Stress Eating

Do you eat to relieve stress?  Do you know you do it, or maybe subconsciously do it?  Do you find yourself turning to food when you are in stressful situations or worried about stressful things in your life?  Here is something to keep in mind.  First, you’re not alone.  People do this all over the planet. Second:  Healthy, if you can try to catch yourself when you’re about to stress-eat, make yourself remember and realize that well-balanced meals can counter the impact of stress by boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

Here is a great list of the top 10 stress-reducing foods to reach for in times of turmoil:

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal helps get serotonin flowing, a calm-inducing hormone. Go with steel cut or old fashioned oats (instead of instant oatmeal) because they’re higher in fiber and take longer to digest. Therefore, their calming effect actually lasts longer.

2. Oranges

Oranges make the list because they’re rich in vitamin C. Reliable studies show that it helps lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol, while strengthening the immune system.

3. Spinach

Too little magnesium may trigger headaches and fatigue, compounding the effects of stress. Spinach is packed with magnesium, which also regulates cortisol levels and promotes feelings of well-being. A cup of spinach contains 40% of your daily requirement, so add some in with your morning eggs, include in your sandwich, have a salad, or stir a handful in your soup.

4. Salmon

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you’re feeling tense. For a steady supply of omega-3’s, try to eat at least 3 ounces (about the size of your palm) of salmon 2-3 times a week.

5. Black Tea

Drinking black tea may help you recover from stressful events more quickly. One study compared people who drank 4 cups of tea daily for 6 weeks with people who drank juice or coffeee. The tea-drinkers reported feeling calmer and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after stressful situations.

6. Pistachios

Pistachios are a good sources of healthy fats. Eating a small handful of pistachios, walnuts, or almonds every day may help lower your cholesterol, ease inflammation in your arteries, decrease your risk for diabetes, and protect against the effects of stress.

7. Avocados

One of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure is to get enough potassium, and half an avocado has more potassium than a banana. Avocados are also rich in stress-relieving B vitamins, which help promote healthy nerves and brain cells. Guacamole is a good choice when stress has you craving a high-fat treat. Avocados are high in calories though, so mix a bunch of onions and tomatoes into your guacamole and be careful not to overeat.

8. Almonds

Almonds are chock-full of helpful vitamins: vitamin E to boost the immune system, plus B vitamins, which may make you more resilient during bouts of stress and help boost your immune system. To get the benefits, enjoy a small handful daily.

9. Asparagus

Depression has been linked to low levels of folic acid, and asparagus is an excellent source. A single cup of asparagus provides 2/3 of your daily value, and it’s easy to fit into almost any meal. Try marinating them in olive oil and wrapping them in foil on the BBQ. They’re also great steamed or sautéed in an omelet.

10. Blueberries

Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, making them excellent stress-busters. When we’re stressed, our bodies need vitamin C and antioxidants to help repair and protect healthy cells. Combine blueberries with Greek yogurt for a well-balanced, stress-reducing snack.

Photo Credit: Chad Tackett

              Photo Credit: Chad Tackett

Hope this helps.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

Categories: Food, Motivational | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

The Uncorking of Mama

Sometimes I wonder how I have lived 45 years on this Earth and still feel like such a novice newbie when it comes to all things cooking, especially if it involves wine.  This mama is wine-impaired, I tell ya.

So in my adventures of making new things in the kitchen, I went shopping to get the missing ingredients for my weekly meal plan.  Yes, I actually made a meal plan.  Shocking, I know.  Not typical of my ENFP personality.

First recipe on my list was Beef Burgundy.  I needed to buy Burgundy Wine.  Um, okay – can’t find that.  So I finally gave up and settled for red wine!  I was also looking for Marsala Wine to make a Chicken Marsala recipe. Um, can’t find that one either.  And it’s not like the wine selection is some tiny little section, we’re talking bazillions of choices here.  Now being the total geek that I am, I pull out of my phone and Google this wine, and it says NOT to substitute in Chicken Marsala, that is the equivalent of substituting a lemon for an orange.  Gosh, okay.  Finally, I find someone to ask.  She says that Marsala wine is in the cooking aisle, like where the vinegars are located.  I would never have known that.  The internet bloggers say not to substitute Marsala wine, but this bottle says Marsala ‘Cooking’ wine.  I decided it would just have to do – and this wine thing is exhausting.

