Not All Stories Have a Happy Ending + Plant Based Split Pea Soup

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I’ve been going through something for the past couple months that has been hard. And it gets more challenging as time goes on. It has to do with witnessing and supporting someone I love who is in constant discomfort, fear and pain. I’m okay and so is the CFDG fam.

I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m sharing this with you because shit happens and hearing how people cope during hard times is helpful for other humans because it makes us feel less alone.

So I don’t know about you, but when I’m going through hard emotional stuff, it hits me right in the stomach and my hardy appetite disappears. I’m usually giddy and excited about eating leafy greens and beans and quinoa and sweet potatoes and avocados and grain and veggie bowls and oats and salads.

But when I’m going through heartache and upset, I want nothing to do with them.

This presents a problem because stress, sadness and anger weakens the immune system and whole plant foods boost the immune system, keeping us healthy and strong, which is especially needed during difficult times. But how are you supposed to eat kale when you don’t fucking feel like eating kale or any of its relatives?

Everyone is different, but I would like to share how I continue to eat healthy when I’m going through a shit time.

ONE: Listen to your cravings and then adapt whatever you’re craving into the healthiest version possible.

My go to comfort food is cereal and toast. Instead of going down the Rice Crispies and white bread and butter route (a route I’ve been down in the past), I have a bowl of homemade granola with fruit and unsweetened non-dairy milk and a piece of sprouted toast with almond butter.

If your comfort food is nachos, crisp up some quartered sprouted corn tortillas and pile them with black beans, my Cheesy Sauce and Cauliflower Sour Cream.

If your comfort food is pancakes and bacon, make some vegan whole wheat pancakes and some coconut bacon.

If your comfort food is cake, toast some whole wheat or sprouted bread and layer on some nut butter, some berries, some toasted coconut and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Honor your cravings while making them as nutrient dense as you can.

TWO: Fuel up on green juices and / or green smoothies.

Even if you don’t feel like eating greens, you can get a huge amount of nutrients to your system by drinking them.

Green smoothies and juices are packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals, enzymes, vitamins and minerals and will keep you healthy and strong even when you’re not feeling very strong.

THREE: Place some loving attention on your emotional distress by allowing it to be and sitting with it in meditation.

It is possible to be mentally at ease even when there’s a shit storm going on around us. And when we’re mentally at ease, we’re better equipped to feed ourselves properly (even if we’re not thrilled about it).

Here’s what I do to help accomplish this:

  • Get out my journal, my meditation pillow, my little meditating cat, a candle and my good juju spray.
  • Sit my ass down, light my candle, place my meditating cat next to it, spray my spray and write down exactly how I’m feeling. Close my journal.
  • Meditate for 20 minutes (either in silence or using a guided meditation from Deepak Chopra).
  • Open my journal back up and write down exactly how I’m feeling.

Every single time I do this, there is a considerable positive shift in how I’m feeling and how I perceive things.

Doing this doesn’t make my upset and worry go away, but it does change how I think about my worry and upset. It makes it more tolerable and it helps me carry on with my life and do the things that I need to do for myself so that I can continue being there for the people in my life (including you!).

FOUR: Go outside and recharge.

How and what we eat is a result of how we feel. How we feel is a result of how we think. And how we think is entirely up to us. Going outside and recharging in nature is a sure fire way to clear your head, get the oxygen flowing and revive yourself with a much needed change in energy.

Go for a walk, a bike ride, a hike, a swim, whatever – just get your perfect butt outside and slurp up the beauty and fresh air!

FIVE: If you’re not hungry, don’t force yourself to eat.

If you’re feeling emotionally yucky and food doesn’t sound good, make yourself a cup of tea and call it good. If you get hungry and you still don’t feel like eating, have something light like fruit or veggie broth. Always listen to your body and respect the signals it sends you.

SIX: Give yourself a day to eat whatever the hell you want.

When you’re dealing with emotional stress and heavy life shit, sometimes eating a donut is the only thing in the world that sounds comforting. If that’s the case, I say go for it. You can get back on track tomorrow.

