One of the hurdles to my health is I am a stress eater. I do not know why carbs are the food of feelings, but they are. We all know about sweets being a food of celebration. Maybe that is why I and so many others turn to sweets when we are sad because they are tied to happy times so you hope eating them will bring you happiness. My college roommates and I had a ritual for whenever we were having relationship problems. We would all get a half gallon of ice cream out of the freezer and do a “Men suck” session. We would go around and list reasons why men suck and eat our ice cream*.
*Full disclosure: we did not each eat our whole half gallon during these sessions, more than we should have, but not a whole half gallon. We are practical Midwesterners, so we did not buy the less economical pint size. It wasn’t about volume, it was about being fiscally responsible…
So really, the full spectrum of feelings are tied to food. Happy? Let’s celebrate with cake. Sad? Have some ice cream. Lonely? Make cookies, see if any of the dough makes it to the oven. Hanging out? Go out for dinner, coffee, or drinks. Homesick? Have some mac & cheese. However you feel, there’s a carb for that.
So when I am feeling really stressed, it is usually because I feel overwhelmed by all I need to get done. If I am overwhelmed, then one of the first chores I want to farm out is cooking dinner. That’s when I end up eating out. There is a Dairy Queen two blocks from my house and that has not been good for my waistline.
So, as we end our first week, I have to say it was a challenge because the stress levels were particularly high. I did not cave to temptation for the empty comfort of carbs, but I was not as consistent as I should have been with my food tracking. At least it was not because I did not want to write down ice cream or pizza (or wine, lots of wine.)
I was on vacation for two weeks and this was my first week back to work. Add to that job, I have a side gig that takes 19 more hours a week. Then I had something to attend every night after work from Monday through Thursday, ending just in time for a major ice storm to finish the week on Friday. It is hard to stay on track when you work 8 hours, have a meeting for 2 more hours, and then try to squeeze in 4 hours on the part time job. Since drive-thrus and pizza delivery were off the table and dinner prep was asking a lot, a few nights I just had some cheese and fat bombs.
I do not anticipate next week being quite as crazy (I have only three evenings of extra activities on my schedule.) That is not nearly as comforting as I had hoped.
I have considered taking up a stress-buster like meditating, but right now the thought of adding something else to my to-do list just stresses me out more.
So any quick and easy meal ideas out there? Preferably of the heat and eat variety. Share them in comments and maybe I will actually have a meal sometime next week.