Caring for Yourself – Foods to Help You Cope

Unfortunately,
I was the last one to know how bad I looked.

Eating foods known to help reduce stress is the next recommendation in this series of blogs on Caring For Yourself during this time of your OWN transition.

Stress-Busting Foods: Fuel to Help You Cope

I gained 20 pounds in the last three years of my marriage eating comfort foods like sweets with my coffee in the morning, and ice cream at night. I also put too much on my plate for my low exercise level. It didn’t take a genius to see I was emotionally eating to cope with the whirlwind of change and confusion happening in my life, but I denied it at the time.

Unfortunately, junk food—and sugar in particular—is shown to cause moods swings, irritability, negative emotional responses and more. As satisfying as sweet foods were (though temporary; in a short time I wanted more), I was compounding an already emotionally charged time with food that gave out quickly.

What I needed was long-term fuel to support mental clarity for good decision-making, physical energy and a reduction in the fight-or-flight hormones like cortisol to help with better sleep and calmer emotional reactions.

Unfortunately, I was the last one to know how unhealthy I’d become. Overweight and with little energy, I was emotionally and physically depleted. Two months after I was living on my own and ready to heal, I began my successful weight loss by adding fruit to a vegetable protein powder in the morning, and choosing frozen berries over processed sugar for my evening snack. From there I began better food choices throughout the day, ending with leafy green salads and meat for protein at night. In a very short time the fog cleared and I found enthusiasm for rebuilding my life.

Here are some great ideas for “Stress-Busting” foods. (P.S. Dark chocolate is on the list!)

 

Check other blogs for caring for yourself during your own time of transition under the "Self-Care" category on the home page index.