Grundy County Memorial Hospital | Live Well | Winter 2021

Standard U.S. Postage PAID Grundy County Memorial Hospital 201 E. J Ave. Grundy Center, IA 50638 Information in LIVE WELL comes from a wide range of medical experts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your health care provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations. 2021 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Are comfort foods for real? by Crystal Petersen, RDN, LD, GCMH Wellness Program Manager We’ve all experienced that desire for warm chocolate chip cookies to soothe what’s ailing our soul or a warm bowl of creamy mac and cheese to brighten up a dreary day. But can food really provide comfort? Comfort foods are described as those we turn to in order to feel better and to satisfy an emotional need. For the very short term, food may provide immediate satisfaction. In the long run, however, food is not the best way to cope with stress and emotions, includ- ing those that result from the ongoing pandemic. Sometimes you may feel like sitting on the sofa and watching TV while snacking on a bag of potato chips in order to avoid feelings of sadness or loneliness, because you miss seeing your friends, or feelings of stress asso- ciated with a big project. Or maybe you turn to food to cool off when you feel angry. There are healthier ways for us to deal with our feelings. Taking time to identify alternate behaviors that nurture you will help you avoid turning to food when you are not truly hungry. Here are a few self-care options: ● Listen to your favorite music ● Learn to meditate or practice yoga ● Practice deep breathing exercises ● Call a friend ● Take a class ● Play with your pet ● Spend time outdoors ● Play a game with family members These suggestions can help you eat intuitively by paying attention to your body’s cues. Using healthy coping mechanisms when you get in a funk allows you to satisfy your true physical hunger with food you enjoy and that tastes good to you. Join a virtual discussion If you are interested in diving deeper into the topic of intuitive eating, plan to join GCMH’s registered and licensed dieti- tian nutritionists Wendy Brewer and me in read- ing and discuss- ing the book Intuitive Eating this winter. Details of the book discussion may be found at classes-and-events-list.aspx . Call 319-824-4154 or sign up at under the “Classes and Events” tab to join the free virtual book club and discus- sion. We’ll get started in late January! Adam Scherling Administrator Keely Harken Communication & Foundation ProgramManager Kelly Jans Community Outreach Specialist Crystal Petersen Wellness Program Manager LIVE WELL is published as a community service for the residents of the service area of Grundy County Memorial Hospital, 201 East J Ave., Grundy Center, IA 50638, , 319-824-5421 Crystal Petersen, RDN, LD