My Comfort Foods, Now

Charles Schulz

Charles Schulz

Good Day Everyone,

There are moments when all we really want is something comforting. In fact, our choices are often affected by our moods.  Keeping in mind that ‘comfort foods’ are often associated with cravings, I’d like to share with you all a list of some of my favorite comfort foods as of late and give you a little perspective as to why I’m not turning toward the more grease/processed sugar/gluten-laden/soy-dense foods with any regularity.

First, to address why I try to stray from the aforementioned food categories.  More than anything, my body is so sensitive to even the most remote toxin that I’ll suffer for days in some shape or form. While this may have been something I was willing to put up with years ago, I’m coming to the conclusion that these days of suffering are more than just moments of uncomfortableness.  What do I mean?  Every time I throw off the balance of the pH in my body by some extreme (when I introduce foods I have an intolerance to), I suffer from a myriad of harmful affects that are making pathogenic layers in my body.  Yep, that’s right, layers. That’s how I like to think of it, that is.  I’m really hurting myself long-term if I eat my “naughty” foods often, and nobody else has to live with the aftermath but me.  Maybe you relate to this, maybe you don’t, but don’t forget our body is always talking to us, even if what it’s saying is less subtle.

Second, the list.  These foods are not all necessarily in season as of now, but have been at some point or another, comforting and calming.  I believe in loving what you eat and introducing love with each step in the process of preparing what you eat. Thus for me, comfort foods are a full-circle endeavor.  Let me share some of those foods with you!

  • basic soup:  Round up your broth, miso (white/yellow) for a more hearty less intense soup, and favorite veggies, and have a blast making a simple soup.  Often times, I’ll use up the veggies I think are on the brink of less fresh, and find a way to work them in.  I often serve with millet, brown rice or quinoa over a bed of greens.  This way your greens wilt, only slightly and stay a bright and lively green color.  Balance color if possible, meaning consider the rainbow.  Serve in your favorite large, deep mug, and start sipping and chewing away.

Why eat this?

Brothy soups are full of warm fluids to help flush out a lot of toxins from your body.  According to Chinese medicine, if you carry too much heat in your body, one way to help cool is by adding hot foods.  As strange as this may sound, it’s very helpful and affective.  Try having some hot soup with your cool salad to balance out your body.

  • butternut squash:  Although butternut squash can be cooked in many ways, one of my favorite ways is to roast.  Some days, there is NOTHING better than cubed butternut squash, lightly (and I mean lightly) coated with olive oil, and spices/herbs of my choice on that particular day.  My favorite combo of spices and herbs:  thyme, Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, garlic granules and a dash of paprika.  Mouth watering.  I typically eat this with a salad or by itself.

Why eat this?

CAROTENOIDS!  That lovely, vivid color that you see before your very eyes is packed with nutrients.  It’s also high in vitamin-c and loaded with beta-carotene (that will convert to vitamin A), which helps the integrity of the skin, wards off lung and oral cancers and improves eye-sight.  Color says a lot about a food’s beneficial properties.

  • roasted mushrooms:  More specifically, I work with baby bellas and white mushrooms.  Prepare by slicing them in half, create a light coating of oil, and mix with sesame seeds and Himalayan sea salt.  I typically serve this with a grain of some sort or on a salad.

Why eat this?

Mushibooms help to increase your immune system, so you can stay happy and healthy and boost your vitamin D.  Also, Mushies are loaded with b-vitamins; b-vits are responsible for turning the carbs you eat into fuel; very important!

  • frozen blended banana:  I made this for my mother a few months back when she came to visit us, and though I was initially hesitant to serve this to her, she loved it and immediately wanted the recipe.  (This went overmuch better than chia seed pudding, but I still love that too!) Peal and fragment the  banana into small pieces and freeze. Later, thaw slightly and blend with raw cocoa powder topped with raisins, chopped nuts, cinnamon, coconut shavings or nothing at all.

    Connect a Bite – Rachel Anne Manning© 2013

    Frozen Blended Banana
    Connect a Bite – Rachel Anne Manning© 2013

Why eat this?

Bananas are incredibly healing, easy to digest, and will provide energy without overworking your digestive system.   Additionally, bananas are an essential way to provide your gut with prebiotics, assisting in the proper absorption of helpful probiotics, later.

  • raw chocolate treats:  This is my ULTIMATE sweet tooth, sweet.  For me, there’s nothing better in the food world than a little nibble from a raw cacao  tart or truffle followed by a sumptuous sip from my next item on the list, tea.  Make it yourself or pick them up at the store, either way, these are a MUST, unless you dislike chocolate. :p

Why eat this?

