Comfort Foods

By Michelle Plummer

Wow, what a week I had last week  here in Indianapolis. Monday morning began with USDA announcing the new nutritional guidelines and that evening brought in the worst winter storm since 1988!  Ironic!  Well maybe there is good in many layers.  The nutritional guidelines suggested we increase our fruit, vegetable and lean meats, continuing consuming 3 or more servings of lowfat dairy daily and they supported moderation and balance in the words or calories in, calories out and here comes the storm!

I drove home on Monday and began thinking about getting a preparedness plan for work and safety the next day.  With cold winter days comes the ultimate need (desire) for comfort foods, those foods that make you as warm as a blanket and roaring fire.  Because I am here at home as I write this, as oppose to the office, I decided to share with you my comfort foods and how they actually worked into the new dietary guidelines. 

Monday’s dinner was oven-fried chicken with Brussels sprouts and corn pudding (my husband’s all time comfort food).  So, lean meat, veggies and for dessert we had yogurt with fresh blueberries, not too bad for the beginning.  Hopefully I can continue.

Tuesday began with oatmeal with pecans and cinnamon and milk, lunch was open face ham and cheese sandwiches, fresh veggies and homemade cookies with milk and dinner was homemade potato soup with carrot, celery and onions and potatoes keeping the skins on for added fiber and for dessert we have a couple more cookies and canned peaches.  Still getting the nutrients but getting that warm comfort also.  Exercise—I called it shoveling, and pounding ice.  I will fight to shovel snow, breaking up ice—I hate it!

Wednesday was a late breakfast; so it began with Blueberry pancakes from scratch (milk and flour basically), blueberries on top, milk and juice.  Lunch was tomato soup and side salad with tuna. Dinner consisted of a chicken stir-fry with brown rice and cookies with yogurt for dessert. More shoveling…. at this point I would have rather been swimming!

Thursday brought me back to work, but the point of me sharing my menu with you was not that the meals were over the top (not even elegant), I think the only comfort food I missed was macaroni and cheese (the ultimate!) which I will save for the next storm!  But, hopefully not too soon!

The new nutritional guidelines are not difficult or daunting, they provide motivation for a more healthful way of life.  Our city is lush with wonderful foods, delicious dairy products and delicious smaller indulgences.  For a moment, think about going out to dinner with friends, and how is it 6 girls can share one dessert and be full, but at home we have to eat the whole thing…REALLY?

Bring on the availability, balance and comfort of the nutritional guidelines Indiana. We can make improvements and still have our cake (cupcake) and eat it too.

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