Sunday, October 18, 2009

Comfort - Without the Calories

As I've mentioned, it's been really cold here lately, unseasonably cold, and I'm finding myself wanting to hibernate like an old bear, seeking warmth, comfort and emotional safety as well as deep sleep in a way that I do EVERY year at this time, but even more so what with all the financial uncertainty out there and Bob's job going away soon.

But anyhow, I'm not here to kavetch about that overmuch. The point is, because I'm in this sleepy, hungry, cold, and inactive mode, I haven't been exercising regularly AND instead of veggies, I've been craving soup, casseroles, and pie (my favorite is French Silk) - why the heck pie, don't ask!!! But this isn't helping my efforts to keep my weight steady. And it's certainly not helping me lose - the scale is creeping slowy up. Not drastically, but not the direction I want it to go.

So today, I decided to start thinking of comforting and warm and nurturing things I could do besides eat high cal foods and hunkering down in my comfy bed.

How about:

Broth soups instead of creamy soups?

Warm veggies instead of salads. I'm not feeling the salad at all lately.

How about hot flavored tea instead of high cal dessert drinks?

How about laying out my exercise clothes right by my bed so I can jump into them in the morning?

How about those 60 calorie chocolate puddings instead of the chocolate pie?

How about rewarding myself with sitting in bed and knitting while watching a movie only AFTER I've done my exercise for the day?

Any other ideas and insights would be greatly appreciated.

One more thing - I'm going to try to make my favorite high-cal drink at the local coffee shop and converting it into maybe lower cal alternative? The drink is called "London Fog." And it is the yummiest thing and most stomach-warming thing I've tasted in ages.

London Fog:

Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Flavored Black Tea (1 teabag)

1 oz Monin's Sugarfree Vanilla Syrup

1 cup steam skim milk

Sprinkling of cinnamon on top

This morning, I just treated myself to a cup of that hot cinnamon tea all by itself, without the milk or syrup, but I served it to myself in a really pretty mug and it made me feel cozy and comfortable. So sometimes comfort can be had without ANY calories, but just a bit of self nurturing.

Questions to ponder today while spending some time curled up with my journal: "Why are you hungry? What in life are you hungry for? How can you feed yourself in a way that doesn't involve food?" Okay, not only am I going to sip tea, I'm going to sit down with my journal and explore those questions. Hunger is about more than one's stomach. And there are many routes to comfort.


ColorJoy LynnH said...

I was in Weight Watchers in the 70's. I learned that for me, I have a strong need to put things in my mouth. So I looked for things I could put in my mouth that did not have huge calorie counts.

I would have carrot sticks in the frig to grab right away, and that was the time when I really learned to appreciate hot tea.

I am very fond of "chewy" things. I figured out that dried apricots did the job as well as candies. Apricots are also intense food with fruit sugar, but it was a step or two up.

Now I've learned to buy "boba" bubble tea tapioca pearls and cook them at home in my crock pot. They are very chewy and I can just put a little brown-sugar syrup I make myself, on them, and then put them in unsweetened tea (hot or cold depending on the season).

I'm with you on salad. I'm not as fond of cold things when the furnace season hits. Still, I've found that a good fat bowl of frozen green beans cooks in the microwave in between 2-3 minutes, and gives me a lot of pleasure.

I like to toss veggies in either gomasio (sea salt and crushed sesame seeds) or olive paste/tapenade. It makes them more interesting without many calories, and both have oil but the good kinds.

You don't have to deprive, it's about substitution. And when my inner toddler insists on ice cream, I take her to the parlor and buy her a child-sized cone. After all, that's the right size for the pouting one inside.

Hugs, LynnH

Anonymous said...

thanks for all those tips - going through the same feelings world wide, i suspect ;)
hot tea was something i found for winter two years ago when a wonderful tea store opened up here and been hooked ever since. have a few faves id be happy to send you if you have trouble finding dtuff where you are.
good luck with it :)
btw when i am being "good" and have a choc craving i can believe it ornot limit myself to one peice of very good dark chocolate with my tea. and sometimes i opt for a bowl of hot chocolate. realt decadent treats for little extra calories


Elysbeth said...

My favourite low calorie treat is a hug. So here's a virtual one
(((chelle))). - Being on the road I usually have to settle for the hotwater bottle.

Do you have a favourite "guilty" show you could watch while on the treadmill?

I also like comfort food to be warm, the new blends of steam in bag veggies are a G-dsend. Colour, flavour, 2 minutes with no mess to clean. When they get to 10 for 10 I stock up, and then treat my freezer like a menu.

Laura said...

I like all those ideas. :) I'm always craving pumping, it seems.

Phyllis Bourne said...

Sigh. Don't ask me.

All I want to do is buy one of those tacky Snuggie thingies and sleep on the couch.