By Marta Montenegro, ,
Published January 10, 2017
During our Florida summer vacation 20 years ago, I remember myself along with my family stuffing ourselves on bread, crackers, and chips. The diet was the same regardless of the mealtime. We didn’t have too many options later when Hurricane Andrew stuck during our stay.
Seven years ago, I was a Florida resident experiencing the furies of Wilma. Only this time I was not caught off guard food-wise.
If you have had the terrible experience of going through a hurricane, you know what I mean. If you have power, you are glued to the TV, computer, and kitchen. Your anxiety and stress rises with the wind and rain, as does the boredom of being stuck inside. What’s the easiest way to “calm you down”? Chewing down on chips, cookies, and all the sugar and fatty food available.
When your body perceives a threat, it experiences a rush of adrenaline. In this endocrine response, cortisol stimulates fat breakdown and increases blood glucose to fuel muscular activity. If you use your muscles, you end up burning that new energy. But if you just sit and watch the latest storm reports, insulin goes into overdrive.
What you eat doesn’t help the situation either. Studies show a link between high-fat and high-sugar foods and the increase in the activation of reward pathways in the brain, particularly dopamine receptors, says Erin Macdonald, R.D.
The same way that eating too much sugar may lead to an insulin spike—in which the body struggles to lower blood sugar in spite of this over hormone production—some people may experience a dopamine high, where your body has to produce more of this neurotransmitter to create an energized feeling.
Stay Calm Pantry
If a hurricane hits, lost electricity can make healthy eating a challenge. If you’re lucky to have a gas stove or grill, you can still boil water and cook; however, you will have difficulty storing perishable foods, explains Erin Palinski, RD,CDE, LDN, CPT, nutritionist specializes in cardiovascular health.
Hopefully, you won’t face any serious home damage during a hurricane and can ride it out. But make sure you don’t add to your mood and stomach during this time. Here are some suggestions from Palinski on how you can make your pantry hurricane ready and diet friendly:
Remember that storm time is not a vacation! Keep up with your regular meals time, watch out the portion size, and drink lots of water to fight dehydration and quell cravings, and workout. You don’t need electricity to perform some squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks.
Homemade Balance Bar
Recipe provided by Chef Michelle Austin
1 c. quinoa flour
2 oz whey protein
1 oz apple pectin powder
? c. sun-dried cranberries
2 oz of ground pistachios or sunflower seeds
2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon juice
4 oz brown rice syrup
1 oz of ground flax
1 oz unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp of soy nut butter
2 tbsp of egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients, dried fruit and ground pistachios in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and stir well. Pour onto dry ingredients.
4. Spray 9” cake pan with non-stick cooking spray
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes
6. Cool and cut