Eating to Reduce Stress

If you are a busy working mom, I bet you are often stressed.  If you have kids that are super busy in sports and

fresh spinach
Look at what I picked from the garden!

school like mine are, I KNOW you have stressful days every week.  Am I right?

As I mentioned in this week’s Facebook Live Monthly Introduction, in addition to sharing how I use the essential oil Lavender, I will be sharing all kinds of stress relief tips and tricks this month.  Lavender is our oil of the month and so stress relief is the perfect complimentary wellness topic to dive into.

When life feels stressful, often the first thing many of reach for is sugar and coffee.  Although they may taste and feel good in the moment, in the long run they aren’t going to help you relieve stress at all,  in fact, they will probably make you feel worse.  Sugar and caffeine release “feel good” chemicals in your brain (serotonin, endorphins and dopamine for you scientific types).  Thanks to this, the positive feelings are real and you do feel better, but unfortunately, that happy high quickly turns to a drop in your moods and you feel tired and perhaps even worse.

So what should you eat instead?

  1. Leafy greens.  Spinach is an easy source and contains magnesium which can help activate B vitamins – B vitamins give us energy.  Popeye knew what he was talking about!
  2. Red peppers.  These slightly sweet veggies can help curb sweet cravings while boosting our Vitamin C levels.
  3. Salmon.  Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3’s.  There is research that shows that cultures that eat foods with high levels of Omega-3’s have lower levels of depression (source:  WebMD).  Salmon is naturally sweet and so simple to prepare.  Don’t like the smell of fish in your house?  Simply throw it on the grill.

Really feel the need for caffeine or something sweet?  At least make a better choice:

  1. Swap tea for coffee.  Tea has lower levels of caffeine (but green or black still contain some), and it will give you that same comforting warm feeling.  I do enjoy a cup of coffee each day, but then I move to tea or hot water with lemon.
  2. Dark chocolate.  Go for a small square of dark chocolate versus other sweets.  Savor it slowly.

Give some of these foods a try next week when you start to feel the stress levels climb.  Take an afternoon tea or dark chocolate break.  Serve salmon or a delicious spinach salad for dinner one night.  Add spinach and red peppers to your eggs in the morning.  Small changes and conscious choices  made consistently will change your life.