7 Foods That Reduce Stress by Barbara Mendez

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Feeling overwhelmed at work? Try adding some of these stress-busting foods to your diet.

Most people struggle with balancing life demands with work commitments. But for entrepreneurs, finding balance can seem near impossible. The pressure of getting everything done can be overwhelming. And, if left unchecked, that stress can lead to other issues, including high blood pressure and depression.

Worst of all, stress leads people make poor food choices. When you self-medicate with junk food, it can actually amplify anxiety and do more damage to your health. But there are a few healthy foods that actually help offset stress. Include these in your regular diet, and you’ll feel more grounded and more productive. You might even lose a few pounds in the process.

1. Turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts serotonin production, which helps alleviate stress. Add turkey to your morning omelet or slice it up into a salad at lunch.

2. Spinach. This leafy vegetable is great source of magnesium, a mineral that helps promote a sense of calm. Spinach, which is a great source of fiber, also helps boost your energy levels. Opt for this instead of lettuce in your salad at lunch.

3. Salmon. This fish is full of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which help to boost serotonin production. The DHA (docosahexanoic acid) in Omega 3 fats help to nourish the brain while mitigating stress hormones. Plus, the Omega 3 in salmon can reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow, both of which are compromised with chronic stress. Enjoy wild Alaskan salmon up to three times a week.

4. Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are a rich source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which help reduce stress. Walnuts are one of the best sources of Omega 3s. Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain tryptophan, which boosts serotonin production and can take the edge off a stressful day. Have a handful of nuts as an afternoon snack.

5. Oatmeal. The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal help to boost serotonin production. Plus, oats have a lot of calming magnesium as well as potassium, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Have a bowl for breakfast with some walnuts and cashews, as well as some cinnamon to help stabilize your blood sugar, and you will on your way to a more tranquil day.

6. Citrus fruit. Oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are a great way to get your vitamin C, which studies show reduces stress levels. Plus, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts your immune system. Have an orange in the afternoon for a calming and nourishing snack.

7. Sweet potatoes and carrots. Root vegetables are a good source of fiber and carbohydrates, which can help to boost serotonin production. Plus, because they are subtly sweet, they can offset cravings for sugar. Sweet potatoes and carrots are also a great source of vitamins and minerals that are good for your blood pressure and your heart. Have a handful of baby carrots with some almond butter in the afternoon or a sweet potato with dinner a couple of times a week.

http://www.inc.com/barbara-mendez/7-foods-that-reduce-stress.html

Barbara Mendez is a nutritionist in New York City. For more information about her private practice, visit BarbaraMendezNutrition.com.

Oatmeal Cream Pies

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I grew up loving Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Crème Pies. Though they are not necessarily take out food, I have heard of people downing a whole box when they are hungry and don’t want to cook. I am making them today, because as you all know, I love sugar.

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Homemade Oatmeal Crème Pies Recipe
Attribution: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/01/19/homemade-little-debbie-oatmeal-creme-pies/

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (Earth Balance)
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups uncooked quick cooking oats

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter, raw sugar, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer.

In a separate small bowl, whip together water and flax seed using a fork.

Add the flax seed mixture to the creamed butter and mix.

In another large mixing bowl, whisk together, all purpose baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves until everything is evenly distributed. Whisk in the oats.

While the electric mixer is running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

It should form a thick batter. Use your hands to make dough balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes in the oven until they are golden brown around the edges. Allow them to cool of the pan for about 3 minutes, but moving them to the cooling rack or your mouth.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup vegan butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 – 4 tablespoons almond milk

Directions:

Beat together vegetable shortening and vegan butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl.

When smooth, gradually mix in powdered sugar.

Mix in almond milk one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the spread-ability you desire.

Beat on high for 2 additional minutes, incorporating air, to make it light and fluffy.

About The Take-Out Diet: I Love Dining-In, Taking-Out, and Driving-Thru. Since it is physically, mentally, and financially impossible for me to do that everyday, I bought a fryolator. That it is a lie. I do find ways to make my favorite restaurant dishes at home, though. You are welcome to join me everyday at 3pm EST in my kitchen. See you soon.