Unfortunately, stress, a chemical response to certain triggers and events in life, impacts almost all of us one way or another. There are some individuals who have discovered ways to manage and even eliminate stress from their existence. You too can learn how to take control of your life and regain your footing in this chaotic world. It is not as hard or tedious as you may think.
I knew there had to be way to relieve stress without unhealthy drug treatments and therapy sessions. I started being more aware of what I was putting in my mouth and the reactions and emotional responses that certain foods triggered for me.
You know what I discovered?
I found out that by making a couple of changes to the food I consumed, I could help manage and reduce my stress levels.
Just think about it for a second. Reflect on some of your most recent food choices and the stimuli behind what you decided to eat and why. There is a psychological cycle attached to stress and bad, low down rotten food. Typically, when people are overwhelmed, depressed, or stressed, their first instinct is to grab something to eat, and a majority of the time, the preferred food is “junk.”
You may have a pattern of gobbling down foods that have high levels of sugar such as cookies, cakes, sodas, etc. and foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats such as french fries, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and burgers (for those meat eaters) to help you get through a rough patch in your day.
Why do we choose such unhealthy foods?
Well, in a sense we are justified for selecting those “bad” foods. Consuming bad for you foods or unhealthy foods tend to give us the illusion of feeling better or happier temporarily. The extra sugar and carbs that we get from the unhealthy foods gives the body a “spike” in the hormone serotonin, that makes us feel a little happier (for the time being) and brings us that comfort we need (hence the word “comfort food”).
However, after your levels of serotonin drop and your blood sugar level comes crashing down, that is when reality starts to set in. You start to mentally beat yourself up about the ½ dozen cupcakes you inhaled and now you are feeling depressed, stressed and hungry all over again (because there was little to no protein in the “junk” that was just consumed) and the vicious cycle has a new beginning.
Now you wish you would have eaten some almonds, walnuts, or a salad loaded with fresh veggies, nuts, and marinated tofu to get you through your “rough patch.” Eating and adopting a vegetable and fruit based diet eliminates and puts an end to the unhealthy food relationship that has been created by our poor food choices. Vegetable based or vegetarian diets are full of nutrients, vitamins, and are typically lower in bad fats. Healthy vegetarians that eat a healthy diverse diet, typically don’t crave or desire to consume unhealthy foods that cause stress. Just check out how easy it is to make healthier food choices:
Foods You May Tend To Eat When You Are Stressed:
Burgers and Fries
Drink a coffee, caffeine, or sugar based beverage
A big bag of potato chips
Foods You Should Eat To Relieve Stress:
Fresh green salad with nuts, asparagus, dried cranberries, and balsamic vinegar dressing
Fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice or a fruit smoothie
A handful of nuts or blue corn tortillas chips with salsa and guacamole
Lightly toasted Tempeh with a peanut sauce
If you notice, all the alternatives you could eat to battle stress are grain, vegetable or fruit based. Adopting new eating habits is easy and can be accomplished by taking small steps and making small changes to your food choices on meal at a time. Once you start feeding your body fresh vegetables, fruits, and other whole foods, your body will have the ammunition it needs to grow stronger emotionally and help you keep your stress levels low.
Vegetables, fruits, and meatless proteins are processed by your body to give it continuous and consistent levels of sugar, carbohydrates, and energy, without the “spike” or sugar rush you may experience by eating burgers and fried foods (which are loaded with hidden trans fats and sugar).
The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t let the food you eat add to your “stress.” Instead, select foods that are going to provide your “temple” with the ammunition it needs to fight stress and end the “food stress” cycle. Opt for nourishing your mind and mood with a vegetable based meal or snack that will not attack your body chemistry or cause regret, but will give your body what it needs to regroup emotionally and physically.
P.S. – I hope you can use some of these tips to help you win your battle against stress. If you have already signed up to receive the 5 vegetarian video recipes, you can share this with other fellow vegetarians and even “re-tweet” this article on Twitter.
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