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Stress Less

 

Talk about stress, Black Friday shopping! This year I had to participate in the holiday shopping frenzy. Black Friday saw me out the door and in the stores by 6am, joining a few million others who couldn’t resist the bargains.

I knew I’d need plenty of energy to do my best shopping. That day, a high-protein breakfast and lots of water served me well.

Even if shopping isn’t one of your daily activities, these tips can help lower your stress level every morning:

  • Wake up more peacefully. A thundering wake-up alarm causes an adrenaline surge before your head leaves the pillow. Softer sounds are less stressful.
  • Cut back on carbs. High-carb choices like white flour muffins and bagels stress your system. A whole wheat English muffin and a tablespoon of peanut butter deprives you of stress, not satisfaction.
  • Drink water. Dehydration can make you grumpy. When stressed, liquids like water and tea protect your body, mind and spirit.

A no-guilt cat nap or a little exercise can also help to lower stress.

Here’s a stress-reduction eating plan.

Ideas to combat stress while eating at home or out:

  • Breakfast at home: open-faced egg and whole grain toast sandwich. Starbucks: egg white English muffin with turkey bacon.
  • Snack: an apple, a few almonds and a cup of green tea.
  • Lunch at home: open-faced turkey and veggie sandwich. Chipotle: ½ chicken burrito bowl with less rice and more beans, loaded with veggies and salsa. Save the rest for your snack.
  • Snack: lunch leftovers or fruit with peanut butter.
  • Dinner: grilled veggies, brown rice and salmon or chicken.
  • Snack: tangerines with cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.
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