9 Tricks to Eat you Stress Away

Yesterday evening Rockstart hosted another inspiring Health 2.0 Meetup in Amsterdam, with a very special theme: Stress Management.

Innovative, dedicated companies presented their solutions to increase wellness and reduce stress: Soma Analytics, Tinybots, MindDistrict and our own TeddyApp. This blog is inspired by one workshop in particular: Nutrition and Stress by Health Coach Chantal Soeters.

Nutrition & Stress

Does stress at your job or in your relationship cause you to overeat? Does lack of sleep or low energy prevent you from exercising?

Stress is a common term used by people when they encounter a problem in their life, in biological terms it refers to the after effects of a person's failing to respond properly to an event that has occurred in their life, whether physical or emotional.

Many people eat more when they feel stressed out. Particularly: more unhealthy foods. Eating "comfort foods" or having a glass of wine when you are experiencing a lot of stress can make you temporarily feel more comfortable and relaxed.

However, in the long run, this might actually increase our stress.

“Good” vs. “Bad” foods?

What we eat affects what we think, feel and act. Someone with a healthy and balanced diet is more energetic and less stressed than someone with a poor diet. 

And let’s immediately set this straight: It’s not about counting calories, carbs or fats. Nor it’s not about creating a list full of restrictions, ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ foods. Instead, it’s all about creating healthy eating habits that support your body to be resistant, energetic and balanced. By understanding the energy of food and your food sensitives, you will be able to chose foods that will give you more energy and make you feel better.

9 Tricks

Here are 9 tricks to give you body the best nutrition and to eat your stress away —in a healthy way. The tips are based on Chantal’s presentation.

1. Lots of veggies

There are 350,000 different forms of edible plants on this planet. How many do you eat in a week? Vegetables are high in nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. Vegetables have tremenduous health effects, like blood purification, immune strengthening, increased circulation and improved digestion.

2. Whole & Fiber-Rich food

Whole grains release sugar slowly into the bloodstream, whereas refined grains can cause a rapid rise and then decline in blood sugar levels. These energy fluctuations are extremely bad for stress, your mood and productivity. It impairs the body’s ability to maintain a consistent blood sugar level, creating heath problems in the long run.

3. Fats are Good for You

There has been a lot fuzz around Light products. They were invented to reduce the intake of fats. The idea was: "Hat equals cardiovascular diseases." However, by now, we know it is more complex: Fats like the ones you find in nuts, fish, avocado and oils are actually extremely healthy. On the contrary, Light products have proven to be unhealthier and richer in sugar, than their non-light counterparts.

4. Balance your Plate

50% should consist of vegetables. 25% of protein rich food and 25% of whole grains.

5. Hydrate yourself

We all know it: water is extremely important.

6. Beware of sugar

Sugar is addictive. Like: extremely addictive. From a biological point of view, we are all programmed to like sugar. Sugar fuels every cell in the brain. Your brain also sees sugar as a reward, which makes you keep wanting more of it. 

7. Less stimulants

Including caffeine, alcohol, sugar, chocolate, unfortunately….

8. Cook your own food

Home-made is the best. When we cook our own food we are in charge what we put in our bodies. Our modern diet is fully packed with processed, ready-made meals and foods. As Chantal explains: these foods are made to look and taste like real foods. However, they are actually manipulated to such a degree that it’s not a source of nutrients any more. Instead of these processed meals, cook your own food using fresh and whole foods.

9. 80/20 rule

The goal here is to create a healthy diet. The well-known and popular crush diets might seem effective in the short run, turning your lifestyle (and metabolism) upside down. However, they are almost impossible to keep up. And after 4 weeks time, most of us fall back in unhealthy eating habits that are even worse than before starting the diet. Therefore, we need to find a behaviour that is sustainable in the long run. Allow yourself some flexibility. Give yourself the opportunity to indulge every now and then. As a rule, 80% of your diet should be healthy, 20% can be “little sins” :-)