Deadlines are mounting. Your social calendar is overflowing. You’re running on empty. Too much to manage usually equates to eating too little, then rebounding into overeating whatever’s available later.
We know that foods high in fat, sugar, and salt (common foods to reach for when stressed) are not only harmful for your health, but can be even worse when the body is in a stressed state, contributing to increased risk for abdominal fat, insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.
When life gets hectic, something has to give and often it’s your own self-care that takes the hit. Fight back and stock up on healthy snacks to beat stress at its own game and stay on track. Having an ongoing supply of healthy foods is ideal, but if you find yourself in a pinch consider keeping a snack list you can provide someone else to shop with:
- Fruits are a healthy way to satisfy sweet cravings and are also rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Stock up on ready-to-eat fruits like apples, bananas, pears, berries, pre-cut fresh fruit, and frozen fruit for smoothies. Choosing fruits that don’t require any fuss makes it more likely you will enjoy them.
- Let’s face it, veggies are usually the first to go in times of chaos, even though they are a key component of a healthy diet. Keep your immune system charged and your waistline slim with pre-cut vegetables, salads, and vegetable juices.
- Feeling tired and stressed ramps up our desire for sugary beverages like sweetened coffees or soda. Although they may temporarily make us feel better, they cause blood sugar to plummet leading to more sluggishness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Skip the sugar and instead stock up on a supply of bottled water, Complete Nutrition’s Charge On™ Protein Drinks, low-fat milk and iced teas to keep you hydrated and energized.
- Stress and anxiety can make us want to C-R-U-N-C-H on something! Swap fried chips for nuts, seeds, whole grain cereals, rice cakes, dried peas, and whole grain crackers.
- Protein is essential for preserving muscle mass and for keeping your metabolism running at full throttle. Many forms of protein have to be refrigerated making it difficult to have them available on the go. Keeping a mix of options available including low-fat cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, and Greek yogurt, along with non-refrigerated quality protein including Complete Nutrition Charge On™ Protein Bars, and roasted chick peas is a great way to keep your metabolism running and energy levels soaring no matter what your day brings!
Sarah Mattison Berndt, MS, RD, CD
Owner Fit Fresh Cuisine & Hybrid Athletic Club