Stressed about being stressed?
Busy can be good. It can mean you’re successful, engaged and fulfilled, but it can also mean you’re overstretched, unfocused and exhausted.
At an on-site seminar this week, we discussed how “busy” is no longer the status symbol it once was. Work-life balance is definitely the new goal and because of that we’re stressed about being stressed. If you, like me, sometimes feel like you’re standing in the middle of a swirling vortex with all the different components of life circling around you at high speed, then maybe it’s time to slow on down.
The problem is finding the time to slow down. “I wish there was a pause button for life!” I said to a friend the other day. “There is,” she said, “it’s called meditation.” Hmmmm. So simple ... and so true.
Sometimes it takes lots and lots of signals to make you realise that you just need to step back and figure out a better strategy. I am busy with things that I love (good), but they often impact negatively on the people I love (bad). If I am always rushing my family or forgetting my friends, something isn’t right. I still remember hurrying the kids into the car and slamming the door (in haste) on Belle’s hand. Argh, the agonising moment when you realise you have hurt your own kid. Parenting fail and I felt miserable all day. But it was enough to make me say, ENOUGH. Take a moment and breathe.
My favourite strategy for moments like these involves the five Ds: download (everything you have to do) and then ditch, delegate, deal and defer. So you ditch the stuff that you really should have shaken off, delegate a few jobs for a little help, find a better way to deal with life’s essentials and defer the things that just aren’t gonna happen right now. It’s a simple trick but it’s amazing what putting it all on paper can do. When I go through this with clients, a lot of people need help with the burden of cooking. For some people, meal prep is a joy and a chance to unwind, but it’s easy to lose the love if it comes at the end of a long day.
One answer is to outsource and pick up healthy takeout options from Miles deli, Devil’s Isle café or Supermart. But another is to take the “cooking” out of cooking.
My colleague Sarah came up with this amazing Green Goddess dressing recipe a few months ago. Typically we toss it over raw broccoli florets, raisins, sunflower seeds and finely diced red onions too. We also add toasted pine nuts or crispy (organic) bacon toppings (totally optional). And all you need to make the dressing is a blender. The rest was just taken straight from cupboards or the fridge. So sometimes we don’t really need to “cook” at all. This way, lunch or dinner can be whipped up in just a few minutes.
Continuing from last week, this is a really easy thing to prep for lunch at work, so make sure you try it out! The thing I love about this dressing is that Sarah uses avocado for the cream factor, instead of mayonnaise. I am not totally anti-mayo but, depending on the brand, it can be a stealthy hiding place for factory-farmed eggs and genetically modified oils. If you do buy it, try the Waitrose organic mayo from Supermart, which is fantastic.
However, using avocado instead helps to reduce your animal-based saturated fats and increases your intake of plant-based sources. Try not be fat-phobic, because good fats are vital for hormone balance, skin health and support of your nervous system (among many other things). It’s just a good idea to avoid processed fats in general and animal fats in excess.
The end result is smooth, creamy, tangy and completely delicious, so try it and see. Toss it over raw veg or salads. Serve alongside grilled chicken, fish or good quality grass-fed red meat for extra protein. Can be stored up to 24 hours in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!
Green Goddess Dressing
1 ripe avocado
4 tbs water
2 tbs raw apple cider vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
¼ c packed fresh basil leaves, optional
¼ c packed fresh parsley, optional
1 pinch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbs maple syrup
Just blend everything together until completely smooth!
• The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or, Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda