Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Depression Diet...

Today was difficult.  Have you ever woken up, on the edge of morning and dression was sitting in your arm chair?  When I got up this morning, the air was heavy.  I was very weepy.  I was on the edge of a cry that would not come.  Today I decided I would look deeper than food.  Food is the drug.  The obvious would be to ask myself why am I using food as a form of escapism?  Well today I got up and I didn't want to face it.  I was more emotional than I'd been in a long time.  I thought it would pass.  In all honesty, I made a conscious decision to be sad.  Amazing, huh?  Ms. Do-Gooder, Ms. Spoon-Full-of-Sugar, Ms. Forget-the-Sun-Tomorrow-Bask-in-the-Rays-Today is kissing depression.  This depression is different.  He is not the type to take you out to eat, order everything on the menu and expect you to pay.  That's ED (Eating Depression).  This is his cousin.  This depression that has come to meet me today is SD (Sulking Depression).  Sometime intuition will tell you how to feel before something comes to give just cause.  I don't know how, but I made it out of the house.  I made it to the train and to my job.  It wasn't so bad intially, but goodness knows by the time I took refuge in my seat behind my desk, my face expressed my emotions and I just could not cover.  My father and I had an uncomfortable conversation.  I told him if he did not want me for a daughter to tell me and I will stop calling.  Of course he patronized me, went in to his "daddy's baby" voice, but I am fed up.  My parents for some reason feel that because I am independent I do not need them; and yes, I feel like a 35 year old orphan.  It does not matter what I fill my life with, lonely is always right there, making room for itself.  I did not forget the cookies today, and I snacked on them all day.  I did bring some of the soup I made in the crock pot (Split Pea) but I only consumed 1/2 of the small container.  I mindlessly shoved in the cookies whenever what I thought to be hunger emerged, but truth was I was so down I wasn't even hungry.  I went out to Sephora's (http://www.sephora.com/) at lunch to cheer myself up, but it did not work (I'd need at least 4 hours and $1,000 in there to go home happy.)  I retreated back to the office with a too expensive bottle of Bare Minerals Make-Up. (Mad as I was, I still was looking good.)  Save for the six cookies and 1/2 a small container (and I do mean small) of soup, water and of course my coffee, I did not eat.  Truth is, I won't eat when I get home.  I just want to sleep.  Since depression and loneliness have invited themselves in, hopefully they will bring the gift that's been eluding me for months - sleep. 


Thick and Hearty Split Pea Soup

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 carrots, diced

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 cups dried split peas, checked carefully for debris and rinsed

6-8 cups water

2 medium potatoes, coarsely chopped

1 large bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke

2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Lightly spray the bottom of a pressure cooker or Dutch oven with canola oil. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan often, until they begin to caramelize. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the peas to the pot. If you're using a pressure cooker, add 6 cups of water; for regular cooking, add 8 cups water. Stir in the potatoes, bay leaf, celery seed, basil, and thyme.

For pressure cooking: Seal the cooker and bring to high pressure. Lower heat and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally. If beans are not completely cooked, cover loosely and cook (without pressure) until they reach the desired tenderness.

For regular cooking: Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over very low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until peas are soft and disintegrate when stirred.

For both methods: When the beans are done, add the liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. Check the seasoning and add more herbs if necessary. Cook several minutes uncovered to thicken (or add water to thin). Serve with warm whole-grain bread.

Makes about 8 servings, and tastes even better the next day...
Love & Light,
Renee Michele

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