I typically have to write about how not to eat that dessert or treat or large portion or processed food choice. I have to appeal to health goals and weight goals and counsel people about emotional eating and why exercise needs to be a daily habit, like brushing teeth. It occurs to me that on a blog site devoted to anxiety and stress, I can finally offer some insight into comfort foods that are good for you and that may provide a meal for pleasure to your tummy and to your soul.
When I think of comfort foods that are good for you, I immediatly think of soups. Because I like to emphasize healthy choices, why not make a winter root vegetable soup with a vegetable broth base. Soups are comforting because the prep can be a way for you to channel anxiety or stress (chop away at a variety of vegetables - the more the better). You can use tomato juice or a vegetable broth to start, simmer the vegetables in the liquid for an hour, add salt and pepper to taste. Then puree a cup of the soup and vegetables and add back to the soup for a thicker consistency.
Another food that comes to mind is chili, but I recommend bean chili so you have a comfort food that is plant based. A crock pot chili is great because you simply load in the ingredients, set on low and within several hours a comforting aroma will waft through the house. Crock pot meals allow you to prep in the am and arrive home in the pm to a ready meal.
To me puddings are the ultimate comfort dessert, and you can reduce the fat by using skim milk or evaporated skim milk and rich dark chocolate. A little goes a long way. Another comfort dessert is baked apples which I make by coring out part of each center, pouring in apple juice or apple cider, cinnamon and some raisins and then baking at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes.
So this winter season, as you struggle with anxiety or stress, turn to exercise and cooking healthy comfort foods as two healthy habits that can de-stress you.