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Nutrition and stress

A list of tips for caring for your body during periods of high stress, from a registered dietitian, Board certified in oncology nutrition:

Prepare snacks when you’re feeling motivated and when you’re not hungry.

At the grocery, focus on the perimeter of the store where all the fresh items are located.

Keep the kitchen stocked with healthy items. Prep them in advance so when you come home from a hard day, there’s less work to a healthy meal.

Prioritize your pantry. Keep it stocked with healthier items like wild rice, lentils, beans, quinoa.

Use smaller plates.

Turn off the TV. The TV prevents you from being mindful of your meal and enjoying your company.

Make simple substitutions like Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or avocado instead of butter.

Add spice and play with new flavors. Take advantage of herbs and spices, which are healthy and keep meals from becoming tired.

Drink more water.

Try green tea, avoid juice and other sweet beverages.

Water down alcoholic beverages.

Brush your teeth.

Set realistic goals. “I will have oatmeal tomorrow instead of sugary cereal.”

Stay positive. We tend to be self-critical but don’t be so hard on yourself. Saying self-affirmations help reframe your relationship with food. “You got this.”

Make time to check-in with yourself.

Feeling stressed? Remove yourself for three to five minutes and focus on breathing; or take a walk; or do light stretching.

Don’t get buried in minutia, keep it big picture.

Get a social network. Share successes and setbacks with your support system.

Track your progress and celebrate all the small goals.

Get moving. Sitting all day is not healthy. As best as you're able, get in more steps, climb stairs, have a walking meeting.


3 Replies

Thank you for these good reminders. I can not say enough about drinking lots of water. I have also found having an inexpensive knock-off watch to keep up with how many steps I have taken and it reminds me to get up and walk if I haven't within an hour. Surprisingly it hs done a good job of keeping me motivated and aware of my habits and pulse rates too.


This is really great advice and things we should keep in mind always.


I used a stitch counter from a knitting store to keep track of my fluid intake and make sure I got 8 glasses a day. If you have a recent iPhone, there's a Health app on it that counts steps, miles and stairs. And I can't say enough for yoga, which helped me redevelop my relationship with my body and stop seeing it as the enemy!