As a long time Floridian I’ve weathered my share of storms- from the threats that never materialized, to the for-friggin-ever life altering catastrophic events. So yes, I’ve spent a fair share of time preparing in the ‘Cone of Death’. An important lessen I have learned is:
A somewhat dark sense of humor, and an even darker chocolate bar will help you navigate the storms life throws your way (tweetable)
One of the interesting aspects of preparing for a hurricane is an (almost) overwhelming need to stock up on those carbohydrates. It seems to be a pretty universal feeling from glances at the shopping carts and shelves around you.
This makes more sense than you might think
Chocolate cake is a comfort food that can be eaten cold and in the dark (tweetable)
My mother was a firm believer in the power of chocolate cake. Almost as a talisman, every time a storm came close she made a batch of fried chicken, bowl of potato salad, and a triple layer chocolate cake. We ate alot of cake and rarely suffered much damage. Needless to say she wasn’t around when Hurricane Andrew struck or we might all have been saved a lot of trouble. But I digress…..
While this may be fact, the truth of the matter is closer to the Flight or Fight response built in to our biology. This stress response our mind and body experiences is very real and the messages sent are important. Even those people who perhaps are not in the direct path can experience these same strong responses when they have loved ones in the path of the storm.
This is a bit different than the stress eating we can experience under other emotionally charged circumstances. In those cases we’re eating as a means of activating the pleasure/reward center of our brains, getting that dopamine dance on. In these instances the ‘bad thing’ may have already happened, danger passed and we might be in a recovery stage, nursing our wounds.
The carb craving experienced prior to a storm is our body’s way of trying to prepare for an unknown threat and insure we have access to the energy we might need to respond quickly to an emergency. Simple carbs, like a nice muffin provide a quick energy response but if we rely on those, it can leave us energy vulnerable later. Not to mention feeling a bit icky from oversugaring.
Good news though! There is a way to balance the need for instant energy with long term sources to support the energy to carry out prolonged responses.
While each of our needs are different depending on where we are in life and our lifestyles, the information in this article Carbohydrates: How carbs fit into a healthy diet from the Mayo Clinic can help you choose carbs that will work well for you and your changing needs to day, tomorrow and in the future, no matter what storms life is tossing at you.
Having trouble navigating? We’re here to help, will you reach out?