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Peanut butter. One of my favorite foods in the entire world. In fact, I really enjoy all nut butters (especially almond butter!).
Peanut butter was ALWAYS a “bad” food when I was stuck in my eating disorder. I wasn’t allowed to have it, according to Anamia (screw her, right!).
Recovery showed me that, first of all, Anamia is a psycho crazy bitch who has no say in what I eat, think, or feel. She is a monster. But secondly, recovery also taught me about quality versus quantity. I’m sure many people struggling would agree that they would rather eat a bowl full of bland celery than have a spoonful of rich tasty peanut butter (I’m not trying to diss celery). Why? Because the peanut butter is high in calories and fats and when someone struggles with an eating disorder that’s all they choose to focus on.
BUT, which one is more nutritionally dense and packed full of healthy nutrients that will provide your body with the energy it needs to survive? The peanut butter, duh. Besides, who wants to eat bowls and bowls of celery?!…yuck.
As I went through recovery, I had to view food as a fuel source, and I had to choose foods that would satisfy my body and give my body what it needed to survive. I started changing my view of peanut butter from, “No way, too many calories,” to, “Look at all of the amazing things peanut butter has to offer.”
Peanuts are rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, Niacin, and folate, as well as monounsaturated fats, which are heart healthy fats! (note: you can always refer to fats at “lipids” if that makes you more comfortable eating them). They are also packed full of protein. Another amazing thing about peanuts is that they are full of antioxidants!
Now, when I go to then fridge and look for a snack, I have options. Maybe some days I don’t want peanut butter and I may go for the celery and hummus. But on days my body does crave peanut butter, I eat peanut butter. Not a whole jar, but enough to satisfy that craving, and each day that amount may be different…and that’s okay.
Changing my view on peanut butter changed me relationship with peanut butter. I love peanut butter so much now! After I make a fresh batch I find myself licking the spoon every time and enjoying fresh warm peanut butter (it’s the best, right?!).
Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie
By Amy DiPaola
1 cup almond milk + more for blending
1 large banana, frozen
1/2 cup zucchini, frozen and sliced
1 Tbs cacao powder
2 Tbs natural peanut butter
3 dates or 1-2 Tbs agave nectar (depending on how sweet you want it)
Handful of Spinach (optional)
1. Place everything in your blender and blend! This recipe has the texture of a frosty, so I’ve found eating this with a spoon is fun, but the traditional straw works also!