This post is not about The Swamp Thing’s favorite things to eat when he is feeling under the weather (file that away for another post- ha!). Though, when you have a cold (or aren’t feeling your sportiest) sometimes it feels like you have a monster on your back.
We’ve talked on here before about our favorite creature comforts. So, what about our favorite creature comfort foods? You know the ones: the ones that only get a pass when you are feeling the crummiest, or would give you scurvy if you ate them exclusively. Although they have almost NO nutritional value, everyone has particular foods that are 10 cc’s of emotional comfort. Some are carb-y and intuitive, others are deeply personal reflections of childhood or self-care techniques. Both of us are consciously trying to deal with our food issues (and there are many) and one way is to acknowledge patterns and habits to take the power away from the food.
My comfort foods are a glorious, carb-y combination of things my mom would make me when I was sick (chicken noodle soup with enough saltines in them to eat with a fork), food I could make myself when I was little (scrambled egg sammich on white bread, with mayo), and two foods introduced to me by roommates (Frosted Animal Crackers– thanks Coralie, and Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal– Amanda, of course). I guess it all depends on how you are trying to comfort yourself. When I am legit I-have-a-cold sick, it is straight-up chicky-noo soup with saltines on the reg. When I am I-havz-a-sad sick, then it is pretty much all carbs, all the time: Martinelli Apple Juice, Nilla Wafers dunked in milk, all of the toast. Do these things actually make me feel better? Sort of. In fact, the healthier I eat, generally the better I feel. Though realizing the correlation seems to do little in the way of stopping me from eating Coconut Dreamz/Girl Scout Cookies Samoas.
What’s funny is very rarely do these comfort foods actually make you physically feel better, but emotionally better as so much of it is counterproductive to anyone’s reasonable diet. These things are good band-aids but never long-term solutions- soul comforting but not necessarily body nourishing.
My comfort food choices are can be narrowed down to one basic genre and one exception to the rule- Soul Food aka Southern Cooking and well, Mexican Food. Fried chicken, butter beans, 7 layer salad, creamed corn, corn bread, rolls, fried okra, mashed potatoes, cubed steak, country fried steak, meatloaf, vegetable beef soup, black eyed peas, field peas, squash casserole, banana pudding, chocolate cake with chocolate icing, peach cobbler, apple pie, pecan pie, homemade ice cream… just to name a few- have the capabilities to lift my spirits in just a matter of a few bites. However, there’s no need to expound on what these foods do to my waistline! And then, I am 100% positive I was Mexican in a previous life! Authentic Mexican, Tex-Mex Mexican, California Mexican– any which way it comes, bring it! I love it and a good Mexican meal and a Top Shelf Margarita can solve a world of hurt!
Everyone has their own list of foods they crave when they are sick or sad or stressed or… hungover. What is your go-to comfort food? Do you have different ones for different occasions and reasons? Or do you just have a grouping of foods that are your go-tos for when the going gets tough? Let us know what your comfort foods are in the comments.