We all have a favorite comfort food – whether it be macaroni and cheese or chocolate, that we crave, either because it reminds us of our childhood or because we had a bad day. Indulging in these high calorie foods once in a while is fine, but if overeating becomes a daily event because of stress or sadness, it could contribute to weight gain or be a sign of an eating disorder.
Emotional eating is not a type of eating disorder, but is a common trait of those who have eating disorders – especially those who have binge eating disorder or night eating syndrome.
If you do eat for comfort, there are lots of things you can do to break the habit. One of the most important steps is being aware you are doing this. Here are four goals to help you break the habit:
- Track your feelings and what you do during stressful times – being aware is key to change.
- Know your triggers that lead to overeating or making poor foodchoices.
- Find ways to cope without food – go for a walk or call a friend, etc.
- Learn ways to de-stress – exercise, meditate or massage.
Practice these goals and over time you should see a difference. If these tips don’t help, it may be time to seek professional help.
Pumpkin is delicious and healthy. I know the most popular uses for pumpkin is in pumpkin pie or carved into interesting faces, but this delicious and nutritious fall food can be used for so much more.
If you are trying to watch your waistline or just get a little healthier foods in your diet, pumpkin should be at the top of the list. Pumpkin is full of vitamins, like vitamin A, C and E, it is loaded with antioxidants, as well as a good source of fiber. Don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds either! Clean and bake them for a healthy snack that gives you protein, fiber, iron, zinc and mono-unsaturated fats (the healthy fats).
Try this hearty soup recipe adapted from ibreathimhungry.com. It’s low carb, gluten and dairy-free. It’s a healthy-kind of comfort food!
Turkey Sausage, Kale and Pumpkin Soup
- 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 cups chopped pumpkin or butternut squash (fresh or frozen)
- 4 cups chopped kale (fresh or frozen)
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- Cook sausage in a medium sized saucepan. Add onions and saute until translucent. Pour the broth and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil – reduce heat.
- Add the kale and pumpkin and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 20 minutes
- Serve hot, garnished with grated parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes.
Calories: 118 Carbohydrates: 7g Protein: 11g Fiber: 1g Sodium: 558mg