Mind Expanding Without Drugs

English: magazine vogue Español: logo de la re...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to lose some weight. Not a lot–but fifteen pounds would make me happy.I want to lose some stress (not all of it because there is good stress that motivates you—I do not want to lose this kind of stress).  I read some encouraging words from Gretchen Rubin today and I think her suggestion that we find comfort food for the mind is the answer to my problems.

First it does not involve eating fatty, sugary, salty food—and that is a good thing.

Second, by comforting our mind, we are finding ways to cope. My comfort food for my mind comes first and foremost from reading. Yesterday I bought the huge tome called Vogue magazine. The September issue is 902 pages. I could not resist. I have not purchased a fashion magazine for ages. And ages. In fact if truth be told, I have kind of given up on fashion.

The magazine is the perfect eye candy. Some people take fashion very seriously. I do not. At one time I may have taken it a bit more seriously than I do now, but that was many lives ago. My fashion sense went the way of the Edsel when I had kids. It just was not important anymore. And I didn’t have the time to don a scarf, find the right jewellery, or even match (or unmatch depending on the fashion season) my outfit to my shoes and to my purse.  I am not sure where we stand on the “match” issue anymore, but I am sure once I finish 902 pages of fashion I will be in the know.

Here is Gretchen’s advice about what works for her (and what doesn’t work for her but may for you):

“…. look for ways to pull your mind away from your worries onto positive topics. One great way is to watch a movie – preferably something funny! — or watch a favourite TV show.

My favourite activity is reading, and when I really need “comfort food” for my mind, I read children’s literature (the more stressed out I am, the younger I go; Oz books are a danger sign). I always re-read, too; when I’m upset, I want the comfort of knowing that I’ll love the book and that I won’t be upset by some unexpected plot twist.

I do find that some activities that are usually happiness-inducing don’t work very well when I’m preoccupied with bad thoughts. Listening to music, for example, is an extremely effective way to boost mood, but I find it too easy to start thinking about my worries when I’m listening – others might not have this problem. Similarly, although going for a walk usually cheers me up, it also gives me an excellent opportunity to brood if I’m inclined that way.”

Comfort Food

Comfort Food (Photo credit: tim ellis)

Reading is my number one go-to for comforting my mind. Unfortunately so is eating, but I am trying to deal with that.

What is your favourite comfort food for your mind?

Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm  Comments (30)  
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~ Comfort Food Bliss ~

Mmm... baked beans

Mmm… baked beans (Photo credit: jeffreyw)

It is cold. It is the last week of January. It is time for a comforting recipe that is easy and good and goes with all kinds of entrées. What is this magic bean of a recipe? Why Baked Beans of course.

I love baked beans though I have to be careful not to eat them when I have to cover a municipal council meeting for my newspaper at night. I am sure I do not have to explain any further.

In fact, I have a stomach that is a bit “delicate” so when I have to work at night I do not eat before I go so that it does not do something unexpected. It is funny how we have to adapt to things in life. Nine times out of ten my stomach survives a meal successfully, but it is that tenth time that makes one take precautions. But I digress (I often think that if I did not digress, I would not have much of a post).

This recipe was given to me by my sister, hence the name:

Great Baked Beans à la Peggy

4 – 15 oz. cans of baked beans (any kind you like; if I am feeling virtuous I choose the kind without pork—if I need comfort, I choose pork and beans)

1 onion, diced

3 tbsp. vinegar

¾ cup molasses

1 tsp. dry mustard

¼ cup ketchup

Bacon on top

Bake one hour at 350 degrees then 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

So simple, yet so good. You may think the magic ingredient in this is the bacon, but the real ingredient that makes all the difference in the world is molasses. Seriously—it gives it the right “body” and makes it kind of velvety—words I know not usually ascribed to baked beans, but it is true.

Sometimes I do not use this official recipe because I do not always have all the ingredients—if you have no dry mustard, use the yellow stuff. No molasses, throw in some brown sugar or maple syrup. No bacon? Cry a little—then make it anyway. Sometimes I crisp the bacon and put it right in with the beans. You can get as creative as you want.

I use this recipe when I have family dinners and it always disappears. For these dinners I serve it with spiral cut ham, cranberries, coleslaw, green stuff (I will give you the recipe for this some day), and roasted potatoes.

Cappuccino at Black Star Pastry Newtown

(Photo credit: sachman75)

I have two questions for you today. The first is existential: Would you consider someone a coffee lover if they have to use 3 teaspoons of sugar and a pint of milk in their morning coffee?

The second is: What is your favourite comfort food bliss? Feel free to answer one or both questions—and if you want to leave a recipe, feel free.