We’re thinking about…surviving crunch times! Healthy Comfort Foods

  September 6, 2011  |    Blog

We’re thinking about…surviving crunch times! Healthy Comfort Foods

Back to school time and hectic schedules causing you to feel stressed out and crave comfort foods?

If you find yourself craving comfort foods and eating just because you feel like eating:

Try eating/drinking something warm and low in calories to help cut calories during your day. A warm beverage is soothing and provides comfort and relaxation; when you are relaxed and not in rush to get things done you will not be as likely to consume excess calories. Plus warm foods require you to slow down so that you can actually realize that you feel full.

By choosing a low calorie beverage, such as tea, you can fill your stomach and promote satiety through volume, not calories.

BUT when you are hungry and craving comfort foods, hot tea may not cut it, you want CREAMY and we hear ya!

Creamy foods like mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and peanut butter are comfort foods that are not only smooth, but also soft. For many, they give great physical and psychological comfort. That’s why people often overindulge in comfort foods like creamy mashed potatoes.

Here’s a way to make the comfort foods healthy

  • Try mashed potatoes thinned out with blended cauliflower (you’ll get the smooth creamy carbs, but for much fewer calories).
  • Try spreading 2 teaspoons of warm peanut butter over an apple for a comforting afternoon snack.
  • Make meals of Hearty bean chilis or tomato soups loaded with veggies and with a dollop of nonfat sour cream or yogurt on top.
  • Fat free, sugar free hot chocolate (warm soothing, chocolate).
  • Healthy mac and cheese (mix whole wheat noodles with nonfat cheese, mix in spinach to thin out calories—get more food for fewer calories).
  • If you are after creamy things like Cream cheese, try fromage blanc, a soft French cheese made with skim milk. It’s fat free and only has 15 calories per ounce versus the 100 calories in an ounce of cream cheese. But check the label as some manufacturers use cream instead of skim milk.
  • Instead of using sour cream (1/2 cup is 205 cals) on baked potatoes, try blending nonfat cottage cheese with tomato sauce and then topping your potato with ½ cup of the mixture. You’ll save 150 calories. (If you love creamy sauces but hate all the calories, you can use this sauce with nonfat ricotta on pastas and chicken too.)
  • Need a cream soup for comforting casseroles? Campbell’s Healthy Request line is lower in fat and sodium than their regular. Their healthy Request, cream of mushroom soup is just 60 calories in ½ cup with 2.5 grams of fat compared to their regular line, which has 116 calories and 8 grams of fat.
  • Sweet Tooth: Instead of cakes and cookies, dip strawberries in nonfat whipped cream.

If you feel the need to be nurtured, choose creamy foods like Fudgsicles, lowfat cottage cheese, low-fat cream soup, or a milk shake made with skim milk.

What comfort food do you go for during crunch times and how do you make it healthier?

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