words by Belinda Mann

Who doesn’t get stressed around Christmas? Whatever you like to call it “crazy busy, frantic, socially popular” stress has a big impact on your physiology. But don’t get stressed more, as the Christmas season fast approaches follow these diet tips to help keep you cool, calm and collected…

Rule One: Balance Blood Sugar
The relationship between your blood sugar level and stress is a strong one. When your blood sugar levels drop too low stress hormones are released to stimulate the release of glucose into the blood stream. It’s best to eat small meals regularly to keep blood sugar levels balanced. It’s especially important to eat within an hour of waking as this makes a difference in your blood sugar response that lasts the whole day 

Make it happen: carry a small bag of nuts or low GI snack bar (such as naked bars) in your handbag to nibble on when you are caught out and haven’t eaten

Rule Two: Eat Well 
Eating a clean diet is going to put your body in a much better state to deal with stress. Load up on vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and wholegrains to get your through the day. If you know you are going to eat out try to check the menu before and see what healthy options are on offer. Don’t be shy to ask for something bespoke.

Make it happen: Any restaurant can add a side of vegetables or brown rice.

Make it happen at home: Try and take a day off from Christmas socialising and prepare this nourishing soup from Dr James Wilson which is designed to nourish the glands that produce your stress hormones.

16 oz green beans

1 cup chopped celery

1 zucchini sliced

1 medium onion chopped

1 cup tomato juice

1 cup spring water

2 tbspn raw honey

1 tspn paprika

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Combine ingredients and simmer for one hour until vegetables are tender. Add pepper to taste.

Rule Three: Easy On The Stimulants 
As tempting as it may be to reach for yet another coffee to get you through the afternoon or a chocolate bar to see you through the 3pm slump these foods are going to do you no good in the long term. See them as nutritional “credit cards”. Yes they give you a feeling of increased energy, but this is borrowed from an energy bank that has to be paid back – with interest. you can run up an energy debt pretty quickly, leaving you feeling more tired and more dependent on stimulants to get you through the day. Try to realise what your true energy levels are so you don’t push yourself so much. This applies to alcohol too!

Make it happen: for a more gentle energy boost try yerba mate tea or matcha green tea.

Rule Four: Don’t Skip the Gym
Exercising is a great way to disperse any pent up emotions and release stress. Schedule in a yoga class too (spend extra time in savasana if possible!)

Make it happen: even with a 10 minute run you going to feel miles better.

Rule Five: Sleep!
Sleep is key to keeping stress levels in control. Without enough sleep your body is already physiologically in a state of stress, meaning that it doesn’t take much to tip you emotionally.

Make it happen: on the weekend try and sleep between 7am and 9am it’s thought that this is the most restorative time for the adrenal glands (where the stress hormones are produced).

If the thought of trying to schedule in time to eat well on top of your xmas to do list is enough to stress you out then you might want to consider getting some help in. which-detox.com can help you find which detox or healthy food delivery is best for you and most companies do one or two day plans for when your diet has slid and you need a little help.