Can Food Help Reduce Stress?

What do you eat when you are feeling “over-the-top” stress?


Fresh vegetables, fresh fish, fresh meat and fresh fruit are your best antidote to stress.  Why?  Vitamins and minerals.

The more we do to food, the less nutritious it is.  Fast food has only one redeeming quality:  fast.  For an already stressed body, fast food adds that much more stress to a system which is already exhibiting the ravages of acute stress.  It’s very difficult to digest the sugars and fats contained in fast food.

Try to make those fresh food items organic as much as possible.

Stress revs up the production of insulin and cortisol.  This is one of the reasons that some people, under constant stress, gain a lot of weight contrary to the popular belief that stress makes you thin.  In fact, in some people, going on holidays helps them get thinner because their body is not producing excess insulin and cortisol. Fresh food, high in fiber, helps regulate those hormones.

Your digestive process is affected by stress as well as every other part of your body. Therefore, it is critical that you pay attention to the amount of fiber in your diet.  Our tendency is to reach for the high carbohydrates and sugars such as potatoes and candy to give us that “boost”.  With any boost, also comes the “crash”.

Good Habits

There is nothing here that you don’t already know but, if you’re acutely stressed, you likely don’t do:

  • drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • eat low fat proteins such as fish, chicken, turkey
  • snack on fresh fruit such as apples, berries, oranges, grapefruit – have a bowl of apples on your desk –
  • eat fresh vegatables as much as possible – with all the colors, shapes, textures, and flavors, there’s something for everyone – stir fries during the week for dinner are quick and colorful and eating raw vegetables or salad (limit dressing) for lunch with some protein is ideal
  • limit the amount of starchy foods such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes.  When you do enjoy them, make sure they are items such as brown or wild rice, whole grain pasta and breads, and preferably sweet potatoes as opposed to regular potatoes and preferably baked, not fried.
  • consume dairy for calcium – milk, cottage cheese, small amounts of cheese
  • instead of coffee, drink herbal teas – there are so many flavors on the market today which are non-caffeine, it can be a great new adventure to discover them all

Additional Help for Your Body

Do remember too to take supplements

  • overall good multiple vitamin
  • extra multiple vitamin B
  • essential fatty acids preferably from good sources of cold water fish oil
  • if you’re having digestive problems, digestive enzymes  or acidophilus
  • vitamin C – at least 1000 milligrams a day
  • Vitamin E, Selenium, CoQ10
  • magnesium/calcium assists hormone levels

There are some herbs which can be helpful and can be taken as a tincture or tea as magnolia bark, passionflower, valerian, St. John’s Wort, Kava Kava, Lavender.  My favorite is lavender on my pillow at night, in my hand lotion during the day, and in the potpourri form in my clothes drawers.

Pay attention to what goes into your body and what foods your body has a negative reaction to.  If you experience acid reflux, apple cider vinegar in a glass of water clears it up.

Can Food Help Reduce Stress?

Of course!  A healthy body gives you the resilience to cope and the brain power to find solutions.  If your body is having to deal with food which only stresses it such as high carbohydrate or high fat, it’s adding stress rather than relieving it not to mention how awful you feel overall.

Eat well, drink wisely, and help your body give you the energy you need to cope with your stresses.

It’s easy – just think fresh!

Lorraine Arams

What Can You do to Prevent Stress?

What can you do to prevent Stress?


Stress is a part of human existence no matter where you are or how you live in the world.

Every Day Stresses

Hunger is a stress and we solve that issue by eating.  Being tired is stressful – we sleep to relieve that problem.  Commuting to work is stressful as we stay alert to road conditions, other drivers’ actions, unpredictable events, etc., however, some people relieve that stress with music or conversation or listening to the radio or educational materials.  Taking care of our needs and our family’s needs is stressful, however, we have our own business or go to our job to meet the costs of providing.

Stress Reference

The reference point as to whether we call what we do stressful or not is the degree of stress we are feeling.

What people refer to as “being stressed out” is the degree of stress they are feeling and viewed as a negative in their lives.

For instance, if they are competing in a sport they enjoy, there is the stress of competition but people don’t see it as negative – they subject themselves to that form of stress because they both enjoy the sport and the process of competition looking forward to the reward of the win!  However, no one would deny that competing is stressful.

If a close family member is struck by a car and is in serious condition in the hospital, people view that stress as negative – “stressful” and it impacts all other aspects of their lives because of the anticipation of a possible loss.

When Stress is a Good Thing

Stress in our lives is a good thing – it propels us to action.  If we are faced with danger, we escape.  If we are faced with a difficult problem, we find solutions.  If we are faced with competition, we plan and execute our time to win.  If we accept the responsibility of marriage, we capture the rewards of a trusting and loving relationship.

When we are thinking that there is a positive outcome to the stress we feel, then we are able to accept the stress and work with it.

When Stress is a Bad Thing

Stress is bad when it is viewed as a negative and a possible loss is anticipated.  If you’re not happy at your job and hate your boss’s behavior, your stress is acute because you are trying to keep your job but the working conditions create anxiety and likely dysfunctional behaviors on your part; you fear the loss of your job.  If a child is seriously ill, there can be consequences to that illness which are difficult to bear.

“Distress”, therefore, is caused by viewing the situation as a possible loss of something or someone important to you.

What Can You Do About Stress?

