Comfort food

Meatloaf.  Mashed potatoes.  Chicken soup. Anything sweet.  These are all comfort foods that we seek when we're cold, sad, stressed or otherwise unsettled.  I sought comfort food Tuesday night, as I'd found out my mom had a stroke on Monday.  The stroke was mild, and she's been in good hospital care this week, even walking around, reading books, and doing all sorts of other tests, proving she's still ticking.

Still, as with anything "Sudden and Medical," the situation's got me a bit on edge, which brings me back to comfort foods. I was anxious Tuesday night and decided I needed to get OUT of the house, so Erin and I took a trip to Common Market, a most uncommon market in Plaza-Midwood.  Looking around for something sweet, I found two of my favorite things: chocolate milk and a cookie. Why have regular milk with a cookie when you can have chocolate milk ... mmm.  And keeping with the comfort theme, the chocolate milk was a drink-box - nothing turns a 34-year old man into a 7-year old boy like a drink-box, and at the time, I was fine with that.

As I enjoyed my sweets and settled onto the couch with two favorite ladies (my wife Erin and my dog Loretta), my nerves relaxed a bit .. must have been the cortisol. : )

The next time you're bugging out about something, just know that your craving for comfort foods has quite a bit of human evolution and science behind it, and don't feel the least bit guilty about noshing on some fats and sweets - it WILL make you feel better.

Cortisol regulation. Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol could be responsible for your urges because they lead to cravings for salty, fatty and sweet foods. In caveman times, this link led people to eat foods that would help them survive when food was scarce or to sustain them until the stressful event was over, says Albers.
Today, that bodily impulse is no longer a benefit and could be detrimental to your health. When we are tempted to stress eat or have a craving, it’s often just a response to this ancient biological signal.