How to Stress Eat the Healthy Way
When we’re freaking out about life, a lot of us gravitate towards what is salty, or crunchy, or cheesy, or buttery, or sugary, or possibly all those things combined. Have I polished off a bag of party sized Doritos as I fretted about a job offering? Of course I have. Have I bolted to the nearest McDonald’s after a day of non-stop bustle and bad news? Hell yeah. When we’re stressed, it’s so tempting to just drown our fears in carbs and trans fats because they’re so easy and delicious! But that’s pretty much the worst things for our bodies (in excess), and because stress is dangerous as it is, it’s important to balance it out with some goodness. While I try to go for a run or light a candle, I understand that anxiety gets the best of us sometimes, and food just seems to be the best temporary answer. Here are some wholesome snack ideas for all those nerve-racking, tear-inducing tough times:
Berries and cream
All you need is a cup of blueberries and two tablespoons of Cool Whip. While the Cool Whip provides a subtle, creamy sweetness, you’re ultimately chowing down on some essential nutrients that fill you up and energize you!
Bluth’s Bananas anyone? Cut a banana in half and dip it in a melted bowl of dark chocolate (about half a bar). Freeze it for about an hour. I promise this is just as satisfying as a frozen Snicker’s bar (okay, but quite, but pretty close).
What you need: 1/2 cup non-fat regular yogurt, 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. This tastes exactly like pumpkin pie, but a lot healthier. Add a dash of pecans for a crunchy texture!
Strawberries on a log
Raisins are SO passé! I never really thought about substituting raisins before; I just kind of went with them, but OH are there are possibilities! You can also use blueberries, dried cherries, bananas, or chocolate chips.
Pop Chips + avocado + sun dried tomato
Feeling like smothering a bowl of tortilla chips in cheese sauce and guacamole? Me too. Try this combination instead: a bag of Pop Chips, half an avocado, and a couple teaspoons of sun dried tomatoes (my favorite are from Trader Joe’s). You can mix up the avocado and sun dried tomato, or create baby, crunchy sandwiches.
Multigrain crackers with light ricotta and chopped dried apricots
Need something sweet but kinda savory? Pad Thai would be awesome right about now, but let’s skip the plate of noodles. Get some crackers out, as well as a quarter cup of light ricotta and two tablespoons of dried, chopped apricots. The tastes are complex, you get to crunch down on something, and it’s still creamy and delicious.
These little green monsters are just as good as potato chips, but half as fattening. Try not to eat the entire bag (it will be hard to resist).
Peanut Butter Crisp Balls
This treat is vegan AND the perfect substitute for candy or a cookie. Soft, chewy, and crunchy on the outside, these little balls are good for you, AND all the protein will keep you full for hours. Get the recipe here.
Chocolate banana cashew smoothie
If you’re dying for an In-n-Out milkshake, don’t bolt out the door just quite yet. Especially if you’re hardcore PMSing, this smoothie is just the thing (and it’s packed with nutrients!). Greek yogurt and chocolate soy milk will satisfy any sweet tooth, and it’ll also give you that calcium you need to combat PMS. This drink is also full of fiber, riboflavin, thiamine, and magnesium. Get the recipe here.
Banana chai ice-cream
It’s easy to say, “well I’ll just get YOGURT,” with triumph and courage, as we walk away from a beautiful pint of Ben & Jerry’s, but frozen yogurt can be pretty caloric too, and it’s not super easy to serve yourself just a dollop of chocolate milkshake flavored yogurt (my person fave at Yogurtland).
Try this recipe that simply calls for bananas, nut butter of choice, cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger, salt, and cloves. You probably have most of these things hanging around after last year’s Thanksgiving anyway. Get the recipe here.
Lavash Flatbread Pizza
Oh hi, perfect pizza that will fill me up, yet not completely destroy my healthy (uh, for the most part) lifestyle. I have actually recently embraced lavash bread as my go-to as far as wraps and flatbreads go. It’s a great low-cal substitute for most tortillas and breads, and it’s still really satisfying. This flatbread recipe is super simple, and will only take you like 7 minutes to prepare. Get the recipe here.
Bread + ricotta cheese + tomato
Want to make something decadent that will only cost you a few minutes and way less calories than a grilled cheese? Try this genius combination here.
Roasted honey cinnamon chickpeas
Kind of like kettle corn or roasted peanuts, but infinitely better, these crunchy chickpeas make the perfect snack because they’re low-calorie, but bursting with awesome flavor. Get the recipe here.