The link between my physical and mental health – and a recipe for Hazelnut Nut-Ella Biscuits

I’m starting to realise how much my physical health affects my mental health. I wrote previously about considering coming off my anti-depressant medication, which I take primarily for anxiety, although I consider anxiety and depression to be different sides of the same coin. I have taken this medication for over six years, and it has only been this year – in my busiest, most sleep-deprived year yet – that I have felt in a place where I am ready to *try* living without it. I put this down to cutting out processed foods and fructose. I have felt so much healthier this year, and my frame of mind has followed suit. I feel more optimistic, happier, more resilient and able to cope with daily challenges, and had less mental exhaustion.

Comparatively, when I’m sick my mental health declines too. I am a terrible patient. If I get a cold or flu, ALL HOPE IS GONE. I am miserable. Pessimistic. A total negative nancy. The negative self-talk, self-loathing and paranoia goes into overdrive, and along with it, the need to indulge in unhealthy comfort food. I realise now that this once served to keep me trapped in a cycle of mediocre physical and mental health.

I suppose the benefits of knowing this, are that: a) it’s definitely a motivator and incentive for me to invest in my health, and b) I can observe these patterns in my mental health behaviour. When I am sick, the reflective part of me can sit back, recognise that actually, all hope is not lost and my feelings are only temporary. I can then put in extra effort to mitigate the effects of my negative mental health; and to invest in healthier food options. Still comfort food, but of a more nourishing variety!

Recently I was feeling unwell and a little sorry for myself, and had a sudden urge to make these biscuits. I can’t really claim credit for them. They were inspired by I Quit Sugar, and are an adaptation of their almond jam thumbprint biscuits (which are also amazing). I had the IQS nut-ella already made in the fridge, so it was very easy to whip these up.

They are fructose-free, gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free.

Hazelnut Nut-Ella Biscuits

  • Servings: 14
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

      • 1/2 cup coconut flour
      • 1/4 cup hazelnut meal
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
      • 1/4 tsp baking powder
      • Pinch of salt
      • 1 egg
      • 1/4 cup macadamia oil
      • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup
      • 3 – 4 tsp pre-made nut-ella

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine the coconut flour, hazelnut meal, vanilla powder, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir to combine.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg, macadamia oil and rice malt syrup until well combined.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. This might take a bit of work – it needs to get to ‘ball-rolling’ consistency. Although it won’t seem like it’s going to happen, the coconut flour will absorb the liquid as you mix.

4. Roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls. Place on the baking tray, and gently press down with your thumb to create a well. Fill the well with the pre-made nut-ella.

5. Bake for 10 minutes until biscuits are starting to brown. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

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