Those of us who aren't comfort eaters can find it very difficult to choke down any food when we're upset. Sometimes it's like a kind of grief-inspired anorexia that makes people unable to eat (loss of appetite, nausea at the thought of food), but it can also be a self-imposed punishment due to survivor's guilt. Unfortunately, not eating inevitably compounds the issue, as hunger can cause lightheadedness, anxiety, insomnia, and countless other issues that just make everything so. much. worse.
Proper nutrition isn't just a beneficial thing to think about once in a while; it keeps us alive and thriving, and it's vital that those who are hurting manage to consume something, anything, that will help keep them going and help them heal.
People who find it difficult to eat when they're grieving often have an easier time drinking fluids. Soothing broths are ideal to prepare for them if this is the case, as well as thin juices and smoothies like the one I'm sharing here. This bright, Vitamin C-packed smoothie was one that I made for a friend of mine when she was going through a really rough patch after a loss: although it took some time for her to be able to eat solid food, she found that smoothies like this one were both enjoyable and easy to drink when she felt like her throat was too tight for anything heavier.
(By heavier, I mean anything with bananas, yogurt, protein powder, or anything else that will thicken it into a goopy sludge. As healthy as kale/avocado/spirulina shakes may be, they're very thick and can be difficult to swallow when one's throat is constricted from emotion. Besides, anything that looks like pureed grasshoppers wouldn't make it onto my list of appetizing comfort food.) ;)
Sunrise Smoothie Ingredients:
- 2 ruby red grapefruits, peeled and sectioned (you might need to seed them too, depending on your juicer)
- 2-3 honey tangerines/tangelos, or 4-5 satsumas, peeled and sectioned
- 2 cups strawberries*, stems removed
Put the grapefruit and tangerine sections through your juicer, and allow every sweet drop to accumulate in the container. If you feel it necessary, pour a tablespoon or two of water through the juicer to get any last bits out.
Transfer the juice to a blender, toss in the strawberries, and process until liquefied. Pour into a tall smoothie glass and refrigerate any leftovers. If bringing this to a friend or relative, a Mason jar makes a great container as it can also double as a drinking glass.
When making juices and smoothies, aim for the best quality produce you can find. Organic is best, and local fruits and vegetables have had more time to ripen in the sun than those picked in other countries and shipped in long-haul trucks over the course of a few weeks.
*I like to make this with frozen strawberries, especially if I have to choose between organic frozen, or regular fresh ones. Not only are the organic ones more flavourful, but adding a frozen element makes this a beautiful cold drink for a hot summer day.