I was overweight. I had gained 20 pounds in 5 years and I needed to figure out why. Of course, the obvious reason was that I was eating more, especially carbs, all the comfort foods that cause weight gain, and I wasn’t as active as I used to be. But why was I eating more and moving less?

I realized there are times we try to fill up holes in our soul with food.

We satisfy our hunger temporarily, but the holes linger, or get bigger. I needed to find a way to find joy in my life so that I would stop eating so much and motivate myself to be more energetic.

I pressed myself to name a few of the emotional needs we all experience to some degree: the hunger for human connection, love, passion, purpose, adventure, or inspiration. We need to feel whole, we need rest, restoration, movement, exercise, and freedom. We need to be grateful for health, physical well-being, the love of others. We crave certainty, harmony, and peace.

Hunger is often that little itch that keeps you from being fully anything. So, I challenged myself to come up with my own personal recipes, comfort “foods” for the soul that take care of these itches and again, I (with my spiritual megaphone) challenge you to make them your own.

No-Carb Comfort “Foods”

•Make something more beautiful—a plate, a table, your nightstand.

•Light candles—in the bedroom window at dawn, at the dinner table, in the bath.

•Linger—after a meal, in the car, in bed.

•Sixty seconds or sixty minutes of gratitude—forget a journal, it is okay to be grateful for some of the same things over and over again.

•Find nature—go a small or a great distance to find your place in the universe.

•Really listen to music—the songs you love and the songs that those you love listen to.

•Express yourself—I paint (oil portraits of people I love). Write, dance, build . . .

•Arrange something—flowers, tools, drawers, a closet, a glove compartment.

•Inhale/smell—spices, oils, flannel shirts.

•Lean in . . . to the person next to you at the table, on the couch, in bed.

•Read offline.

•Watch a sunset at home.

•Make your bed, like you would for company.

•Count your riches: family, friends, workmates, storekeepers . . .

•Renew an old connection, especially those you’ve lost touch with for more than a year.

•Give a knickknack away.

•Plan a family vacation.


•Remember the ten best smiles you ever received.

•Slip into bed early.

•Walk everywhere.

•Write a letter.

•Look at old photographs.

•Stretch from head to toe.

•Take a bath, or a slow shower.

•Have a cup of tea.

Deepa Thomas is the author of Deepa’s Secrets: Slow Carb | New Indian Cuisine.

Find her at http://www.deepassecrets.com/