mugshot  

It is unfortunate that comfort food gets a bad rap.
The truth is, food is a relatively safe
way to cope with intense emotions, compared
to drugs, alcohol, or self harm.


Image © courtesy of
Amy at bellyfull.net
   

Feel Good Food

BY SARAH MINKOW, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
University of California Berkeley
University Health Services

   

Food does more than just provide nutrients. It delights our senses, helps us celebrate special occasions, connects us to people, and defines our cultures. We may bake holiday cookies with our families, celebrate move-in day with a pizza with our roommates, cry into our Ben and Jerry's after a break up, or Netflix and chili-straight-out-of-the-can in bed when needing some downtime after finals. And that’s OK! Food nourishes our body and soul and can be an important part of our identity.

Growing up, my grandmother would make popovers for us for breakfast when we would visit. Anytime I have a popover I picture being at my grandmother's house, pulling up a chair to her kitchen table, and enjoying a buttery, still warm out of the oven popover with her. Now that she has passed, I cherish that memory. Do you have a particular food that makes you feel good?

It is unfortunate that comfort food gets a bad rap. The truth is, food is a relatively safe way to cope with intense emotions, compared to drugs, alcohol, or self harm. We all sometimes eat when stressed or emotional. The problem arises when the food we are eating does not actually make us feel good, or it is our only coping mechanism.

When enjoying all foods, but especially those that are more for comfort than nutritional need, I invite you to eat with intention. Put away distractions, bring your focus to the present moment, and take your time so you can really enjoy it. Cultivate a healthy relationship with food and your body by practicing mindful eating — tune into your body's signals, and learn to trust and honor those messages. There are no foods that are off limits. Remove the strict food rules or restrictions, and you often remove the urge to over-indulge. And remember, your worth or value is not determined by what you eat.


Also by Sarah Minkow: Considering Starting a Diet? Read This First


Advertisement



See also:

pile
Lazy Compost
beach house
Affordable beach houses
for rent in Nicaragua
esalen
Esalen Archives 1960s
/
Mountain Neighbors
Helping Neighbors 95033
/
The Invasiveness of
Native Plant
People