Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Defense of Comfort Food

Last night, I ended up not going to bed until 2 a.m.  This morning, I had to get up and trudge to work, sit in a horrid office with out of control AC and cantankerous software, and curse out the stupid database writers who have no comprehension of what a classical music lover needs when organizing a large CD collection. I had very little sleep, woke up late and in a hurry, and was generally unsettled most of the day.  I knew it would be a short day at work, so I didn't bother with lunch.  Plus, I had a slight tickle in my throat.

Last night's blog entry, Food Is Not Your Dog, was all about how it's not a good idea to turn to food to address emotional issues.  I am of the firm opinion that the only time when it's really appropriate to eat is when your body is in need of fuel, although I'm not above engaging in my occasional bouts of inappropriateness in this and other areas of life.

"Don't comfort yourself with food" is one of the maxims by which I am endeavoring to live.  "Eat only when hungry," as expounded on another entry.  But although I am firmly against comforting oneself with food, this does not mean at all that I am against the concept of comfort food.

There are those times when we are both emotionally or situationally unsettled AND in need of food.  A household move.  Exam time.  A family bereavement.  A fight with your spouse.  At times such as these is when what we think as "comfort food" comes in.

Chicken soup, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches with cream of tomato.  Chicken pot pie, beef stew, scrambled eggs and toast, or even a bowl of plain white rice or mashed potatoes.  When our minds and hearts are feeling too taxed by life, that is what we crave as fuel.  Food that is undemanding of our senses or effort.  Easy to eat, easy to digest, without much complication in the way of flavor, texture, or even color.  Food that is easy on the mind as well as on the gut.  Food that will gently nourish your body when you are hungry, so that you can get on with the business of facing whatever troubles you when you are not.

1 comment:

  1. When I have a cold, my comfort food of choice is hot and sour soup with extra chili sauce--anything that will cut through the crap.