Isn’t it funny how we, in Britain, are so unaccustomed to extreme weather that when it occurs we either just shut down completely (actually, and mentally) or go into mass hysteria. There are extreme (rather than severe) weather warnings throughout the UK as we are due to experience a weather “event”. That’s right people, an event; wow. Snow. Lots of snow. Luckily, I am on compassionate leave this week (my nanny passed away on christmas day and her funeral’s friday) so leaving our lovely little flat isn’t a necessity. It’s funny how when I refer to my nanny as something other than this it creates a distance and a lack of reality regarding her death. Labels and names are powerful things! (Check out Gena from Choosing Raw‘s great post on labels).
It’s been a strange start to the new year, and my new baking obsession has been part of my experience of nanny’s death. Baking=comfort food and distraction from actually dealing with what’s happened. Her passing away has affected me more than I expected. My nanny and I were quite close- I helped look after her in her final days, and she was incredibly proud of me training to become a registered nurse (she had always wanted to be a qualified nurse but life presented other priorities). But her death has affected me in another way. Last time I lost a grandmother I was also studying, and the stress of studying and losing someone close was a contributory factor to my disordered eating and poor relationship with food and my body. Whilst I am very different now to who I was back then it has disturbed some of the dust that had settled. Losing my grandmother this time around has disturbed my sense of control and well being, whilst making me realise how I unconsciously deal with problems by obsessing over food. Don’t get me wrong, I love food but sometimes it is a source of stress rather than joy. Suddenly a number on the weighing scale becomes an obsession rather than what it is; just a number. Being busy has become a manic need rather than just one of those things. Food has become something I need to control rather than a source of nourishment and pleasure. However, compassionate leave this week has given me the chance to slow down, to just be, to remember what it’s like for life not to be filled with necessities, to process and accept my nanny’s death, to re-centre myself (thank goodness for yoga and kind, giving people). So whilst mass hysteria sweeps the nation, the Collins’ household is a place of calm, of acceptance, of peace. How I cherish these times that so easily get lost when life resumes.
To round off and bid adieu to my baking spree I would like to refer you to this recipe for a great, gluten-free, vegan breakfast bar I found on Elana’s Pantry. It’s like a granola bar, but without the oats. And it’s free from gluten, dairy, and sugar, and is high in healthy fats and proteins. Enjoy! 🙂