Reaching for the comfort food

The last week was full of stress dipping me into a deep pool of anxiety. There was odd stuff going on but number one was an old sick cat. Nothing riles me up like an ill pet especially an old one. (Visions of grave digger on speed dial swirl in my mind.)

I needed comfort food. I’m not a stress eater. In fact I’m a stress non-eater. I’ll lose weight when something is going on. What I do eat is comfort food. Forget those food pyramids and throw out the balanced meals.

I got curious about what it is about comfort food that makes me crave it. I turned to Dr. Google.

My comfort foods are pizza, ice cream, mashed potatoes, noodles and chocolate. I don’t want meat. And good heavens NO salads! Very carby but not necessarily sweet. I can toss in an egg if I feel the need for protein. (I am fortunate that the beloved husband likes noodles because it’s been on the menu a lot lately. He can include a steak with that and be happy!)

Other people have different choices. Pizza is a top selection but for others it’s mac and cheese, lasagna, grilled cheese sammies or spaghetti. (Sounds very carby too!)

I worked with a guy who could eat a dozen donuts in one sitting when his marriage was breaking up. I saw him do it and was too speechless to intercede. (Just the thought of that makes me gag!)

Comfort food puts us in a pleasant emotional state. Most of time it has fat, sugar or salt. It doesn’t have to be junk food. (Yes I hear you. Hard to find fat in broccoli but you can add cheese sauce.)

It may also be foods associated with people — what mom gave you on a bad day. Soup can be very satisfying and totally healthy.

Nostalgia is another driving factor. The food may remind you of something pleasant like picnics (hmm-mm s’mores) or fun activities you did as a kid (Chef Boyardee while watching cartoons does not count!).

I have been alternating between pizza and ice cream (with or without chocolate sauce – I add strawberries to make it healthy). Dang I’m feeling a whole lot better although good news and good results helped that along enormously.

As I’m thinking about dinner today, I’m still craving something carby. It maybe my final dose as we are getting a house guest tomorrow. I wonder if she likes pizza.

How about you? Do you eat specific foods to help your mood? What is your fav?



69 thoughts on “Reaching for the comfort food

  1. If I’m going to stress eat it will generally be salty! I will get into a bag of pretzels and devour the whole thing and I can’t ever have potato chips in the house. I inhale like a vacuum cleaner! I do love eggs and toast sometimes when I’m needing comfort. You can’t overdo that too badly, although I bake sourdough bread every week, and in a particular mood I can really inhale that! I’m hungry just thinking about these foods now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It may depend on the weather. I love salty, especially during the summer. I love salty better than sweet which is why I don’t eat my chocolate in candy. Eggs are good. I remember when they were classified as “bad food.” That’s changed.


  2. Cheesy things are great and I love them and I can easily polish off a box of white cheddar Cheez-its … sometimes, being a texture eater, some crackers (Triscuits) will do it for me as I prefer something with a little crunch to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so interesting. I don’t think I’ve really thought about what I eat when I’m not happy or depressed about something. I suspect it’s probably Chinese food, though, because I know it’s bad for me (salt and high cholesterol), and I massively control my urges for it every single day of the year. I limit my intake to probably just twice a month. But if I’m troubled about something? All of that self-control goes out the window, and it’s a veritable feast of egg rolls, beef and broccoli, egg foo young, and fried rice. – Marty

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  4. A lot of the things you mention are comfort foods in times of worry. One thing I do go to is when I’m sick I want Twin Pops. And I never eat them any other time. I suspect my parents gave them to us to keep us hydrated and quiet. 🙂

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  5. Depends. If I’m really miserable, I lose weight. Luckily (or unluckily…hah!), I am seldom really miserable. If I have some low-grade misery going on (not enough sleep, too many things to do, a feeling of lack of control over my life etc.,) I will gravitate towards all things carb, to give me energy and distract myself from whatever is eating at me…by eating! Makes no sense, I know!!! Trying to get better at not “eating my feelings”. It’s a work in progress…

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  6. I mostly eat comfort food when I’m feeling down. Stress gets me too hyper, although a sick pet would constitute me feeling down and I’d head for the snacks.

