What to eat when stressed - (and what not to eat, too!): I know I am in trouble when I am so stressed, my dog starts looking like a roasted turkey dinner you see in those vintage cartoons.
The key for me, and this takes discipline, is to not have access to junk food in the house. Simply I know I am in trouble when I am so stressed, my dog starts looking like a roasted turkey dinner you see in those vintage cartoons. But, you can't eat what you don't have! The flip side to this is key: always have healthy and nutritious foods at the ready - especially for those extra challenging days.
When the dust settled and I looked back at what I devoured during my "stress banquet," I realized I didn't even taste what I was eating! I basically inhaled anything I could easily get my paws on. I always felt worse after these moments.
My problem is that I am wired to do something, anything, when I am in an anxious state. I need to feel as though I am in control. I believe the ultimate caveman interpretation of control is attacking a Buffalo and eating it!
I don't have access to buffalo where I live, and I can assure you if I left my house carrying a spear I would be writing my articles on the wall of a state facility. So instead I open the pantry and begin "hunting."
Any chef would cringe at the food combinations I've come up with: A shot of corn syrup, smoked almonds, pimento stuffed olives and some smoked oysters. Some days I've seriously considered breaking into the packet of powdered gravy! Believe it or not, I have made a marked improvement in my stress eating. I used to make a dash to the local fast food drive through. You know you need help when they know you on a first name basis.
I now keep fruits and vegetables at the ready as well as homemade, low fat/salt soups. I also discovered the power of the bean. Yes, I love beans. I will add them to my salads and soups and they will satisfy my hunger. Try the following recipe for my white bean spread. I will dip carrots or celery in it or spread it over a sandwich in place of mayo. It has many uses!
What to Eat When Stressed
Ted's White Kidney Bean Spread
1 16 oz. can white kidney beans (drain & rinse)
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 clove minced garlic (optional)
1 tbs fresh mint
1 tbs fresh cilantro
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbs fat free Greek yogurt
salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree (keep refrigerated).
Eat in good health and ENJOY!
- Ted Stefanski