When you're dealing with grief, you probably don't want to spend hours in the kitchen cooking a meal. From crockpot recipes to casseroles to one-pot meals-- there are so many easy recipes available online, and they're great for when you lack the energy and/or desire to cook. However, a lot of these recipes are not the healthiest, nutritionally speaking.
When we're grieving, some of us tend to gravitate toward "comfort foods" or packaged/processed foods. These are not great for our health, especially when we're mourning, because these foods contain ingredients that can impact our mood, energy levels & brain function.
This article suggests 3 recipes that are fast & easy, but are also targeted to help negate some of the physical/emotional impacts of grief.
1. Crockpot Pulled BBQ Chicken
This one was suggested by one of our members, because it's easy, tasty and only takes 5 minutes of actual effort. Plus-- it's only 5 ingredients!
Throw some chicken breasts into the crockpot, combine the sauce ingredients, pour the mixture over the chicken & cook on high for 3-4 hours-- and viola! You have a tasty dinner & leftovers for the next couple of days. Find the full recipe & ingredient list here.
In terms of nutritional value, pulled chicken is healthier than pulled pork because it is typically lower in saturated fats-- especially if you use chicken breast. Not only are saturated fats known for increasing your cholesterol, but these types of fats are also linked to the development of depression. Bereavement is a significant trigger for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more-- so avoiding other potential triggers could have a positive impact on your mental health.
Furthermore, chicken is high in protein and rich in B vitamins, which can boost immunity. Grief can actually weaken your immune system, causing you to be more susceptible to illness, and immunity-boosters may help to counteract this.
2. Sheet Pan Salmon & Veggies
We're sticking with the theme of 5-ingredient meals that only take 10 minutes of prep. This dinner is made up of oven-roasted salmon, green beans & potatoes-- all cooked on one sheet pan, which makes for easy cleanup -- check out the recipe here.
This meal is great because it cooks much faster than a crockpot meal (perfect for when you're already hungry), and requires essentially the same level of effort. It's also a tasty and simple meal that is perfect for the summertime.
Like chicken, salmon is high in B vitamins and therefore can help to boost immunity. Moreso, high concentrations of B vitamins can have positive impacts on your energy levels & brain functions.
Salmon is also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, potassium & more!
3. Banana "Nice-Cream" Dessert
If you're in the mood for something sweet, try this recipe! This "nice-cream" tastes and feels like ice-cream, but is made of frozen bananas! Making it is as simple as throwing everything into a blender-- and it's packed with vitamins that help to decrease some of the symptoms of grief.
This "nice-cream" provides a healthier alternative to your typical ice-cream dessert. Normal ice cream has processed sugars, which can make you irritable & fatigued due to reactive hypoglycemia, also known as the "crash" that you experience after a "sugar high". Processed sugars may also increase your risk of depression, which is yet another reason that you should seek foods with natural sugar when you're craving something sweet.
This snack is trpyophan-rich, meaning that it prompts the production of serotonin, thus helping to regulate your mood. Check out recipes for different flavors (like chocolate, mint chocolate chip, and Cookies-n-cream) here. Most of these variants are under 5 ingredients.
NOTE: Don't forget to visit our Dawson's Market Fundraiser on June 7th, 2019 from 4pm-9pm-- use our flyer and we receive 10% of the proceeds from your purchase! This will help us to fund our June initiatives, just in time for International Widows Day (June 23). More information is available here.