As we head into the festive season and the year steamrolls to an end, it’s common for stress to become an even bigger part of our lives than usual. Opportunities to celebrate pile up in such a way that they often feel more like just another item on a long to-do list, weighing us down. When this starts showing up in our participants’ reports of how they’re feeling, we also notice that it becomes the reason they can’t care for themselves properly. Usually this starts with food, as people report they’ve been “stress eating”, then we hear about the poor quality sleep, followed by the inability to find time to exercise, and on and on it snowballs.
Why not make this the year we don’t find ourselves fully exhausted and prone to colds and other ailments, by the time the new year makes its debut? It can be done! Let us begin by making a far greater effort to win out over the stress eating that’s so prevalent.
The best way to avoid veering off the stress eating cliff is with a little planning. If you’re too overwhelmed to plan your menu for the week, even just for dinners, you can plan to have some simple go-to foods on hand. Now is a great time to get some frozen organic vegetables in the freezer to add to quick and easy meals. Keep easy-to-grab foods around that aren’t processed or full of sugar. Things like nuts, olives, berries, full-fat yogurt, baby carrots, sliced cucumbers or bell peppers and some hummus or other no-sugar-added dips are great choices. In and around Atlanta, there are lots of spots selling homemade soups fresh or frozen – maybe get a couple of those on hand! The same is true for things like chicken or seafood salads, or even chef’s salads. If you would like suggestions on how to find good quality and affordable versions of such things, let us know, we’re happy to help!
Having nutritious foods on hand gives you a huge advantage over the tendency to allow busyness and stress to rob us of the nutrients we need, and getting the nutrients we need is a key element of staying healthy during busy and stressful times.