Monday, November 8, 2010

Comfort Food and Some Food Thoughts

Yesterday, I got some not so great news, and I felt pretty down. I was frustrated, disappointed, and a bit mad. I allowed myself to feel what I was feeling, and hubby did his best to cheer me up. When nothing else worked, he resorted to food. He listed all of my favorite foods and restaurants and knew that I would pick Korean. So we headed to a Korean restaurant. (Yes, we had just eaten out pretty much every meal since Friday night…)
Eating my favorite food worked! Smile I felt so much better after seeing and tasting the familiar side dishes (marinated lettuce, spicy bean sprouts, beans, spicy radishes with peppers, marinated radishes, kimchi, bean sprouts, Korean noodles, marinated scallions, celery, seaweed salad, potatoes and carrots) and eating a few spoonfuls of my hot tofu soup (a dish I still haven’t made at home, but it’s on “the list”…).


 And my hot, bubbly pot of comforting tofu soup with kimchi:

The toddler loved his noodles, seaweed soup, and rice.

We all felt much better after the meal.

Food Thoughts: A Little Bit About My Journey With (Comfort) Food

There was a time when I used food to deal with unpleasant life events. Through quite a bit of work (being mindful, forgiving myself, working on reducing stress every day, especially through exercise, yoga, and “me time”), I learned to not abuse food when life gets tough. But that doesn’t mean that a familiar food can’t provide comfort. I think it’s just important to not use food to silence what you are feeling.

I was very mindful when we ate at the Korean restaurant yesterday as I don’t want to go back to the place where I use food. And I certainly didn’t stuff myself with food (like I did in the past). Instead, I took the time to truly enjoy and appreciate the food. Just looking at all the beautiful side dishes, smelling them, and tasting just a little bit of each, helped me calm down and feel less anxious. And I think there is something almost magical about hot soup, especially hot soup that’s very familiar to you. It truly warms your body and soul.

Now, I wasn’t “perfect” yesterday, and I did overeat a bit at dinner. But that’s okay. One of the hardest things I had to learn when I stopped using food was to forgive myself for eating too much, which still happens once in a while. I had a second helping of pasta yesterday that I clearly didn’t need to eat to satisfy any physical hunger. I ate it for emotional reasons. But I was able to stop. And then I moved on, realizing that I could make better choices during my next meal. It was comforting to know that I had handled a very stressful day pretty well.

Questions: Are there any “food thoughts” you would like to share? What’s your favorite comfort food? Do you like soups? What’s your favorite soup? Have you ever had tofu soup? If so, do you like it? 

Be well,