Topic: Comfort foods that always make me feel better.
While I could say things like my grandma's dinner rolls or my mom's oatmeal cookies, I don't actually associate those foods with calming stress or bad feelings. Yes, they taste like home and make me feel good, but if I was having a rough time due to work or my relationship or whatever, they would not have the same effect as some of the things I've decided to list. So here is my legit list of foods that actually lighten my mood and make me feel better when I eat them if I've been having a crap day. I also hate cooking when I'm in a bad mood or had a rough time (mostly because I hate the clean up), so everything on this list can be bought or made very easily.
1. Melty Cheese-based Food
You might say that comfort foods should be something small, or baked goods, but dangit, when I start feeling stressed and anxious I crave cheeseburgers. And then I eat one and feel better. Or mac & cheese. Or grilled cheese.
(this one time I was visiting my parents and my mom and I made grilled cheese with this smoked gouda she had and they were phenomenal. I have dreams about those sandwiches.)
2. Coca Cola
Coke has a calming effect on me. I can feel my mood lighten as soon as I've had my first gulp. This might be a sign of addiction...
3. Happy Meals
My mom would always buy me a Happy Meal after a doctor's appointment if I had to get a shot. Now, I buy one for myself if I've had a bad appointment (like the doctor blew off my concerns or just left the room without finishing the conversation or the mean man took my BLOOD!) And sometimes if I had a bad day teaching, I would get a Happy Meal to cheer myself up. It works. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, and I guess I was successfully indoctrinated...
|via Consumer Affairs|
4. Little Debbie Zebra Cakes
I eat these when the painters are in. I crave them and a few times in college I ate a whole box in one sitting - which is really disgusting to think about. I think it's the sugar and fairly neutral flavor that makes them so appealing. They help with cramps, tender feelings, and irritability.
I drink a lot of tea, but I really drink a lot of tea when I'm tired, feeling stuck or just down on life, or stressed out. The act of getting up and tending to the kettle, letting the tea steep long enough, adding milk/sugar/lemon/whatever, and then the warmth soaking through the ceramic cup into my hands has a purpose and a calming effect. While I am creative and think well on my feet, I really like logic and directions and order in my actions, so the steps of making a cup of tea lend me a focus outside myself.
I also associate tea with my friends in England. My friends who taught me to "scald the cup and steep the leaves" - heat the cup with some of the boiling water before adding the teabag and water. The process of putting the kettle on in my dorm or hotel room after arriving home on a cold day, then relaxing with a cuppa and a biscuit. Thinking about my friends and the sense of belonging I feel when I'm in England helps me feel centered and like I matter, that I'm not worthless. This is something I am reminded of when I drink tea.
|This is my favorite cup for tea. There is a great story behind it, but this entry is getting kinda long...|
What are your favorite comfort foods? What helps you feel relaxed, or homey, or happier when you eat it or smell it cooking?
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