Today I am introducing guest blogger, Heather Carey, MS to talk about stress and 3 important ways to relieve it. Heather is a culinary nutritionist who helps people everyday manage stress so it doesn’t take over their health and wellbeing.
The topic of stress comes up frequently with my clients. The stress from an illness, stress from handling an overwhelming situation at work or stress from gaining weight are just a few of the things I hear about.
People come to see me for very specific reasons. They want to lose the last of the 20 or more pounds that they have been carrying around, they need to eat healthier because of an illness or they have a strong desire to feed their families better. All great reasons to transform the way you eat and think about food.
Yet, before we dig into the obvious, I take the time to uncover what really lies beneath these nutrition goals. Usually, after talking, I discover things such as the job stress that has become so tiring that it has lead to out of control emotional eating and an extra 20 pounds. It could be the diagnosed illness which set off a tirade from the doctor to lose weight. Or, the underlying sense of embarrassment they might feel from really not knowing how to feed their family’s better. They don’t know much about cooking, how to plan, much less eat what the diet gurus tell them to eat.
We need to tackle and understand the emotional part of stress before we can begin to figure out what to do with it.
But here you are, and likely that you are reading this because you are having trouble with your job. Career issues can be extremely stressful. Here are three ways to handle stress, wether you have been fired, are out of a job right now, or are grappling with an illness that is preventing you from working.
You don’t have to start training for a marathon. But you need to do something. Why? Exercise helps raise our feel good endorphins, helps to distract you from stress, gets you outside and into some fresh air. I always encourage my clients to do something, anything, that feels fun and enjoyable to them. If hiking is your thing, look up different trails in your area to explore. Love to bike? Try a spin class. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you like it.
Being a nutritionist, my brain likes to work with facts and studies. Many years ago, meditation felt a bit woo woo to me. There was no way I was going to be able to sit, even for five minutes and not get distracted. Fast forward to today, and you will hear me sing the praises of this ancient practice. At the very least, meditation gives us a chance to calm down our brain in a society that is overworked and over distracted. We are under a state of chronic stress, wether we feel it or not. You can start with 5 minutes. And no pressure to do it right, there is no perfect in meditation. Read about my experience with meditation HERE.
Eat Really Well
Being a culinary nutritionist, this is where I am going to get really specific. I know that our tendency to grab for what we know, and what is comforting, dates back to childhood. I have many memories of bad days and and a pint of ice cream. When we are stressed, it’s time to treat your body and brain lovingly and with care.
What are the best foods for stress? Here’s a start:
Do you see a trend here? All of these foods are high in omega-3 fats, the techie name for brain food. These foods help to calm down your brain and relieve stress. Throw in a whole grain, such as brown rice, and you are eating like a champion. I have a great recipe that I consider my perfect go to anti-stress meal. Grab it HERE.
Stress happens to us everyday, but there are ways that we can make it more manageable. Leave a comment below and tell us what stresses you out and how you tackle it.