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What makes “comfort food”? We usually think of sweet, rich, fatty, gooey, sticky, crispy things as comfort foods but my guess is that has more to do with habit than comfort.

For many, or most of us, vegetables were the unloved side-dish while “treats” were crisps, cookies or the like. So we learned to associate these sweet, fatty foods with comfort.

Stop to consider how your body feels after a pile of chips, or a big wedge of cake. Do you feel nourished? Refreshed? Energised?

Chances are, you don’t. Your body struggles to process the excess, so instead of feeling rejuvenated you feel full — and maybe a bit guilty.

I believe in eating for pleasure. And I believe if we started being mindful about how food makes is feel we might have different ideas about comfort food.

To me, comfort is food that tastes good and also fills you with a sense of well-being. It doesn’t leave you hyper from sugar, or lethargic from too much fat.

Comfort food could be a stir-fry, a jacket potato, a rice bowl, a fabulous salad. It could also, of course, be a slice of vegan coffee cake, or a raw chocolate truffle, or a warm scoop of gluten free crumble. Real comfort food is physically and emotionally rewarding.