Eating with Purpose

Real Food. Made Easy!

Mar
23
2012

4 Simple Steps to Combat Stress

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A Stressful Day…. How I Eat with Purpose

You all are my friends, and this is what a blog is all about – I’m letting you into my world…. the good, the bad and the ugly, it’s LIFE! I thought this was a perfect example to share with you  about when life happens; things get turned upside down and our stress goes through the roof.  We are at a crossroads – the old me would have ordered a pizza and gone to the store to get a quart of ice cream and sulk, but thankfully these days my plan is a little different… not that I don’t have a little ice cream now and then!

Well, today was one of those days, so here’s 4 simple steps I use to support the whole body while under stress:

Step 1 – Pray: 

First I find a quiet place without interruptions and pray…. wait back up, first I have a good cry, then I pray.

Step 2 – Eat Smart:

I think… how can I best nourish my body to handle the stress? Since it’s 4pm and I know I need a nourishing meal…. but I am definitely not in the mood to cook much. So this is what I threw together… my Easy Quinoa Dinner (recipe coming soon). This recipe can be tailored to hundreds of different combinations, during times of stress I add in a few extra key ingredients. Here’s what I do:

Quinoa cooked in veggie broth: Quinoa is an easy to digest, complete protein. It’s chalk full of nutrients, grain-free, gluten-free and just as comforting as sitting down and eating a big bowl of carby rice.

I add a whole piece of kombu to the veggie broth. It’s so nourishing and helps to strengthen and support the body. Stress depletes us of vital nutrients, so in these times we need to add extra nutrient dense foods.

Also to the the broth, I add 2 pieces of astragalus root. Stress really does a number on the immune system and there’s nothing stronger than this Chinese tonic herb! Throw astragalus into any soup, stew or anything that will absorb the liquid it is boiling in.

I do have some frozen veggies, which is essential in a well-stocked pantry/freezer… but I have a few fresh veggies I need to use up: a red bell pepper, onion, kale and carrots. Lightly steamed veggies are another winner to this stress-supporting combo.

Any type of meat is one of the worst things to eat while under stress. When we are stressed our digestive system basically shuts down… it’s in flight or fight mode, so we need to eat easy to digest foods. Quinoa is a complete protein and just as high a quality of protein as, chicken, fish, beef or eggs.

Oh, and I do have some pesto that’s about to expire, this adds wonderful flavor, with no fuss!  It makes this dish really flavorful. It’s a staple in my refrigerator and freezer for situations just like today! Pesto is a raw, healthy sauce that usually consists of garlic, basil, and nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, etc), which is  blended with olive oil and often times parmigiano cheese… but you can get it without the cheese. It’s easy to make yourself or you can find it in the refrigerated deli section of most grocery stores. I love, love, love pesto on everything! This spring I’ll share my recipe when basil is plentiful!!

Step 3 – Supplement:

Before I start whipping this up I take an extra dose of Gaia Adrenal Health. This is a supplement I like to use daily. It’s loaded with adaptogenic herbs that balances the body and helps to combat the destructive effects of stress. And an extra dose of my liquid Maca, in some organic grape juice (this stuff tastes horrible). Maca is another adaptogen that I can’t live without… and I need all the help I can get these days!

Step 4 – Renew Your Mind and Take a Deep Breath:

I love to turn on some Christian music and re-gain the proper perspective while I cook. We’re not in contol, God is! I love K-Love.com where I can listen online to encouraging music…. it always makes me feel better!

For dessert, I have some brownies frozen in the freezer that are completely sugar free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, etc, etc…. very nourishing to the body and  mind. A little sweet treat makes everyone feel a little better. I’ll share this recipe next week, I’m still perfecting it, the ones pictured above turned out a little dry, so they went in the freezer the moist batch was gobbled up in a few days. I can’t wait to share it with you very soon!

So there you have it, I’m definitely not always perfect, but I know this way of handling my stress will be much more helpful to me, rather than going on a food binge that will lead me to feeling horrible, more stressed and with tight pants the next morning!

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Thank you for your comments! I read each one and I cherish your opinions, feedback and ideas. With Love, Kristin

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