An ounce of prevention
30 minutes ago, everything was fine. Now, negativity is mounting, and I’d love to flop on the floor and throw a tantrum. What’s going on? Sudden mood change, inability to handle stress, extreme irritability; I’m officially hangry.
Our brains comprise 2% of body weight, but consume a whopping 20-30% of available energy. One responsibility of this demanding organ, is to regulate emotions. Without proper fuel, all the “feels” spill out willy-nilly. Hunger also stimulates the release of hormones, often associated with stress, including cortisol and adrenaline. As a result, you feel tense, unpleasant and primed for action.
Clearly, preventing a blood sugar crash is ideal. Keeping 100-200 calorie snacks in my purse, gym bag and car has often saved the day. I look for foods with protein, fat and/or fiber, as these take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates, and so stabilize blood sugar longer. Avocado with lemon pepper, a handful of nuts with an apple, and unsweetened coconut chips are some of my favorites.
Today, though, I’m out of snacks, and racing to get to an appointment. Luckily, I happen upon a convenience store and make a pit stop. Minutes later, I’m back on the road, drinking bubbly water and noshing on almonds and a banana. Tantrum averted!
There’s science to support a variety of eating styles, including intermittent fasting, three squares, and my favorite, multiple small meals throughout the day. Keeping blood sugar stable, though, is right for everyone. So, if you’re feeling edgy, and it’s been a while since your last meal, take a minute to grab a bite. Your brain will thank you!
Tanya Thompson is a Certified Personal Trainer who resides in Portland, Oregon. She specializes in Functional Strength and Cardiovascular Fitness. She is also a Green Apple Ranger.
Photo credit goes to www.shellywaldman.com