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Calming the Chaos

Calming the Chaos is a podcast by Licensed Mental Health Counselor Tracy Kenela. She uses profound and often humorous stories from her own life to illustrate how chaos can show up, and how emotional it can be! Anxiety, depression, fear, worry, shame and overwhelm can be managed using a variety of simple tools, skills and techniques. Tracy uses her experience as a counselor and her own personal work to provide you with hope…as well as some simple coping techniques, support and encouragement... that will help you move toward a more peaceful and enjoyable life.

Apr 19, 2020

Episode Title: Helping the Hangry II – Continuing Interview with Katie Hart, LMHC, Certified Nutritionist


Intro: Katie is the founder of Hartsspace Mental Health and Nutrition. She believes in a whole person approach to wellness, and takes an innovative and individualized approach to providing health and wellness to each of her clients. She provides a variety of different options to help her clients manage their overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.


We’ll listen as Katie talks about the physiology of hunger, and how it works in the mind and the body to create the condition of “Hangry,” which is a combination of “Hunger” and “Anger.” This episode will help you become more aware of how “Hangry” can show up in your life and increase the chaos of your mind. Katie will also offer some mental health and nutrition tips, tools and techniques to help you prevent and cope with the condition of “Hangry,” when it shows up as chaos in your life.


  1. How blood sugar levels (lifts and dips) contribute to the “Hangry” chaos of the mind


  1. Think of cookies or rice: You can eat 5 cookies (or 3 cups of rice) and have a HUGE blood sugar lift, but then also experience a proportionate blood sugar dip afterward, which is harder on your system.


  1. Alternatively, you can keep the cookies and rice (remember, there are no good or bad foods!) but decrease the quantity to avoid the HUGE blood sugar lift and dip).


  1. Eating 2 cookies (as opposed to 5) and eating 1 cup of rice (as opposed to 3) can help you better regulate and balance your blood sugar and avoid being “Hangry”.


  1. TIP: Don’t label foods as “Good” or “Bad.” All foods fit!


  1. It’s about proper balance and good blood sugar regulation for optimal nutrition and mental health.


  1. When your blood sugar is too low or too high it “Wakes up the Hangry Monster”


  1. Waking up the Hangry Monsters increases the chaos of your mind


  1. TIP: When you DO become out of balance in your blood sugar, you can stay regulated through the practice of mindfulness. Knowing what works well with YOUR system is key!
  2. We are bombarded about what we need to do with our diets, and it gets complicated and confusing. There is not one way to do things. We’re all different, and there is no one right fix for everyone.


  1. Notice what works for you, and your system, and practice doing that to regulate “Hangry.”


  1. Tips and tools and cope with “Hangry”


  1. Preventative Strategy: Have a good foundational knowledge of nutrition and balance proteins, fats and carbs in your diet to help you regulate blood sugar and emotions.


  1. Approach any food or emotional issue from a place of non-judgmental understanding: You can be healed, and you are not alone!


  1. To the people who DON’T notice hunger in the body:
  • Pay attention to what you eat in a more calculated way, using facts and the “appears reasonable” test about when you last ate.


  • Put yourself on a schedule and follow a Dietician’s guidelines or plan until you CAN feel hunger and fullness.


  • Do a “Body Scan,” which includes noticing what parts of your body feels uncomfortable, and have pain or tension


  • Approach every feeling with curiosity. Identify emotions and do a quick evaluation of the situation, your thoughts and your feelings. Decide what you will do using your knowledge of nutrition, blood sugar, and what you are thinking and feeling.


  1. To the people who are NOT ON THE GO and feeling Hangry


  • Get the body regulating blood sugar. You can play around with “less of this” or “more of that” and think of alternatives to balance protein, carbs and fats each time you eat.


  • Work with your mindset and dispelling myths about food and your body:
    • The fat on your body isn’t the same as the fat you eat
    • attention to what you eat in a more calculated way, using facts and the “appears reasonable” test about when you last ate.
  1. To the people who are ON THE GO and feeling Hangry


  • Pre-plan – prepare foods that have a balance of ALL (proteins, carbs and fats)


  • Examples are: Nuts. Beans. Dried Chicpeas. Hummus. Peanut butter. Portable and prepackaged foods that include hummus, vegetables, crackers, cheese, guacamole.


  • Prepare a “snack bag,” of things to have on hand to use when you need to have your blood sugar boosted in an effective way for you.
  • knowledge of nutrition, blood sugar, and what you are thinking and feeling.


  1. Other tips


  1. Don’t let your blood sugar get too low so that emotional responses to food will happen
  2. You can have a snack before a meal, ifthis will help you regulate your blood sugar and not overeat
  3. Make “Rational decisions” before you enjoy your eating experience.


Thank you Katie, for sharing your knowledge with us! You can contact Katie in the following ways:




Open Facebook Group and Instagram: @hartsspace


Listen to “Calming the Chaos” Podcast by visiting, or my Website: at


You can also listen on iTunes or Apple Podcasts and on YouTube at


On my website, there’s a link to a mindfulness CD I created called “On This Day.” This CD teaches you how to practice mindfulness in less than 10 minutes throughout the day. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and increase clear thinking in times of chaos.


You can purchase the CD on Amazon at

or in digital format at


Follow me!


Facebook Open Group: Lokahi Counseling, at


Twitter (@the_calming)


Instagram (calmingthec)


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Thanks for listening, and take care!