Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Comfort Food

I went to my doctor today, and we decided that it was time for the big guns.  I had had the plantar fasciitis in my left foot for 10 months and right elbow tendinitis for 7 months, nothing I had tried helped. Today I got Depomedrol injections in both my elbow and heel.  They weren't pleasant, especially the heel injection.  Immediately afterward, they were fine (helped by anaesthetic in the injections).  

The usual course with such injections is that the pain increases for a day or two, then subsides and the problem is solved.  I had such an injection in my hip 24 years ago, and the pain did increase, but then did not subside. I ended up with bursitis in both hips for awhile, then the second hip healed, and I still have the original bursitis.  I was hesitant to get the injections because of that experience, but enough was enough.

I plan to take it easy today, and probably tomorrow, to give my body parts time to heal.  Coming home from the doctor's office, comfort food came to mind.  Comfort food is an interesting phenomenon. It means different things to different people, and is usually associated with foods enjoyed with family growing up.
The Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary both added 'comfort food' in their listings in 1997.  According to Merriam-Webster's, it is "food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal."

Answers.com  reports the results of several research projects on comfort food.  In the US, the most commonly reported comfort foods are potato chips, ice cream, cookies and candy.  Men tend to go for whole meals, while women prefer sweets, including, of course, chocolate. "In essence, comfort food provides individuals with a sense of security during troubling times by evoking emotions associated with safer and happier times."

 The food network has a long list of comfort food recipes, mostly of the 'good ole hometown America' variety, like mac and cheese, fried chicken and meatloaf.  When I think of comfort food, I think of Mom's chicken soup, and hot tea with honey. 
When I got home, I made a pot of ginger tea, which is hot, sweet (because of the honey I put in it), and very satisfying.  Ginger is said to help with nausea, indigestion, colds and sore throats and boosts immunity.  To make ginger tea, get fresh ginger root (available at health food stores, as well as most grocery stores).  Peel a 2 inch section of the root, and cut into very thin slices.  Put in a pot with 3-4 cups of water, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Strain out the ginger root if you want- I leave it in to nibble on.  Add sugar or honey, and lemon slices if you want.  Drink.
When you are feeling down, and want to grab some comfort food, think about this:  Will this food make me feel better now, but worse (bloated, guilty, etc.) later?  If so, some people do okay if they just take a small portion of the food, which will give them the comfort, but not the guilt.  Others don't feel satisfied unless they eat a big gob, then regret it.  Try looking for alternatives that will leave you feeling good in both the long and short run.  Look for low fat, low sugar versions of what you crave.  I am going to go make myself a reduced fat peanut butter and grape sandwich. Using grapes instead of jelly cuts the sugar, and gives more moisture, making it easier to eat.

What is your favorite comfort food?  I know some people are reading this blog, because they have told me, but I would like to get some conversations going.  Give me some comments so I know how I am doing.  Give me your two cents on whatever my topic is each day.  I would like to hear from you.


  1. Have you considered going raw or vegan? It is literally keeping me out of a wheelchair. crazysexylife.com is a great resource. Diet is everything! I also have fibro and was dealing with chronic fatigue, too. Have you ever had your adrenal glands tested? Mine were literally blown out, and I was producing zero cortisol (it gives us our energy). I take it in pill form now and it changed my life. I have sooooo much energy! If you have an illness for a long period of time, you will inevitably experience adrenal fatigue. Now, it is just the pain I deal with. The rest of me is perfect! I also had to go on bioidentical hormones because I blew out my hormone system. All of the hormones go to anti-inflammatory responses and there are none left after awhile with autoimmune conditions.

    Hope this helps! I write about it all on my blog. I am very passionate because it has changed my life. I have a 4.0 GPA in graduate school, and I couldn't have done it without all of these treatments. I am brand new! Now, I just have to get rid of the debilitating pain, but it's coming. I know it.

  2. Thanks for your ideas, Tough Cookie (you really are a tough cookie- grad school is a challenge, even if you don't have an illness to carry around with you.) I am what I call a semi-vegetarean, I occasionally eat chicken, seldom any red meat. Mostly fresh fruits and veggies I get from a wonderful farm market that is so close I walk there. I have heard about adrenal fatigue, and I will bring it up with my rheumatologist when I see him next week.

  3. Good for you! Traditional medicine doesn't recognize adrenal fatigue, yet they recognize when the adrenals produce too much cortisol. I had to see a holistic practitioner to get my cortisol levels tested. If your doctor is very open, he/she may recognize it, but it is VERY rare in traditional. VERY rare. It is so sad because it could help sooooo many people. Chronic stress blows out the adrenal glands, so you don't have to be chronically ill to experience it. Good luck!