Stress is an every day occurrence that can take over our health. Ali Miller, registered dietitian and natural foods chef is here to tell us about how stress can lead to chronic illness and weight gain while she teaches us about foods that can reduce our stress levels and prevent cravings.
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. In small doses, stress can motivate you and help you perform under pressure. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price! Ali Miller, registered dietitian from the Life Long Weigh is here to tell us about the role stress plays in weight gain and show us a recipe to lower our stress levels.
What role does stress play on our health?
- Stress hormones: Adrenaline/Cortisol
- Raises blood sugar/excess use of sugar
- Raises blood pressure
- Muscle tension
- Compromised Immune system
The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feels familiar even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll.
How does that affect our weight and digestion?
Blood shunts away from the mid body towards the extremities to retaliate in the face of danger. Our bodies react the same way during stress as it would danger!
Therefore, digestion functions shut down and food sits in the stomach undigested and minimally absorbed leading to gas, bloating, and malnourishment.
Rather than food serving to nourish our bodies, cortical steroid stress hormones tell the body to store the food as fat. The amount of hormones released during stress is 4 times the amount at a relaxed state!
How can we avoid stress build up?
Be proactive! Find ways that de-stress you and practice them daily
· Weigh out a cost to benefit ratio for your life
· Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night
· Eat every 3-4 hours
· Focus on lean proteins and healthy fats to balance carbohydrates
What are some foods that can help us cope with high stress levels?*
- Tryptophan (turkey, nuts/seeds)converts to serotonin
- Vitamin C
Wild Salmon Dip
This spread packs a punch of omega-3s to curb those stress hormones and protein to keep you satisfied throughout the day!
- 10 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ small onion, finely chopped
- 2 t. dill
- ½ t. herb seasoning, no salt added (Mrs. Dash, etc.)
- 2 dashes hot pepper sauce, more to taste
- ¼ C. whole wheat bread crumbs
- ¾ C. low-fat Ricotta cheese (or dry curd cottage cheese)
- 1 can (7.5 oz.) red sockeye salmon, drained and skin removed
In a food processor, process parsley until finely chopped. Add onion and continue chopping. Add dill, herb seasoning, and hot pepper sauce. Process until mixed.
Add bread crumbs, cheese, and salmon with bones. Process until smooth.
Remove mixture and shape into a ball. Refrigerate until served.
Yield: 16 servings. Per 1/4 cup 88 kcal, 4 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 80 mg sodium.