Attack of the Carbs


Can you tell I’m still on yesterday’s Star Wars theme?

Every elementary school student’s favorite food is pizza. I have it on good authority that the ones who say something different are lying for attention. As you get older, you’re supposed to find new, exotic foods to replace pizza as your favorite. This didn’t happen to me. I have traveled to many different countries, sampled a bounty of foods, and I will still happily eat a piece of plain cheese pizza before anything else.

This favoritism is probably because carbs are my favorite food group. Pizza is king, followed by pasta, bread, cereal, rice, and mashed potatoes. These are my comfort foods, the snacks that take me to that happy place. This is especially true when I am depressed. Everything feels so bad that I just want food to taste good. I don’t want to focus on what is healthier; I want to eat what I want to eat.
Making macaroni and cheese or Ramen is part of my routine when I don’t feel good, but lately I’m increasingly bothered by the possibility that my food choices could be making me feel worse. My therapist wants me to reduce the number of carbohydrates I’m consuming and has even suggested that I try going gluten free. I’ve also noticed several studies online linking increased carbohydrate consumption with depression. I don’t know how much validity these studies have, but I do know that I have to start eating better – especially when I’m depressed.
Feeling crummy is not an excuse to eat poorly. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes we most need the foods that we don’t want to eat at that moment. Taking a big salad to bed certainly doesn’t sound as comforting as a bowl of cheesy macaroni, but I probably need what’s in the salad more than I need what’s in the pasta. Making these kinds of decisions isn’t fun, but I think it’s a necessary step for my overall wellness and especially for my mental health.
What comfort foods do you crave when you’re feeling down? How do you keep a well-rounded diet when you’re depressed?

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