Lately, I’ve been stressing about stress. My husband and teenage kids sometimes make fun of me for attributing pretty much every problem in the world to stress. (OK, I admit it might be a stretch to blame stress for my dirty carpets. I’m really blaming our spring-is-here shedding dog.)
But really, it’s no secret or surprise to anyone that our rush-rush culture is seriously out of whack, and that our bodies are a lot smarter than we are, sometimes shutting down with illness when we’ve overloaded our mental, emotional, and physical plates. Why do we find it so hard to rest, to let go, to keep perspective on what’s really important? It’s actually become a recent discipline of mine to take a weekly Sabbath—from Friday night to Saturday night—and to tangibly practice not doing anything. (Let me know if you have a similar routine.)
The good news is that I’m also getting smarter about foods to feed my stress—that is, nutritious, satisfying, wonderful foods that actually make me feel better. No, not alcohol; that’s the classic backfire beverage. A tad of really good mocha-chip ice cream always works (as tempting as it seems to eat a whole pint, I know I’ll feel worse afterwards, so I stick to a scoop). But best of all, at least for me, are whole-food carbs, fats, and proteins: excellent granola (See my last blog. And just this morning I got samples of two new whole-grain granolas from Kashi; I like the Mountain Medley.), brown rice with egg, cinnamon, and walnuts (let me know if you want my recipe), a really good arugula salad dressed with balsamic and excellent olive oil (avocado or goat cheese is also a must). For more ideas, see “Happy Meals,” from our December 2006 issue. And let me know what works for you!