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The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide to: Eating your feelings

You’re a grown-ass woman, and you are in control of your shit. Usually. Right now you are in control of the remote and a bowl of cheesey popcorn and a bunch of kleenex but NOT your emotions. You broke your leg and now you can’t run in the half-marathon you’ve been working towards all year. You’ve been fired from the best place you’ve ever worked. You were going to confess your love to your best friend but when you got to their apartment Taylor Swift had gotten there first and was making a really big deal about it. You’re sad, you’re dejected, and you need to talk to some food about this.

Customize the classics

Hello, old friends: mac and cheese, ice cream, guacamole, pizza, spaghetti with meatballs like your mom used to make, milkshakes so thick it sort of hurts to drink them, licorice, sour keys, spaghetti-os, oreos, risott..o’s. Whatever makes you feel good, get in there. My favourite meal is any kind of cheese on any kind of bread, but really it’s up to each of us. You know what you like. 

The kindness of strangers

It goes without saying that there are very few positives to emotional or physical trauma, but one of them is that people very frequently bring you food. This is a friend saying “I care about you,” in carb form and it would be therefore completely ungrateful not to partake of the proffered edible gift. Friends often stick to the classics here with stodge, starch, or sweet in mind, and each serves an important role in the recovery process. Sharing can also help/feels less Bridget Jones-y.

Think of your hands

Maybe lay off the chips if you can handle it. You can’t be greasing up the screen while you compose an endless stream of emails to your mom and deeply meaningful yet painfully obtuse texts you’re never going to send. What’s sadder than a subtweet? A subtweet with a spelling error caused by canola oil. #sad

It’s called CHEMISTRY, read a book.

Bill Nye, use science, guys! Whoever said food can’t make you happy obviously has not read the important scientific literature regarding the fact that certain types of food can chemically make you happy. So maybe your chemistry fizzled with your girlfriend. Create your OWN chemistry by consuming foods high in endorphin-boosting vitamins and minerals! And the options are GOOD, people: spicy foods, chocolate, ice cream, and french bread. Apparently just a small amount of chocolate can give the body a significant (but temporary) energy and mood boost… and I think I need some immediately, because a stranger in this cafe just saw me googling “foods that make you happy.” I’m fine, sir. Fine.

Non-food alternatives

Your feelings may thrive on pizza, but the consumption of puppy surprise and interspecies animal friend videos has been proven (by me) to cause a 20-50% increase in one’s immediate mood and feelings of well-being. Downtrodden at work? Have a quick lil snack on “Worry about yourself”! Stressed out at family dinner? Hide in the bathroom and feast your eyes on cats stealing dogs’ beds! PMS-ing like woah? Sort yourself out. “Mommy cat snuggles her little kitten” is visual Ben & Jerry’s.

Make the switch

Right after being devastated feel free to take a day (or three) to just eat whatever. Not in a coping, “my only friends are food” way, but in a “you deserve this, life is hard sometimes” way. But as the Bible says, “Man cannot live on bread alone… you neither, women.” Real comfort food makes you feel good in the long run, so consider vitamin-packed greens, strength-building proteins and anything with antioxidants in it, probably. You will feel better. 

Don’t worry too much. I just talked it over wit ha bagel and we agree you’re going to be fine. 

Follow Monica on twitter: @monicaheisey

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