4 Healthy Shake Boosters You’re Not Using


It’s easy to fall into a rut in your lifting routine, and the same is true for your protein shakes. If you’ve been using the same tired boosters in your shake and not seeing results, there’s a good reason for it. Protein powders are formulated to deliver the ideal ratio of macronutrients after a workout, but they don’t always focus on the micronutrients.

Why does it matter? Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are essential to muscle growth and repair. Post-workout nutrition is an opportunity to feed your muscles exactly what they need quickly and deliver otherwise hard-to-get nutrients in a convenient shake. If you know what to add to your protein powder, you can customize your shake to give your body exactly what it needs.

Here’s a list of the top protein shake additions that you’re probably not using, and why you should start adding them today.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric has long been used in traditional medicine for its purported anti-inflammatory properties, and in modern times it has graced the pages of many a health-themed Instagram feed.

The primary active component of turmeric is curcumin, which studies indicate may help suppress the factors that lead to inflammation.[1] Though this bright yellow spice appears in many traditional Southeast Asian dishes, the doses needed to produce any significant effect are much higher than would be found in a single meal and can only be obtained through supplementation.

To boost your shake, add 1/2-1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of black pepper prior to blending. The piperine in the black pepper helps make the curcumin more bioavailable.

Thinking outside the shaker, you could also try this delicious turmeric latte recipe—the perfect way to help your body recover faster after a workout and use up your cold leftover coffee.


Turmeric Latte

Want to get more out of your morning cup of joe? This recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover coffee and give your body a healthy boost. Turmeric contains compounds that have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, while the maca powder is a natural energy booster. Almond milk provides a dairy-free base, but you can substitute your milk of choice.

View Recipe Here

2. Baobab Fruit

The fruit of the baobab tree is commonly eaten in Africa and Australia and has a citrus-like flavor. It is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, and its leaves are rich in calcium and protein. Even the seeds are loaded with fat and healthy fiber, and powdered forms of this potent plant are available around the world.

Baobab fruit is associated with many health benefits. For one thing, it aides weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness and helping to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.[2] Its potential benefits make this southern-hemisphere treat a perfect booster to your weight-loss shake. Just add a scoop of baobab powder to your protein shake, or if you prefer, try the recipe below.


Carrot-Orange Baobab Drink

Loaded with antioxidants, this simple bright-orange drink is bursting with nutrients and flavor. Baobab powder has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries, acai, and goji, and carrots and oranges are great sources of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Fresh ginger helps with digestion in addition to adding a zing to this flavorful four-ingredient drink. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a high-powered blender and strain with a cheesecloth.

View Recipe Here

3. Plant-Based Omega-3s

While health experts have touted the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for years, we don’t often discuss the different sources of this supplement. Fish oil has become all but synonymous with omega-3s, but the plant-based versions may actually be easier to incorporate into your diet.

Flaxseed is 42 percent fat, and most of that comes in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor of omega-3 fatty acids. ALA has many potential health benefits, specifically the ability to reduce blood triglycerides and reduce the inflammatory response, both of which help fight heart disease. Unlike its fishy counterpart, flaxseed also offers a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Since all the goodness is inside the seed, add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil to your shake instead of whole seed. If you’d rather chew your omegas, check out the slow-cooker superfood protein bars below.


Slow-Cooker Superfood Protein Bars

Flaxseed is a fantastic healthy addition to any baked good, providing extra fiber, nutrients, and healthy fats. These homemade bars take it to the next level by combining ground flaxseed with cashew butter, oats, and plant protein to create a delicious, chewy, gluten-free high-protein snack. Add the extra flavor and superfood punch of blueberries, cacao nibs, and cinnamon, and you’ve got yourself a healthy on-the-go treat to fuel your body and help you hit your goals.

View Recipe Here

4. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are a type fiber that the human body cannot digest. They are food for probiotics—hence the name. Since probiotics support healthy gut bacteria, including prebiotics in your diet is the key to better gut health.

Whole-food sources of prebiotics include dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, wheat bran, and cocoa. While some sources of prebiotics make more sense in a salad than a shake, adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder is an easy and delicious way to boost the prebiotics in your smoothie and feed the good bacteria in your gut. If you’d rather have a warm cup of cocoa, give this PBfit hot chocolate recipe a try.

Cacao Powder

PBFit Hot Chocolate

While some sources of prebiotics make more sense in a salad than a shake, adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder is an easy and delicious way to boost the prebiotics in your smoothie and feed the good bacteria in your gut. If you’d rather have a warm cup of cocoa, give this PBfit hot chocolate recipe a try.

