I’m sure we’ve all experienced this – when stress hits or you’re super busy, all those health habits go straight out the window. I mean, there is a reason that stressed is desserts spelled backwards.
I want to help you out by giving you the ultimate ingredient substitutions to make when you’re eating on the go.
First up, your coffee order:
YOUR CARAMEL/MOCHA LATTE → ALMOND MILK LATTE
**or if you’re real brave, ditch the coffee for a calming herbal tea latté (like Holy Basil/Tulsi Tea) because caffeine in general can worsen the effects of stress on our bodies
A lot of these coffee beverages are insanely sugar laden which will leave you crashing just a few hours later and reaching for those office doughnuts. Swap your regular order for an unsweetened almond milk latte. Almond milk often makes coffees taste so creamy that you won’t even miss the sugar! Further, dairy can be super inflammatory and create digestive issues for a lot of people (which are just worsened by stress) so you want to help out your digestive system in any way you can when you’re super busy.
YOUR MORNING MUFFIN → EGGS + AVOCADO
That morning muffin or pastry may be delicious, but again – it’s totally worsening your stress! Sending your blood sugar on a roller coaster and providing zero nutrients for your busy day ahead. Instead, pre-boil a bunch of eggs so that you have them to grab and go – equally convenient, way more budget friendly and filled with healthy fats and protein that will keep you alert and energized. Plus, these only take 8 minutes to boil so you can prep ahead on Sunday night. If you wanted to add a half an avocado with those eggs then you go ahead girl. Avocado is packed with stress-fighting and hormone balancing healthy fats. Also, lots of vitamin E for glowy skin – bonus!
YOUR SAD SALAD → ADD AVOCADO OR WALNUTS
Your brain needs healthy fat. Especially when you’re stressed, this is super important because you want to support your brain, body and immune system as much as possible. Your body’s stress response thrives when you feed it lots of nourishing, fillings fats like avocado, salmon, walnuts, other seeds like chia or hemp, and coconut. Adding these things to your diet will prevent those energy crashes which come from running around all day AND make that sad wilty salad feel far more decadent and yummy.
YOUR PROTEIN BAR → SAVOURY NUTS OR BAKED COCONUT CHIPS
I’m not against protein bars. However, most of these end up being more of a candy bar disguised as a healthy treat. If you’re going to eat a protein bar, check that the sugar content does not exceed 6-7g. I have seen protein bars with a whopping 22g of sugar! That is your entire recommended daily intake in one ‘healthy’ bar so just be aware of what is out there. I love chili roasted almonds because they provide lots of protein, healthy fat and calcium.
While all of these swaps are good, the most important thing you can do for your body when you are stressed / busy is try to make some time to slow down. Your body and brain need time to re-charge and so making some space for yourself is equally as important as what you eat. Take up some self-care practices like a face-mask at night or journaling or meditation – anything to help your brain slow down and give your body time to relax so that you can be ready to take on your next busy day.