Sadly I’m not one of those people who reacts to stress by going on hunger strike.
When stress hits, my body decides to go into self-preservation mode by craving high-calorie comfort foods that give me a quick fix, then leave me feeling sluggish, bloated and guilty. In extreme situations I have lost my appetite, but it’s only lasted a day or so and then adrenaline takes over and tells me I need to stuff my face to survive.
It seems I’ve turned into a bit of a chocoholic, and I need to get out of the habit. It tastes good, but does it really do anything to lift my mood?
My friend informed me the other day that cocoa – eaten raw and not in a chocolate bar, sadly – has super immune-boosting properties, so maybe my body really does know what it needs after all. She whizzes her cocoa up in a Nutri Bullet to make a power-packed drink with almonds and honey, and swears it keeps her energy levels up throughout the day.
I naturally prefer healthy, wholesome foods, and have followed many diets over the years, at one point earning the nickname ‘the vegan’ despite never taking my vegetarianism quite so far! Over the past few years though, I’ve swapped snacking on healthy options like nuts and dried fruit for things like fat free yogurts and cereal bars to keep my weight down.
I lost weight, but lost some of my nutritious habits too. After a few months of feeling terribly run down and sluggish, I’m trying to bring some of those healthy habits back. February is my January!
As well as all the usual stuff like eating more fruit and veg, cutting back on the sweet stuff and limiting the booze, I thought I’d go to the local health food shop and stock up on a few extras.
I started with almonds, Nakd raw fruit and nut bars, coconut water, and a breakfast ‘superfood’ mix to add to my porridge.
I’ve always fancied trying the Vita Coco water, as I’ve heard amongst other things it is brilliant for curing a hangover! To be honest I was shocked at how sweet it is, but my son was keen to try it and absolutely loved it. So now he’s constantly asking me for coconut water, sounding very much like one of the kids overheard in Waitrose demanding kumquats and chorizo (actually he loves that too!). At £2 a carton, I think we’ll be saving that for a special treat… or when mummy has a hangover.
The Nakd bars are amazing, so tasty and sweet. I would happily choose these over chocolate, and they have the added bonus of making you feel healthy as you eat them. Almonds, too, have been going down well this week, I’ve been snacking on them at work to keep me going instead of wandering over to the constant supply of biscuits and treats in our office.
As for the seed mix, well I’ve been adding it to my porridge every day despite looking like something my son brought home from the park, it tastes pretty good. It contains chia, hemp, goji berries, cocoa and mulberries and claims to give me extra omega 3, magnesium, fibre and protein. Having shared a photograph of it on Instagram, it seems a lot of my friends are secret chia eaters, so there must be something in it! Perhaps all those hemp seeds are chilling me out after all.
I’ve been making lots of fresh soups over the past few weeks, my faves being tomato and lentil or butternut squash. I’ll post the recipes up here soon for you to try. And to top it off, I’ve been trying to cut back on some of my coffee and tea and substitute for hot water and lemon or herbal teas. Or wine (post 5pm of course). Plus, I’ve been carrying around this little bottle of Rescue Remedy, which does help a bit if only I remember to use it! If you’ve never seen it before, you take a few drops on your tongue as and when you feel you need it.
Am I feeling less stressed? Well probably not, but I think that’s down to current circumstance rather than diet. I’m hoping long-term that making these small changes and more will help keep me stronger and more energetic day to day.
What do you eat to keep you going? Is there anything that’s good for you that you won’t live without?