple of the nights, or a hot cocoa before bed a couple of the others. I didn’t starve myself or force myself to go onto some ridiculously unhealthy diet merely because I was consuming fruits in a liquid form. That would defeat the entire point of what I’m trying to do with my health and wellness. No, the changes that I noticed included the ability to consume fruits I normally didn’t care for at all (such as bananas, peaches, pineapple, etc.) so long as it was in a smoothie. I also noticed that I began to work more diligently at my personal ambition of being a full time pescatarian and dedicated vegetarian. I’ve been cooking with more vegetables, eating more organic foods, and consuming more water. I’m terrible about drinking water. I have no fucking clue why that is, but I’ve disliked water since I was a kid. However, all of the fruits and veggie consumption has been making me crave water and the invigorating feeling that my body gets afterwards. Best of all—I had so many fewer Low days in those two weeks than I had in all of July, the first half at least, and if by some catch of the unlucky cards that day I did end up in a Low day, they didn’t last the whole fucking day! By the end of the day, I was able to do what I needed to keep myself from withdrawing unhealthily and I found ways to be productive with my work afterwards.

happy

One goddamn smoothie altered my life so much. I did have one really bad day where I felt the need to binge eat (this was about three weeks after the smoothie shenanigans began) and that day was this past Friday, 10-August. I woke up feeling absolutely fucking terrible; I was missing my brother in the worst way imaginable that I stayed in bed all morning and most of the afternoon. When I began getting a headache, I made some coffee and discovered that my body was craving chocolate like a mothercunter. Seriously, I went into my room and looked over at the box of Panda Cookies on my mini-fridge (I treat myself to one mini-package if I accomplish ALL of my tasks for the day, which rarely fucking happens), and this urge to eat through the entire fucking box (29 packets) began to burn into my veins.

Any other day, I would have sat down on my bedroom floor and ripped into them, without a single moment’s hesitation. But I didn’t do that on Friday. I balled my hands into fists, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and then I turned around and walked out of my room. It was one of the most difficult battles I have had with binge eating to date: saying no.

I ended up cleaning up the kitchen (cleaning helps me relax while helping satiate my OCD tendencies simultaneously), then I made some coffee, and cinnamon-spice oatmeal. I tossed a small handful off dark chocolate chips into the hot oatmeal and had my breakfast. I always eat my oatmeal with a smidgen of chocolate as it helps combat sweet cravings later in the day. To my surprise, this small meal cleared up my overwhelming desire to binge eat. After finishing up, I felt content and less depressed, believe it or not. So much so, that I sat down and outlined my Self-Care Sunday post for today.

Even with all of the help and benefits that smoothies have had on me since I began making and consuming them, my number one reason for loving them so much: they are so fucking easy to make and don’t take a long time at all. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this here before or not, but I’m fucking lazy as all hell, and this is further exasperated when I’m depressed. So being able to have a go-to coping method for stress eating that takes literally five minutes or less is like a dream come true! ♥

happy clap


Binge eating and stress eating don’t have to control your life. They may seem like familiar companions that will make you feel better in that moment, but all it takes is one second of one minute to make yourself feel like shit from unhealthy eating triggers. I know that experience quite intimately. That one second is the most powerful motherfucker you will face and everything can change in the span of a single moment, that moment where you say: not today.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m suggesting smoothies because I’m on a health journey and I feel the need to shove my personal health aspirations onto everyone else. To be 100% blunt, I don’t give a fuck what your personal physical health aspirations are. That is very personal and very unique to the individual. There could be medical conditions, injuries, etc. that you have going on that no one else can understand except for you. If you are comfortable in your skin and your body, not matter what shape, size, etc., then I’m so fucking proud to hear it and don’t ever let that change. No, my goal is to help with your mental health because everyone, whether they admit it/realise it/know it or not has some sort of mental health struggle. You stress eat? Mental health. You have problems getting out of bed because of some life altering event? Mental health. You have insecurities? Guess what, it’s mental health. I want to help you become stronger and more empowered with your mental health and to know that you are not alone, and it is not powerful enough to defeat you, no matter what mental health illnesses/conditions that you are facing. Your mental health is NOT WHO YOU ARE and NOT WHO YOU CAN BE.

From my own experience, binge eating and stress eating can make you feel worse than any other force because when you are inflicting that damage upon yourself, if you are (usually unknowingly) building that unhealthy relationship with food, it is something that is entirely on you, no one else. It makes us feel worse, makes us feel incompetent, incapable, weak, guilty, etc. But you’re none of those fucking things. You just need to tell yourself to try something new; it doesn’t have to be today, but whenever you’re ready. The same way you talk yourself into eating that bag of cookies, tell yourself to try a chocolate banana smoothie (recipe below). If it doesn’t work, don’t worry about it. It’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. I fucking promise you. I had tried tens of millions of different things before these goddamn smoothies, and never expected it to be my golden ticket. So… keep trying!

