Eating to beat stress


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?

X Julia




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  • Reply
    February 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Ooh, I tried the rhubarb and custard flavour of those Nakd bars the other day. It was lovely, although tasted nothing like rhubarb and custard! More like the inside bit of a fig roll – but still very nice! x

    • Reply
      February 6, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Oo I haven’t tried those yet! Will get them on the list! Xx

  • Reply
    February 6, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    I bet you’re feeling stressed! You’re going through so much 🙁 I wouldn’t worry too much and eat what you can for now. Worry about it later on! These look great though, not tired any of them. Definitely have days where all I want is cake and coffee!!!!!!!! Jess x
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    • Reply
      February 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Me too!! I write this then ate loads of chocolate!! Xx

  • Reply
    Katy {What Katy Said}
    February 6, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    That soup looks yum! I really want to start making soups again, it is just getting myself organised!!
    Katy {What Katy Said} recently posted…My Captured Moment #05My Profile

    • Reply
      February 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      I know, but once you make it it’s worth it isn’t it! When you have time!! Xx

  • Reply
    Everything Mummy
    February 8, 2015 at 7:57 am

    love the naked bars they are a great alternative! not a big fan of coconut water my other half loves it though! x
    Everything Mummy recently posted…Blog update – Health and FitnessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks
    February 8, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Yeah I turn to high cal junk! And right now could kill for a toblerone……

    Not tried the nakd bars though they look yummy! And I find soup always perks me up!
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks recently posted…RememberingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Megan - Truly Madly Kids
    February 8, 2015 at 10:40 am

    You’ve definitely had a lot on your plate recently – and I definitely think food can help nourish your soul and well being.

    I am a big juicing fan and whenever I begin to ‘feel the heat’, I find a few juices each day really help. I’m a big yoga fan too which helps the mind.

    Thanks for some of these healthy tips too xx

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  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    February 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Love the fact that you said it looked like something your son had brought home from the park! I’ve always thought that too. I may have to try it! #sundaystars
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  • Reply
    Mrs H
    February 9, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Such a brilliant post. I really love Nak’d bars too. They are yummy! And I always feel quite virtuous eating them. I’ve never tried coconut water but I might have to. Right, you’ve inspired me! Tomorrow I’m heading to my local health food shop and I’m going shopping. Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStar lovely. Hugs Mrs H xxxx PS I don’t know whether you noticed but you got a special little mention in my #SundaysStars post this week!
    Mrs H recently posted…Sunday Stars – 08/02/2015My Profile

    • Reply
      February 9, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Yes I saw that thank you for the shout out! I’ll be back on form soon! I’m still eating my health food just all the sugar on top! Not sure that’s the point… Xx

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