Saturday, June 16

Stress Busters ...Right From the Kitchen

Okay so we all get a tad stressed from time to time. Some more than others, and it can be anything. Time of the month, the weather, money, food, body issues, kids, spouse...well you get it, if I kept going I would never finish this blog.  Instead of going to that "comfort" food, or that fattening beer, or too many drinks or worse.  Just look right in your home for some pretty natural and healthy "stress busters".

I assume that most everyone knows about lavender.  Well I hate to assume so maybe I shouldn't, I  guess it is because I live in the Wine Country and it is everywhere.  Back to why I mentioned the lavender.  You can diffuse lavender oil with a ceramic candle warmer and let sit in a room.  This is suppose to lower anxiety levels.

The coconut, let's talk about that.  I know I love coconut oil on my skin after a hot shower or warm bath.  I love to use it for shaving my legs, because I don't get that irritating razor burn.  But did you know that the scent of coconut may actually slow down the heart rate when in a really stressed mood?  It has been studied that people who breathed in coconut fragrance "actually saw their blood pressure recover more quickly after a challenging task.  It seems that inhaling a pleasant scent can enhance alertness while soothing our responses to stress.  I know I love the smell of coconut and normally I am taken away in my mind to some exotic beach location, works for me.

What about those green apples?  What is the saying? "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"?  But did you know that embracing the aroma of a green apple can help to alleviate headaches?  Good for our bodies and our heads.

Tea, love drinking tea.  I recall just posting something on black tea just last week.  Apparently drinking caffeinated black, green or oolong tea can elicit a "more alert state of mind".  An amino acid which is present in these teas seem to work synergistically with the caffeine to improve our attention and focus.  Don't drink sodas or coffee, go with the tea.  Well you should not be drinking soda at all! That is an entire different post.

What about carbs? Well we know that unless we are training our butts off and burning a ton of calories, then normally carbs are something we don't really want alot of .  However, eating carbs can stimulate the release of serotonin, you know, the "feel-good" brain chemical.  Opt for the whole grains like quinoa and oatmeal, these will have more fiber and nutrients than refined.

Oh the dark chocolate....where do I start and how can we go wrong? This beautiful food can help reduce the levels of cortisol and catecholamines (the hormones associated with stress) and this is even more so for those with high anxiety. You don't need to tell me twice. Of course the darker the chocolate, the healthier.  However, though stress relieving, it can also put on the weight if we take advantage of it.  So go easy but keep it in the fridge.

Of course there are many stress relievers that are good for us, exercise, working out , sex, laughter,crying.  But I thought I would share these tips from Eating Well. 

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