call it the domino effect — when one event sets off a chain
of similar incidents. I prefer when life dominoes in a
positive direction, such as when lunch with an old friend
leads to an unexpected meeting with another old friend and
another … all in the same day.
stressful events domino, however, they seem to throw my food
choices out of whack. One recent example: Right after I
checked in for a flight out of my small hometown airport —
where travelers are welcomed with beverages, cookies and
familiar smiles (really) — I was informed our plane would be
delayed "about a half hour."
worries. I settled down with a nice cup of tea and was
confident I would make my Denver connection in plenty of time.
announcement came soon after. Our flight was now delayed
"about 2 hours."
just an estimate," I was assured by an airline employee.
"You should still make your next flight."
another cup of tea. Time ticked by.
hours later, I clearly had missed my connection. And I
suddenly had this urge to eat a cookie … make that 3
finally landed in Denver, I was informed I had missed all
other flights to my destination that day. I was given a hotel
voucher and was told — if all went according to plan (hahahaha)
— I would arrive at my destination in time to rush to my
I had only eaten three cookies in the past 8 hours, I resisted
the urge to walk to the nearest restaurant and order a bottle
of wine and the biggest juiciest bacon cheeseburger on the
that? Why do we — when life throws curves that domino —
suddenly want to slam down the nearest source of sugar and
physiological, says brain and hormone experts. Animal and
human studies have discovered that hormones released during
times of physical or emotional stress can make us want to eat
more (or less) depending on the severity of what we
experience. Chronic stress — when negative life events
continue to domino — can trigger a desire for, you guessed
it, foods high in fat and sugar.
almost as if our brain tells our body, "You need to
fortify yourself to get through this difficult event. Here,
have a cookie."
hope, however. Here are some ideas:
kind to yourself. Believe it or not, life rarely goes as
planned. And we usually survive these crises and momentary
lapses in judgement.
ahead. I was extremely thankful I had placed an apple and bag
of nuts in my carry-on bag that prevented me from seeking out
M&M’s in my distress. And knowing that I desperately
needed sleep instead of heartburn, I ordered a meal that
brought me real nutritional comfort — grilled fish with
vegetables, a large glass of lemon water … and a small glass
goods news: I made it to my destination … on time, with just
a few nutritional bruises. That’s the chain of events I