Your 3-Step Plan for Lower Stress and Better Health


People are always looking for a magic formula for getting healthy. It can become a real numbers game: How many calories? Carbs? Grams of fat? How many minutes of cardio? How many pounds do I lift? At Green Mountain, we’re not fans of calorie counting or other number tracking that can make wellness a chore (or even trigger disordered eating for some). What’s more, people on health quests can focus so much on food and exercise that they forget how important it is to lower stress.

There’s a huge component missing from these body-focused health formulas: The mind! The mind controls the body and when the mind is dis-eased—like when we’re dealing with chronic stress, anxiety, depression, or eating disorders—the body becomes dis-eased, too.

In reality, you could eat as much kale and go to as many cardio-boot-camp classes as you want, but if stress permeates your day and your body, it will counteract the health benefits of any amount of sweat or leafy greens.

Our Magic Formula for Better Health and Lower Stress

Feeling good is one of the best stress reducers. Here at GMFR, our ‘formula’ for whole health and well-being focuses on exactly that. When we eat, move, and live our lives with a focus on feeling good, we not only see stress relieved, but just as importantly, we see clear, measurable health improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, anxiety/depression, and reductions in emotional overeating and binge eating.

Lower Stress and Gain Health

Here’s the GMFR formula:

  1. Eat with Balance (not restriction)

Restricting what you “can” or “can’t” eat doesn’t feel good (nor does it “work” in attaining health or long-term weight changes). Neither does bingeing or emotional overeating. Instead, barring any medical requirements, we eat lots of plant-based foods, all of the other macronutrients including proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, plus just-plain-pleasurable or fun food. Eating happens mindfully and intuitively; we pay attention while eating so we hear the body’s cues of hunger and satisfaction.

  1. Enjoy Movement

We bring movement into daily life with some regularity, but without being rigid or “all-or-nothing” about it. We move in ways that are enjoyable instead of ways that feel punishing or painful. Find movement you like and then do it again…because you like to!

  1. Feed Your Spirit

Having the 4-S’s in our lives brings health to the mind and spirit:

    • Stress Management
    • Self-Care
    • Self-Compassion
    • Social Connections

Regularly adding these S’s to our lives eases stress and adds joy and pleasure. As humans, we seek pleasure and try to avoid pain. So if life feels full of physical or emotional pain, we naturally turn to things that give us pleasure for comfort. Front-load your pleasure banks with the four S’s.

This “magic” formula for healthy living works for so many women at Green Mountain at Fox Run—and it can work for you too.

“I am no longer in food “prison.” And I am experiencing joy in my body and in my daily life–two things which had not been a part of my world before Green Mountain.”

— Abbe Greenberg | Past Participant & Anxiety Sister

Jumpstart Your Health and Lower Stress 

Join us at Green Mountain for a week or more year-round. You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of how stress relates to eating, and practical strategies for coping with stress or anxiety, how to reduce stress and tension, and make positive change. Learn more about our program >>>


2 responses to “Your 3-Step Plan for Lower Stress and Better Health”

  1. Patricia Altomare says:

    Dealing with stress/anxiety/nervous eating is my challenge.
    I would love to read any articles that deal with this subject. I have been to G.M.F.R. 3 x’s, 1998 and April 2017.
    I do get your newletter.

  2. Shiri Macri says:

    Hi Patricia,
    I’m so glad you’re reaching out. This is a difficult challange that takes time to make changes to. There’s a lot of research coming out about ‘micro-habits’ – making tiny changes towards a future goal. These ‘tiny’ changes can have profound impacts on behavior change in part because of the ongoing success. In the meantime, here are a couple of other blogs we have on the topic:

    I hope this helps for now. Take care of yourself in the meantime and thanks again for reaching out.


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About the Author

Shiri Macri, MA, LCMHC

Since 2004, Shiri’s approach as a therapist for treating binge and emotional eating is holistic, focusing not only on the presented issue at hand but also considering overall health. Working in this way often includes mindfulness-based approaches. Now as a trained MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher, Shiri’s love of mindfulness and meditation practices are at the forefront of her blog writings and recordings. Shiri is the Clinical Director at the Women's Center for Binge & Emotional Eating, affiliated with Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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