The next time you feel like binge eating, talk your mind and body into doing something different. It can be a fruit smoothie, or something else entirely. Taking that one small step cane sometimes surprise the shit out of you and lead you down an unexpectedly positive road that you didn’t think you’d ever come across. If it doesn’t work out, or last, it’s okay! You haven’t failed. A very wise person once told me that if you try something and it doesn’t work out, that isn’t failure. The act of never trying in the first place is the real failure. If you go buy all of the fruits, but don’t get around to the smoothies, guess what? You made an effort to try something new. It’s a tiny step, but a step forward nonetheless, and that’s all that matters. ♥♥

motivation


I have included some of my favourite smoothie combinations below. You can use frozen fruit or fresh fruit. I use a combination of fresh and frozen, although more frozen fruits mean that you don’t have to use ice (or as much ice) and it’ll be cold. Frozen fruits also tend to have a stronger taste to them. I don’t particularly care for ice in my smoothies, so I avoid them. This is entirely a personal preference thing. I also make them, stick them in the fridge, and have them the next morning for breakfast (if Sir Betrothed doesn’t steal them first!).


Blueberry-banana-closeupBreakfast Banana Smoothie:

  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 10 ounces of vanilla soy milk (or other non-dairy vanilla flavoured beverage, such as vanilla almond milk or coconut milk)
  • ½ teaspoon of peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • ¼ teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon of honey
  • A dash of cinnamon and cardamom
  • ½ cup of ice for a cooler drink
  • Blend until smooth, or to your preferred consistency.

Cherry Berry Smoothie:

Rainier Cherries

  • 2/3 cup of rainier cherries (I don’t like regular red cherries; your preference)
  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • ½ green apple, sliced (I leave the skin on, but you can peel it if you like)
  • 1/3 cup of strawberries
  • 8 ounces of chilled pure coconut water
  • ¼ cup of vanilla soy milk (or other non-dairy vanilla flavoured beverage, such as vanilla almond milk or coconut milk; used to make smoothie slightly creamier)
  • ½ cup of ice for a cooler drink
  • Blend until smooth, or to your preferred consistency

BerriesCoconut Berry Smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup of frozen coconut chunks
  • ¼ cup of raspberries
  • ½ cup of strawberries
  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • 8 ounces of chilled pure coconut water
  • ½ teaspoon of honey
  • Blend until smooth, or to your preferred consistency

CoconutTropical Coconut Smoothie:

  • ½ cup of frozen coconut chunks
  • ½ cup of pineapple
  • ½ cup of sliced mango
  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • ½ peach, peeled and sliced
  • 8 ounces of chilled pure coconut water
  • ¼ cup of vanilla soy milk (or other non-dairy vanilla flavoured beverage, such as vanilla almond milk or coconut milk; used to make smoothie slightly creamier)
  • Blend until smooth, or to your preferred consistency

Thank you so much for visiting me today. Until next time, keep reading and keep otakuing. 💜


Hello, friends! If you enjoy my content, please consider supporting me with a one-time Ko-Fi ($3) donation, so that I can pay for my medications, and for the maintenance and upkeep of the blog! I would greatly appreciate any ounce of support you could provide. Thank you. 🖤

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13 thoughts on “Self-Care Sunday #7: Combatting Stressful Binge Eating

  1. You know, the two things that work for me are blogging and hiking. While I am blogging I get into a zone where the outside world doesn’t exist. I have been known to spend 8 hours straight on a blog only to discover I haven’t eaten a bit and I’m not hungry.

    Hiking is another. I go off on some trail and the need to eat just goes away. I’ll bring along a few snacks but nothing compared to what I’d be eating if I were sitting bored at home. And often leave something uneaten. (And well, you know my favorite style of hiking…..)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing the recipes! I can’t wait to try some :). I think it’s a universal thing that during times of stress, every person’s relationship with food changes. The difference is in whether or not people realize it, and whether or not they address the root cause of the stress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! I actually got the idea to share these when I read your tweet about one of the smoothies I was fawning over on Twitter, lol.

      Oh definitely. I refused to accept that I was a stress eater for the longest time; like admitting I had a problem would make me some kind of weak person. But now that I am finally able to look at myself and say, “You know you’re struggling, stop it,” it became easier (not easy by a long shot) to confront the issue and try to find solutions. But it can definitely be challenging. I have my good days and bad days with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Damn, those all sound super yummy! I’m glad you found something that works for you. I have some things that work and others that only work under certain circumstances, but it’s definitely about trial and error.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: August’s Blogsphere Highlights #2! (2018) | BiblioNyan

  5. Pingback: Top 5 Friday. . . well top 3 really - flexibly nourished

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