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MENTAL WELLNESS: ANTI-STRESS NUTRITION

 

Anti-Stress Quick Fixes For On the Run

When you get caught out without stress relieving nutrients on hand; these simple everyday food alternatives do a great job.

One of “Those” Days!

If you can see its going to be one of those days from hell; get some protein. Protein helps the brain's production of dopamine and norepinephrine, which keep you focused and alert. It takes about 2 hours for your body to break down protein, so start with a high-protein breakfast and follow it up with a protein lunch, then mid afternoon protein snack. I make protein balls and keep some at the office – the chocolate and protein mix with dried fruits works brilliantly for me. They are also a great breakfast on the run.

Recipe for Chocolate Protein Balls

This recipe is adapted from Leslie Kentons "The X-Factor Diet"

Ingredients:

  • 50g [2oz] unsweetened dried coconut
  • 25g [1oz] additional unsweetened dried coconut [for rolling]
  • 50g [2oz] finely chopped nuts
  • 25g [1oz] finely chopped driet fruit
  • 100g [4oz] chocolate whey or soy protein powder
  • Small quantity of iced water

Mix everything other than the water and additional coconut in a large bowel or food processor. Very gradually add the water; just sufficient to form a malleable dough. Roll into balls; and toss or roll in the extra coconut.

Note: You can add anything you like to this mix before you add the water; such as fresh berries.

Refigerate until form [preferrably overnight]. Keep refrigerated - for up to 1 week [depending upon any additional ingredients]

Protein - About 5.5g per ball.

 

Coffee Break

Limit coffee to 2 cups a day - too much caffeine can increase your heart rate, making your body feel more stress than the boss is actually causing. Have one in the morning to kick start then one mid afternoon to carry you through those late afternoon meetings.

Meeting Anxiety

Dark 70% cocoa chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins to relieve stress. The darker and richer the chocolate, the more endorphins your brain will produce.

Duration of Effect: One Hour. For longer meetings include a bit of fat and protein such as a punnet of low-fat yogurt, a couple of glasses of whole milk, or a small piece of cheese.

Afternoon Brain Drain

Carbohydrates to the rescue! Carbs enhance your brain's uptake of the amino acid Tryptophan". Tryptophan is converted into serotonin in the brain, making you feel more at ease."

Aim for 3 1/2 ounces of carbohydrates. More will cause a serotonin overload, leading to tiredness. Mix carbs with fruits and vegetables; the additional vitamins and nutrients help continue production of serotonin.

Duration of Effect: Around 3 hours, so plan to eat a late lunch [2pm] to keep the brain focused until 5-6pm.

Related Reading

Next: Stress Fighting Tools

Stress Index | Happiness | Sex | Money | Stress | Burn-Out | Affect on Health | Stress & Performance | Managing Stress | Action & Stress | Emotion & Stress | Anti-stress Nutrition | Quick Fix | Tools | Stress Response Methods | Depression | Midlife Crisis | Life Coach Series


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