Stress & Nutrition

Have you ever noticed when you feel stressed, you crave foods that are high in sugar? Or maybe you aren’t hungry at all, or you tend to overeat?  We all have different ways of responding to stress.  But stress is part of life, and as you have learned, can be used to motivate you toward high performance and growth.  The more independence you gain on your path, the more your food choices are up to you.  Whether you live at home, are driving, and need to stop between school and practice for a snack, live in a dorm, or are out on your own, food choices are a part of everyday life, and they build habits that last a lifetime. If you begin to understand how your body and mind respond when life flows versus when challenges arise, you can begin to make food choices more mindfully.  As you become more connected to the sensations you feel in your body in the present as a result of your mindfulness practice, you will be able to observe what you crave at different times.  

Because our enteric nervous system (our gut) is informing our brain, it is important to strengthen this connection by feeding it with healthy foods.  Again, there is no perfect food path, it becomes a game of consistency over time, but the healthier our gut becomes with proper food choices, the better you will be able to manage stress and perform at high levels consistently.  It’s all connected, start with your observations, there is no perfection, mindfulness will produce healthy habits over time.  

TASK: In your Journal, answer this question:  How does my stress level influence my food choices? Rate your stress level on a scale of 1-10 and take note of the food choices you make on those days, 5 days in a row.  Do you see any patterns?