Stress—Controlling It Before It Controls You, Part 4
The Better Life Experts | November 4, 2008

Biochemistry of the Food—Mood Cycle
As mentioned in the previous Newsletters in this series, there are certain foods that can help provide us with the emotional stability we seek. Because each of us is unique in our physical and emotional make-up, it’s to our advantage to pay attention to our behavioral tendencies, learn how to read them, understand what these behaviors can tell us about our biochemistry and, finally, how we may be able to alter the chemistry by the foods we eat.

Certain foods provide us with more energy-efficient fuel to sustain us over a longer period of time. Other foods give us a quick, healthy energy boost. Relaxation strategies help reduce our hyped up stress reactions to a level where we can think more clearly and use better judgment. Avoidance of destructive behaviors, toxic environments and negative people are other strategies that tend to build self-confidence by reducing the likelihood that we will engage in embarrassing or career-ending behaviors. Any new strategies you learn today that can give you a better chance to live a healthier life are the same strategies that you can use at home, in the workplace or wherever life takes you.

Stress-Less Food Choices

BEST OKAY AVOID
Beans (Fresh) Beans (Canned) Beans (Canned)
Soy Lentils Baked w/pork
Split Peas Kidney Refried
Lentils Pinto (whole)
Kidney
Pinto
Beverages Beverages Beverages
Water Low fat milk Fruit drinks
Coffee/Tea Red wine Whole milk
Light hot chocolate Diet (caffeinated) Beer
Herbal teas White/Rose wine
Breads/crackers Breads/crackers Breads/crackers
100% Whole-wheat Tortillas (no lard) Bagels
Wholegrain (high fiber) Wholegrain (low fiber) Croissants
Crisp breads Cornbread
Tortillas (w/lard)
Hotdog buns
Hamburger buns
White bread
Cereals (hot/cold) Cereals (hot/cold) Cereals (hot/cold)
Oatmeal (steel cut or traditional lg. flake) Shredded wheat Instant Oatmeal
All-Bran Rice Puffs Granola
Kashi Go Lean Muesli
Fiber 1 Any other sugared cereals
Condiments Condiments Condiments
Mustard Light mayo Ketchup
Vinegars Mayonnaise
Salsa Tartar sauce
Dairy Dairy Dairy
Low-fat cheese Margarine Whole fat cheese
Skim milk Ice Cream (lf) Chocolate milk
Sour cream (ff) Cream
Cottage cheese Whole milk
Soy milk (lf) Whole fat yogurt
Cream cheese (ff) Evaporated milk
Yogurt (lf/ff) Rice milk
Fast Foods Fast Foods Fast Foods
Chili Hamburger (w/ketchup, mustard & 1/2 bun) French Fries
Grilled Chicken (no sauce 1/2 bun) Frozen yogurt (ff w/no cone) Onion Rings
Salad (ff dressing) Fried anything else
Anything w/cheese
Fats/Oils/Dressings Fats/Oils/Dressings Fats/Oils/Dressings
Canola Oil Corn oil Butter
Olive Oil Peanut oil Coconut oil
Vinaigrette Sesame oil Lard
Lf/Ls dressings Sunflower oil Reg. salad dressings
Fruits Fruits Fruits
All fresh fruits Dried fruits Canned fruit in syrup
Frozen berries (no sugar) Canned fruit in lite juice Sweetened applesauce
Unsweetened juices Fruit spreads
Fruit juices/drink
Grains/rice Grains/rice Grains/rice
Barley Corn White Rice
Quinoa Rice Noodles
Basmati rice Croutons
Brown rice Rice Cakes
Wheat grain
Meat/Fish/Poultry Meat/Fish/Poultry Meat/Fish/Poultry
Extra lean beef T-bone steak Bacon
Chicken/turkey w/out skin Fish/canned in oil Egg whites
Pork tenderloin Fresh ham Pates (spreads)
Smoked salmon Lamb shank Salami
Turkey pastrami Dried beef Rack of lamb
Fish and shellfish (fresh or frozen or canned in water) Organ meats
Bologna
Battered/fried fish
Pasta Pasta Pasta
Plain noodles (1 cup) or with marina sauce (no added sugar) or with vegetables Rice noodles Canned pastas
Gnocchi
Mac-n-cheese
Filled pasta
Filled w/ cream sauces
Snacks Snacks Snacks
Raw nuts (esp. almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, soy) Peanuts, processed nuts Candy
Food bars (protein or 1/2 meal replacement) Peanut butter (lite) Cookies
Yogurt (ff, w/sweetener) Popcorn (lite) Puddings
Fruit (whole) Dark chocolate (70% cocoa) Doughnuts
Raw vegetables Ice cream (lf) Potato chips
Bananas Chocolate
Ice cream (whole)
Soups Soups Soups
Homemade (w/out cream/butter) Canned bean Cream based soups
Canned tomato Canned green/split pea
Sweeteners Sweeteners Sweeteners
Aspartame Fructose Molasses
Equal Sugar alcohols Honey
Sweet-n-low Corn syrup
Stevia Glucose
Vegetables Vegetables Vegetables
All fresh/frozen Canned in water Fried/mashed w/butter
ff = fat free
lf = low fat
sf = sugar free
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