Let the Mending Begin

Food for the body is not enough, there must be food for the Soul.

– Dorothy Day

January 14th is my mothers birthday, anyone who really knows me understands that anything to do with my mom causes me great pain. Food, particularly junk food has been my go-to when dealing with any type of emotional pain. It would not be unusual in the past to find me hiding in my room devouring an entire pie right from the tin during an emotionally trying time. Of course, I would hide this … so you would NEVER actually catch me.

This year I am going to try really hard to change my relationship with Food; how I see it, how I eat it and most of all WHAT I eat. I know I will struggle, that some days the desire and need will be too much. My goal is, to be honest, open and real when dealing with those moments; facing them head on and sharing the real reasons why I am doing it.

Twenty-Eight birthdays … I have celebrated without her. Twenty-Eight years and the pain is not any easier. When my mother was ripped from my life by a cruel, jealous ex-boyfriend … my first thought was food. I ate an entire box of Cocoa Puffs Cereal a few hours after I was notified in the wee hours of the night.

An.

Entire.

Box.

My connection with food and emotional distress began pretty much as soon as I was able to talk. My mom didn’t make good choices in men, my Step Father was abusive and my Mother filled my mouth with sweet treats to mend the wounds. My unhealthy relationship with food started when I was a toddler and is still there today. When I have a bad day my mind drifts to cookies, cake, pie, ice cream … all the sweet treats.

Switching to a Paleo Lifestyle last summer means we can’t have ANY of those things I relied on emotionally. Of course, I can have them, but they aren’t on the diet plan and now I realize how those foods affect my body. The headaches, the joint pains, the muscle aches … the things I thought were just part of living and getting older, turns out it is a by-product of the toxins I have been putting in my body.

I find when I think “Healthy,” I think boring. This new way of eating is teaching me how wrong I was. Healthy food isn’t just celery sticks and water, it can be DELICIOUS and satisfying not just to my taste-buds but also my soul. I am finding that almost every food I loved before has a healthier alternative, surprisingly some of those alternatives are even better than the originals!

Shepherd’s Pie is one of those foods that is just warm and comforting and right now I need all the comfort. I found a Paleo Shepherd’s Pie recipe and tweaked it to make it Primal Paleo compliant and it was D-E-L-I-S-H!!!

Primal – Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 carrots diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 red bell peppers diced
  • 8 oz of mushrooms sliced
  • 1 can of organic green beans
  • 2 pounds of grass-fed ground beef (or alternative of choice.)
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 cup bone-broth (I used vegetable broth)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 pounds of white sweet potatoes (You can use any potato on primal, I used butter Reds.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Instructions:

  1. Wash, Peel(If desired), dice and boil your potatoes.
  2. Melt olive oil in cast iron or oven-safe pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and carrots, saute for 5 minutes then add garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, and green beans. Cook for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on.
  4. Add meat choice along with salt, pepper & other seasonings. Stir regularly to break up meat until all the moisture has evaporated and meat is brown.
  5. Add in tomato paste, broth and stir well while cooking for a minute or two.
  6. Potatoes should be done, strain and mash with butter(primal) or ghee (Paleo) coconut milk, salt, and pepper to preferred taste.
  7. Remove the pan with meat mixture from heat, spread the mashed potatoes on top and pop in a preheated 325-degree oven for approximately 30 minutes… until the potatoes are starting to brown.

Let sit for about ten minutes before serving, and Enjoy!

This meal was amazing, the boys had extra helpings … I stuck to my initial serving as I am also trying to work on my portion control. We will definitely have this meal again. I hope that if you are trying to eat healthier this will be a meal your family will try and enjoy as much as us.