Manage Your Stress With Better Food

By Dr. Barry Taylor

Eating too much sugar, alcohol, and white flour, as well as missing meals, all dramatically use up your B vitamins and calcium and negatively affect important functions for optimal health. We are particularly prone to these behaviors during the holiday season!

Our adrenal glands are automatically engaged to meet many kinds of demands. Without the need for conscious thought, adrenalin is involuntarily secreted. Over generations, our bodies have evolved to react to this with “fight or flight” responses. This is the same response that is triggered when we feel threatened or endangered by our surroundings — an encounter with bears or tigers, for instance. While such an encounter is not likely to be a part of our daily life now, our bodies are wired up as if any demand on it is a bear or a tiger. Certainly over time, because of work, challenging life styles, long-term chronic pain or illness, relationship issues with money or people, or any circumstances that push us to our limits, we confuse stress with distress. Often our resources are either depleted or nowhere near evolved enough to match and neutralize the demands effectively.

For 2015, make an irrevocable oath to your self.

Say, I will learn to “graze”. Think about eating in a way (3 meals per day and 2 snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon) that keeps blood sugar stable. By eating smaller meals and snacking on healthy foods and supplements, you will not be leaning on your adrenals for energy to push you throughout the day. Eat super vegan protein shakes and fresh-squeezed, organic vegetable and fruit juices, nuts and seeds or very healthy protein energy bars as snacks. When you eat power foods timed in a way to keep your blood sugar from rollercoastering, you keep your adrenals from being depleted. Then you have much more capacity to deal with stress, because you have not stressed your body by demanding that your adrenals energize you instead of eating to maintain blood sugar.

Many symptoms related to weight, immune challenges, allergies, chronic pain, headaches, and fatigue, improve dramatically when we eat and graze, rather than consume foods. Bad habits deplete B vitamins and cause us to get overly hungry and play catch up because of the nutrient empty breakfasts, lunches and dinners we eat or how often we miss meals.

Eating to cope more effectively with stress is easy. Have fun!

At the time of celebration, when food and socializing is center stage:

  1. Choose foods wisely.
  2. Bless everything you eat.
  3. Consume moderately.
  4. Breathe in the love that is around you that is easy to miss if you over-consume and you are so full you are numb. 

BarryTaylorDr. Barry Taylor was the medical director of the New England Family Health Center in Boston from 1981-1997. He continues to comprehensively evaluate nutritional programs for individuals, and coaches his clients to transform their relationship to their symptoms so that they feel powerful and inspired.

Dr. Taylor is the author of LOVE YOUR BODY: YOUR PATH TO TRANSFORMATION, HEALTH, & HEALING, and leads the LOVE YOUR BODY health and healing workshop.

www.drbarrytaylor.com

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