Now that we’re officially into winter, I have my late night urge to indulge in something warm and cozy (and by late night, I mean like 7:30). While there are plenty of packaged hot chocolate options out there, taking a little extra time to make something from scratch represents true self care for me.
I’m such a rushed person, but lately I’ve come to realize that when I fail to take time to prepare or sit and eat a meal slowly, I’m sending signals to my body that my nourishment isn’t important.
If food is information for our cells, and it is, then what kind of information do we send our body when we say we don’t have time? “I don’t have time to give you what you need.” Most times, we eat in a rush and don’t get a chance to savor complexity of flavors because we are so busy inhaling our packaged convenience food in order to go on to the next thing.
Taking time to prepare food also prepares our thoughts. Our thoughts are powerful chemical messengers that tell our bodies what to do. If we are stressed and rushed, we tell our bodies to shut down digestion in order to “survive” whatever is stressing us out. This year, I’m making an effort to take my thoughts captive – and even what I think about the process of eating makes a difference.
All right, enough philosophizing – now to the recipe.
I woke up with a pep in my step today, not so much because it’s a new year, but because December is OVER. Historically, the month of December is rough on my mood and this year was no exception. Too much activity, too much planning, too much sugar and alcohol always puts my sensitive brain on overload.
But today marks a new month and whole new year! My newest Feast 2 Fast nutrition coaching group starts on Monday, and I can’t wait to get back to allllll the veggies!
At the last minute, I decided to whip up some lucky black eyed peas in honor of a fresh start. Full disclosure: I’ve never made black eyed peas. I remember my grandparents always had them on New Year’s Day, and as a little girl I turned up my nose at them and thought they were icky.
Not to brag or anything, but I made a mean red beans and rice one time, so I figured it couldn’t be that different. The ingredients are simple and tasty. The bone broth gives your gut microbiome some love, and the bacon adds an extra kick of flavor that partners well with the spice from the jalapeno pepper (which is an idea from my brother when I told him I was attempting to make black eyed peas).
Like all legumes, black eyed peas are a great source of soluble fiber, which helps support healthy blood sugar metabolism. Soaking them overnight can help reduce the antinutrients in order to make them more tolerable for digestion and to optimize health benefits. They’re very high in folate as well, which is a brain-boosting bonus. I enjoyed a bowl of the spicy peas right after my New Year run, and I may even end up blending some up to make a hummus dip – who knows!
You know, recipes stress me out. It’s the aspect of multi-tasking I can’t do. Gathering the ingredients, measuring them out, and moving from my phone to my work station and back again… it’s too much, especially toward the end of the day when my kids are running around terrorizing each other.
I discovered a secret to cooking recently. It goes like this: I play around and I trust my foodie instinct. After thirty-some years in this gluttonous country, I think I know what kind of flavors I like.
This little girl didn’t know that in 10 years she would wish for death. She loved her family, her new siblings, and Jesus, too. Much like the Tom Petty song, she was about to take a free fall – down the path of a broken brain.
She was a preacher’s daughter with a genetic disposition to mental illness. Add on to that various health issues like chronic ear infections, asthma, allergy shots, antibiotics and steroids… and a budding sugar addiction, due to poor gut health. She was all energy and filled with curiosity, wanting to know the how and why of everything. So one day, when the darkness closed in, she would questions why she couldn’t just pray it away.
Hi, I’m Erin Kerry! Welcome to Sparking Wholeness, where I share all the realistic ways I enhance my mind, body, and soul in everyday life.
The language of wellness is new to me, but it has transformed my life. As a survivor of bipolar disorder, I am continuously learning what that means and how it presents itself in my day today. I have been medication-free for 3 and a half years and counting. I consider myself an anomaly (I share my full story here). Because of this, I believe whole body health is key to managing the illnesses that threaten to take us down. Everything is connected. How I feed my body feeds my brain. How I feed my brain feeds my soul. And on it goes.
I have three children who keep me busy and a pastor-counselor-husband who keeps me inspired. I taught English as a Second Language in public school before I made holistic wellness a full-time job so I could be home with my crazies. Now I homeschool, something my public school teaching self would not have believed 5 years ago.
Thank you for joining my journey to wholeness. I hope it sparks a flame inside of you the way it has for me.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” – Rumi