Raw cacao is a better source of vitamin-C than trusty orange juice.  BAM!  Also, raw cacao is incredibly high (in it’s raw form) in antioxidants and (one of my favorites), it will help to balance blood sugar. 😀  Yes, please.

  • tea:  Tulsi Tea’s Red Chai Masala (herbal) or hibiscus chamomile, any brand or make it yourself. (Even better!)  I especially enjoy the red chai masala with  …CHOCOLATE on the side (as noted above)!  Make sure to let your tea steep an appropriate amount of time, typically 10+ minutes, covered.  I often use a small plate if there are no other options.  The hibiscus chamomile tea would also be a lovely afternoon tea, served cool, on a hot day.  Honestly, I feel like I’m treating myself.

Why drink this?

The red chai masala is high in antioxidants, which will help ward off any of those nasty oxidative toxins that have made their way into your system.  Also, this blend contains ginger which will help to aid in digestion or an upset stomach.  Hibiscus chamomile tea helps to sooth and relax, and in the process it assists in lowering your blood pressure.

  • roasted okra:  I know, I know, I’m obsessed with roasted veggies, but when they’re guilt-free and provide a form of contentment, I cannot resist.  I rinse them, chop off the stems and roast them whole, tossed only with olive oil and Himalayan sea salt.  Superb!

Why eat this?

Okra is delicious! What I’d like to highlight about okra is its mucilaginous (why it’s so slimy) quality that helps to relieve digested food from your body so it doesn’t hang around and fester, creating pesky problems.  Need I say more?

Connect a Bite – Rachel Anne Manning© 2013

Omega Bumpin’ Smoothie
Connect a Bite – Rachel Anne Manning© 2013

  • smooooothies: Although I enjoy a variety of smoothies, this particular smoothy is one I’m hooked on lately.  It’s filled with chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flax, frozen peaches, spinach/kale, banana, cinnamon, olive oil, unsweetened almond milk and coconut water!  (Sometimes I add 1/2 of an avocado in place of the olive oil.)  Thick, nicely textured, not too sweet, and still hooks you up with greens!

Why drink this?

There are a multitude of ways this smoothie is fantastic, but here are a few.  The chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax will provide you with a fantastic source of omega 3 while also assisting in balancing your blood sugar, providing a complete protein source and more.  The olive oil helps to add a little extra weight to the drink, and by weight I mean it aids in making the smoothie more filling.  Also, cinnamon acts as an appetite suppressant, which is great if you’re going awhile between meals.

  • banana with raw almond butter drizzle:  This pretty much sums it up. I will often cut my banana into little chunks into a bowl, and then drizzle the almond butter over it.  Add all the extras you would like.  Sometimes, if I want an extra crunch, I’ll add 1/2 of a gluten-free English muffin, cut into small pieces, and layer the banana on top. Try adding extra fruit, nuts, or seeds to your liking!

Why eat this?

(see above) Although bananas and raw almond butter are not the ideal food combination, eating this delicious snack on an empty stomach, and not directly following a meal, should be ok to go.

  • greens with homemade lemon-olive oil dressing and walnuts:  Simple.  Greens of your choice (spinach, romaine, kale, sprouts, etc…), and toss with this zesty dressing, and for the extra texture/crunch, top with walnut pieces.

Why eat this?

The citrus juice will help you absorb the iron that’s stored in the greens.  Also, it’s a delicious combo. ^___^  If you’re weary of TOO much fat, maybe skip the walnuts, but I say, if you’re eating a whole foods diet, those walnuts (raw, soaked, then dehydrated of course) are your friend because they are just the right amount of monounsaturated fats (those omega 3s) to help your brain.

Whew, I suppose I comfort myself often, but another way to look at this list–and what you’re eating–is that it (consumption) can be a consistently enjoyable experience if you want it to be–we teach our body and our brain what to want.  I hope this list is of some help to you all and if you have any questions or thoughts, shout out!   And remember…bite responsibly!

Healthy and Happy SxSW Eating Days,

 

RAM

3 Comments

  1. Reply
    melissaskorpil March 16, 2013

    I love frozen blended bananas too! It feels like eating ice cream, but healthier. Great tips!

    • Reply
      connectabite March 18, 2013

      Hi Melissa,

      They are fantastic, creamy texture, sweet and body healing! Thanks for reading and the sweet comment. Have a lovely day!

      RAM

  2. Reply
    google May 19, 2013

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