Comfort Food

posted in: Food, List of 10, Recipes 56 comments

I just started a 5-day eating plan, and at this very moment, I really want to eat cheese and crackers, except it’s not in the plan. It’s very specific, easy to follow, and the food is delicious. I’m actually enjoying the clean eating. 

But, Day One is hard. I am drinking more water than I’m used to (I never drank enough water), so I’m going to the bathroom a lot. I’m also hungry. Not I-want-to-gnaw-my-arm-off-hungry, but the hungry that makes me want to reach out for a cookie.

Ah, so this is how I haven’t dropped the post-baby weight 18 months on. It’s only been a day, but I’m already learning a lot about how I think about food, when I reach for the sweet or salty, and how easy it is to make good-tasting food. 

However, being slightly hungry all day has made me think about the 10 foods that bring me comfort. I’ll just eat them virtually. 

1. Mango Coconut Bread

Mango Coconut Bread

2. Chocolate

3. Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken schnitzel

The days before I learned to take photos properly, and still writing at my old blog.

4. Quinoa Chicken Salad (grilled chicken, avocado, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, quinoa, dash of olive oil)

5. Freshly baked bread with a generous dollop of butter

6. Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Cookies


7. Fried Rice

8. Pasta with Olives and Sundried Tomatoes

9. Fried Chicken

10. Banana Coconut Muffins

Banana coconut muffins


What food brings you comfort?

Linking up with Stasha of The Good Life for Monday Listicles.

Speaking of food, my recipe for Snickerdoodle Mini Cakes is published on Queen Latifah!! EXCITED!

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • November 11, 2013 Allie

    Oh you already named most of them! I have chicken fried rice in my fridge right now and I swear I read somewhere that it’s actually good for you….now if I could just find that article!!
    Good luck with your clean eating. I’m sure the first few days (maybe even week) will be hard but it’s so worth it.
    Allie recently wrote…A Wedding WeekendMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      I did it! I feel so good!

  • Pasta, chocolate and soup. Hot, velvety soup, preferably with some bacon bits or chorizo… Go you for starting the clean eating plan!
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…Back in business!! Bellini anyone?My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      I love pasta too. But after 5 days, I kinda don’t miss it. πŸ™‚

  • November 11, 2013 Christine

    I would like to eat all of these delicious things. I haven’t had breakfast yet and now I’m starving! I’ve done a week sugar detox (or rather tried too) and those first few days are HARD because you are actively resetting your habits and taking notice of them. That in and of itself was worth it. Good luck!
    Christine recently wrote…A day in the life of compassionMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      That’s exactly it! I now actually enjoy drinking water, and I have no desire for processed foods. And I realized just HOW much processed food I was eating. Ack.

  • November 11, 2013 Shana Norris

    Oh, yum. So much delicious here. Chocolate is definitely my comfort food. I’d say macaroni and cheese, but I know it’s so bad for me that I really can’t take comfort in eating it even though it’s beyond delicious.

    What eating plan are you doing?
    Shana Norris recently wrote…Boys Will Be BoysMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      I’m doing the SASS Yourself Slim plan by Cynthia Sass. I did (yes, I finished) the 5 Day Fast Forward plan, and following on, 25 days of clean eating with an expanded list of ingredients and recipes. It’s a sensible, doable plan!

  • November 11, 2013 Herchel S

    Krispy Kreme donuts are a weakness. When I really need comfort I turn to traditional Filipino food.

    Eating something clean every two-three hours helps with the cravings. Something along the lines of sliced green bell pepper dipped in hummus is what I turn too πŸ™‚
    Herchel S recently wrote…4 Things I learned during my first month of bloggingMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      I love hummus!

      The plan has taught me to space my meals, every 3-5 hours is optimum. Drinking lots of water is also helping.

  • November 11, 2013 KalleyC

    I need to finish losing the rest of the baby weight, and I think it’s great that you’re doing a clean eating meal plan. Recently, I started planning my meals, and I’m doing my best to stick to it, but like you I just want to reach out for that cookie or chips. But it’s mind over matter (at least that’s what they say) πŸ˜›
    KalleyC recently wrote…Fall: Post Sandy #mylifesphotosMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      It is! Resisting temptation is definitely one of the things I am learning to do.

