Small Changes, Big Payoff

Who doesn’t feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? We spend each moment in a rush, going at breakneck speed, and end up exhausted. Somehow these days full of duties, obligations, and busyness have begun to stack up and become our lives. We spend our time doing things we don’t want to do but feel we should. We’ve come to believe that being productive and crossing things off our to-do lists is the ultimate goal.

While we might not be in a position to shift our schedules and lighten our load, we can use food to assist us in controlling the stress in our lives. When we eat foods high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins, we are replacing the lost nutrients that stress can leach from the body, and therefore supporting our nervous system.

We set up our metabolic profile for the day with the first thing that we put in our bodies.  Coffee and a muffin/bagel for breakfast create a potential for a high-stress day because of the blood sugar imbalance which waits at the end of the high. However, your day might turn out differently if you include some healthy fat in your breakfast. A healthy percentage of high-quality fat in a meal gives us lasting feelings of energy, fulfillment, well-being, and warmth.

There are many sources of healthy fats and oils. For sautéing and baking, try butter, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil, because they do not break down when used at higher temperatures. When sautéing and stovetop cooking at moderate temperatures, try organic extra virgin olive oil. Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings on breakfast cereal, veggies or grains. Other healthy fats are found in whole nuts and seeds and their butters like almond butter or tahini. Whole foods such as avocados, olives and coconuts are great sources of healthy fats, along with wild salmon and omega 3-6 organic eggs. Experiment with these healthy fat sources and see which agree with you and leave you satisfied.

And finally, take a few moments before you climb out of bed in the morning to remember your dreams and to think about what you want from the day. Leave enough time to take the scenic route. Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. Take a deep breathe. Check e-mail less. Don’t pack your schedule so tightly that there’s no time for a short walk. Light candles before you start to cook dinner. One moment here and there for slowness; it can be done and must.

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