View Recipe Here

  1. Takada, Y., Bhardwaj, A., Potdar, P., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2004). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-κ B activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene, 23(57), 9247-9258.
  2. Coe, S., & Ryan, L. (2016). White bread enriched with polyphenol extracts shows no effect on glycemic response or satiety yet may increase postprandial insulin economy in healthy participants. Nutrition Research, 36(2), 193-200.


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If you want your patients to take their meds, ensure they can afford what you’re prescribing


How many times do you think this happens? After thoughtful deliberation and discussion, a physician prescribes a medication that they think will be a good option to help their patient with their current medical condition. But, when the patient arrives at the pharmacy, he or she is surprised — the medication is far more expensive than anticipated. The patient has to make a choice: walk away, call the prescriber back for an alternative, or simply pay for the costly medication, even though those dollars may have been earmarked for other essentials like groceries or gas.

On a related note, 75 percent of doctor visits involve medication therapy, making medication adherence critical to patient safety and outcomes. Yet one-third to one-half of U.S. patients do not take their medication as prescribed, and two-thirds of medication-related hospital admissions are due to non-adherence, costing our healthcare system $100 billion a year.

There are many causes of prescription non-adherence. For instance:

  • The patient has concerns about side effects
  • The patient is worried they’re taking too many medications
  • There is a perceived lack of need
  • The patient simply forgets to pick them up

But the number one offender? Patient out-of-pocket costs. Compared to a prescription with a $0 co-payment, patients are 3.4 times more likely to abandon a medication with a $40-$50 co-pay and 4.68 times more likely to do so when the copay is more than $50. And as U.S. healthcare embraces value-based care, physicians are also being held accountable for patient adherence, outcomes, and total cost of care — all of which are at risk the moment the patient walks away from an unaffordable medication at the pharmacy.

Non-adherence isn’t the only downside of surprise medication costs at the pharmacy; it also leads to additional phone calls, rework, and frustration at the physician’s office. When the pharmacy or patient calls the office back to ask for an alternative, the physician has to remember the context of the original medication, try to identify a lower-cost alternative, and then notify the pharmacy and patient about the change. At a time when practices are overwhelmed with administrative burdens, this is yet another phone call and task that is best avoided altogether by ensuring the patient can afford the medication at the time of prescribing. 

Until recently, there was no way for a physician to determine the patient’s out of pocket cost. While formulary information displayed in an EHR can be directional and provide relative pricing for different therapies, the patient’s specific cost could only be determined by the insurance company in real-time based on a number of factors: the medication, how many days supply, the patient’s chosen pharmacy, out-of-pocket spend for the year, deductible, and whether the drug requires a co-pay versus co-insurance. And even when a medication was known to be expensive, it was always difficult to find a lower-cost alternative that could achieve the same outcome.

Today there are tools that are native to most electronic health records (EHRs) that give the physician a clear view of costs as well as alternative options, in real-time, at the point of care. During the visit, after the doctor has entered the prescription details, the EHR displays the precise out of pocket patient cost, along with lower-cost alternatives — within just a couple seconds. Alternatives options to save the patient money could include selecting a different therapy, switching to a mail-order benefit, or simply ordering a 90-day supply instead of 30-day. The physician can also see if there are alternative options that do not require prior authorization.

With just one click the physician can quickly change to a better alternative. The extra few seconds to review this information can save minutes or hours of rework down the road while improving the patient’s adherence and overall experience with their doctor. I’ve had physicians tell me how this tool makes them feel like a stronger patient advocate, and those feelings are echoed by patients after they engage in discussions with their physician and make a decision together to change to a lower-cost therapy.

Most physicians have not had any formal training about how or when to have financial conversations with their patients. And while 70 percent of Americans want to talk about the costs of care with their health care providers, only 28 percent report doing so. Studies show that, with the introduction of new tools, these conversations often take less than one minute and have a positive impact on adherence and, therefore, patient outcomes.

The good news is most EHRs have the ability today to show patients real-time, patient-specific prescription out of pocket costs and less expensive alternatives. The future is filled with exciting advancements in healthcare information technology. Mobile apps, smart pill bottles, microchips, smart pills with sensors…we’ll get there someday. But for now — today — we can start with the basics: can your patient afford the medication? If not, nothing else matters.

