Tag Archives: stress

Catching up on New Year’s resolutions: being busy and stressed means I forgot about them for a few weeks…

Stressed? How do you deal with it?

Stress? How do you deal with it?

Busy, stressed, how do you manage to focus on time management and meal planning?

I wrote this in May but got distracted doing other things and forgot to post it. This illustrates well what is written in this post. I also feel like I have abandoned the blog in the past couple of months. I’m back now though. I will try to cook some fun and tasty recipes and post them throughout the summer. For now, here’s what I wrote a month ago:

As much as I want my health to be a priority, and as much as I would like to have a great beach body this summer, I feel that I need to have more time and be a bit more relaxed to be able to focus on a healthy living.

Work, exams, and side projects seem to have taken over my life in April and May and old habits have come back. Because old habits, no matter how unhealthy they are, do not require any thinking or planning, when busy and tired, they inevitably come back.

However I have learned what makes me feel worse and what makes me feel better food-wise so I am not going back to a totally unhealthy lifestyle. But bread and butter (my favourite of all times, I mean, country style bread with butter and salt crystals) is an easy combination when I’m tired.

I am dreaming of a life where I take time to do an hour of gym in the morning, eat a healthy breakfast, then get on with my day. But I must say when I’ve got too much going on, I can’t find the time or energy to organise it. I feel stressed and just want to get my jobs done and over with so that I can move on to the next task.

I am hoping the summer months will be quieter and that I will manage to get back into the healthy lifestyle that I’m dreaming of at the moment.

But for now, I need to get jobs done and there is only so much I can focus on at once. One thing I try to remember is that no one is perfect, no need to beat myself up about not managing to follow my resolutions these last couple of months. It’s not about perfection, it’s about keeping the good health in mind and if it has to be on hold at the moment, it doesn’t mean I failed. It means I am human, dealing with things as best as I can, and I haven’t forgotten about my resolutions. I always said it was a life change, not a short term thing. I’m still working on it, life changes don’t happen over night. Maybe in the future I will find a way to combine busy life, stress and healthy eating. I’m still learning.

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What should I eat when studying for exams?

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Exam period is starting and before digging in the bag of sweets, let’s try to make smart decisions.

Best news this week: Eating chocolate improves learning ability (and mood)! However, I’m not talking about Cadbury’s dairy milk I’m afraid. It’s the flavonoids in chocolate that are responsible for improving learning and memory. The darker the chocolate, the better. Dark fruits also contain flavonoids, so go for it!

Another memory superfood is…. Omega-3 fatty acids!

Last week I attended a lecture about diet and mental health. The first thing I learned was that Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by our body so it is essential we get them from our diet. Why? Because we need them for brain cell formation. According to Dr. Sandrine Thuret (King’s College, London), studies have demonstrated that Omega-3s can be associated with prevention of cognitive decline and that fish eaters experience up to 4 times less cognitive decline than non fish eaters.

Ok, so we need to eat oily fish or take fish oil supplements. If you want to buy supplements, you should pay attention to this: There are 3 types of Omega-3s: ALA, EPA and DHA. When buying fish oil supplements, you should look for EPA and DHA, simply because ALA cannot be precessed by our body.

EPA and DHA, through the building of new brain cells, increase our learning ability. They also help us cope with stress! When under stress, we produce cortisol, which can cause cell death. But cells that were fed EPA and DHA can resist to cortisol better than normal cells.

All great news then. Now what do we need to eat to get our daily fix of EPA and DHA and how much of it?

Recommendations for supplements vary between 300mg to 800mg per day. But to give you an idea of what these quantities represent, here is a list of foods in which there is 1g of EPA/DHA:

  • 85g salmon (or mackerel)
  • 255g tuna
  • 10 eggs
  • 3kgs beef (good luck with that)

In conclusion, eating a portion of oily fish a day during revision time should help us learn and memorize, even under stressful conditions.

Above all, remember to keep eating a varied and nutritious diet for optimum health :-)

And  G O O D   L U C K  ! ! !

Summer food, rose colored fish steak in a wine marinade