With the craziness that’s ensuing in South Florida, we need to be reminded of the things we can control and the things we can’t control. Lack of control is often a trigger for many people, especially those with disordered eating patterns, and this hurricane is certainly out of our control. I am reminded by the serenity prayer when I think of having the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.
We can’t control which path #Dorian takes, but we can control how prepared we are. We can also control how we react to the situations both food related and not food related that #Dorian will bring.
4 Ways to Continue Your Intuitive Eating Journey in a Hurricane:
Have a range of foods available. Get foods that are non perishable. Get foods that are safe. Get foods that are fun. Make sure you have a range of non perishable proteins, carbs and fats. Get a mix of both foods that feel safe and comfortable for you to eat and ones that may feel less safe. If you create too many challenges and exposures for yourself during this time it could feel overwhelming, so set yourself up for success by being realistic.
Here’s a Hurricane Food Survival Check List:
Water: fill up bottles, get ice, get a cooler
Fluids: if water at stores are gone, seltzer, juice, soda, all okay to have as back up!
Non perishable proteins: peanut butter, almond butter, hemp seeds, beef jerky, protein bars, protein powders, nuts, seeds, trail mix, dry roasted edamame, tuna in a can / bag, salmon in a can / bag, canned or boxed soups
Snacks: pretzels, cheese its, goldfish, pirates booty, chex mix, chips, popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels, the world is your oyster.
Non perishable fruits / veggies: bananas, apples, oranges, lemons, limes, plums, peaches, avocados, pureed fruit / veggie snacks, apple sauce
Grains: A loaf of bread, crackers, cereal, oats, granola
Dairy ish: Boxed soy or almond milk
Prep: Make a couple crock pot meals before the storm, so you have a little in reserve in case cooking becomes tough
2. Eat mechanically if you need to, and try to focus on hunger / fullness cues. When we are stressed sometimes hunger and fullness cues are the first to go. This could result in not eating for periods of time and then binging, or the opposite and grazing all day long. Try to emulate your “normal eating day” as much as possible in the storm. If you are an emotional restrictor, put an alarm on your phone for meals and snacks. If you are an emotional eater, that’s quite okay, just go in with awareness and bring consciousness to your decision to eat. Take moments to PAUSE and check in with yourself if possible.
3.Be gentle with yourself. You may come across more “fun food” than you let yourself have access to. You may not be able to work out in your usual routine. Be gentle. Try to listen to what your body needs. Reframe any food rules or judgments that come up about what you’re eating. If you end up binging or feeling guilt or shame, here are some helpful food reframes.
Helpful Hurricane Food Reframes:
“Food is allowed to be fun.”
“All foods have a function.”
“I can be flexible with food.”
“My body deserves to be nourished.”
“I can eat this food anytime, not just now during the hurricane.”
4. Take breaks. Take breaks from the TV. Take breaks from your family. Take care of yourself. If you’re cooped up in your house, create a safe space to decompress. Bring a journal with you, bring an adult coloring book, implement space into your hurricane hangs for yourself. Have fun things for your kids to do. Talk about “hurricane coverage” with your partner and take turns entertaining the kids.
We can control how prepared we are. So part of that preparation is acknowledging the food challenges that may come along with sitting at home, cooped up with potentially triggering family members, with limited access to the foods you usually eat and fill your tool box with as many intuitive eating tools that you can get.
You got this! Stay safe everyone.
If you feel you need additional help in processing your relationship with food when stressful situations come up, please don’t hesitate to give me a call, 954 – 655 – 8543 or email Julie at JuliENERGYnutrition.com.