Photo: Devrimb, Getty Images



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7 Ways You’re Washing Your Workout Clothes Wrong


7 Ways You’re Washing Your Workout Clothes Wrong – Health

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What to Do If You’re Scared You’ll Gain Weight Back


My weight-loss journey crept up on me, and so did the impact it had on my mental health. After I graduated from college, I started a new job. I had a new schedule and more time on my hands. All of a sudden, the hours which eluded me in college opened up and presented an opportunity to get to the gym. I made small goals for myself, and those goals turned into major changes to my lifestyle, my sleep schedule, and my physique. These are all great lifestyle alterations but I had no idea I’d end up losing more than just weight in the process. It would take me months to gain back what I truly needed: peace of mind.

It would take me months to gain what I truly needed: peace of mind.

I felt pretty comfortable in my body for most of my life. I knew I could afford to lose a few pounds or get a little stronger, but those things didn’t keep me up at night. My fitness journey stemmed out of desire to try something new. It started with a few high-incline walks on the treadmill and a first attempt at Whole30. What can I say? I love a challenge.

As I changed my dietary habits and added a consistent workout routine, I saw the number on the scale drop. The results were unexpected and my response to them was even more so. I kept up with the clean eating and increased the intensity of my workouts. Slowly, over the course of six months, I lost 30 pounds and the waistband on my “skinny” jeans loosened. I could lift heavier weights and complete more reps. I played coy as people fed my ego with positive comments about my physical appearance, and secretly internalised every word. And yes, I took way too many selfies in the gym mirror.

I wish I could say I reached the ultimate level of self-love once I met my “goal weight,” but instead of feeling joy in my progress, I developed a superficial fear that I’d revert back to the way I looked before. I focused on maintaining my results so much that I cut off foods and activities which would normally bring me pleasure. I’d weigh myself almost daily, praising or cursing the scale if the number changed in either direction.

This behaviour is just as unhealthy and disordered as it sounds. I got so caught up in my physical development, I forgot to nurture my mental wellness at the same time. Thanks to the help of my therapist and dear friends, I became aware of the slippery slope my “healthy living” had become. It wasn’t about what I was doing — those lifestyle alterations were nothing but positive. It was about how I treated myself as a result. I held a mirror up to my own choices and decided if I wanted to build experiences around my body or build my body for experiences.

Six months after my fitness journey began, I hid my scale. Gradually, I gave myself permission to enjoy a little junk food again, just for the heck of it! I tried to let go of strict expectations of gym attendance and performance, and instead made a goal to be active every day. I started to write in my journal about the progress I could feel rather than see, and made a point to emphasise my efforts in strengthening my mental health as well. These steps forward are not perfect, and sometimes I feel like my brain is walking on its own high-incline treadmill. But much like the slow and steady progress of my outward appearance, I can feel my internal sense-of-self following suit.


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Is It OK to Have Crushes When You’re Married?


You had the wedding of your dreams, your partner is your best friend, and you’ve finally found your groove with this whole marriage thing. Then, that sparkly feeling of being recently hitched starts to fade. You start realising that your coworker is actually attractive and super interesting to talk to. Or that your friend’s friend is cute and smart. You’re still completely in love with your spouse, but you find yourself thinking of this other person sometimes and smiling, maybe even getting a few butterflies. Years (and sometimes even months) into a marriage, you’re crushing on someone else. While you may initially feel guilty about it, don’t worry. Here’s why it’s normal, what to do about it, and when it may be going too far.

Is It Normal to Have a Crush When You’re Married?

Before you beat yourself up for checking out that guy in the gym, know that it’s very common. “It’s fairly common for married people, even happy and committed married people, to develop feelings for others,” Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LP, LMFT, BCC and founder and clinical director at Growing Self Counseling & Coaching, tells POPSUGAR. “A crush, or ‘romantic infatuation,’ can happen with anyone who you spend time with and who has attractive or, interestingly, anxiety-producing qualities.”

Why Do Happily Married Couples Still Develop Crushes on Other People?

“It’s normal for married folks to wonder what it’s like to have the freedom to be with someone else,” Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author, tells POPSUGAR. “Marriages can become routine, and a couple’s interactions predictable. The ‘sameness’ of marriage allows for stability and security, but also dampens excitement and spontaneity, and this double-edged sword is what creates the perfect recipe for a crush. It’s a way to ponder a new and different romantic scenario without suffering its repercussions.”

