[Need a cookie, like, now? This quick and easy Comfort Cookie serves one in minutes. And it’s still vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, optionally nut-free and low glycemic. Suitable for stage 2 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]
Raise your hand if this sort of thing happens to you: you find yourself in the middle of eating a dozen cookies or a pan of brownies, without really remembering how you got there. Or you might scarf down half a pizza or pint of ice cream before even becoming aware that you’re eating.
It used to happen to me all the time. When you’re trying to alleviate chronic stress or deal with something anxiety-provoking (like, say, a global pandemic), the easiest response in the world is to eat. I mean, food is comfort in so many ways, and it’s natural that we turn to it when we’re stressed.
The only thing is, food doesn’t solve the problem.
If you are dealing with chronic illness and symptoms from candida, Lyme, or another chronic condition, eating foods that aren’t normally on your plan can exacerbate the problem and prolong the time you’re sick–or make you even sicker. In the end, you end up feeling even worse.
When I continued to binge on chocolate, cake, cookies and other sugar-laden foods even with a rash on my chest, I ended up feeding the candida and the only entity that benefited and grew stronger was the rash.
Nowadays, I often get asked by readers and clients if I “really” have followed the anti-candida diet for 20 years without cheating. The answer is “yes.”
True, my diet today isn’t as limited as when I first started phase one of the diet, but even with a few extra fruits and the occasional salad dressing with vinegar, I still never eat sugar, gluten, alcohol, coffee, highly moldy foods, additives, anything artificial or highly processed, most prepared foods, or refined anything.
I know exactly what it took to get my health where it is today (95% symptom-free, 95% of the time), and I would never want anyone else to think it doesn’t require the kind of work it does.
That said, I love my food today. I enjoy it with abandon. And I definitely love feeling better!
To some extent, the behaviors and habits I put in place when I started this journey served as a way to slowly wean myself off of stress eating. As a result, I no longer eat mindlessly these days.
When I do eat to gain some comfort from food, the foods are still “candida friendly” and they won’t harm my health the way those Oreos, packaged brownies, delivery pizza or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream would.
Because eating something out of stress harms you in many ways.
First, it adds to the already-present self-recriminations, those thoughts that “I’m a failure” or “I’m not good enough” or “I just can’t get hold of my food intake.”
By eating when you’re stressed, you reinforce the message your brain has already sent to you on countless occasions. In other words, you make the bad habit stronger.
Second, your actions prevent you from dealing with the true issue at the core of the eating. Is it stress that prompts you to eat, really? Or is it your response to the stress–a habitual, repeated, unconscious behavior that moves you to eat to assuage all those feelings?
And finally, eating through stress never teaches you how to deal with stress in a healthy way.
So, in the end, stress eating harms both your psychological and your physical health.
If you really want to stick with healthy eating for the long term, one of the first steps is to recognize and acknowledge when you eat due to stress or for psychological comfort.
After that, you can learn, over time, to find other means to support yourself that don’t involve overeating or mindless consumption.
Unlike many other healthy eating coaches, I believe that there’s more to sticking with your diet than just giving up those comfort-food treats. In fact, I think it’s almost impossible to switch, cold turkey, from stress eating Oreos to no stress eating at all.
But what do you do in the meantime? That’s where today’s recipe comes in.
The Comfort Cookie is a great way to hold space for yourself while you work on those underlying reasons for stress or emotional eating. You can satisfy the craving for a sweet treat without sabotaging your healthy eating.
The bonus is that it contains only 6 main ingredients, and from mixing to eating, the whole thing takes less than 10 minutes.
Next time you feel the urge to stress-eat, think about what is at the core of the feelings. And while you ponder, mix up a Comfort Cookie and ensure that you won’t sabotage your health in the meantime.
The Comfort Cookie
This single serve, one-and-you’re-done cookie is the perfect way to stop stress eating in its tracks. You’ll still gain the comfort you seek, but without harming your health. Oh, and let’s not forget that it’s delicious, too.
1 Tbsp (15 ml) natural smooth sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or other pure nut/seed butter
2 tsp (10 ml) organic coconut oil
1.5 Tbsp (22.5 ml) grain-free vanilla (or flavored) protein powder (I like SunWarrior mocha)
1 tsp (5 ml) ground flax seeds (flax meal)
1 tsp (5 ml) yacon syrup plus 10-15 drops pure stevia liquid OR 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Lakanto powdered sweetener
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking powder
Pinch fine sea salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar-free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325F (170C). Line a tray with parchment.
In a small bowl, cream together the sunflower seed butter and coconut oil until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except chips and stir until combined. If necessary, use your hand to knead the mixture into a fairly firm dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Shape the dough into a disk about 3 inches (7 cm) wide. Place on parchment and bake 6-7 minutes, until just starting to brown on the edges (the center might still look soft). Allow to cool before eating (if you can). Makes one serving.
Suitable for: ACD stage 2 and beyond; sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, corn-free, vegan.
Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.
Subscribe for recipes and more about living well without sugar, gluten, eggs or dairy! Click here to subscribe to RickiHeller.com via email. You’ll receive emails sharing recipes and videos as soon as they’re posted, plus weekly updates and news about upcoming events. A healthy lifestyle CAN be sweet!