Stress and emotional eating are common components of many people’s lives. With the availability of sugar and highly processed food, it makes it easy to grab the quickest, most sensible thing as you are on the run out the door. As we rush through our busy lives, we fall back on the diet that we have been taught. Fats are just now becoming more popular and brought back into the American diet in a bigger way. This article is about balance, wellness, and using food as a mechanism for balance and awareness when it comes to our daily choices.


Stress & Emotional Eating

In our fast-paced society and food-obsessed culture, it becomes engrained in our DNA to express joyfulness, celebration, and unconditional love to those around us through the food that we share and eat together. This changes the way we interact with food. It shifts from being the fuel to being the celebratory “birthday cake” that everyone enjoys. The problem arises, however, if a person starts using food as a mechanism for other purposes such as emotional release.

The “Stuffing” of Energy

Stress or emotional eating is very common and can be a difficult topic to discuss with others. Falling back on comfort that remains consistent and never judges you, seems easy to do. Many times, people with this issue have unresolved issues from the past. Many times, it involves the “stuffing” of feelings, thoughts, emotions, words, beliefs, gifts, and self-reverence. The stuffing down energy becomes more and more manifested in the body, and then this energy decides that it needs to start physically stuffing down, and it uses the food that brings it the most comfort.

Eating as Comfort & Escape

healthy eating green foods


This can be a tricky dynamic, due to the fact that it is multifaceted, and layered for most people. The brain lights up and responds to sugar (glucose) and that releases serotonin, then the act of eating, tasting, and experiencing the food becomes an escape or a means to relax.  This is an experiential, visceral act. Its escape being in the body and allowing the act of eating to consume the thoughts and emotions (this is especially powerful for those who have been physically abused, due to the fact that the body is unsafe, and any means to get out of the body is very pleasing to this type of person). Once the food has been swallowed, we have a “full” feeling that can mimic a warm hug from grandma. This full feeling can make a person feel comfortable, peaceful, and sleepy (safe). This is the opposite of “not enough, unsafe, needs not met, uncomfortable, can’t find peace enough to recuperate, etc.”

Top Foods for Alleviating Stress

When you pair these many components with the fact that there are so many addictive foods out there, it makes it almost impossible for a person to break away from this self-defeating act. Also, we as humans must eat, the trick is to balance, and see your diet as fuel. Healthy fats are deeply healing for a person with this issue. Foods such as grains, bananas, and dates are examples of foods that are great for a person that needs a burst of fast energy, however, these foods will cause an instant insulin surge and sugar will flood the system. If you suffer from emotional eating, we recommend that you stay away from high glycemic foods and start embracing healthy fats and proteins. Here are the top two amazing foods that will greatly heal a person with stress and emotional eating. 


·          Avocado

The avocado is the number one food that we recommend for emotional or stress eating. Avocado is a superfood filled with healthy fat and packed with nutrients. Avocados have many vitamins including, vitamin K, E, B6, B5, and vitamin C. Avocados also have potassium and folic acid. Another important quality of the amazing avocado is that is full of fiber and monounsaturated fat. This is a perfect combination when looking at what can satisfy a body for an extended amount of time without blood sugar crashes, and cravings. Avocados are satisfying, satiating, and deeply balancing for the mind, body, and spirit. We recommend freezing your avocados when they are ripe and using them in your morning superfood smoothie.

·          Coconut Oil

The next amazing food that we recommend for emotional and overeating is coconut oil. Coconut oil is full of healthy fats that keep you satiated and satisfied. These fats are deeply healing and are perfect for keeping the body stable and balanced with no insulin surges and drops. We recommend adding a tablespoon to your coffee in the morning for extra healthy fats for the day. Another option is to use coconut oil for an after-dinner technique called oil pulling. The term oil pulling refers to the way that you would pull, push, and such the oil through the teeth. The theory behind the ancient Ayurvedic practice is that the fatty molecules in the oil attract and bond with the fatty membrane that surrounds each microorganism cell. This is a cleansing, refreshing hygienic process that be especially great for those who have a tendency to binge after work or dinner.

Oil Pulling



We suggest that after dinner, you brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. Then take one to two tablespoons of coconut oil and place it in the mouth. Sit somewhere peaceful and serene and make a mindfulness practice out of this time. Feel the soft oil as if melts in your mouth. Swish the melted oil all throughout the teeth, gums, and tongue. Allow the oil to soften your lips. Work the oil into the lips and feel grateful that you are completing a day of eating. Make this a ceremony of sorts, alerting your whole system to the fact that you are now 100% finished with eating. Thank the oil and you spit it out, or you may swallow the oil (we recommend swallowing the oil if you have a tendency to night eat or binge).

 Adding Avocado and coconut oil to your daily diet will be fantastic additions for many health reasons. If you suffer from emotional or stress eating, we highly recommend working with a trained nutritionist to find the best program for you. Another component of stress or emotional eating is self-esteem and self-worth issues. We have also seen a lot of people who suffer from this problem, needing to release. The stuffing down of emotions and words from the past can be very damaging.

Need a Wellness Retreat?

We at SpiritQuest Sedona Retreats have many Wellness Retreat options which are powerful for people who are searching to regain their health. Call today for recommendations as to which modalities will serve you best if you wish to do continued work around this issue. You are not alone!