  • November 11, 2013 Kerstin

    I want those 10 comfort foods of yours. Right now. Sigh.
    I should be doing the 5 day plan – and I will as soon as I can convince my husband – but for now I am dreaming of dumplings and pork roast πŸ™‚
    Kerstin recently wrote…The Five Stages Of A HaircutMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      The most important thing to any plan, is getting your other half onboard. I hope you give the plan a shot! Or any other eating plan you choose to do. πŸ™‚

  • November 11, 2013 Nicole

    This post just makes me hungry! During winter, soups and chilis are my favorite comfort foods. We make a delicious chicken chili in the crockpot and serve it over tortilla chips. Yum! Those chocolate carmel cookies look AMAZING!
    Nicole recently wrote…Happy 10th Birthday, MacAfeeMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Yum, that sounds amazing! I think with all the running you do, you can pretty much eat anything. πŸ™‚

  • November 11, 2013 Tamara

    Funny, because I’m reading this with a mouthful of IKEA chocolate that I snuck from the pantry, while the three children I’m spending my morning with weren’t looking.
    I used to say pasta but as an adult, it always makes my stomach get too full so I rarely eat it. I love warm dinner rolls with butter. Popcorn. Ice cream. I must sound like a pig and nothing on my list is like your delicious sounding salad..but…these are rare occasions.
    Oh! I do love apples and they are the only food I can eat while anxious. So there’s that.
    Tamara recently wrote…Love Share.My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Apples are awesome!
      I love pasta too. But after that 5-day plan, I don’t crave it anymore. Yay!

  • November 12, 2013 Mo at Mocadeaux

    I love anything with olives – including pasta with olives and sundried tomatoes. Throw in some roasted red peppers and you’d have the perfect meal! Good luck on your eating plan. You are brave to think and write about all of these delicious foods while not being able to nibble even a little bit!
    Mo at Mocadeaux recently wrote…Pizza And Wine – A Perfect CombinationMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, occasionally, we do drop in some roasted peppers if we have any. Yum!

  • November 12, 2013 Stevie

    Good luck with the clean eating! Hang in there! I am having a problem because I have ridiculous amounts of Halloween Candy left and I. Can’t. Stop. So Chocolate is a comfort food, pizza, cheese burgers and french fries, lasagna, doughnuts! I started taking a vitamins so at least that’s a step in the right direction. πŸ™‚
    Stevie recently wrote…Welcome SITStahs!My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, it is. πŸ™‚

  • November 12, 2013 Leslie

    Go you for trying to be healthier. I know how that hungry feeling goes. I know it goes away after a while, but it’s horrible when you’re going through it. I’d say that biggest comfort foods for me are pasta dishes and freshly baked cookies. I just can’t resist either of those!
    Leslie recently wrote…Thanksgiving Planning GuidesMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Pasta is such a popular choice! πŸ™‚

  • November 12, 2013 Keely

    I hear you on the water thing. Why is it so hard?! Also- I think I told you (though my brain may have forgotten), but I made the banana coconut muffins for P.J.’s birthday breakfast- AND his parents were staying with us. They told Peej that he was so lucky to have someone bake gourmet treats for him. (!!!) Also also- you’re such a famous rockstar for the QL post!
    Keely recently wrote…Nesting (And Other Ways To Wreck A Marriage).My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Oh, it makes me so happy when my recipes are tried and loved!! Yay!

  • November 12, 2013 NJ

    I would also like to eat all of those things. Plus chicken parm, a steak and cheese grinder, a piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, and melty brie with raspberries on top. I hope your 5 day plan goes well!
    NJ recently wrote…Perfect Monster CookiesMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Mmmm yum!!!

  • November 12, 2013 sarah reinhart

    mmmm. I’ll virtually eat these with you. Good for you for the clean eating! πŸ™‚

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Thank you! I did it!

  • November 12, 2013 Adrienne

    #5 without a doubt!! I love bread. period.
    Adrienne recently wrote…10 Things That Bring Me ComfortMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Me too. Me too.

  • November 13, 2013 Jin Ai

    You mean cheese and crackers isn’t in that kind of plan? I’m done for!!
    This list of comfort food is making me hungry and I just had ABC and toast, urghh.. Let’s blame it on pregnancy shall we?
    Congrats for Queen Latifah too!!
    Jin Ai recently wrote…Toddler nursing, tandem nursing and nursing while pregnant (Part 2)My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      You’re pregnant, it’s the time you should eat whatever you like! πŸ™‚
      And thank you.

