We all have stress in our lives but losing someone that we love ranks almost #1 as the highest stress level one can deal with. My aunt passed away on Monday, May 3, 2010 and was 94 years old. She and I were like mother and daughter; she taught me how to cook, bake, sew, crochet, etc. But she also taught me that the most important thing in life is love. She taught me how to love by example. She was married to my uncle for over 50 years before he died, and she was devoted to him. This blog is dedicated to my Aunt Vincetta, who touched many, many lives and will remain in my heart forever.
Dealing with stress at any level is a challenge for a food addict. The first thing we tend to do is turn to food for comfort - but is food really comforting? In my experience, I used food to comfort me for many years, but now that I am getting healthy, I find that it doesn't comfort me the way it used to in the past. I was conditioned to react to a stressful situation by eating. It was a conditioned response for me.
Since I have started my journey to wellness, a lot of those conditioned responses no longer exist. I no longer grab for food, but instead find myself thinking instead of simply reacting. When you really think about it, food doesn't fill that void inside, but it can actually create more havoc in our bodies. When we eat sugar, white flour, junk food, etc., we may get some immediate emotional gratification, but our bodies react so much differently. If I eat those types of food, in an hour or so I become cranky, feel bloated and just feel very uncomfortable. What I thought would comfort me, actually does just the opposite.
How does one stop reacting and start thinking? It really is easy. Take a breath and think about what it is that you really need in that time of stress. Will that piece of cake really make you feel better or somehow fix the situation? If we all take the time to think instead of just reacting, then we will be able to make a choice that will make us feel healthier.
I have dealt with the death of my aunt by continuing to think before I choose something to eat. Here are some of the additional things that I have done that helped me get through this stressful time and I hope will be helpful to you:
- I have kept myself busy by being more active. I have been attending a water aerobics class. After this class I felt invigorated. I intend on continuing with the water aerobic classes, as I felt energetic and my appetite has decreased.
- I have also made sure that I have all the good foods that I need in my refrigerator, so I don't have any temptations to steer me in the wrong direction. Greek yogurt is my friend and I have stumbled upon a new food called kefir. I have been drinking a kefir shake for breakfast in the morning, and I have never felt better. Maria's Kefir Smoothie Recipe is below.
- I also made sure that I had my snacks with me, so that when I was hungry I wasn't tempted to just grab anything. In my car/handbag I had my granola mix with me, which is my favorite; 1 cup whole grain cereal, 1/4 cup of dried fruit and nuts.
The next time you are faced with stress - don't just react; think. You will be happier with the results and your body will love you for it.
Maria's Kefir Shake
1 cup non-fat plain kefir
1 tbsp flaxseed oil
1 cup of strawberries/blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp of agave nectar
Place all the above in ingredients in a blender and add enough ice cubes to get the desired consistency. I love a thick shake so I don't put as many ice cubes. Experiment with your favorite fruits as well and enjoy!
Have a great week and keep me posted at Riare43a@aol.com.