In general on an every day basis, whether the stress is viewed as positive or negative, the answer lies in accepting that the only moment you have is the one you are living right now.  It’s an odd concept.  When I first heard that concept, I couldn’t understand it at all!  But then I listened more – and dared to practice it no matter how foreign it seemed.  It started with Oprah’s series about an odd book called, A New Earth.  Then, I picked up a copy of The Power of Now by the same author, Eckhart Tolle –


Whenever I start feeling acute stress – good or bad – I simply get “into the moment” – it’s not as airy fairy as it sounds – it’s really the ticket to controlling the levels of stress and “keeping your feet on the ground”.

It does take practice – over and over again – until that is the place I go to whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed or uncomfortable in any situation.  It clears my mind, calms the emotions, and allows for better reactions or non-actions to situations which arise.

There is nothing you can do to prevent stress in your life but there is something you can do to reduce its impact on your life at any given moment.

Lorraine Arams

How to Use Time to Reduce Stress

reduce stress with this piece of the puzzleTime is your greatest asset – bar none!

Often a lack of time is blamed for the stress we feel but in actual fact, as an asset, the stress comes a foundational problem with how we use our time.  After all, time is a one-way street!

Why we use our time the way we do?

We’re raised to “do our duty”, to over-achieve or under-achieve, to follow or rebel against social norms and a host of other socially acceptable living standards depending on where you are raised.  However, within any context of how we are trained in leading our human lives, it never dawns on us to view time as our greatest asset because we are trained “to do” instead of think, plan and execute how we will use our time for our own satisfaction.

How Should We Be Using our Time?

Our own satisfaction – that’s at the crux of using time to reduce stress. There is nothing more to it than that simple concept but we resist it with all our might in order to fulfill the teachings of others who also were likely quite ineffective in using their time for their own satisfaction.

Instead, most people were taught to “perform their duty”,  sacrifice, obey, rebel, conform, etc.  For whom?  For others!  Why?  To comply to societal norms whatever that might be.  And the focus, therefore, is on the outside world.  It is the inside world which is far more important.

How Difficult Can that Be?

For most people, if they try to manage their time based on what they want, the process is very uncomfortable because the reason to do anything is based on what they want which means, of course, saying no to people and concepts which have ruled their lives to that point.  How often do you hear people saying, “It’s so hard to motivate myself for what I want”?  That’s how ingrained the notion that our time belongs to others.

As an example, if a woman is told that she must have a full-time job, run home to cook dinner for the family, clean up the household and care for the children, she will undertake that expectation, feel stress and think she is “defective” because she has trouble coping.  However, if that same woman decides one day to care for herself first and build her schedule around that new concept, the first thing she’ll need to do is refuse to “do it all”.  She’ll assign tasks to her children and her husband, hire help and take time for her own life rather than devote her life – her time – to the needs of others – job and family.  Big, big shift in thought process!  Emotions run high!

What are the Rewards?

If  you use your time for your own satisfaction first and foremost, you’ll be amazed how difficult it is at first and, yet if you persist, the rewards will be a richer, more fulfilled life with less stress, more health, more happiness and a great sense of self-satisfaction in achieving your dreams.  You’ll find greater success in every part of your life because the “winds of demands from others” are no longer your driving force!  Think about it . . . . you might just like it!

Lorraine Arams

What are the Three Most Universally Appreciated Words in the World?

giftThree Most Important Words Universally

When we speak of time, we often use the expression “take the time”. Here is one case in which taking the time offers huge returns consistently.

Where Should We Use These Words?

All over the world, no matter the nationality or the social standard, there are three words which are very much appreciated whether they be spoken when someone renders you a service or provides a necessary product.  No matter what job you have, when you hear those words, they lift your spirits and connect you faster with those around you than any other factor known to mankind.  Poor, homeless, rich, middle class – no matter where you are in the spectrum of lifestyles, it feels good to hear them from someone else.

No matter where you are – office building, subway, doctor’s office, on the street or at a picnic, use them sincerely.  They generate a good feeling amongst those around you.

When Should You Use Them?

Take the time to use these words sincerely often wherever you are connecting with whomever delegating or requesting a favor or getting service.  Always use them and you’ll be amazed at the reaction.

Whenever you use them, it shows a willingness to acknowledge the presence of another human being.  You dignify your interaction.

If you’re in the office and asking your secretary to create a document for you, it’ll be done much better rather than commanding “do this”.  In the store, say when asking for information, in a restaurant receiving service, at the post office buying a stamp, in the grocery store picking up milk  and at home, with your partner or children.

It’s one of the very best habits you can take with you all over the world.  They are the most universally appreciated words in the world.  We might even have more peace in the world if people took the time more often to say them.

What are they?

Please and Thank You

Think about it.  Actually, do something better – use it all the time for a month and see what happens in your world.  The results might astonish you!

Lorraine Arams

Who’s Following You on Twitter? Do You Know?

twitterTwitter, Twitter, Twitter – did you tweet today?

It’s a favorite refrain.  Twitter captured the imagination!  It’s fun, informative and it’s so easy to get hooked!

But . . . like anything else on the net, it needs some management time.

How do you know who is following you?  How long has it been since someone you’re following has tweeted?  You’d be amazed to find that many people haven’t tweeted in a year or more.  It seems some people set up accounts and that was the extent of their activity!

Are you reciprocating with your followers?  Are there people you thought you were following but they’re not on your list.

Today, I spent time with a tool, Twitter Karma. It’s a free tool, very easy to use.  This tool will go into your Twitter account and show you everyone who is following you, whom you are following, and which are reciprocating Twitterers.  It’s good to know and it’s a good review.

Try it out – I think you’ll be glad you did.  You might be surprised at what you find!

A good time management tip is to assure that you book some time in your schedule every week to update the tools you use whether the tools are in your computer, on the internet or physically in your office space.

Lorraine Arams

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