  • November 13, 2013 Charlotte

    Dude. Your mango coconut bread sounds DELICIOUS. DAMN. I wish I had mangoes. And coconuts πŸ™‚ Will def pin this and make it at a later time πŸ™‚

    Soooooo good to be back here today–I’ve missed you! How are things in your neck of the woods?? QUEEN LATIFAH?! Uhm, you are awesome. Also best of luck with the new diet. I find it’s helpful to think of it as a lifestyle change. Seems less restrictive that way (I’m trying myself to eat healthier/exercise more.
    Charlotte recently wrote…life imitating artMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      It’s definitely a lifestyle change! The 5 days is over, and I can say that my habits are definitely changed. Drinking more water is easy now, in fact, I crave it. And I don’t crave the processed stuff anymore. It’s amazing, what just 5 days can do.

  • November 13, 2013 Greta

    At least several of your comfort foods are healthy! That quinoa salad sounds good. I’ve been on a cereal kick lately….like, there may have been a couple of days recently that I’ve eaten it for breakfast AND lunch. That could mean I need to go to the grocery store….
    Greta recently wrote…Project 365 (Week 45)My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      The quinoa salad is totally awesome (and gluten-free!).

  • November 13, 2013 Shefali

    I just got done with my ten day clean eating program. It’s funny how I craved SO many foods all through those ten days and now that I am done, I feel so good with my body that I don’t really want to go back to the normal of eating cheese and carbs all the time. Hang in there, it will get better real soon πŸ™‚
    P.S. Many of your comfort foods are on my list too. I love Salted caramel cookies.
    Shefali recently wrote…Godzilla MomMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      I feel the same way! I just finished the plan on Friday, and I am loving how I feel!

  • November 13, 2013 Stephanie

    Good luck with the clean eating. I should totally try that, but your list, ugh, it just made me hungry! I hope you let us know how you feel after because I’ll need that to convince me to do it!
    Stephanie recently wrote…Figuring Out My WhyMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Thanks, Stephanie. I just finished the plan, and I feel really good! I don’t crave processed food anymore, and I am loving my new water drinking habit. I’ll be writing a post about it next week, stay tuned!

  • November 14, 2013 Kim

    Oh, those are some comfort foods. I have been trying to get back on to a more structured eating routine over the past 2 days – I had really relaxed while everyone was under the weather at my house. And now I feel hungry even though I am really not. I just have to resist the snacking urge (which is so hard for me at first!)
    Good luck with your plan!
    Kim recently wrote…Over-Packing HeroicsMy Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Kim! It was hard, but I did it!

  • November 14, 2013 Marta

    I’m uncomfortably full and somehow you made want a cookie. How can you do that???
    Marta recently wrote…The Halloween That Was.My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Hee! It’s nice to have a, er, talent. πŸ™‚

  • November 14, 2013 My Inner Chick

    I am sick and tired of you being so utterly multi talented!

    Damn you.

    Xxxxx The photos are Fabulous!
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Keep Holding On. Footage of Kay’s Last Days.My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      Hee! Silly Kim. Love you. xo

  • November 16, 2013 runnermom-jen

    Oh Alison, you will not regret this clean eating. I’ve been doing it (well 90% clean) for a few months, and I’m never going back, the energy that I have now…well, it’s amazing! And all because of giving up crap food…
    Hope you’re doing well with it. and those foods DO look very good πŸ™‚
    runnermom-jen recently wrote…Healing Runs…My Profile

    • November 16, 2013 Alison

      I do love not eating crap food! I feel lighter, and definitely more energetic. I will allow myself a treat here and there though. πŸ™‚

  • November 16, 2013 Natalie

    Ooh I love some good comfort food!
    Natalie recently wrote…Moms Always Finish LastMy Profile

    • November 21, 2013 Alison

      We all do! πŸ™‚

  • November 17, 2013 Nina

    Oh yeah– I’ve sort of mastered virtual treats. (Not that I don’t eat real ones, too. But I don’t eat as many as I wish I could without paying the consequences.)
    Nina recently wrote…Friday Finds #1My Profile

    • November 21, 2013 Alison

      But you’re skinny! πŸ™‚

  • November 20, 2013 Andrea

    Warm, creamy soup, preferably with “bisque” or “chowder” in the name. Bread and butter on the side.
    Andrea recently wrote…Old School Blogging – NovemberMy Profile

    • November 21, 2013 Alison

      It does sound cozy and warm!

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