What is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating means when you eat foods, oftentimes ‘unhealthy or junk food’ for other reasons than hunger. So, you use food as a response to negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety, or sadness. Or you do it to numb or handle a difficult feeling.
Eating your feelings is a real thing.
Think about that time you finished a chocolate bar at one sitting or a pint of Haagen Dazs ice cream just like in romantic comedies. We all have experienced a form of emotional eating at some point in our lives. And hey, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Don’t label emotional eating as something bad after reading this. You see, eating food can improve your mood. It’s important to learn that eating on its own is not bad, including emotional eating. You want to stop labeling food and behavior surrounding food as bad or good. Just like you have to unlearn the idea that there are ‘bad and good‘ foods. ‘Healthy and unhealthy‘ foods.
You’re an emotional being
If eating a pint of chocolate ice cream or bingeing on salted caramel donuts is not your usual behavior, then there are no long term negative effects. We are emotional beings after all. Food is often linked to our emotions. Emotional eating is part of being human.
It’s trying to suppress emotional eating that makes it a problem. Don’t deprive yourself of food is the golden rule. Don’t put unrealistic restrictions on your diet. Restriction and deprivation is the cause of overeating and endless dieting. Feelings of guilt and punishing yourself by skipping a meal after that pint of ice cream is the cause of an unhealthy relationship with food. When you catch yourself in this toxic cycle, that’s when you need to pay attention to emotional eating.
General Rule of Thumb
Eat slow and mindfully in a relaxed environment is an ideal situation. Your body is absorbing and benefiting more from food when you chew thoroughly and eat consciously. The next time you sit down to eat, tune into how you’re feeling. Are you stressed or anxious? Or excited, guilty about the food you’re about to eat? Do you feel present? The ultimate goal is to eat in a calm state, mindfully, and with joy!
Create healthy habits on a daily basis. Practice self-care activities when you feel sad, upset, or stressed. Instead of turning to food you can use this time to journal, listen to a wellness podcast, or move your body by doing a gentle Vinyasa yoga flow. By developing a list of self-care activities you learn to shift your focus from food to self-care.
Sometimes all we want is chocolate ice cream with salted caramel sauce and extra sprinkles on top. Whether it’s when we’re sad or happy. And that’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay.
Remember, food is only there to nourish you, it can’t solve your problems. We give food too much power.
Be Kind To Your Body
Think of your favorite foods in advance, and look forward to them. I do! ‘Healthy’ treats are so nutrient-dense that you feel like you don’t need to eat as much. If you’re craving an ‘unhealthy’ treat, that’s okay. Give yourself permission to enjoy it once or twice a week. Nothing is off-limits, because remember restriction always leads to overeating. After you’ve cleaned up your diet you’ll start to crave the ‘healthier’ options.
Start by making this tangy creamy better than store-bought Coconut Yogurt with gut-healing benefits to soothe your cravings the next time.
Immune Boosting Coconut Yogurt
Makes 800 ml (about 8-10 servings)
This recipe only needs 2 ingredients, a clean glass jar with an airtight lid and a cheesecloth or other type of thin cloth. No fancy equipment needed! The coconut yogurt comes out creamy, just like thick plain Greek yogurt, I kid you not. It’s tangy and slightly coconut-y.
You have to ferment the Coconut Yogurt for at least 24 hours and taste test it then. If it’s tangy enough for your taste you can store it directly in the fridge or ferment it longer for a tangier taste for the real fanatics. If it’s too runny, it will slightly thicken in the fridge. I love to have it with a spoonful of Strawberry Chia Jam or topped with fresh fruits and Chocolate Granola. It’s that good, that you hardly believe it’s all plant-based and vegan.
- 800 ml coconut milk – 4 small packs of 200 ml or use 800 ml from a 1-liter pack) I use the brand Kara.
- 5 capsules probiotic – you can easily ‘open’ the capsule by pulling the case apart and shake the probiotic powder in the coconut milk. Make sure your probiotic is of high quality and doesn’t contain any prebiotics, which is not the same as probiotics. I use the Australian brand Pure Life 32 billion.
- Additional flavoring – Maple syrup, raw honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, or jam.
- Shake the coconut milk and pour it in a clean and sterilized dry glass jar. I sterilize my jars by running hot boiling water in it and let it air dry or pat dry it with kitchen paper towel.
- Empty the probiotic capsules in the coconut milk using a wooden spoon to stir in the coconut milk. Make sure everything is dissolved and mixed thoroughly with the coconut milk, push the back of the spoon to the sides of the jar to help you do this. Don’t use a metal spoon as this can react with the probiotics.
- Cover the jar with cheesecloth or use a thin cloth and tied it with a rubber band.
- Let the yogurt ferment for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours on a warm spot in the house.
- Taste the yogurt after 24 hours using a wooden spoon, if it’s tangy enough for you, refrigerate the yogurt to stop fermentation and it will also thicken up in the fridge just like Greek yogurt consistency.
- If it’s not tangy enough keep it a little longer with the cheesecloth covered. Once it’s tangy and thick enough for you, store it in the fridge. Don’t forget to use an airtight lid.
- You’ve just made Coconut Yogurt my friend! It’s this simple! It stores well in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
Excited for you to try this! No more expensive artificial store-bought Coconut Yogurt. I hope you give it a try.
Tag me on Instagram @melissa.senduk and use hashtag #melissasenduk when you tried this Coconut Yogurt or leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!