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“Stress is the spice of life” Facing Stress with Resilience

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					                       STRESS RESILIENCE – STRESS AND EATING

                                                        Facing Stress with Resilience
        “Stress is the
                                   How do you handle stress? Are you easily able to put things in perspective, or
        spice of life.”            do the everyday stressors of life push you over the edge?
                   - Hans Selye
                                   While most of us aren’t dealing with “fight or flight” events, it’s those everyday
                                   stressors, like making it to a meeting on time, or getting the kids to their
                                   activities that can increase our anxiety and decrease our quality of life.
                                   You can actually make stress work for you. The key is to learn from it and use
    Did you know?                  it as a motivation for change. That’s called resilience, the ability to adapt when
                                   things go wrong.
        Chronic stress can
       weaken our ability to       There are several traits associated with resilience that can help us adapt to
       fight disease, but by       stressors, and bounce back more easily from life’s hardships.
     increasing our intake of
      antioxidant-rich fruits                                         Resilience Traits
      and vegetables, we can                                  Acting with influence instead of helplessness in the face of
        boost our immune               Decisiveness                                    adversity.
      system. Acorn squash                                     A commitment to life, and having the ability to interpret
    and carrots, for example,       Sense of Purpose           personal experiences at life’s most challenging moments.
     are great sources of the
                                           Values                          Important principles and beliefs.
         antioxidant beta-                                   The ability to adapt and respond in different ways. Finding
       carotene. And citrus              Flexibility                      new solutions to challenges at hand.
     fruits provide plenty of                                    Attending to individual needs physically, mentally,
    vitamin C, another stress-           Self-Care                            emotionally and spiritually.
       busting antioxidant.                                    Maintaining a strong sense of humor when faced with
                                          Humor                               challenging circumstances.
                                                                Taking responsibility for your own actions, and their
                                      Responsibility                        outcomes, for better or worse.
                                                             Cultivating relationships and drawing on them for support
                                          Support                                    when needed.
                                                            Having a positive outlook. Focusing on the “cans” instead of
Stress-Busting Smoothie                  Optimism                                   the “cannots”.

•    1 banana                      Luckily, resilience can be developed and strengthened over time. To discover
•    1, 16-ounce bag frozen        and strengthen your resilience traits, think about which traits you rely on during
                                   stressful situations and how you use them when approaching life’s challenges.
     berries
•    2 cups vanilla soy milk       Then, think about which traits you would like to strengthen and the types of
                                   situations where they could be employed. Review your progress by recognizing
•    ¼ cup wheat germ              which traits you are strengthening, and where you might need more work.
      Blend until smooth.          Fact is, we can’t get rid of stress, but we can control our reactions and
                                   behaviors associated with it.

                                   Source: National Wellness Institiute, Wellness Management. Winter 2003 – 2004, Vol 19, No. 4.
                                                    Stress Resilient Nutrition
 Don’t forget to                 What are some of the foods you crave when you’re stressed out? It’s probably
track your steps!                not carrot and celery sticks. Most likely, you seek out foods like cookies, candy,
                                 ice cream, chips and pizza, and there’s a good reason why.
                                 When we are in a state of stress, our bodies need energy to help us respond.
                                 This energy comes from stored sugar and fat. When the stress subsides, our
                                 bodies need to replenish the energy that was used during the stress response, so
                                 we are left craving foods that are high in fat and sugar.
                                            “Stressed” is “Desserts” Spelled Backwards
                                 Since stress isn’t going away, the solution is to increase your stress-resilience,
                                 practice stress management techniques, and “de-stress” your eating so you
    Snacks to “De-stress”        aren’t left craving candy bars and potato chips at day’s end.
                                 Follow these tips for stress-resilient nutrition:
•    ½ whole grain bagel
     topped with peanut          Eat high quality, low stress carbohydrates and lean protein. Choose
     butter                      fruits, veggies and whole grains, (whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown
•    Yogurt mixed with wheat     rice) and lean sources of protein in the way of fish, poultry, lean meat, low-fat
     germ or granola             dairy, and vegetarian options. Consume dense carbohydrates (pasta, bread,
•    Oatmeal mixed with soy      potatoes, rice) in moderation, primarily during the day. Include in smaller
     milk, walnuts and dried     quantities at dinner.
     fruit
•    Baby carrots dipped in      Have a mid-morning snack. If you eat breakfast before 8am, eat a snack
     hummus or black bean        including low fat protein such as string cheese, yogurt or cottage cheese, and a
     dip                         piece of fruit.
•    Sliced hard-boiled egg on   Never skimp on lunch. This becomes the main meal of the day as we get
     a slice of whole wheat      older, and will help prevent late-day overeating.
     bread
                                 Eat a mid-afternoon snack about 3 hours after lunch. This will
                                 diminish the potential stress-induced appetite around 3 – 4 pm. Again, include
                                 some protein along with fruit or some type of whole grain.
                                 Watch your timing. Eat at least 65% of your daily calories before 5 pm, not
                                 after. Try to eat dinner before 8 pm and leave at least 2 hours without eating
Feed Your Spirit…                before bed. The later we eat, the more mindless it becomes.
                                 In addition…Plan meals ahead of time to avoid mindless eating, avoid refined
   “You are where your           sugars, consume foods high in fiber to give a sense of fullness, drink water
  thoughts have brought          throughout the day, watch your alcohol intake, and plan a few treats during the
you; you will be tomorrow        week and take time to enjoy and savor them.
where your thoughts take
          you.”
                 - James Allen




      Coming Next Week:
    Fueling your body for the
     10,000 Step Challenge.

				
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