Finding Comfort in Food

January 29, 2018 , In: Eat, Mood Food, Self Care , With: No Comments

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Old Man Winter made his way to DC this month and normally I’d find comfort in his visit. Though, unlike a call from a kind old friend, he came in like a bulldozer with no sympathy for anyone in his path!

The “Bomb Cyclone” was no joke! Temps below freezing, consistent high winds, and no snow made cause for the most unbearable winter I’ve experienced in this area. With a few photos of Elsa being arrested circulating the web, barely helping to lighten the mood, it was miserable. I wanted nothing more than to sit at home by the fire (in sweatpants, layers of blankets and my slippers), with a never-ending cup of a warm drink, and eating bowl after bowl of pure comfort.

Comforting in the moment…

You know what I mean right? Comfort Food.
The nonprescription stuff we reach for when we need a mood boost. That bowl of goodness that warms you up from the inside out. What’s your go-to comfort food? Let me guess… it’s something rich and starchy, probably with quite a few calories to it. It feels good at the moment but too much and it gets a little tougher to pull on those skinny jeans… Am I right?

I’m not a mind reader.

There’s actually some science behind this. Carbohydrates, which are often a large part of comfort food, break down into sugar. Sugar acts as a vehicle transporting tryptophan to the brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin is one of the feel-good neurotransmitters that your brain produces naturally. (Be aware, too much sugar actually depletes serotonin. It should be noted: Serotonin depletion rarely is achieved from sugars that are created by breaking down Whole Foods like fruits and veggies.)

A Golden Bowl of Comfort – Mac N Cheese.

I’ve decided that Mac N Cheese is one of the most delicious offerings of comfort in a bowl. For that reason, I’ve decided to start this year off with a series of Mac N Cheese recipes. 17 recipes for delicious, decadent Mac N Cheese… but these have a twist.

What if I told you that, I can make Mac N Cheese sans dairy that will fool most people? See, I developed a dairy allergy 7-ish years ago but, I still crave Mac N Cheese! The good news is, with my Mac N Cheese version, I’ve cut down on my calorie/cholesterol/fat intake! So, I invite you to follow along on this Mac N Cheese adventure. Recipes are always Dairy-free. Sometimes vegan. Sometimes gluten-free (or at least gluten-optional). And always yummy!

Check back on Mondays at 11:00 am/ET for a new Mac N Cheese recipe. The series kicks off next Monday, February 5 with my go-to Mac N Cheese! This Mac N Cheese will serve as a base for a few of the recipes coming up, so don’t miss it.comfort food 101

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Kaiti J

Welcome to Garnished with Gratitude! I'm so glad you're here. I'm Kaiti, a fan of healthy-ish ways, lists/plans, and I'm a total goofball. I'm here to create a space that provides resources to live your best life! From food and exercise to visualization and inspiration, this site is for you.

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