Enjoy the hell out of whatever treat you choose and know that it’s not the end of the world. I used to turn to cigarettes and booze when I was stressed, so if I eat a donut in times of blah, I don’t think a thing about it. I celebrate every bite of that donut and then I move on.

SEVEN: Imagine your food giving you life.

When I feel super funky and I really don’t want to eat, but I know my body needs fuel, I close my eyes for a few minutes and I picture all of the nutrients that make up plant foods. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, phytochemicals, enzymes. I imagine myself eating a plate full of delicious plants and all of those nutrients flooding my body and my cells and helping repair damage and preventing illness and disease.

I sit with that for a few minutes and when I open my eyes, I’m motivated to eat something healthy. After I’m done eating, I always feel better, and I know that I did my body good. And that makes me happy because I know that I deserve it. As do you, my love.

EIGHT: Be prepared with plenty of healthy options in your fridge.

You might not be feeling 100% motivated to eat plants (or anything for that matter), but the fact is, you have to eat. And if you have yummy plant based meals in your fridge, ready to whip together in under 10 minutes, it’s a safeguard against take out, greasy pizza and fast food, all of which will make you feel worse – not better.

Even if you don’t follow them to a T, 100% of the time, my weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans will make sure you have yummy plant based food stocked in your fridge so that you always have something yummy and healthy to throw together.

At the end of the day, hard times are part of everyone’s reality. They make us stronger. They make us more empathetic. And they teach us about ourselves and how we view the world. Be thankful for them because they are our teachers. And remember, not all stories have happy endings, but there is always happiness within a story.

Today’s recipe is comforting and easy on the tum. Make a batch and nourish yourself, deal?

Plant Based Split Pea Soup

Instant Pot and Stove Top Directions

Instant Pot Directions
1 cup green split peas (220g)
1/2 cup onion, diced (70g)
1/2 cup carrot, chopped (70g / 1 small carrot)
1/2 cup celery, chopped (70g / 1 celery stalk)
1 russet potato, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup / 160g)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 or 6 turns cracked black pepper
4 cups water (945ml)
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped (6g)

  • Place the split peas in a strainer and rinse them with water. Place the strainer over a bowl and set aside for now, allowing the excess water strain out.
  • Press the saute button and allow the Instant Pot to heat up for 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and potato and saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water when the veggies start to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the split peas, garlic, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper and stir. Cook for about a minute and then add the water and stir one more time.
  • Turn the Instant Pot off and lock the lid into place, making sure the nozzle is in the sealing position. Use the manual setting and set the timer for 12 minutes. Use the natural release method when the timer goes off.
  • When the pressure is totally down, take the lid off, add the parsley and allow the soup to cool for about 15 minutes. Stirring the soup will help it cool faster. After it has cooled, blend the soup in batches with your blender (or all in one go with your blender stick) until the soup is creamy and smooth.

Note – This soup might seem thin at first – this is normal. It will thicken as it cools.

Stove Top Directions
1 cup green split peas, rinsed (220g)
1/2 cup onion, diced (70g)
1/2 cup carrot, chopped (70g / 1 small carrot)
1/2 cup celery, chopped (70g / 1 celery stalk)
1 russet potato, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup / 160g)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 or 6 turns cracked black pepper
5 cups water
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped (6g)

  • Place the split peas in a strainer and rinse them with water. Place the strainer over a bowl and set aside for now, allowing the excess water strain out.
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat for about two minutes. Add the onion, carrot and celery and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water when the veggies start to stick to the pot.
  • Add the potato, garlic, split peas, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper and water and stir. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium-low and place a lid on the pot at an angle. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After 30 minutes, turn off the heat, take the lid off, add the parsley and stir. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Stirring the soup will help it cool faster. After it has cooled, blend the soup in batches with your blender (or all in one go with your blender stick) until the soup is creamy and smooth.

Note – This soup might seem thin at first – this is normal. It will thicken as it cools.

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Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with strength.

Xo

Molly

molly_round

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Food photography by Christine June

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