Stress and Eating...How it Affects Us And Our Health

For those of you who follow my blog, you'll know that I talked a little while back about my "new" but not totally new "diet" that I was on for my GI issues. I have plenty of them and eating the right way can both help somewhat manage symptoms and also control how I feel overall. I get lots of questions about my diet. I will explain it vaguely and then go on to talk more about eating in general and stress, about how the two relate to each other. 


So with my very slow moving gut, and also without have a colon, in addition to a stomach that doesn't want to move food through. I naturally become nauseated and constipated. I was having alot of issues with bowel obstuructions. Thankfully, it's been several months since my last one! I feel like by following a more full liquid/GI soft diet I can help control this, only to a point. I have done lots of trials with different foods. I find that fatty foods, greasy foods, really high sugar foods, most red meat, and any fruits or veggies that I don't grind up will cause me some issues. I don't take very many chances on the fruits and veggies. I make a smoothie about everyday, which is rarely for enjoyment! I don't mind it because it doesn't taste bad when it is really  blended well. I will put protein powder, greens powder, frozen fruits(trying to avoid seeds if possible), almond or coconut milk, and some yogurt in it. I also sometime will grind up other supplements I have to take to ensure that I am digesting them. Overall, it doesn't taste bad at all if you use the right things and I use a MagicBullet 900 which is super at really blending things up and so that you odn't get that chalky powder taste from the powders.


Now, onto diet and stress. I am not a professional expert, although I do have plenty of education in nutrition and health promotion. But, I do feel qualified as a personal expert. Unfortunately. I have struggled with eating nearly my whole life, mostly starting in my very early teens but has gotten progressively worse as time has gone on. My weight has gone up and down, as much as I really have to admit, over 100 pounds twice in my life. And then there are all the other times of 15 here and there. But never consistent. I have had professional treatment for all three main types of eating disorders, and never really gotten any better. I wasn't sure what was wrong with me. Either I eat nothing, too little, or too much. It's very rarely consistent. I have been able to not blame it on anyone or anything but to pin it on certain things like stress, coming from all kinds of things. Can I get an Amen?!? Many of my readers have chronic health issues(which in itself is a high stressor), some of you are like me and limited in your eating and may not even feel like eating which makes this really hard. But we can all still struggle with this to one point or another. 


People who stress eat can develop weight issues (becoming both over and underweight), mental health issues like depression, self esteem problems, and also people with chonic health issues can have those problems get worse. A couple examples would be diabetics having their blood sugars out of whack. Maybe a person with an ostomy would have output issues such as too much or too little/consistency issues. Stress eating could turn into a full-fledged eating disorder of any kind. These are all good reasons to find a way to help yourself or get help with stress eating if needed. 


Here are some good examples to help yourself. Some may not fit everyone:)


1. Try going for a walk or bike ride. Maybe you like another type of exercise. 

2. Distraction can often be the key. Even distracting yourself for five or ten minutes could help. Some example distractions are: Using the 5 senses, try something like smelling a soothing scent like lavender or even a citrus scent. You could put some good smelling lotion on and do a self hand massage. Prayer and spirituality are usually a component of someones life, not a distraction, but when feeling stressed, what better to do then say a little prayer or listen to some comforting music. Color a picture, they have some neat adult coloring books out there. Music. Do anything that is distracting and not bad for you!! Certainly, you don't want a new or worsening issue:)

3. Think about some healthy snacks before you go grocery shopping and do meal planning. 

4. Talk to a friend. If needed talk to a counselor or therapist. If you think you have an eating problem, seek out help for that. There is no shame or embarassment in this. Nobody even has to know. At least 30 million people of all ages currently have an eating disorder in the United States. You can see a therapist or start with your primary/family doctor. Just get help!


These are just some examples I have learned. I have said I'm not intended to be medical advice, I do encourage you to get medical help with your eating/stress or mental health/or dieting if you need it. There are lots of new treatments out there all the time. It's not just the old food chart anymore!! 


Here is a great website to check out for ideas on help with emotional/stress eating!


Blessings as always and be healthy~Jackie


Happy First Week of Fall!!!