Blogversation 2012: What’s your feel-better food?

Throughout this year, several bloggers will engage in a conversation here and on their blogs — asking questions of each other and responding. Others are absolutely welcome to join the conversation, as well. Learn more about the ladies of Blogversation 2012.

The last few days, I’ve been feeling a little oogy, as a college roommate of mine like to say — not laid out miserable sick, just not 100 percent.

That’s meant I haven’t eaten much, and what I have eaten has mostly been one of my go-to comfort foods: macaroni and cheese.

A year ago, I was far more than oogy. I was probably as sick as I’ve ever been. I didn’t eat for nearly two weeks, and dropped about 10 pounds.

When I was trying to find something, anything, I could eat last year, I found several resources suggesting the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, toast.  All were recommended as gentle on the tummy, not too hard to digest.

But while I ate quite a bit of toast and applesauce while I came back to life, I also listened to my body. My body wanted comfort food, so although I worried throwing a grilled cheese into an angry stomach would be too much fat and grease, it totally worked.

I think part of the reason is how much I love a good grilled cheese. Comfort food does more than feed the stomach, it nourishes the soul, and I think when I felt terrible, I needed both badly.

When I was sick as a kid, my stepmother would get me a Slurpee, half Coke and half cherry, to soothe my sore throat. Now any time I have a Slurpee, I have that warm feeling of being loved and cared for, no matter how many sugary calories I’m pumping down my throat.

My guess is that our comfort foods are partly influenced by our tastes — I adore mashed potatoes and always have — but probably are more a factor of memories and experience. If you grew up in Michigan, you probably drank flat Vernor’s ginger ale when you were sick, and that means something different than any old ginger ale.

But on that theory, my macaroni and cheese romance would have to focus on the bright orange Kraft my mom made, and not the gooey, creamy elbows I’ve been downing this week.

What’s your feel-better food and why?



Categories: food and drink

5 replies

  1. Oh my goodness, how I do love sweets, especially chocolate, in all its forms: chocolate-covered matzoh, chocolate cookies, dark chocolate bars. I’ve turned to it over and over my entire life to feel better, or, to be honest to feel LESS of what is uncomfortable. I’ve used it as the glue to hold things together and to feel like I’m getting what I really want.

    For practical reasons (we’re talking doctor’s orders), I’m in a phase of life where I’m looking to see what else I can engage in that truly feeds me and also benefits my mental and physical health. I can’t begin to tell you how uncomfortable it is to curb my consumption of sweets, to ask myself what it is I’m really longing for when I impulsively go into a store to grab a sugary treat.

    But I’m finding that by looking at this sugar addiction head-on, I am moving my life forward on not only the health front, but in other arenas as well.

    In going after my dreams, I want to be truly present and not lost in a haze of a sugar crash or sliding into a pre-diabetic coma. I want to be here, really HERE, for both myself and for those around me.

    Thank you, Sweets, for helping me get through life thus far. I’m going to be seeing a little less of you now, in hopes of finding other forms of energy, nurturing, and satisfaction.

  2. Amen on the flat Vernors, which is SOOOO much more than just ginger ale, for an upset stomach.

  3. Pizza, pizza, fish and chips and pizza. In that order.

  4. This is going to sound crazy, but it’s kale. Yes, that green, leafy, bitter vegetable. Transfored with olive oil, sea salt and friends – kale has made its way to the middle of my plate and is at the center of bringing my friend’s together. (I’m branching out to add other veggies and nuts to the ways I prepare the kale.) Last year, 3 of my friends (the “Trust Tree”) would get together for dinner once or twice a week and polish off a 5 pound bag … baked with olive oil and eaten with chopsticks. We were in heaven sitting around my dining room table, fanning the front door to stop the smoke alarm from going off and talking about our hopes, dreams and day-to-day events. After being in Madison a few months, I’ve reintroduced kale into my life. I actually just organized my first “Ladies of Kale” dinner party! I can hardly wait to share the joy of kale with them and begin to build friendships that last beyond the last kale flake.

    But, let’s be real, I also love ice cream.


  1. Blogversation 2012: Wrapping up a year of online conversation « Newvine Growing — exploring evolution, revolution and living life intentionally

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