Now it’s a good thing i’m in this aisle because the third thing on my list was ‘Rice Wine Vinegar’.  Not one single bottle had those exact words, but I found some that simply said ‘Rice Vinegar’.  Surely that is the same, yes?  It must be…. but I’m a literal kind of person.  I take instructions literally.  When I am doing or making something new, I follow the directions carefully, so as to learn.  It bugs me when the information is either vague, unclear or just downright wrong.  In my vinegar paranoia, I ask a stranger to confirm that ‘rice wine vinegar’ is indeed the same as ‘rice vinegar’.  After all, I’ve never bought such a thing in my life.  She was so rude … and condescending.  Yet in her ruffled irritation, I deduced that yes it must be the same, and moved on.

Now where are the spices ?  Ah yes, here they are.  I find the spice aisle.  I need something called ‘Red Pepper Flakes’.  Um, okay – I have red pepper at home, but it does not say flakes on the bottle, so might as well find what they ask for in the recipe.  Um, no bottle in this store says that either.  I found ‘Crushed Red Pepper’, but no flakes.  I decided I did not care at this point, and crushed would work.  But my brain is irritated that I do not have exactly what these things require.  Let it go, mama.  Let it go.

Home sweet home, let’s get cooking.   Now did I mention lately that we’re in the middle of moving?  Surely I did.  So I’ve been packing things up like a maniac.  I now have two brand new wine bottles with corks and NO tools to open them.  None. Where are they?  They are in boxes, buried under other boxes, taped up and stacked in the garage.  Because I’m organized like that.  Um, wasn’t expecting to buy wine I guess.  Oh well.  I’ll improvise.  Yeah – that didn’t work out so well.  Apparently I am not very talented at getting a cork out of a wine bottle with a knife.  Oh but wait, my full blooded Italian neighbor is the cook of all cooks and surely she can help this clumsy mama.  Out I go – knock on her door – she answers and looks at me holding a bottle with the mangled cork.  She laughs.  No words were spoken as she was on the phone speaking Italian, she just took the wine from me and got the thing out with an awesome corkscrew.  No chance to get that mangled cork back into the bottle though.  Oh dear, guess we’ll just have to drink it all up.  NO worries, no waste in my house.

Fast forward … the meals turned out just fine.  Sometimes ya just gotta wing it.   And even though I have been juggling one bamboozled mess after another these last weeks; I will not become unglued over the uncorking of the wrong red wine.


The Wrong Red Wine

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady



Categories: Cooking, ENFP, Food | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Thou Shalt Not Judge…

Emergency breakfast

So, when it’s your first day of a new college course schedule … and the 2nd day of school for your kids … and the house you live in is on the market for sale … you MIGHT forget to eat breakfast before you dash out the door at 6:55 a.m.

I arrived slightly early to the building.  I am very appreciative of my husband who had taken me to the campus beforehand and showed me where I needed to be, etc.  There was a juice bar in this building, which also has a gym, but the juice bar was closed.  I forgot to eat.  Ooops.  I think I was more concerned with making sure the boys had lunch money and clothes to wear. My scheduled included two classes back to back this morning, so I was afraid I was going to get super hungry.

Alas, the first class … ended early, and the juice bar was thus open.   The choices were limited though. Now this is the type of situation where my SED comes into play and affects things.  While they did have some fruit and yogurt, my fear of unknown foods prevents me from trying something different in a new place (not always, but often).  The apples and oranges just did not look appealing in the least. The yogurt looked runny. Oddly enough they had a bunch of energy drinks, and potato chips and chocolate candy bars, etc.  This was in a gym, mind you.  There was packaged oatmeal, but I saw no place where I would get hot water or how I would prepare the thing.  So I had to settle for a Fiber One bar and a Strawberry Banana smoothie.  Don’t judge, I was desperate.