Sometimes, the qualities your spouse lacks are what draws you to another person who does have those desired attributes, causing attraction to other people. “For example, if you’re enjoying the witty banter or increasingly emotionally intimate conversations you’re having with an attractive co-worker, you might come to realise that you and your spouse don’t often have opportunities to connect in the same way anymore, and that you miss that,” says Dr. Bobby.

When Does a Crush Cross the Line?

Admiring someone from afar is one thing, but actively pursuing someone who isn’t your spouse is the type of behaviour that experts agree could be detrimental to a marriage. “Crushes go from innocent to harmful when they cross the line of curiosity,” explains Winter. “This occurs when direct actions are taken to engage the crush in a romantic manner . . . come-on’s, sexual discussions, and pointed flirtations can quickly escalate into real-life consequences.” Dr. Bobby also warns about just how intense a crush can become once those types of actions are taken. “When you develop a full-blown romantic attraction for another person, it’s really all-consuming,” she says. “It needs to be caught and snuffed out early, or it could easily destroy your marriage and possibly even the trajectory of your life.”

What Should You Do If You’re Married and Have a Crush On Someone Else?

When it comes to having a crush while you’re married, honesty is the best policy. “Acknowledge the fact that it’s happening, both to yourself and to your spouse,” explains Dr. Bobby. “Saying it out loud, to both of you, helps keep you safe . . . it provides you with accountability and transparency that will protect you from getting deeper into romantic entanglement.” It’s also important to limit — or even eliminate — speaking with the person you’re crushing on altogether. “Avoid contact with the person you have those feelings for as much as possible,” continues Dr. Bobby. “If you must interact with them, keep it short and professional. Make it a point to spend more time with your partner and cultivate the good qualities of that relationship. Before you know it, the feelings for the other person will fade.”

Can Developing a Crush While You’re Married Actually Help Your Relationship?

It might seem a little counterproductive, but having a crush on someone who isn’t your partner really can help your marriage. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side — a concept that can be proven true when pursuing a crush outside of a marriage. “Developing a crush can sometimes be a positive thing for a relationship, particularly if you’re self-aware enough to realise what your feelings for someone else might be informing you about what you’d like to be different about your primary relationship,” advises Dr. Brown. “Using that contrast as important information about what you want to be different about your primary relationship could help you make important, positive changes with your spouse. And talk openly with your spouse about the changes you’d like to see happen.”


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How to Boost Your Sex Drive When You’re on Antidepressants


Couple on Valentine day enjoy in love. They are in bedroom and having romantic moment together

According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 1 in 9 Americans are currently taking antidepressant medication, and this number is said to be steadily rising. While there is absolutely no shame in taking prescribed medication to alleviate depression, for many (myself included), the side effects can make other areas of life, well, sad.

One of those side effects? Sexual dysfunction. Not only is sex a key way to build intimacy in our relationships, it’s pretty great for improving our moods by releasing a slew of feel-good hormones. And not to mention, it’s also really freakin’ fun. But if you’re struggling to get in the mood or climax because of your medications, don’t worry. You’re not alone, and there are a few things you can do to boost your sex drive and life back up.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp, hops, and marijuana that’s nonpsychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high. While I still take two antidepressant medications daily, I never leave home without my CBD staples: select vape pens, topical rubs, and Pro tincture oils from Receptra. CBD takes the edge off of anxiety, gently guides me to sleep, and even relieved some my post-op pain after a recent surgery all without the psychoactive properties of weed itself.

In addition to transforming my mood, CBD has also benefited my sex life, too. Three spritzes of Karezza’s In the Moment plant-based mind and body elevation oral spray 15 to 20 minutes before being intimate kicks my drive up a few notches. The spray’s unique blend of CBD from organic, full-spectrum hemp oil plus a multitude of traditional arousal-enhancing herbs, adaptogens, and essential oils is formulated to promote relaxation and fires up my senses. It helps me turn my mind off and truly enjoy myself, taking intimate experiences to the next level.

If your libido is a bit low, try hitting the gym, yoga mat, or sign up for a kickboxing class. It’s well-known that exercise helps to significantly reduce stress and improve your mood by producing feel-good endorphins and lowering cortisol levels, both of which are necessary for a healthy sex drive. But there are even more benefits to your sweat session. A study by the University of Texas demonstrated that “exercise enhances physiological sexual arousal in women.” Looking and feeling your best boosts your self-confidence, and when you feel good, you’re much more open to being intimate and exploring your sexuality.

Open communication is one of the best things you can do to increase satisfaction and pleasure during sex, so speak up! Sex doesn’t have to be taboo anymore. Try talking to your partner about what you like, what typically gets you to climax, and how they can help get you there. It takes two to tango, so you both should feel equally satisfied during your intimate times together. Feeling comfortable and supported is necessary to letting go under the sheets.

Want to take your intimate time to the next level? Have more fun, because, yes, sex should be fun! Stuck in the same rhythm and routine? Switch it up and try something new! Whether it’s perusing a sex shop together for new toys, donning lingerie, or even moving it outside the bedroom (kitchen table, anyone?), changing up the norm adds an element of excitement and can help relieve pressure on the act itself — which leads to more pleasure for you both.

If you’re finding that your sex drive is still in a dip or you’re still experiencing more lows than highs, it’s time to chat with a health professional. Schedule an appointment with your doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist ASAP. It’s important to be honest with your doctor about what’s going on with your lifestyle so they can offer solutions catered to your needs. Feeling comfortable with your mental health team is key to recovery, health, and happiness.


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What to Do When You’re Not Losing Weight


An active girl under a concrete bridge resting after doing sport. Copy space.

When you’re following a healthy diet and making it a point to move more, it can be crushing not to see your efforts reflected on the scale. The reasons for it can vary — even lack of sleep and abundant stress can stall weight loss, for example — but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. Practice self-care, show yourself some grace, and try making these expert-approved tweaks to your diet and exercise routine to start shedding stubborn pounds.

Take Inventory of Your Diet

Even if you’ve consciously made it a point to eat healthier — for example, by swapping a burger for salad at lunch — you could still be underestimating your calorie consumption, Scarlett Full, MS, RD, nutrition scientist at Growing Naturals, told POPSUGAR. “[Putting a] half-cup of shredded cheese and quarter-cup of ranch dressing on a salad might make it as dense as the burger and fries.”

Another thing that often goes uncounted are the tiny indulgences you give yourself throughout the day, such as a couple squares of chocolate from the work cafeteria or a glass or two of wine at the end of the day. “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these indulgences, but women may be unaware that those are the extra calories sabotageing their weight-loss efforts,” Scarlett explained. To get a better sense of how many calories you’re eating on any given day, she recommended food journaling for a few weeks, which can help make you more aware of exactly what you’re putting in your mouth and where you need to make adjustments.

Once you have a good sense of your caloric intake, take it a step further and practice intuitive eating. “Learn to trust your body on when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat, whether it’s tofu and veggies or chocolate cake,” Scarlett said. “Preliminary research indicates that intuitive eaters have less anxiety about food, enjoy food more, and even have lower body mass indexes.”

Mix Up Your Workouts

“Many people get trapped into the same workout routine all the time — most commonly some sort of cardio activity,” Scarlett said. “While this exercise might have initially helped you lose weight, as you get fitter, the same exercise is no longer as effective,” since your muscles adapt.

Even if that weren’t the case, it’s not enough to do cardio alone. Resistance training is also essential for weight loss, according to Matt Kite, CSCS, USAW, director of education for D1 Training. “If fat loss is the goal, muscle building or at least muscle tissue maintenance is going to be key, as lean muscle mass aids metabolism,” Matt told POPSUGAR.

To help bolster your efforts in the gym, make sure you’re getting enough protein, too. Matt recommended a minimum of 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight for someone looking to maintain or lose weight, and 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight for someone looking to add muscle. “Anything in between is a good range for supporting lean muscle,” he said.


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The Career Mistake You Don’t Realize You’re Making


The Career Mistake You Don’t Realize You’re Making – Health

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Is The Nonstop News Cycle Affecting Your Weight? You’re Not Alone.


It’s no secret people have experienced emotional health effects since the 2016 presidential election. Today’s news cycle highlights the negative impact of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration and often features his racist comments. Many people feel the current political divide is exacerbating strife between family and friends and increasing anxiety in the United States. And if left unchecked, that can wreak havoc on a person’s overall well-being.

Chronic stress can have real physical health consequences ― something that’s anecdotally playing out in real time. According to reports in The New York Times and The Boston Globe, some people are saying the changes they see on the scale or in their diets is a direct response to negative news and the divisive political climate. Some have even dubbed the weight gain phenomenon as “The Trump 10.” Others are also sharing accounts on social media about how they’ve experienced a change in their physical well-being over the last two years.

The reality is that stress, whether it’s caused by politics or other issues like finances, family troubles or workplace pressures, can cause unhealthy changes in weight. And experts want people to be aware of their triggers ― and solutions on how to deal with anxiety ― so they can stay well.

The Physical And Emotional Toll Of Anxiety

Jeremy Warden recalls experiencing various emotions in the months leading up to the 2016 election, ones that he said influenced his overall health habits. Warden, a 26-year-old from Minneapolis, said that the political climate displayed on television inspired him to make a change in diet.

Prior to November 2016 he went “beef-free,” and then after the results of the election, Warden completely eliminated all meat from his diet. Although he had followed a vegetarian diet before, he hoped his change would help with climate change and sustainability. (Research suggests meat and dairy consumption severely impacts the environment.)

“I’ve felt kind of hopeless or doomed,” he said. “It’s hard to feel like the planet stands a chance against humans, and with that feeling a switch sort of went off inside of me.”

As time went on, however, Warden said his eating patterns appeared to change in ways that weren’t connected to his meat-free diet. He said he experienced higher levels of stress when he watched the news, which in turn affected his appetite.

“I often feel sad or unmotivated to eat. It can be hard to justify getting out of bed when everywhere you turn be it social media, the radio, or the news at large, things seem to be getting worse and worse, or at least that’s what people focus on.”

– Jeremy Warden

“I often feel sad or unmotivated to eat,” he said. “It can be hard to justify getting out of bed when everywhere you turn be it social media, the radio, or the news at large, things seem to be getting worse and worse, or at least that’s what people focus on. Preparing food can often feel petty.”

Warden believes that he lost at least 15 pounds since the election. The weight loss could be due in part to his deliberate diet change or a number of other factors, but experts say that stress surrounding current events, politics or the news could also be a part of the problem.

A 2017 survey from the American Psychological Association found that more than 50 percent of American adults said following the media causes them stress. It’s also a trend that extends beyond political affiliations: A majority of adults from both political parties reported that the future of the nation was a source of stress, according to the APA report.

In a statement made at the time of the survey, Arthur C. Evans Jr., APA’s chief executive officer, said that it’s practically impossible to escape the news and that can be a trigger of stress.

“With 24-hour news networks and conversations with friends, family and other connections on social media, it’s hard to avoid the constant stream of stress around issues of national concern,” he said. “These can range from mild, thought-provoking discussions to outright, intense bickering, and over the long-term conflict like this may have an impact on health.”

Christine Peat, an assistant professor at the department of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that life-changing events ― be it a job switch, a new relationship or even media coverage ― can trigger changes in dietary habits.

“It’s a very common experience,” she said. “It kind of varies from person to person, but people fall into one of two categories: They either completely lose their appetite, or they move towards palatable foods.”

Shelly Kendra, a dietitian coordinator at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, added that our bodies all react differently to stressful situations. In some cases, this can just mean mindlessly reaching for the nearest snack every once and a while or, as it happened with Warden and others, even more drastic weight fluctuations.

Protecting Your Mind And Body

Before reaching for a snack or skipping a meal, it’s important to consider whether outside pressures are playing a role in your dietary change, Kendra said.

“You need to dig deeper and think about whether you’re actually hungry because of a stressor or because you really are hungry,” she said. “Taking the time to pay more attention to physical cues will help you take a more mindful approach to your eating habits.”

“Taking the time to pay more attention to physical cues will help you take a more mindful approach to your eating habits.”

– Shelly Kendra, Dietitian Coordinator at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh

Peat said that if you do start to notice a change in your diet you may want to consider finding alternative methods of dealing with stress. She suggested getting up and going for a walk, calling a friend, practicing meditation or any other means of coping that keeps your mind busy. If keeping up with the news or checking your social media feed also contributes to this feeling, it’s OK to log off or not read every story.

Both Kendra and Peat acknowledge that there are times when a diet change is to be expected. It’s normal to reach for that ice cream after a breakup or to not feel like eating when you get bad news, but monitor how often this behavior is occurring.

“If you’re feeling unable to manage the stress on your own or you’re taking a look at things on your own and you feel out of your element, finding a professional to speak to should help you manage,” Peat said.

Warden said that he’s chosen to fight his feelings of stress due to the election with activism, which the APA stated can be a good way to actively deal with anxiety. He also used his family and friends as a support system.

“Being with people you like, and creating things together, enjoying those things, enjoying what others create and offer you, it all brings me back to earth, really, and reminds me that life is a beautiful thing,” he said. “We will always have hope if we’re together.”


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