Zen, Stress and Meals: Deep Breaths Before Eating
I like the word zen.
One way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.“Sun is warm, grass is green.”
Inflammatory Responses to High Saturated Fat Meals Under Stress
Researchers in this double-blind crossover study had 58 healthy women eat either a high-saturated fat meal or a plant oil fat meal. They measured inflammatory response in their blood levels with and without stress. Their stress was calculated by the “Daily Inventory of Stressful Events.” The women without stress had less inflammatory response (which is good) to the healthier plant oil meal. As expected, they also had higher inflammation to the less healthy saturated fat meal.
However, when a woman had prior-day stress, the study concluded that even after eating the healthier meal, she had an inflammatory response that was the same for when she ate the saturated fat diet without stress. This showed that stress negated the benefits of eating a healthy meal.
Stress on Healthy Eating Call to Action: Find ways to decrease and handle stress
Should we just give up a healthy diet and eat the donuts and croissants for breakfast?
The lasting message in studies like this is that stress has immediate, and long-lasting effects on our health. A small bit of stress is good for the body, we need response to our environment to react quickly or handle what is coming at us. But when we aren’t zen for a few days, when our ‘go zen’ is out to breakfast, lunch and dinner, this is when it is time to evacuate the build-up of daily stress. And my recommendation is to practice some daily ways to decrease and handle stress so that when you are having a really bad day you won’t lose it. What do you do to keep your stress level at a normal balance? I like to do power-walks while listening to NPR radio in my earphones. I also go to the gym several hours a week, as a priority. And I eat croissants on the weekends because life is too short not to imbibe sometimes.
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