Comfort foods. The best and worst of things. Who doesn’t have one, or two, or five soothing foods that they run to during desperate times? In fact, they’re almost a requirement in maintaining sanity. And they make us feel so much better, at least for a few glorious moments.
Unfortunately, that tummy ache can have us feeling absolutely terrible for much longer than that heart ache. Many of our comfort foods – ice cream, cookies, chocolate, chips, doughnuts – are riddled with preservatives. We might also have our default high fat, greasy foods that our parents made when we were kids, you know, the ones we might associate with happiness and love. Problem is that as adults, eating our standard comfort foods can potentially cause us to now feel quite, well, uncomfortable, both physically and sometimes emotionally. So what to do? We can’t banish comfort foods altogether. That would be illegal.
So instead, one thing I’ve tried is to identify alternatives without preservatives or less harmful fats ahead of time so when I need to run to my go-to food like Usain Bolt dashing toward the finish line, I’m already prepared with a better option. Of course there are times when things are just so bad that I want my original fix, so I’ll go ahead and indulge, but that’s now reserved for emergencies only. I can justify a whole lot of things to be considered emergencies, but that’s another story.
Here’s an example of a modified healthy comfort food option by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the author of Arranged Marriage and other beautiful fiction works:
If you have a healthier version of your go-to comfort food, I’d love to hear about it.