In years past, I struggled pretty badly with anxiety/panic attacks. I feel like this is something that’s pretty normal among people these days but mine wasn’t entirely brought on by trauma. There definitely was a trauma… I had just had major life saving surgery on my stomach which had left me in pain and tired most days and then a couple of months later my brother in law (who is now my ex-brother in law) tried to sleep with me at the age of 16.
He didn’t physically try. He just kept pushing the suggestion. I’ll never forget laying in my bed too scared to go to sleep not knowing if he’d come in. And then he did and I made him leave and he never tried again.
Both of those things can trigger anxiety but then there was the added benefit of me having to go cold turkey off of my migraine medication which, I was later informed, causes a chemical reaction in your brain that essentially throws everything out of whack and gave me crippling anxiety/panic attacks.
It was a lot for a young girl at 16 and it stayed a lot for quite a few years. I cut my friends out of my life, isolated myself, I hated leaving my house and definitely couldn’t be left alone anywhere. I gave up the future of going to the university that I had the opportunity for a scholarship for. Thinking back it was a bit funny- I was going to go for psychology and photography.
I took a long time to get better. I went on medication and I ignored life for a long time. My parents were incredible and never pressured me to do anything. They just let me be and were there when I needed them. Eventually I got there. I got a job at a bank, I started to make friends again, I weaned myself off of medication and I learned how to deal with life. The thing is, though, once you experience anxiety/panic attacks, they’re never gone for good. You can live your life and years can go by without ever feeling the most intense panic of your life and then one day, out of nowhere, it can hit you like a brick.
I’m working through some things. I’m accepting that I’m a human and I struggle and it’s possible that I struggle more than the average person. But I breathe deep, I remind myself of how blessed I am and I keep pushing through.
Sometimes it means I don’t have much of an appetite or desire to cook/bake, sometimes it means I need something both healthy and dessert-like with minimal effort. A couple of days ago that resulted in the making of this whipped salted chocolate ricotta mousse.
It took all of 2 minutes to pile the ingredients in to my mini food processor and pulse it until it was smooth. I popped it in the fridge to firm up a bit and then I enjoyed my protein, calcium and tryptophan loaded dessert.
While food has definitely become one of the last things I turn to for comfort, favoring yoga, meditation, walking and connecting with the people in my life first, there’s still a time for comfort food.
Stick this recipe in your back pocket for when you need a quick, satisfying, healthy pick me up to soothe your soul without making you feel like garbage. Or heck, anytime you just need something chocolatey and satisfying.
Do something that soothes your soul today.
- ½ C full fat ricotta
- 2 tsp cocoa powder (my preference is Rodelle)
- 1.5-2 tsp sugar
- ¼ - ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tsp milk
- optional pinch of cinnamon
- flaky salt, to top
- Whirl all ingredients in a small blender or mini food processor until smooth. Taste, adjust sugar, salt, cocoa, etc to your liking.
- Scrape in to a little bowl and top with flaky salt.
- Enjoy immediately or place in the fridge covered for a few hours or up to 3-4 days.
- Enjoy chilled.
Try these healthy desserts next!