How to combat emotional eating

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

I am feeling so grateful to have been writing for Her for one year already.

Now that we are getting to know each other better, it is time for me to start to share with you a little more about me. Maybe even a few secrets, such as: When it comes to food, I love it. But I used to use it in such a way that was not healthy.

I am Addie, and I am a recovered emotional eater.

Food always had been there for me when I was mad, sad, angry or happy. It never let me down. It was something to look forward to and ease the pain I might have been enduring. I had control over it, too, especially when I felt like I could control nothing else in life.

In a way, is food not always there for all of us? Weddings, funerals, reunions.

It is not a bad thing. Food is good. Food is for fuel. Food gives us energy, health and helps us feel full and whole. We can enjoy the different flavors and textures. What an amazing blessing food is.

On the flip side, if you were ever like me, food could be an obsession. It could torment you, making you feel good, then making you feel guilty.

In my newest book, “Better Food, Better Mood,” I share how “the crappier I eat, the crappier I feel.” This then sends me into a grumpy mood, and I can’t figure out why. Then, it trickles down to having a not-so-great day. Then, I am not-so-great to the family. I am not-so-great to be around. I just want to go to sleep, get up and start over.

Can you relate?

I also don’t eat like a bird.

How do I deal with it? I now prepare only the food that I truly enjoy making, eating and the feeling. I eat food that I know will make me feel good during the meal, as well as feel good after I am finished. I make and eat food that I know is healing and helping me inside and out. I know that when I eat well, my physical appearance is a direct reflection of my inner health. I make and eat food that keeps my moods lifted and my belly happy.

But I must look forward to my meals as well, or I won’t stay on track. I am not going to eat lettuce and carrots all week. I would never stick to that.

So, each week, I plan it out. I eat the same thing almost every day during the week. Then, during the weekends, I splurge a little on foods I really love. I then almost always feel good.

Do I have moments where emotional eating will come into play? I would be lying if I say I didn’t. However, they are not as frequent, and I never punish myself or dwell on them.

Now I know that when I want to give into crappy eating, it is stemming from something a little deeper that I am trying to numb. I lean more on figuring out what the root of the problem is and less on trying to hide it with food.

Healthier Coleslaw

1 bag of shredded cabbage2 tablespoons of vinegar2 teaspoon of celery seed¼-½ cups of olive oil mayonnaiseSalt and pepper to taste

Mix well, and enjoy that creamy slaw you love with less sugar.

Egg Cups

12 eggs½ cup of nonfat Greek yogurt1 cup of milk of choice1 handful of chopped spinach1 handful of chopped tomato8 ounces of feta cheese

Mix well. Divide into a 12-serving, nonstick muffin tin. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden. This is a great on-the-go breakfast, lunch or dinner.


1 bag of riced cauliflower½ onion, chopped3 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt

Cook rice and onion on stove top with a drizzle of olive oil until tender. Stir in cheese and yogurt until creamy. Top it with ¼ cup shredded mozzarella (optional). I have been known to eat the entire dish.

Addie Graffin is a freelance columnist and blogger based in Platteville, Wis. Read more at

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