spinach o red meat water
Illness, stress, or dehydration are
some of the causes of fatigue. But
for women of child-bearing age, iron
deficiency is the No. 1 cause of feeling
sluggish, Somer says.
To boost your iron, cat foods such as
spinach, lean red meat, beans, or iron-
fortified cereals (such as Kellogg’s).
“Drink orange juice when you’re
eating an iron-rich meal to increase
absorption,” Somer says.
Though it’s tempting to grab an
energy drink when your eyes don’t
want to stay open, those drinks are
often filled with extra calorics and
sugar that can easily be avoided by
choosing just water—which will help
keep you hydrated and awake. Shoot
for drinking six to eight 240 ml glasses
of water every day.
You also can try a protein-rich
snack, such as a small handful
of almonds, if you need a quick
energy boost. “Protein stimulates
epinephrine, which makes you feel
more alert,” Taub-Dix says.
cereal with milk •
‘When stressed, lots of foods help,”
Taub-Dix says. Cereal with milk is a
great fix. Taub-Dix says cereal that’s
fortified with essential vitamins can
help fight the effects of stress. Plus,
it’s reliable and consistent. You open a
box and you know exactly what you’re
getting and how much.
She adds that when you cat cereal
or other foods, try not to do so while
standing or talking on the phone.
Take time to sit down and eat without
distractions. Just that little break in
your day for a meal or snack can help
you feel calmer.
Taub-Dix also recommends
adding a punch of crunch to your
day. “Sometimes crunchy foods,
such as almonds, are good because
you feel stress release from chewing
something with a crunch.” Other good
crunchy choices include wholewheat
crackers and celcry/cucumber.
“Steer clear of quick fixes, like
sugar and caffeine,” Somer says.
“They can exacerbate stress. If you
just eat junk when you’re stressed,
you compound the damage that stress
does to the body.”
Why not beat stress before it
happens? Somer recommends loading
up on antioxidant-rich fruits and
vegetables before heading into a
stressful situation to help protect your
body from the free-radical damage.
And it may help you better cope
emotionally as well. Choose fruits and
vegetables that are rich in colour—
they have the most antioxidants.
Purple grapes, pomegranates,
and veggies like spinach and
bell peppers—all work well. i9i
Create a Food/
Not everyone reacts to food the
same way. Some people use food
to relax while others use it to wake
up. To find out how food affects
you, keep a food-and-mood journal.
Time of day
Howyou feel before you eat
What you eat
Howyou feel after you eat
You don’t need to write exact
amounts because the goal is to
track the correlation between food
and your mood and not to track fat
grams or calories. Keep the journal
with you throughout the day to note
any changes, anytime.
Write in the journal for at least
three weekdays plus one weekend
day. Then look back and see if you
notice any patterns. For instance:
Do you d rink coffee every time
your brain feels foggy?
Doyou reach for chocolate after a
stressful meeting at work?
Do you feel especially sleepy after
Keepingajournal can helpyou
go into situations with a plan of
attack. You may find that every
time your boss yells at you, you find
yourself at the canteen or roadside
store buying a chocolate. Next
time, have a handful of baby carrots/
cucumbers waiting for you at your
desk for a post-meeting release.
Once you know how you use
food and how it affects your mood,
you’ll be more able to change your
habits and make healthier choices.
Also get into the habit of keeping
healthy snacks at your workstation,
inyourcar,orbag. Asmall boxofdry
fruits, roasted snacks, ora fruit will
help whenyou need them.
BETTERHOMESANDGARDENS FEBRUARY2011 9 7