    My number one comfort food is a sweet powdered vanilla chai drink. I order it on the internet. It has way too much sugar and carbs. I could drink pints of the stuff. For some reason, it comforts me like nothing else. I limit myself to one or two cups a week, but when I’m depressed, it’s one or two cups a day. If you go to this link, scroll down until you see the picture of the chai. It’s sooooo good.

    My number two comfort food is chocolate and three is pasta. I wrote on my blog a while back about Pastina, the buttered pasta Mom gave me when my tummy was upset.

    So glad Mollie is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a stress eater, no question about it. Definitely carby foods … and chocolate. One can never have too much chocolate when the going gets tough. I worry about the repercussions (like heartburn) later.

    Hoping Mollie is doing ok … and your pizza and ice cream medicinal fixes are helping you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hope Mollie is good Kate.
    Comfort food this week is off the charts……. doughnuts, belgian buns, chocolate (small bar to show willing), wine gums, flaky pastry chicken and leek pie, grapes and yogurt to balance (what? I have no idea, but it sounds good). All will start again next week……. Consultant on Wednesday, so long trip Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have weird comfort food things……grilled cheese sammies, Cheeze-Its Extra Toasties, Reese’s p-nut butter cups…..none of which are good for me but that’s what comfort is all about (hahaha). Hope your Mollie is better!

    Hugs of comfort (!), Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    • Candy isn’t my go to which is a good thing! I like my chocolate in syrup or maybe ice cream. I’ve never heard of Cheeze-Its Extra Toasties. That sounds like something I could sink my teeth in.


  10. Pizza, for sure. And Mac & Cheese, especially out of the blue box, mixed with Hormel Chili from the can. My childhood favorite.

    Right now there’s a “limited batch” potato chip by Kettle Chips: apple cider vinegar. I’m gonna miss it when it’s gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Grits dotted with pools of butter. Macaroni and Cheese. Pizza. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Smashed Taters with Veggies. Warm biscuits. Toasted Bagels.

    And chocolate.

    And I insist that BFF bury the bathroom scale in the backyard until I’m done carb loading! 😛

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  12. Pizza, hot dogs sliced with cheese inside with onions and mom’s “secret sauce” loaded, baked potato, ice cream ( currently vanilla with cinnamon) and grilled cheese. Maybe tomato basil soup – but no darn salad! (Husband will also accept the noodle if there’s leftover chicken/steak in the fridge to add in)
    With the shorter days, oddly food choices seem to be shifting. Ancient instinct to grab comfort foods getting ready for winter….(RC insists it’s the coming Vegetable invasion…and wants more vanilla ice cream..without cinnamon …who would spoil a good vanilla ice cream with that?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny cat story for you. I have to give Mollie 2 pills a day. She is incredibly hard to pill. I can do it maybe three times and then she hides when she knows it’s time. Vet said to try using whipped cream as it’s a very bitter pill. Pill pockets do not work with this cat nor does cheese so I have nothing to lose. I put some one a dish, coated the pill, then we had the chase, catch and jam down the throat. I left the remaining whipped cream next to the regular food. Next time I go up there, it’s gone. Plate is so licked clean it looked like it just came out of the dishwasher. Do I think Mollie ate it? Hell no! Sasha must have been up there. I have 8 more days of pilling. Hope I live through it.


  13. My anxiety has escalated the last couple of months (that damn Prolia shot) and my go to comfort food is wide egg noodles with butter and a bit of garlic salt. Pizza is good too but it tends to make my stomach rumbly. My homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs. I like an eye of round in the crock pot with SSNS’s mashed potatoes and I make gravy out of the meat drippings/liquid… my #1 go to meal. Just smelling it makes me feel all content and happy. My Mom always did a Sunday roast so there are the memories of her. Another comfort food for me is potato cakes made from the left over mashed potatoes. I hope you had good news about Mollie♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Mollie news is mixed but I’ll post on Friday. I love wide egg noodles! With butter? OMG! I also like a good pot roast and that may be the only meat I eat when stressed except the little bit of chicken in noodle soup. My mom always made a big Sunday meal. Sometimes a roast, sometimes trays of pork chops or a roast chicken. It carried us over Monday and sometimes Tuesday.


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