How to stay on track in times of extreme stress?


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So, I've had a pretty horrible month and a half...my mother has been extremely ill and through some unfortunate circumstances, I cut off contact for both my own sanity and her own good.  I ended up sending the paramedics to her home on Monday, and now she's in the hospital.  I'm still not speaking to her directly so I don't know exactly what's going on, but she's not doing well.  I've been caring for her dog while she's in the hospital, as well as working hard to maintain the boundaries I set up regarding communication with her and trying to get what information I can from hospital staff, in addition to a busy season at work and my children's baseball season and and and....

 

When I get stressed out, my appetite disappears and when I am hungry I only want to eat ALL THE BREADS.  I've been making increasingly poor choices (partly due to cravings, partly due to being overextended and not having time to prepare and plan to eat well), in addition to using alcohol to help me cope with what's going on. It's catching up to me...my sleep is going downhill and I'm feeling headachy and sore and generally blah again.  This is not the best way to keep myself going to handle this kind of stress but I'm at a loss of how to fit my nutrition into everything else that's happening.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for easy, quick, gentle things I can eat when I don't have an appetite, foods I can keep around that require minimal prep, etc.?

 

Thanks!

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I've been where you are in so many ways, Emily. Please be gentle with yourself. Stress response is real, as you well know. Glad you returned here for some help. What works best for me is really simple chopped romaine salads tossed with vinegar and oil (or a decent vinaigrette if I've had a moment to throw one together) topped with canned salmon or tuna and a little bubbies sauerkraut. Roasting a bunch of japanese yams to have a grab and eat starch/carb is hugely helpful--and helps satisfy those stress-induced carb cravings. 

 

I hope others chime in with their wonderful suggestions as well.

 

Hang in there, lady!

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Does anyone have any suggestions for easy, quick, gentle things I can eat when I don't have an appetite, foods I can keep around that require minimal prep, etc.?

 

There's nothing more gentle on a stressed out or upset stomach than a baked potato.  Mashed potatoes are the antidote for tiny babies, children and adults when they have a stomach bug, teething or just feel off.   Bake yourself some potatoes and store in the fridge.  Eat as necessary.  Try to eat some protein, too. 

 

I'm so sorry for what you're going through.  Good food choices help us deal with what life throws at us.  

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Emily -  drink some GT Kombucha....the ginger one.   Have some bottles on hand with your baked potatoes.   The combo should perk you back up.   I don't drink it very often, only when I feel off.    We have alot of spring water runoff.   Every year the entire community would come down with the Spring Dipconna-roo flu.   Water treatment system is better now but there's still the twinge of it.   I've been using ginger kombucha to combat it.   I boil my drinking water, too.

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Aw, I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this, I was wondering where you went! 

 

My favourite quick and easy is omelettes.  Throw a dozen or more boneless skinless thighs on a pan and into teh oven for 35 minutes (435F) and get a bag of spinach or power greens from Costco.  You can have omelettes for every meal if you wanted!

 

The silky gingered zucchini soup or Golden Cauli Soup from Clothes Make The Girl are also dead easy and delicious and comforting and makes enough that you have it for a few meals.

 

Chocolate chili from Clothes Make The Girl is also easy and non time consuming and makes lots.

 

I fully agree times a billion on making sure you have starchy veggies around.  Bake some sweet potatoes and some baby potatoes up so that you can just grab them.  Those starches will squeeze out the bad carb cravings.

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I appreciate all the kind words and suggestions.  I was doing pretty well all things considered until the last week when everything really exploded both with no-contact and the hospital and I know that supporting my nutrition has really helped me handle all of this.  But the added dimensions of my mom actually being in the hospital and struggling with maintaining my boundaries while still being extremely concerned for her and what's going on but not really knowing...yeah.  All the breads and all the booze.

 

I have a quiet weekend coming up, so hopefully I can use some of it to at least make sure I've got some kinds of roasted potatoes, etc. that I can use to get me through next week--I have the feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better.

 

Thanks again for being so kind and supportive. :)

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Emily - oh,  Emily.   Forgiveness is a healer...even if you need to draw your line in the sand.   I would have to go on up to the hospital.   I respect and understand your boundaries.   Keep reaching out for support.   

 

Emily - I read your blog.  You had to draw your line in the sand.  Understood and appreciated.

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Thanks, MeadowLily.  I'm struggling today in particular with my decision to remain no contact, even though I do feel in my gut (and that is echoed by so many people that have been holding me up in this) that it is the right thing to do.

 

Doesn't reach all the way to the hospitalization piece, but link to my blog on the previous month, in case you want the whole experience:

https://fumblingtowardself.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/no/

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It is the right thing to do.

 

For peace and your mental stability - it is the right thing to do.

 

Parents can be stubborn and very set in there own ways.  They become their own worse enemies in a way. 

 

Sending you virtual hugs.....

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I just read your blog, Emily. I cannot imagine going through one episode of the lifetime of countless episodes you've endured.

 

Way to take your power back.  Trust in the boundaries you've set. Sending a huge hug! 

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Aw, hon, that sounds incredibly awful and stressful. Having just read you blog piece, I am glad to read that you finally got your Mom to the hospital. I'm wondering if you can't get updates from the nurse's station without having to talk to her directly? I know sometimes you need to get a code from the patient which might be hard in this situation. 

 

There is a new graphic non-fiction book out by Roz Chast called "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" that is all about her struggles with her irrational aging parents. 

 

For me, easy gentle things would be grilled chicken breasts and sweet potatoes, or chicken sausage and applesauce. Hope you were able to find some time this weekend to prepare some things you could fix easily. And I hope you are being easy and gentle on yourself, too, because this is not just regular life stress. 

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Thanks, Julie.  :)  My mom has herself set up to require the HIPAA code in order for me to receive any information--I was keeping tabs on how she was doing before she was admitted but once she got up to the acute care floor from the ER, she's locked herself down. 

 

I baked up a bunch of potatoes and sweet potatoes and made another pork shoulder this weekend--all are things that, even if there's not a ton of variety, are yummy and comforting to me and I'm willing to eat them even without much of an appetite. 

 

I do appreciate all the suggestions and support.  I am doing the best I can to take care of myself in all this, and unfortunately staying no-contact with my mother is part of that despite how difficult it really is emotionally.

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