in depth


Comfortable Food

What Does Your Soul Want to Eat?

Think for a moment of a food from your past, one that makes you feel great after you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones or potato pancakes. Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain might not consider it highly nutritious.

Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well being. What we eat can reconnect us to precious memories, like childhood playtimes, first dates, holidays, our grandmother’s cooking or our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember foods from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has nurturing effects that go far beyond the food’s biochemical make-up. Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. Just as with lovers and relationships, it’s important to be aware that we each have a relationship with food—and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before we’ve even tasted it.

What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved – with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.Here is “comfort” recipe that doesn’t compromise on health:Easy Beans and Greens

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings

1 can black beans (or pinto, red, kidney-your choice)
1 bunch collard greens (or kale, spinach-your choice)
Your favorite toppings, such as salsa, avocado or guacamole

1.   In a medium saucepan, heat drained beans. Add your favorite seasonings, if desired.
2.   Fill a separate medium saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
3.   Wash and chop greens (you can use the stems, too) and add to boiling water.
4.   Cook for 2-3 minutes until greens are bright green and tender. Drain off water.
5.   On a plate, arrange a portion of the greens, top with a portion of the beans and finish with toppings of your choice.

Rebekah Fuller
Holistic Health Counselor
Recommended Read: Greens Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi


SarahBoykinSmithey commented on 03-May-2010 02:00 PM5 out of 5 stars

Putting these over Brown Rice is my favorite of all comfort foods. I'll usually add other veggies in season (chopped) -- right now it's spring so adding them raw is a great option

Mahandeva commented on 05-May-2010 05:35 AM5 out of 5 stars

Great suggestion. This is what I make when I just really want something healthy yet comforting and "nourishing." Love it topped with avocado, too!

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