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Comfort Foods



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Tonight I didn’t feel like cooking anything fancy – basic pasta and meat sauce it was.  Not exactly a model of healthy eating (though I like to think I could do worse… hopefully)?  Carbs… okay, cheap white pasta is possibly the worst kind of carbs.  Protein… okay, again, possibly not the best source of protein.  But there were veggies in the sauce!  And cheese = dairy, right?

(I know – I could just as easily be describing pizza here)

Funny enough, on a day where I made sheer crap for dinner – albeit super tasty crap – I came across this article from Mark’s Daily Apple about Why We Crave Comfort Foods.  Pretty interesting read.

I certainly am top of the list as far as being a sucker for comfort food.  I crave crap.  It’s true.  Very little of what I want to eat coincides with the food that as a triathlete (or any type of athlete, or really anyone who wants to lead a long healthy life) should eat.  It’s a real problem for me.

The article is interesting (if not a little on the long side) – it rationalizes our need for comfort foods from emotional, physiological, and social perspectives.  They’re all quite interesting, and I’ll assume reasonably accurate (as I haven’t bothered to click each of the links in the article).  It’s worth a read.

If cravings for comfort food are so universal, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the most common comfort foods out there (ya know, while I’m mailing in a blog post anyway).

… apparently that’s really hard to do.  I know it’s quite personal, but I though somewhere on the wide internets I could find some site (credible or not) that suggests the top 10 comfort foods (globally?  in North America?).  I kinda came up empty, after my 30 seconds of searching.  So I thought I’d create my own…

Dave’s List of Top 10 Comfort Foods that Royally Fuck With My Triathlon Training (but are so good):

  1. Tacos – I love tacos!  I think it goes back to my childhood, when my mom used to always serve tacos at my childhood birthday parties.  They’re fun, and flavorful, and warm, and crunchy.  And before I know it, I’ve eaten a half dozen of them.
  2. Pizza – This is a very close second on my list of foods that I can’t eat just one of.  I love pizza – it’s all carbs and fat, but it’s so good.  Back in my university days, I used to do Pizza and Beer Fridays with my roommate and some friends.  Amazing times.  Good memories.  Which leads me to…
  3. Beer – If beer isn’t the yummiest thing in the world, I don’t know what is.  It does absolutely nothing good for you – it gives you empty calories and useless carbs, and contributes to dehydration.  As a triathlete, it might be the worst thing on this list for me.
  4. Nachos – See, the thing is, it’s really hard to go out to a pub for a pint and not have something to snack on too.  And nachos is always just the thing.  It’s like tacos, but in a messier, sharable form.
  5. My wife’s Mac ‘n Cheese – My wife makes an amazing Mac ‘n Cheese from scratch.  She got the recipe from her mum, and actually taught my dad how to make it (which is saying a lot).  This stuff is pure gold – for the taste buds at least.  I have no interest in cheap boxed Mac ‘n Cheese type products.  I crave the real stuff only my wife can make right.
  6. Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream – A warm slice chocolate cake with cold ice cream on top.  Holy crap that’s good.  It’s such a basic staple of a North American dessert, but there’s very few desserts I’d take over it… except maybe…
  7. Strawberry Pie – When I was younger my Aunt made me a Strawberry pie – no Rhubarb or other berries to complicate it.  Just Strawberry goodness.  I thought this was the best thing in the world… until my wife made one.  O.M.G.  Possibly the best thing I’ve ever had.  Pastry and sugar are good for your diet, right?  At least there’s fruit in there…
  8. Sushi – okay, this could be the closest thing to “healthy” on my list.  Except in the quantity I eat it.  Usually I get my sushi in the All You Can Eat format… and when I’m enjoying the taste and not paying attention, I sure can eat.
  9. Street Meat – Toronto has a funny bylaw about food trucks.  The oversimplification of it is that it’s a pain in the ass for any type of food truck to get established here, so they don’t.  Except hot dog vendors.  There must be 1,000 hot dog vendors in this city – they’re on every corner, selling all forms of hot dogs and sausages.  I call it Street Meat – it’s fatty enough to be addictive, and everywhere enough to be constantly tempting
  10. Coke – Some people need their coffee in the morning to get them going.  But maybe they don’t like coffee… maybe they like coke.  And maybe they need a second one to get them through their afternoon sometimes… enough said.

Okay… enough of this.  Now I’m hungry again.

What are the comfort foods you crave?  What foods ruin your best training plans?


  1. sweatingforit
    May 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Chocolate! Chips and Salsa!

    • May 15, 2013 at 10:26 am

      haha… I totally read “Chocolate Chips and Salsa” (missed the very important exclamation point after Chocolate). A unique combination, I thought…

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