The Turkey Dump, that sad moment around Thanksgiving break when college students break it off with their significant others en masse, doesn't just apply to undergrads. According to a study of Facebook relationship updates by David McCandless, the few weeks before the new year is peak-breakup season, which means you or someone you know is probably going through a Holiday heartache. The main symptoms of a Turkey Dump? You either have a difficult time resisting a second pint of Ben & Jerry's, or you can't even stomach eating any solid food.
That's your body responding to a very stressful situation says Stacey Gorlicky, a Canadian Psychiatrist and TV host, whose new book, Food, Sex & You ($19; amazon.com) comes out next spring. Whether it was a multi-year commitment, or a summer fling gone awry, breakups do quite a number on your appetite. A traumatic separation propels your body into fight or flight mode, your adrenaline spikes, which produces a lot of cortisol (the primary stress hormone), which increases your blood sugar and ultimately throws your eating habits out of whack. If you or someone you know is in the throes of crappy breakup, no need to fret. We reached out to Gorlicky on tips for the best foods to eat to bounce back from heartache, so you can make it to the new year in one piece.
1. Whip up a shake.
You can finally dust off that NutriBullet that your overbearing relative got you last Holiday. Gorlicky says a healthy shake is the quickest and easiest way for your body to recover its depleted nutrients. Pro tip: throw in a high antioxidant fruit (Banana, avocados etc), whey protein, and your favorite milk product for maximum results.
2. Indulge in some Raw Desserts.
A temporary spike in your blood sugar is probably making you reach for chocolate chip cookies. Gorlicky says it's okay to satiate your sweet tooth, but try healthier alternatives that are more filling: unsalted peanut butter, coconut oil or dates.
3. Make use of your leftover Turkey.
Turns out that awkward family dinner wasn't so useless. A slice of turkey contains loads of phenylalanine, an amino acid that fends off depression and makes you happier.
Try: Turkey Reuben Hash
4. Fishes are your best friend.
Feeling a little down? Try a can of sardines, which are full of omega-3. These fatty acids pump up your serotonin levels (the brain chemicals that makes you happy), and are quite filling, too.