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?