Ahhh, even the words comfort food sound good. So comforting. So warm and cosy.
What are your comfort foods?
Chocolate mousse, cream puffs, macaroni cheese, potato bake, hot chocolate with marshmallows, ice cream, and chocolate. There is a big variety of foods that fall under this category – even vegemite and toast with lots of butter.
What you call comfort food is determined by your memories from childhood.
Did your Mum feed you buttery toast with vegemite when you were sick, or did you get homemade chicken soup? It was your Mum’s way of saying “I love you”.
My memory is of family gatherings, and my grandmother and her sisters were amazing cooks. And I wonder if there was a bit of one-up-man-ship that went on when they came together to celebrate, which they did at least 6 times per year. Homemade pavlova was a favorite and my grandmother made fairy cakes. These were very light and fluffy cupcakes and then she cut the top off the cupcake, put thickened cream on top then and cut the top in two, and put the two pieces on like angel wings, and in the middle was a strip of jelly. All these years later I can still see and taste those cakes. They were so special.
I am sure there was a main course of meats and salads but all I remember is the desserts and nearly all of them were made with cream or custard. Custard tarts, custard slices made with light fluffy pastry, trifle with every section homemade, even fruit salad with lashings of cream.
So, when I want something special, something to make me feel loved and cared about, something to make me feel better, I go for the creamy desserts.
This is no problem if it is for a special occasion a couple of times a year. But what if I am looking for love, wanting to feel special every day?
Eating my “comfort foods” every day is not good for any part of my health, including my weight, and these foods are a big part of our food cravings. We are tempted any time they are in the house, or we are anywhere near them. They call out to us from the fridge saying, – “I am here, come and get me, you will feel better, your tummy will feel warm and gooey” – And we succumb.
So, the solution we usually come up with is to just not have those foods in the house because we know that once they are in the house, we will eat them. This is a good strategy and one that I would have taught as a personal trainer, but now I have a better idea.
What if your favorite chocolate could be in the house and once a week or so you eat a small portion?
Sounds impossible, doesn’t it.
But this is what I teach.
We can have these wonderful, loving memories from childhood. The parties, the family gatherings, your Mum taking special care when you are sick, your Dad taking you out for Ice-cream, the easter egg hunt with your cousins and all those other fun times. These are wonderful memories of love and care and special times. But we don’t need the food to bring these feelings back. We can delink the food from the memories.