Since March of 2020, we have all witnessed some amount of being quarantined in our homes. We have leaned on zoom calls and FaceTime to communicate with our employees, coworkers, family, and friends. During this unsettling time, many people have resorted to eating comfort foods to ease their stress and anxiety. This is completely normal and expected.
According to Wikipedia, “Consuming energy-dense, high calorie, high fat, salt or sugar foods, such as ice cream, chocolate or french fries, may trigger the reward system in the human brain, which gives a distinctive pleasure or temporary sense of emotional elevation and relaxation. When psychological conditions are present, people often use comfort food to treat themselves. Those with negative emotions tend to eat unhealthy food in an effort to experience the instant gratification that comes with it, even if only short-lived. Comfort food consumption is seen as a response to emotional stress and, consequently, as a key contributor to the epidemic of obesity in the United States. The provocation of specific hormonal responses leading selectively to increases in abdominal fat is seen as a form of self-medication.”
It is essential to take a look at what you are eating every day. Are your comfort foods taking over all your meals? Are they filled with a lot of sugar, salt, fats, and unhealthy carbohydrates? If so, it is time to cut it back.
We had no idea that the pandemic would hang around as long as it has. We had no idea we would still be in quarantine and feeling unnerved and confused. Who knew that spending that extra time staying busy and baking delicious breads and other goodies each week would continue as long as it has? Who knew comfort foods would become the only foods we eat?
So where do we go from here? First, Don’t beat yourself up. You are doing the best you can. But it is time to put your health first. Start with cutting the baking down to once a month, especially if it is high in sugar or white flour. Analyze your breakfast, lunch, and dinners and look for the fatty, sugary, and salty items you are eating. Substitute those items for more green vegetables, especially seasonal vegetables. Add fresh greens to your eggs, soups, and sandwiches. Work on adding additional fresh, healthy foods into your diet and removing those that are wreaking havoc on your body.
Take time to analyze your mindset and your overall psychological health. When you are feeling sick, depressed, anxious, etc. you tend to make unhealthy choices. There is so much information on the internet. Start learning about new practices to charge your mind and body. Choosing new habits that feel good to you or excite you can rejuvenate your entire being.