Crunch Therapy

You are overwhelmed with quotas to fill at work; you cannot seem to keep up with your school assignments; you accidentally ran over your cell phone with your car; you cannot remember your social security number; your significant other went missing and suddenly seems to have changed their phone number. We have all been there…stress, anxiety, restlessness. Whether it is an unforeseen disaster, or just the wear-and-tear of daily life, stress causes many physical and emotional reactions. And right now, in your unappeased state of mind, you want to eat a whole box of something crunchy.

When I get those stress-triggered urges to eat, I find that eating crunchy foods is soothing, relaxing, and actually eases some of the tension in my jaw. There is something about the mouthfeel of crunching that is extraordinarily remedial. Perhaps many of you can relate. Most of us likely have a first instinct of grabbing a package of cookies, chips, or candy. Self-control takes a backseat to satisfying that nagging feeling of worry or boredom, and before long, we have mindlessly devoured everything but a few crumbs. As fulfilling as it is in the moments of devouring, it can feel rather regretful afterwards.

Fortunately, there is a solution to relieve your stress-induced need to munch without subsequently wishing you had a time machine. Sugar and carbohydrate-laden foods are not the only crunchy ones in existence, so instead of reaching for those, try a package of pre-cut vegetables. True; they do not have any chocolate chips, icing, or cheesy coating, but as far as crunch therapy, they get the job done. My personal favorite is baby-cut carrots because of their slight sweetness. I always keep a few bags on hand just in case…

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This technique also works for social gatherings where the bowls of chips, salted nuts, and chocolate-covered-whatevers are beckoning your name. Attack the vegetable tray instead. Concerned there will not be one? Make a point to bring it yourself!

Not only will you never regret your decision, but you will feel quite good about it considering the mega-dose of whole food nutrients you will be getting. I admit, this tip will likely be much more effective for those who absolutely love vegetables. Even if you do not, however, there is certainly no harm in trying it. Who knows…you just might be pleasantly surprised.

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