I’m all in favor of comfort and definitely all about food. But mindful? I’m not known for using New Age terms, much less being an advocate for putting them into practice. When I hear a word like “mindful,” I have an almost irresistible urge to make fun of juicing and hot yoga. Of all people, how can I possibly extoll being mindful about comfort food?
This past Sunday morning, I sat down to a delightful cup of strong coffee with steamed milk and a piece of homemade cinnamon toast made from good sourdough bread. Simple breakfast/brunch comfort food doesn’t get any better. After all, comfort food is supposed to be what makes you happy, and believe me, those two foods make me very happy.
With 2 huge Sunday papers set out before me, I should have been settling in for a delightful morning. (Even though I read many individual articles online, we still relish our 2 “real” Sunday papers. – Take note Jeff Bezos and Arthur Sulzberger!) But something was missing.
I’ve been enjoying Winnie Abramson’s new book, “One Simple Change.” I haven’t finished it yet, but just the table of contents tells me that Winnie and I are on the same page about many things. Basically the book is a series of 50 short chapters about small, simple steps that readers can take to change our lives for the better.
Even though the elements of my Sunday repast were all homemade and delicious, they read like a list from a junk food addict’s dream:
- carbohydrate (bread),
- spice and sugar (cinnamon and white sugar, along with a sprinkling of natural or Demerara sugar on my coffee),
- fat (butter), and
- caffeine (coffee.)
Sure I had drunk a huge glass of water first and did use a few ounces of nonfat milk for the foam on top of my coffee, but those nods to good health are hardly worthy of a gold medal. I had a nagging feeling that no matter how happy I would be while consuming the coffee and cinnamon toast, I wouldn’t stay satisfied in that deep and pleasant way that I feel after a good meal.
As I looked down at my food, I had a Eureka moment – fresh fruit! The leftovers from Saturday night’s fruit salad were in the refrigerator, practically begging to be eaten. A nice-sized bowl of natural energy turned out to be just the ticket.
I may not give up caffeine and sugar, but from now on, I’ll try to incorporate at least 1 healthy element when I reach for the comfort food. Call it what you will, I have to admit that when I thought about how to describe my decision, it seemed right to call it “being more mindful about my comfort food.”