Gut Health Blog

April 14, 2024

Is Stress Always Bad For Your Health?

When you hear the word “stress” do you think it’s good or bad? I believe most people think of stress as bad. And this makes sense, given that we talk about feeling stressed when we’re tense, angry, and frustrated. But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are different types of stress. So, is stress always bad for your health or are there some benefits?

Good Stress Vs. Bad Stress

It was Dr Hans Selye who first identified the negative effects of bad stress on the body. He identified 3 distinct stages of stress (Tan and Yip, 2018):

1. The alarm stage: Your initial response to a stressful situation.

2. Resistance phase: Your body attempts to adapt to being under stress by maintaining elevated levels of stress hormones.

3. Exhaustion: You exceed your capacity to cope with the stress and reach burnout.

Many of the clients I see for executive nutrition coaching are in the resistance phase or the exhaustion phase. They have been under a great deal of negative stress for a long time and simply don’t have the resources to keep going anymore.

However, at the other end of the scale is eustress or good stress. This is the kind of short-term stress that provides a sense of achievement, growth, or fulfillment.

Eustress is the buzz you get when you achieve something significant and challenging like completing a new work project or mastering a new skill. Regular bouts of positive stress keep you alert, motivated, and interested in life.

woman at top of mountain

Stress, Immunity, and Inflammation

Stress hormones like cortisol interact with your immune system and inflammatory processes.

In the short term, positive stress can help to keep your immune system working efficiently. The “fight or flight” response that kicks in when we encounter stress is designed to help us survive. Small amounts of short-term stress prime the immune response and help you fight invading pathogens effectively (Dhabhar, 2014). And the little bit of oxidative stress that occurs during this response is dealt with before it causes too much inflammatory damage.

Problems arise when stress becomes negative and long-lasting. Scientists estimate that 75-90% of human diseases are linked to stress, with stress-induced inflammation being the root cause of many of these conditions (Liu, 2017).

Chronic stress can increase your risk of:


What Turns Good Stress Into Bad Stress?

We all respond to stress differently and have a unique capacity to cope. What feels like negative stress for one person may be a positive thrill for another, and vice versa.

In general, though, good stress starts to become harmful when it is prolonged and you don’t give yourself the right resources to cope with it. The resources we need to manage long-term stress are rest, good quality sleep, regular daily movement, relaxation, and of course, the right kinds of foods.

woman doing exercise

How to Stop Bad Stress From Ruining Your Health

If you’re dealing with ongoing stress, it is important to pay attention to these resources.

Here on the EBS platform, we have all the resources you need to prevent the negative effects of stress:

  • Movement videos help you stay fit, strong, and active without intensely stressing your body.
  • Guided meditations to help you relax, rest, and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Health Masterclasses that offer support for specific conditions.
  • Videos explaining key health concepts and nutrition trends.
  • Meal plans, food lists, and recipes are designed to nourish your energy levels, mental well-being, hormone health, and resilience to stress.

woman preparing a meal in the kitchen

Following a holistic anti-inflammatory lifestyle like the Eat Burn Sleep approach is the best option for building resilience to stress. Our members see fantastic results with their health and feel empowered by the wealth of information available on the platform.

This is what EBS Member Mahget has to say:

I follow your EBS platform, and if anyone is undecided, jump in.

Just do it.

I read all labels now, and when you think something is too good to be true, it usually is, especially when the ingredients list ends with emulsifiers, gums, and all the things that cause inflammation. We tend to trust people in white coats or athletes, but clearly, they are being paid to support something that is not good for us.

The Eat Burn Sleep platform educates us on what is good and what is not.

Thank you, Yalda, your EBS approach is spot on.


Don’t let the negative effects of bad stress destroy your health. Explore our membership options here and discover how to create the diet and lifestyle you need to stay strong and resilient.

Find out more about the benefits of the EBS lifestyle approach in these podcast episodes and articles:

Podcast – Using Sounds to Calm Your Mind

Podcast – Unstressable

Depression, Anxiety, and Gut Health

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?


