Food is our fuel for feeling good or for feeling bad.

  • To feel better, eat more of the good stuff than the bad stuff
  • The bad stuff causes stress
  • The good stuff makes us more resilient to stress

The Why:  Foods that are not good for us are stressful for our bodies.  These food stressors may not be noticeable because we are so used to tolerating them.  Because they cause stress to our physiology and body parts, they also cause an extra stress load on one’s mind where there are already dozens of stressors residing. By simply reducing and limiting the bad stuff food stressors and replacing them with good stuff food relaxing nutrients, we can make our bodies and mind more resilient to the constant barrage of external stressors that seem to be never-ending.

We want to attack stress from multiple directions and food choice is a keystone in this process.  Don’t be frightened.  Small, manageable changes rather than a massive change will be more permanent.

If you have a habit of making poor food choices, you will need to change your habits to get the most out of life.  You can find simple means to change habits here in our Habits Toolkit.

Here are some things to remember:

  • Some foods are kryptonite. They predispose us to inflammation, stress, hunger, repeating an unhealthy cycle. The worst is sugar which not only is pro-inflammatory, but it also causes hunger and anxiety 3-4 hours after one consumes it as the high blood sugars rebound to low blood sugar.  This causes you to become nervous and unsettled (stressed) which is then only calmed by more food intake. Bad cycle.

To break that cycle:

  • Try avoiding or limiting foods and drinks that contain added sugar. Go for the whole foods and water. If you can’t limit them, go “Cold Turkey” on added sugars and eliminate them.  They all come from processed foods and drinks.  Your stress levels will almost certainly improve.
  • Don’t bring sugar-laden food/drink home from the grocery. If it is not in the fridge or cupboard, you can’t eat/drink it.
  • Choose sparkling water or club soda over pop or energy drinks.
  • And, look at the ingredients before purchasing.
  • Get on a schedule. As with sleep, your metabolism will thank you if you eat regularly and at around the same time. Your digestion will improve, and you may lose some weight once your body realizes it doesn’t have to store every calorie you eat.
  • Eat whole foods.  Whole foods are foods without ingredients.  If it has been processed or altered, it’s probably not.  Every grocery has fresh vegetables, frequently in convenient ready to cook or eat packaging.

Eating around 6-8 servings of raw fruits and veggies each day, including one green salad in as many colors as you can find, means you are getting the full spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants your body needs to perform important daily functions. Balance that with healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olive oil. And remember, your protein needn’t be meat or fish.  You will be trading he bad stuff for the good stuff.

By incorporating these changes, you will feel better in the span of just a few days. Combine those with movement, good sleep, and an attitude of gratitude and you’ll soon be on top of the world!!

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