In times of stress — like the 2016 presidential election — we crave comfort food. We reach for food that satisfies cravings because we have emotional attachments to certain foods and know they make us feel at ease. For most of us Election Day is a long, stressful day of waiting and hoping. "Election night is a good excuse to eat the things that comforted you as a kid," Psychiatrist Carole Lieberman M.D. tells Bustle.
All day long, we are surrounded by people buzzing about the excitement of the day or complaining about the endless election season — and that takes its toll. Besides the never-ending hateful words out repeated over and over in mainstream media, the 2016 election stressed people out. For the first time, the American Psychological Association included a question about the election in its annual Stress in America survey. Most Americans (52 percent) and even more Millennials (56 percent) answered that the election was stressing them out.
So what better way to beat the stress then to treat yourself post-voting? Here are some comforting, easy snack ideas to soothe your spirit and not spend the night in a sugar coma.
1. Try A Different Green Toast
Avocado toast still reigns, but try making A Cozy Kitchen's Coconut Pistachio Butter to spread on your morning toast. Carbs + protein + pretty green food = satisfied cravings. Reaching for something that is sweet and salty will put your cravings to rest. Get the recipe here.
2. When In Doubt, Pasta
It's always time for pasta. In my opinion, pasta is the greatest comfort because it can be made so many different ways and flavors. It's also great because you can find gluten-free and vegan options. Try this flavorful pasta with fresh tomatoes from A Farm Girl Dabbles. Get the recipe here.
3. Healthier Alternative To Pasta
Or, if you're trying to be conscious of your processed carbs, opt for spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash, once shredded with a fork, looks just like pasta and has a mild, sweet flavor that goes really well with all sorts of toppings. Try A Pretty Life in The Suburbs' creamy butternut squash pasta and substitute in spaghetti squash for the perfect squash-filled, fall comfort food. Get the recipe here.
4. Fall Bruschetta
Bruschetta is traditionally made with tomatoes, but this one from A Cozy Kitchen is made with fresh garlic and rich, tender mushrooms. Nothing says comfort quite like bread and garlic. Add some spinach, kale, or other leafy greens to add color and nutrients.
5. Avocado Love
Everything is better with avocado, so why not give your favorite hummus a boost with some 'cado? The healthy fats and fiber you get from avocados (not to mention the flavor) ups the nutritional value of traditional hummus. Enjoy with carrots, toast points, or crackers. Get the recipe here.
6. Meatless Tuesday
A lot of people recoil at the thought of tofu, but let me tell you if you have never tried it baked, you've never really tried tofu. Tofu has a reputation of being bland or "squeaky," but baking or smoking tofu gives it incredible flavor and texture. I'm so excited to make Apron and Sneakers' garlic and tomato rendition of baked tofu. Get the recipe here.
7. Dessert, Please!
After a day of endless election talk, you need dessert. Opt for a fruit-filled option like Big Girls, Small Kitchen's blueberry bars. Blueberries are known for their antioxidants (and their patriotic color). Get the recipe here.