Nutrition for Stress and Anxiety

We all deal with stress in our lives and we all experience anxiety from time to time.  Did you ever stop and think about good nutrition for stress and anxiety?  Believe it or not, it does make a difference. Your mind and body are intricately connected.  What you consume can make a difference in your stress and anxiety level.

 When I started my first teaching job, I was super busy.  I stopped eating well and started reaching for what was handy (usually junk).  It didn’t take long for me to begin to feel stressed and anxious.  My self confidence plummeted and I didn’t know why.  As I look back now, poor nutrition was a big part of the problem

According to Rosehaven Cottage Kitchens, complex carbohydrates (like you find in whole wheat bread) will produce seratonin during the digestive process.  Those are the feel-good chemicals your brain uses to communicate.  Seratonin tells your brain to feel happy.  If your brain lacks it..not as happy.

Other nutrients your body needs to make you less anxious and stressed are things like vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids, folic acid and vitamin D.  Highly processed “junk” foods lack these nutrients.

Eating foods high in these nutrients will help to lower your stress and anxiety level.  A nutritional supplement like Shakeology also contains complex carbs and most of the above vitamins and minerals you need to lower your stress and anxiety levels.

So the next time you are feeling stressed and anxious, think about what you have been putting into your body and make some positive changes!

Vacation Fitness

When you are on vacation, sometimes your fitness plans go out the window.

Saturday we travelled from our home in Central PA Sunset Beto the shores of the Carolina Coast.  We spend a relaxing family vacation in Sunset Beach, North Carolina.  Sometimes it’s hard to continue your fitness routine when your regular routine is non-existant.  Here’s some ways I try to stay focused on fitness while I am on vacation.  With a little pre-planning you can too.

While travelling:

  • Pack your own nutritious snacks rather than stopping at convenience stores and loading up on junk.
  • When you take rest breaks, make sure they include a walk around the rest stop and some stretching before you pile back into your car.

At your destination:

  • Plan some fitness activities for your family.  Hikes, kyaking, swimming, walking on the beach and bike rides all count as exercise and will burn some of those extra colories you consume while vacationing.  Have you tried a new fitness activity with the family lately? This is the perfect opportunity to try a climbing wall, whitewater rafting or some other fun yet active outing. 
  • Plan workouts you can do on the go.  That means something you can do that doesn’t require a gym or heavy equipment.  My hubby and I put together some workouts we can do in the parking area under our beach house.  All we need is some space, a stopwatch and some resistance bands.  I am planning to make some of those workouts available here on this website for you to use.
  • Eat as nutritiously as possible.  Buy local produce, whole grains and lean meats to eat at your destination.  When you eat out, remember that there are some very tasty yet nutritious dishes on most restaurant menus.  I brought my Shakeology along on my vacation to have for lunch.  That way I won’t miss out on the nutrients I need to keep me going strong all vacation long!

Healthy Breakfast Foods. Eat Them!

Are you one of those people who skips breakfast?  Do you tell yourself it will help you lose weight?  Do you tell yourself you just don’t have time? Well, stop it already! You are doing the nutritional equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I’m sure you have heard that before, but maybe you just aren’t listening.  Your body has had no food (and no nutrients) all night.  You need to “break your fast” in the morning.  If you don’t, you are running on an empty tank.  Your blood sugar will be low, your brain won’t function properly and you will be mentally sluggish.

Now here comes midmorning and you are starving!  You will eat anything to cut the growling in your belly and you usually do.  That donut someone left in the staffroom, those Famous Amos Cookies in the vending machine or that high calorie breakfast burrito you ordered when someone ran around the corner to get coffee.  Now you have filled up on empty sugar and simple carbohydrate calories.  This fills your belly, but these are nutrient poor  foods.  Your body is still hungry because you didn’t feed it the fuel it needs.  You only gave it empty calories.  Gain you spell WEIGHT GAIN??

Here’s a better idea.  Eat a breakfast that includes complex carbs and protein.  This will give your body what it needs to power you through the morning.  You won’t be starving by 10 a.m.  If you are a little hungry, try some high protein light snacks like nuts or cheese to get you through until lunch.  You will now have the energy and mental clarity to work productively through your day.

Short on time?  Prepare a nutritious breakfast a night ahead.  Have the whole wheat toast and the peanut butter laid out on the counter.  Hard boil an egg you can eat with your whole grain cereal and skim milk.  That’s not going to add big blocks of time to your morning and think of the nutrition and health benefits.  If you want something quick and easy to fix that has lots of nutrients you need for you crazy day, check out Shakeology.  I drink this stuff every day and it only costs about $4.00 per meal.