You know what?  I barely drank half of that thing (it was surely pure sugar) and I maybe ate half of the Fiber Bar.   I felt my heart start to actually beat faster as I began consuming these items.   Surely that was due to high sugar content.

But aside from forgetting breakfast and going to the wrong room (oops) … I was very happy and pleased with these two instructors and classes.  They were completely different, but both amazing.  Feels good to have such clarity about being in the perfectly right place.  Regardless of what room you’re entering. 


As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady



Categories: College, Fitness, Food, SED | 1 Comment

20 or More Fruits and Veggies?

So I just bought this at my gym … Since I hate vegetables I wonder if this would be good for me to try … It says it has 20+ servings of fruits/vegetables. It came in chocolate and strawberry kiwi at the gym, but there appear to be more flavors online.  It seems they also have Mangosteen Berry, Mangosteen Mint and Strawberry Cream. This is gluten free. I’ve never even heard of this.

They describe it as follows: Dynamic Fruits & Greens Natural Chocolate by Nutri Dyn is a delicious, antioxidant-packed powdered drink mix featuring super fruits, whole-food concentrates, dairy-free probiotics, fiber and enzymes. Naturally sweet, rich chocolate flavor makes it easy to drink your greens!  Alkalizing Antioxidant Super-Fruits, Vegetables, Greens and More!

I have not tasted it yet.  It says to mix with it with chilled water but I will probably mix it with milk.  I got it yesterday.  It is about forty dollars.  Now let’s see how long it takes for me to actually open it up and try it.  I tend to be very slow about these things. So who is placing bets as to how long I wait to actually open it up and give it a whirl??

Update:  It is now July and I have yet to open this thing.  I told you I was slow.  


As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady
April 7, 2014
Categories: Food, SED | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Trying New Things

If you want me to climb a tower, or cross a high bridge, no problem.  If you want me to explore a new city, let’s go.  If you want me to meet new people, I’m game.  If you want to give a speech in front of a crowded room, show me the way.  If you want me to explore a new park or hike a new hill … let me get my shoes. If you want me to try a new class at the gym, tell me what time.  I’m there.

But, if you want me to come over to your house for dinner, stress sets in.  I may make an excuse, but I may just be blunt and tell you I’d rather pick a restaurant where I know my ‘safe’ foods are.  It’s not because I’m on a diet (which I’m not) … or trying to eat Healthy (which I am) … it’s because trying new foods FREAKS ME OUT.  I am 44 years old, and this has been true since the day I was born.  I have no idea why, I just came this way.  No childhood trauma, no abuse, no real reason, just born this way.  This list of things I DO eat is far shorter than the list of things I DON’T eat.  I wrote about this under the tab up top called ‘My Disorder‘.  And quite honestly, it gets exhausting trying to explain it to people all of the time.  But I try.

However; and this is a big however, I am getting better.  I have made progress.  I don’t know that I will ever be able to completely abolish my extreme sensitivity to texture, taste and smell … but I’m working on it.  I re-introduce things.  It is tiring and it is stressful, but I do it.  I take breaks, then I start again.  I try to blog about when I try new things. I try to always remember Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Yesterday I tried a new Smoothie combination using Dark Chocolate Almond Milk and while I was a little nervous … it was indeed YUMMO.  Woo Hoo.

And guess what?  I went to the doctor last week and I am no longer anemic and I no longer have PCOS. All of my numbers are good.  Great blood pressure, great cholesterol, great blood sugar, still losing weight.  All is well in this healthy habit body.  The only thing is my Vitamin D is a little low so he put me on a prescription to take once a week.  Woo Hoo.   So yes, I see my doctor regularly and I am monitored.  This is important to me, to make sure I am around for a long time to see great grand children and hike new trails with them. Meanwhile, here is a handy chart to help me along my way.

Photo Source:  Unknown

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

February 23, 2014


Categories: Food, SED | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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