Good nutrition was about the last thing on my mind during times of high anxiety, obsessed as I was with fear over the threat of yet another panic attack. I didn’t eat at all well during panicky periods and many of those “periods” went on for months. I know now I could have decreased my anxiety and hastened my recovery by figuring out easy ways to get something wholesome in me.
“Eat (While) Nuts & Also Berries” is a chapter in my book that shows folks suffering high anxiety how to get the best nutrition possible under the circumstances. You may not be able to get to the store very often and even if you have food around, you are so tense and your body so tight that even swallowing becomes difficult. I was able to overcome that problem by making healthful smoothies – or shakes – in the blender. What you make will be 10 times better than those little canned nutrition beverages. Here are some tips for doing that for yourself:
– Buy protein powder and use enough each time to make it a “meal replacement.” Whey and soy proteins are good, but if you are lactose and soy intolerant as I am, choose from among several plant protein products. Pea powder provides the most protein of them all, according to what I’ve read, but there are other appealing plant based protein sources. I buy pea powder and one or another of the green ones and put in a scoop of each. Double up whatever you’re using.
– Use fresh fruit as often as you can and blend in whatever is available. I use a banana, 4 or 5 big strawberries and a handful of blueberries. I have a big strawberry patch and a few blueberry bushes, but I live in berry country so it’s easy for me to benefit from the essential micro-nutrients in the sweet little fruits. You can probably obtain some kinds of fresh fruit through the winter and buy bags of frozen strawberries and blueberries.
– Liquids include “milk” from many sources. If you are lactose intolerant, you have several options for something to pour on your daily granola or to put in smoothies. You can buy non-lactose dairy milk, or soy milk is good nutrition if you can tolerate it. I use “almond milk” because it seems to provide good food value. I’ve seen coconut milk, among others in the dairy cases. It’s best not to use fruit juices regularly for your liquid meal because they are high in fructose. Fruit itself is not, but fruit juices contain the worst kind of sugar (of sucrose, lactose and fructose). I see in the news these days high fructose corn syrup being blamed for obesity and diabetes. I believe it and won’t buy products containing it. Nearly all commercial jams contain HFCS to our detriment.
-Other ingredients can include wheat germ and any edible seeds. A decent blender will grind up sunflower seeds and squash seeds. I throw in a tablespoon of flaxseed meal.
Keep foods around that won’t spoil quickly and are easy to get at and nibble on. Cut up veggies and put them in a jar in the fridge; keep a head of lettuce or spinach in there as well, so you can just rip off a bit in passing. You don’t have to make salad to have salad. Other tips for eating during anxious times include hard boiled eggs, deli cheeses and meats and pancakes. Make sandwiches to keep you busy and freeze some. Trail mix with nuts and raisins and chocolate chips is something I could make and have around for emergencies.
Eating well will help make you well. Here’s a good read on that very subject: