Paleo food 101: Comfort Foods

A comfort food, food, blanket, a food that is a little more than food, we all have one (or more!).

A comfort food, this is more than edible or even good taste.
This is a food that is good for us, that fills us on a deeper level than just food a little, because it is associated (consciously or not) to memories, to emotional states, the love (paternal, maternal, etc..) to reassuring situations, etc..

Anger is much more than eat, or enjoy. The food (especially a comfort food) has the power to change our emotional state as well as our physiology.

The problem is that passing mode paleo life, we are forced to question the famous foods “that make us feel good.” Depending on your motivation and your character, you will opt for different solutions: the most radical completely give up their favorite food. Others try to eat a paleo version 2.0, or more health. And others will reserve for cheat day.

But in any case, you do not have to reject it the concept of comfort food! For if food choices are subjective, effects on your emotional state, they are very real and very measurable.Several studies have shown that eating (or even speak) of its comfort food will block us in negative emotions (such as loneliness, for example). It’s good also to plan some paleo breakfast recipes.

The most important, in my view, is not to eliminate these foods at all costs, but rather to understand how it works, so you can use it as intelligently as possible.



For many of us, food is associated with emotional states. These are random associations, formed by our experience, our education, our course in life.

Food can act as a reward for example (in the school canteen, we won an ice candy if the cafeteria ladies were helped to empty the dishwasher!).

It acts as a celebration (all my birthdays, my mother was a strawberry tart.)

Food can even be a kind of “dressing” to pain (when I was sick, you gave me to eat floraline with melted inside kiri: I felt immediately better).

You surely also such associations. Our deepest and most numerous associations often come from childhood, but others also create in our adult lives.

The taste sensory channel (any) associated with an emotional state (whatever it is) creates what is called an anchor.
The more you repeat the association (even taste associated with the same emotion),the more you reinforce the anchor. (And yes, Proust’s madeleine is an anchor).

Example: Child, when you were very sad, your mother made ​​you your favorite cake is a cake with chocolate chips. If the operation is repeated often, it’s a safe bet that you have created and enhanced sensory anchor.

Taste [cake with chocolate chips] associated with the emotional state [welfare, maternal love] as an anchor which, if repeated several times, is very strong and will last over time.

Anchoring works as simply a switch: pressing the button and the light comes on. We eat the cake with chocolate chips and the feeling of being loved, cherished, returns.

Later, when you feel sad or alone and you’ll find a sense of well-being, or the feeling of being loved, you will move naturally to this cake, or what it looks like at best.

By eating the new food, we just try to find the associated emotional state: the feeling of love, comfort, healing, happiness, etc.. And it works!


Most of the time, our comfort foods consist mainly of carbohydrates and fat (what a coincidence). Why?

First, because the carbohydrates (and – unfortunately – especially refined carbohydrates) have the ability momentarily boost our production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter famous welfare. (Thus, it prompts us to look again and again this type of food to meet the welfare associated).

And then, because fat also have an influence on the emotional state.

In this study we show a group of subjects a depressing movie, or sad music. The subjects who received an injection of saturated fats are less affected on an emotional level(and has a lower activity in brain regions associated with negative thoughts) than those who received an injection of salt water!


There is something deeply human in the sense of comfort in food. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans build relationships around food. Give room a sign of hospitality or gift was important to create peaceful and friendly relations, or alliances.

Brian Wansink, a psychologist nutrition says that to teach animals to select certain foods and avoid others (toxic), the social factor is crucial to learning.

We are led, led to eat what the people around us we are as desirable. Because desire is triangular and passes by others, too.


We can accept that our penchant for comfort foods is finally normal, almost universal, and it is sometimes useful.

So you tell me: What if our comfort food is not paleo (do not worry: 99% of the time it is NOT Paleo!)?

How to enable our anchors exist without making sprained paleo lifestyle? Do you also have some paleo breakfast ideas.

I propose to discuss in a future article, very soon!

Here is some paleo comfort food you can create at your home.