Sticking to an Organic, Gluten-free, or Paleo Diet, Part 3
By this point we know that it’s important to make a plan, and to keep track of your progress as you gradually reduce your junk food intake and replace it with healthy, organic products free from processed sugar or sodium, pesticides or preservatives. But our diet is a major part of our foundation, not just for our physical health, but often for our emotional health as well; and when you’re replacing the old support system, you have to be careful not to take out anything vital.
Find Solid, Healthy Replacements:
And not just for the foods themselves. A lot of us may overeat or fall back on our favorite junk foods in order to relieve stress and try to wind down. If you think this may apply to you, try to come up with other ways that you can let it out. It won’t be much healthier to resist temptation if it is bottling up all of your tension and anxieties until they explode. What other things can you do to relax at the end of a tough day? You know yourself better than we do, but here are a few suggestions.
- Talk it out, or write it down: Taking the time to chat with a friend or family member can really improve your mood all by itself, and letting out all your troubles isn’t the only way to get help or advice. Even if you don’t want to discuss your problems, writing them out can be a huge help. Dragging your problems out of the vague corners of your mind and forcing them to organize into a coherent rant or to-do list makes them much easier to deal with. When you see them laid out like that it becomes much easier to see what you can change, what you can’t change, what your priorities are, and how best to proceed.
- Do Your Favorite Exercise: Physical Activity releases endorphins, a hormone that makes you feel good, reducing stress, anger and depression. More of this natural high is released the longer and more difficult the exercise, but you can lift your spirits even by doing simple things like taking a ten minute break to walk around the block, playing energetic games, or dancing around your room to your favorite music.
- Spend Time with Animals: Everyone knows, and now science has proven, that playing with small fluffy animals can lower your heart rate, reduce blood-pressure spikes from stress, and put you in a much better mood. If you don’t have the time or space to take care of an animal yourself, see if there’s a pet store or animal shelter somewhere near your house or along your commute. Consider volunteering to play with the animals, or just taking a few minutes on your way back from work to scratch behind some appreciative ears.
Another easy switch to make is dark chocolate. Lower in sugar and fat, higher in antioxidants and other nutrients which can improve heart health and reduce the effects of aging, dark chocolate can stimulate the body to release endorphins, just like exercise. It also naturally contains serotonin; a substance that can help with depression, sleep disorders, and addiction. Serotonin increases the brain’s ability to delay gratification and fight impulses, and is in charge of shutting off food cravings. Chocolate is still high in calories, but switching a few of your regular dessert items to a reasonable portion of dark chocolate might actually work better than giving up sweets altogether, and can give you something to look forward to.
Topline Foods works hard to take the stress out of healthy eating, by offering our affordable and convenient home delivery service, our extensive education site, and our growing list of health foods and great recipes. We’ve expanded our deliveries from the Phoenix Metropolitan area to cover much of the Southwest, from New Mexico to Salt Lake City to Las Vegas to San Diego. You can check here to see if your house is on our delivery range, and get started with your Organic, Gluten-Free, or Paleo Diet today.