I have not been feeling like myself for several months. I’ve had panic disorder for my entire life, so I’m used to anxiety, but this is something I’ve never experienced. Over the past several months, I’ve started getting anxious over everything (and, more often than not, nothing). It’s a hard feeling to get used to. I often find myself zipping along the freeway, only to be overtaken by a sense of dread. I’ll start to feel like I’m going to lose control and crash my car, and I start seeing colorful flashes like the ones you see after you get your picture taken.
I know this is just anxiety playing tricks on me, but it never feels any less terrifying. I don’t want to feel this way for any longer than I have to, so I started flipping through my mental Rolodex to figure out why I might be experiencing this new onslaught of symptoms. And then it occurred to me: food.
Two years ago, I realized firsthand what a massive difference food can make in how you feel. I was definitely sick—mentally, emotionally, and physically—and food was the medicine that pulled me out of my rut in every regard. I started cooking out of desperation, but the feeling I got from eating whole, real foods kept me going and brought me to where I am today.
I’ve never felt better than I did a year ago. I was consistently eating whole, mostly plant-based foods, I was exercising, and I was maintaining a (fairly) solid yoga practice. I had more energy than ever before, and I felt optimistic and rejuvenated. One thing you find when you’re trying to sustain a healthy relationship with food, though, is that life gets in the way all too easily. Loved ones don’t want to eat the same way that you do. Special occasions come up and you fall off the wagon. Pizza and beer exist.
The thing I’ve struggled to realize, though, is that all those things are more than okay. Loved ones have their own preferences. Special occasions are meant for celebrating. Sometimes it’s Friday and you just really need a big, sexy slice and a beer. Life is about balance. But lately, I’ve fallen out of balance and back towards the habits I had when I felt so unlike myself in 2015. Food stopped being a source of joy and started being something I beat myself up over. Cooking stopped being exciting and started being drudgery. Special occasions stopped being celebrations and started being a mental battle.
I cannot and will not allow food to be a negative force in my life. I will not sit around and hope that my mind will heal itself. Positive change only happens when you become the catalyst. So, until further notice, this blog will be a space where I document my journey back to wellness. I know that word is so overused, but I truly believe it’s so important for everyone to step back and figure out what it means to them. To me, working towards wellness means striving to create a healthy, loving relationship with food, your mind, your body, and the earth. You might have a different definition—in fact, it’s likely that you do—and I strongly encourage you to think about it and set your own goals!
If you’ve made it this far, I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for listening. If you came here just for the recipe, that’s okay, too. We’re all on different journeys to wellness, and this blog is mine. So, in the spirit of wellness, I’m sharing one of my favorite, super-adaptable recipes with you today. It’s one of my go-tos when I need something that’s both hearty and healthy, so I’ll likely be making a lot of iterations of it as I work back toward my personal brand of wellness. What does wellness mean to you?
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- 8 eggs
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 2–3 cups diced veggies, meat, tofu, whatever
- Optional fresh herbs and/or spices
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, cheese (if using) and a bit of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside. Note: You may have to use more or fewer eggs, depending on the volume of filling you’re using. If you pour in the eggs and they’re dripping out of the pan, you’ve gone too far. Use your judgment. I trust you.
- Heat the butter or olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. If using raw meat, cook that first, drain, and set aside. Wipe the excess fat out of the skillet before cooking your veggies. Sauté veggies until they’re soft and feel like a good eating texture. Again, use your judgment.
- Add the meat back into the pan, season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, and add any herbs or spices. Cook for 30 seconds more, or until the spices are fragrant.
- Spread the meat and veggies evenly on the bottom of the pan and pour over the egg mixture. Tilt the pan around to make sure the eggs cover everything. Cook or a minute or two, or until you see the eggs starting to set at the edges of the pan.
- Put the pan in the oven and bake 8–10 minutes, or until the eggs are completely set. (Note: You can test this by cutting a small slice in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the middle, let it go another minute and test it again).
- Remove the frittata from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve!
Some combos to try:
- Onion, potatoes, mushrooms, kale, and parmesan cheese (see recipe photo)
- Leeks, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, and mozzarella cheese
- Bacon, onion, bell pepper, potatoes, and cheddar cheese (I do not condone this if you’re trying to have a healthy day, but I do condone it if you just really need something hearty and delicious, because it is that.)
- Spinach, kalamata olives, basil, and feta cheese
- Cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, balsamic reduction drizzle
- Onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese
- Chorizo, bell pepper, potatoes, and some sort of Mexican cheese (cotija! Oaxaca! Regular old Mexican-style shreds!)
- Roasted red peppers, zucchini, fresh herbs, and goat cheese
- Literally any leftovers you have sitting in your fridge. If you can dream it, you can probably frittata it. Now go forth and be well, friends!