The Daily Beet

24 Mar Adventures with Ami: Comfort and Health

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Spring arrived the other day without any fanfare in my house.  I’ve been busy replenishing my tissue supply, brewing tea, taking hot baths, coughing and being pretty miserable. What I thought was allergies turned into a cold. When I am sick, I seek out comfort.  Many thoughts come to mind.  Lipton Ring O Noodle Soup, Grilled Cheese sandwiches and 7up from my childhood. I have a new list that is at least plant-based though not necessarily plant-strong, but it is my comfort food list.  As I was sitting here alone while my husband was in Denver on business, I thought about my comfort food list.  I was planning on a run to the store.  Nothing good would come of it.   Before I put on my shoes to walk out the door, a thought popped in my head…

What are you really seeking?

I felt horrible.

I just wanted to feel better.

What would make me feel better?

It wasn’t  grilled cheese.

It was a mixing bowl salad filled with all kinds of veggies goodness. Shredded beets, cabbage, sprouts, tomatoes, peppers, baby kale, arugula, green onions, radishes – the works!

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~ one of my loaded salads ~

In that moment – I remembered how good eating this makes me feel.  How for hours afterward I feel energized by all the nutrients I fit into my lunch.  I don’t feel heavy, just refreshed.

After all…wasn’t that the feeling I was seeking?

Refreshed and alive.

There is a different feeling tripped by comfort food of old…warm, full, sleepy, and happy  – for a minute.  I can appreciate the difference.  Though I was seeking comfort – it’s not the end result that I am looking for any more.  I want to feel refreshed and alive.

Sparkling water, hot tea, clementines, steamed veggies, apples, more hot tea, and a great big salad. Seeking health = comfort.

I had a few really great meals this week.  A couple of them had while dining out.  I am blessed to have a few plant-strong places here in St Louis.  I also made a big pot of veggie soup, rice pudding made with almond milk and raisins,  a few trays of roasted vegetables, a mango fruit salad and my favorite Kale Ceviche salad from My Beef With Meat.

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~ A zucchini noodle bowl loaded with veggies at HotPot in Kirkwood, MO ~

This week could have gone in a different direction entirely.  Eating for comfort instead of health is not the way to go.  There are so many great recipes out there to replace old standards.  Seek them out, put together a list when you are feeling great, for the days when you aren’t so you can be prepared and avoid making yourself feel even worse.

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Ami Mackey
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is a food coach at Engine 2 Extra and has been plant-strong since 2011. She is also the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • justme

    I don’t eat much of anything, when I get sick except baked potato and hot lemon water.

  • Jean Hayes

    Go Ami! Your food is beautiful and so are you!

  • Sunny

    Hi Amy, Where are your favorite plant-strong places in St. Louis? I’m new to this adventure in 2014 (also live in STL) and looking for some good dining out spots. Thanks!

    • Sunny

      Sorry make that Ami. =)