With love,

Yalda x



Yalda Alaoui


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Recovering from Cancer

I am continually amazed by the incredible cancer testimonials we receive here at Eat Burn Sleep from members who are recovering from cancer. From breast cancer and squamous cell carcinoma to positive pap-smear tests and pre-cancerous cervical cells – our EBS members are seeing fantastic results.

One of my favorites is from Wilma, who used the EBS program while undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

This is Wilma’s story about recovering from cancer.

Recovering from Cancer – Wilma’s Story

Wilma had been an EBS member for four years, using the program to manage her Irritable Bowel Syndrome before she discovered a lump in her right breast. Medical investigations led to a triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis and an aggressive program of 16 chemotherapy sessions, surgery, immunotherapy, and radiation. This level of treatment puts a huge strain on the body and can be incredibly difficult to manage.

Fortunately, Wilma was already in a good place, having used the EBS plan for several years.  This meant her liver and gut health were in a really good place, and able to handle the strong treatments.

After her diagnosis, Wilma immediately began to follow the Week 1 Lifestyle recommendations and added in all the cancer-fighting protocols too. These are specific guidelines for anyone who wishes to work on cancer prevention or who is undergoing cancer treatment.

The EBS Cancer Prevention & Recovery Personalized Advice

This covers all aspects of diet and lifestyle including:

  • Cancer promoters
  • Pros and limitations of certain diets
  • Effects of dairy, artificial sweeteners, and processed meats
  • Importance of liver health
  • Specific foods that have anti-cancer properties
  • Foods to include in an anti-cancer diet
  • Example meal plans
  • Meditation and visualization support

Wilma also reached out to the team and hired me as her nutrition coach so we could work closely together on her plan.

As you can see, her results are incredible! Wilma says…

“Yalda and her amazing program helped me so much!

Chemotherapy, though not fun, was not so difficult for me. Having a healthy gut and a liver that does not have to focus on anything other than supporting the body through chemotherapy made a huge difference. All my lab work came out almost normal the entire treatment, and my doctors could not believe how positive I was and how well I felt, even after 6 months of chemotherapy. I was able to continue to work and to work out as much as my body would allow without pushing myself, and this helped me stay strong and healthy.

Yalda encouraged me to maintain positivity, continue to meditate, to add movement (when possible), to eat as clean and healthy as possible (following week 1 of the platform), and to visualize remission daily. She did additional research and was there for me every step of the way.

I am extremely grateful to Yalda and her amazing program and encourage anyone who is diagnosed to follow the Cancer section of the Eat Burn Sleep platform. Do not just follow the food portion, but implement Yalda’s mindfulness, movement, visualization, sleep, and an overall positive outlook.”

The wonderful news is that after all her hard work and treatment, Wilma is now in remission.

She continues to follow the EBS lifestyle to maintain her health and is increasing daily movement to improve her physical strength.

Why the EBS Plan works

The beauty of the EBS plan is that it is holistic, covering food, lifestyle, and mindset. Each one of these factors is a powerful intervention on its own but combined they are phenomenal. Non-communicable diseases like cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and diabetes require this holistic approach that medication alone cannot provide.

Cancer can develop in any one of us, at any time. According to statistics from Cancer Research UK, 38% of cancers are preventable – which means they are linked to diet and lifestyle factors.

Genetics are linked to cancer of course, but the expression of those genes (epigenetics) is connected to diet and lifestyle. Sustained chronic systemic inflammation can trigger any disease gene expression, including genes linked to cancer (Coussens & Werb, 2002).

For more on the links between inflammation and cancer, check out my article The Dangers of Chronic Inflammation. And you might also enjoy my podcast episodes:

How to Survive Breast Cancer

Heal Yourself With Mushrooms

The best source of treatment for any kind of illness is prevention. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle, such as The Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle, focuses on lowering inflammation, improving gut health, and supporting a healthy, balanced immune response, among many other benefits.

As Sofia, another cancer-care EBS member says in her testimonial:

“I remember my oncologist hematologist scrolling down my blood results and he was amazed & asked me what did I do.

I simply answered saying that I followed an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.”

Check out our membership options here.

Yours in good health,

Yalda x


Yalda Alaoui


Eat. Burn. Subscribe.

Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

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