Emotional hangover: n) waking up with a heart-aching level of dread and anxiety due to emotional “drunkenness” or unhealthy, habit-forming behavior.
Sometimes even health and wellness writers can experience a case of emotional hangovers. Recently I saw over on Glamour.com that Sarah Jio, who used to write about health and fitness and her 3 adorable sons etc, has signed on to write about her newly single life apres divorce. It can be kind of jarring to see people whose day job is to present an image of sunshine and roses and fresh-baked blueberry muffins experience these kinds of very human ordeals but, that is life.
To be perfectly candid, I’m anything but a calm, shining example of a beautifully perfected life. Yes, I work at a charming cafe every morning, prepare fresh meals from farmer’s market vegetables, run and do yoga and barre, and go out to lovely restaurants with my incredible boyfriend. The other day when I took pictures of our apartment to put up on airBnB, I was so shocked (proud!) of how far I’ve come from my first abode in the city, which was a $500 sublet room with lots of mice in it. But sometimes I wake up in my cloud-like bed with a case of emotional hangover so awful that it makes my heart literally ache. Some of these causes are so stupid (“Why did only 3 people ‘like’ my article on xxx?”) and others are more serious. They’re not just your average case of blues or PMS.
When emotional hangover happens (not often, but often enough), 2 things really help me out.
1. Friends: Last time I got E.H. was at the beginning of summer, and I talked it all out with Mary. This meme she made for me was just the antidote to feeling like a failure for not being a beacon of purity and hope.
This time around (today, in fact), I was just trudging along in a fog of self-doubt when a package arrived. “Ugh boyfriend must have ordered something online again” I thought, but lo and behold, it was a package from Jennifer!!
I am more and more convinced that friendship is quite possibly the most life-sustaining thing in the world. Yes there is love, but is friendship any less valuable? Let’s just say it’s a draw.
When Harry Potter is recovering from facing dementors, he eats chocolate. Likewise, when you’re feeling emotionally and spiritually weakened and vulnerable, the only logical recovery method is through deep dark delicious stuff. I made this vegan chocolate almond brownie as a self-healing method and added extra protein for good measure. It’s deliciously fudgy, decadent, and yet so protein-rich–you could eat this for a post-workout snack, no problem. If you don’t want to use protein powder for some reason, feel free to just increase the cocoa powder to 1/2 cup. There is already plenty of vegan protein from the beans, chia seeds, and almond butter!
Vegan Chocolate Almond Protein Brownies
1 can black beans
10 dates, pitted
2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water
1 tbsp baking powder
5 tbsp almond milk
1/3 cup natural almond butter
1/2 package chocolate vegan protein powder (I used Vega Recovery)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9″ baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a blender or food processor, process beans, dates, chia “eggs,” almond milk, protein powder, cocoa powder, and salt, until thoroughly mixed together and the texture is thick and pasty.
3. Add baking powder and blend.
4. Add almond butter and give a quick pulse–it should be sort of “cut in” rather than blended thoroughly. Turn off the blender and add chocolate chips, and stir with a spoon or spatula.
5. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on the counter. After it comes to room temp, I like to stick it in the fridge for further cooling, which helps with cutting and clean presentation (and tastes better, in my opinion!)
6. Enjoy and feel better!!
Also see: Vegan and Gluten Free Blackout Cookies
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling