Our Stress SWAT Team to the Rescue
The family's supply of soda and snacks was out of sight in the basement refrigerator during Garcia's visit -- but a giant jar of marshmallow creme that the kids use with peanut butter to make "fluffer nutter" sandwiches was in plain sight. The sugary treat caught Garcia's eye, but he was more concerned with the family's breakfast habits. Pressed for time, Robin usually grabs a frappuccino, while Katlyn, 15, 'fessed up to a brownie the day before. Sugary breakfast cereal is not uncommon for the rest.Caffeine and sugar create energy highs and lows that can exacerbate stress, said Garcia. He suggested a diet with limited sugar and caffeine, and plenty of fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein. But Garcia said it would be unrealistic for them to go from sugary cereals and chips to a perfect diet overnight. Instead he suggested they look at what they already enjoy eating, and squeeze in a little more nutritional value through substitution. Go for whole-grain pasta over white, add fish as a lean protein, and cut back on products with added sugar. "I'll even let you keep the Fluff," Garcia said, as long as they use whole-grain bread and peanut butter without extra sugar.