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Get Creative With Mental Health And Nutrition (free recipe for healthy comfort food!)

Hello friends, good to see you after an unplanned break due to confusion, uncertainty, and angst about who I really am. I’m back to tell you 3 major things I discovered while I was in the strange hazy land of covid Hades. Nothing you don’t already know but I'm going to tell you anyway because it might make me feel better.

Discovery # 1

I am enough. Whether or not I work, clean my house, finish my taxes, call all of my friends, or keep up with this blog, it doesn't really matter, I'm still enough.

I know that I'm enough because I listen to an hour's worth of affirmations every day telling me so. I really think it works and if it doesn't, at least I get more alone time by wearing my headphones and looking like I'm listening to something intense and important.

Speaking of words, they really do make a difference. Good childcare providers like me know this because we have to learn to talk in a special way or the kids just won't listen to us. If you want some of the one-liners I developed for my own use after 43 years of working with young children and their families and a master's degree in human development, click here and join my community, to get your free copy!

You can have the 21-page slideshow for free on my member's only section. I put it on there for a limited amount of time because I feel bad for families all couped up because of COVID. It usually sells for 49. and won't be free forever, so be sure to download a copy to keep once you sign up and become a very important member of our community.

Words mean so much, even to adults. We are healthier and happier when we take charge of the mental tape that plays constantly in our minds. That's why I had to develop this mantra to help myself cope. I try hard to repeat it often. LOL! When I do have the presence of mind to remember to use it, it helps me a lot.

My only goal is inner peace, the only moment is now, my only functions

are appreciation and forgiveness, starting with myself.

Discovery #2

Routine is paramount to success. I suspected that to be true because of all of the years I've spent working with young children and families but I keep coming back to it as a method to build my own resilience. So if you need to develop a new habit, make it a matter of routine. And for extra efficacy, tack it on to something you already do like brushing your teeth. I'm presuming you still do. Just kidding!

Since you remember to do certain things already, why not take advantage of that and attach a new habit to an old one.

Every morning I empty the dishwasher and start my dance/exercise routine as I put the dishes away. It really feels awesome to be able to depend on myself for a change and I've only broken a couple of dishes to date.

Discovery #3

Food is important to everyone's mental health.

Most people eat to reward themselves for the trials and tribulations of living. At least in this country. In other countries, people tend to enjoy their food more and eat all kinds of foods guilt-free. Here's an article I wrote a while back after visiting Europe and eavesdropping on every food-related conversation I could understand that might explain.

The moral of the story is "eat to feel good and never let food make you feel bad". And it isn't enough to eat to feel good instantaneously, your food also has to keep you satisfied and energetic or you'll end up eating more of the wrong thing. Believe me, I've spent the last 50 years proving it to myself. Here's a free tool that I developed to keep track of my own foods and moods. that might be useful to you.

Food has to taste good as well as provide the energy and the nutrition needed, too, or we won't feel satisfied.

Ahhhhh......that's where comfort food comes in. I've recently discovered a convenient and healthy recipe that can be made in 100's of different ways for health and variety. It screams comfort so much that I can't help taking a break to eat one now since I made 6 of them when I took the photos below. (I wanted to be sure I got the recipe right.)

OK, I'm back and really happy!

The specific recipe I'm sharing today is for a ham and egg cup o' comfort, but you can substitute any protein, cheese, or veggie you like. It makes its own gluten-free crust on the bottom.

You can whip one of these up in less than 5 minutes and you can substitute almost any ingredient you have in the fridge right now to make it your own!

Think of the options! I've personally made, sausage pizza, broccoli and cheese, cheezy beef, tuna melt, organic beef hot dogs with sauerkraut and swiss, chicken cordon bleu, meatball sandwich, and ruebens! You can go veggie or meat-lover, organic or not. The sandwiches are gluten-free and open-faced. The sky is the limit. Go ahead, make your all-time favorite fun food. You deserve it!

Here's the recipe for "A Little Cup O' Comfort"


2 heaping TBSP finely ground almond meal

1 large egg

1 pat butter

2 oz cooked protein such as ham slices

a few spinach leaves (optional)

1-2 slices cheddar cheese or any cheese of choice

1 TBSP sugar-free jam (optional)

You can use a large soup cup or a small (2 cup) pyrex bowl. You'll need to cover it with a lid or plate while it's cooking.

Add to your cup or bowl:

2 hugely heaping tablespoons finely ground almond meal

1 large egg

1 pat butter cut into 4 pieces.

Mix until egg and almond are blended

Add on top and in this order:

2 oz. nitrite-free ham (or any cooked meat)

A few baby spinach leaves (optional)

1-2 slices of cheddar cheese

1 tsp sugar-free jam (opt)

Cover and cook in 1100 watt microwave for about 1 ½ minutes.

Adjust time according to your individual appliance.

You can also cook it in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until it's done.

Let sit for 1 min. Loosen edges with a large spoon before sliding onto a small plate, almond side down.

Enjoy! Here's something else

to try.

When you look at a food, try not to see it in terms of how many calories it contains but rather how it’s going to make you feel now and in one hour. Then decide.

Nanci J. Bradley is a child and family educator, parent, author, family aerobics instructor, and all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, lifelong learning, healthy eating, fun, and more than anything else, PLAY! She studied early childhood education at Triton College and received her BA in education from Northern Illinois University in 1986. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison, WI.

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