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There’s no denying that we’re living in stressful times.  Between financial worries and every day stressors, I’m sure all of us have come home one day to seek comfort from an old friend:

FOOD.

Maybe it’s chocolate. Perhaps it’s a slice of cake.  Or maybe it’s an entire blue box of Kraft mac and cheese.  (Raises hand).  Whatever it is, each one of us has a comfort food that we turn to in our “deepest” time of need.

I found an interesting article recently from 2003, that said that high-fat, high-carbohydrate comfort foods actually fight stress by stemming the tide of stress-related hormones that are released when people are acutely exposed to stress.  “WOOHOOO!,”  I thought, without reading any further.  “Yet another excuse to dip my hand into the chocolate chip container after a bad day!”

Obviously, there’s a catch.  Those same ingredients in our go-to comfort foods  also make us gain weight. When stress is chronic, we increase our risk for obesity by turning to our favorite foods.

Clearly, all of us know that fighting stress with Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines is not the solution.  However, how do you ignore that part of your brain that encourages you to grab the sweet stuff?

I’ve read a lot of articles regarding how to resist temptation when it comes to eating.  The most common advice is:

  • Drink water.
  • Excercise.
  • Wait 20 minutes to see if you still want to eat something.
  • Find a healthier alternative.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t say these survival strategies work for me, particularly in high stress situations.  I know this is all a game of willpower and that my problem lies with not being able to control my impulses, but none of these suggestions have ended up helping me in the long run, in spite of my using them daily.

This is something I still struggle with on a daily basis.  What does everyone do when stress strikes and you find yourself reaching for that tried and true food friend?  Any tips you’ve read that actually work?  By all means, share your comments below!

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Well, the folks at Kraft/Nabisco have done it again.  J first found these in the store and promptly decided to bring the Golden Oreo-flavored version home.  I’m always skeptical of funstixproducts like this for one reason:  they’re usually very, very delicious, but extremely bad for you.  For instance, the Oreo Cakesters, the last Oreo-themed dessert we both loved, was just teeming with fat and calories, so we stopped buying them.

The Oreo Fun Stix are 90 calories of tubed Oreo goodness.  The commercial features a little kid using the tube as a straw, however, for someone that doesn’t even like milk in their cereal, that wasn’t happening for me.  😉  I prefer to eat them straight up!  The flavor tastes just like an Oreo, only in rolled form, adding a different layer of texture and size that makes you feel like you’re eating about 3 or 4 oreos for the price of one.  My usual complaint with lower calorie options is that they take out most of the flavor in order to save on calories.  This really is not the case with these:  unlike the 100-calorie pack oreos that are flat and dry, these maintain a great texture and flavor.  As mentioned, they come in the Golden and Traditional Oreo flavor, which is good for us since J is not a huge chocolate fan and I am!

My only complaint about this:  they are messy as anything!  It’s definitely not a snack you can walk around the house with, as they tend to crumble very easily, leaving pieces all over the place.  Otherwise, for a 90 calorie snack, you really can’t go wrong!

-V