Help Manage Your Stress With These Summer Recipes
With work (and the gym, kids, church, sports, family, laundry) you probably have a lot going on in the day-to-day. Every little thing on your schedule and to-do list adds up – and that can not only be time-consuming but can also lead to a great deal of stress. Even if you’re enjoying what you do (for work and in your free time), everyone gets overwhelmed from time to time. That’s why it’s important to understand how your health can impact your stress levels and to prioritize things like eating well and exercise.
Stress and Diet
Do you find yourself reaching for a bag of chips or some other less-than-nutritious snack and stress-eating? Do you order pizza regularly because you’re too busy or tired to cook dinner for your family? Do you swing through the McDonald’s drive-through window at lunch because there wasn’t time to pack something?
It’s important to find the time to prepare healthy meals, even and especially when you’re under stress. According to Eva Selhub MD, a Contributing Editor to the Harvard Health Blog, “multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function — and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.” Regardless of which diet you follow, it is important to understand that when you’re stressed, you are more susceptible to getting sick. But if you are eating healthily, then you are less likely to succumb to an illness.
Find a Diet that Works for You
Eating healthy can be challenging, especially if you’re used to getting the majority of your meals from delivery services. There are a lot of trendy diets and meal plans you can investigate to see what works best for you. If you are interested in trying one of these special diets, we recommend doing some research, and you should always consult with your physician to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need for best health. Some of the more prevalent diet plans/recipe guidelines include categories like Vegan (abstaining from any animal products, like dairy, meat, etc.), Paleo (only eating lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds) and/or Keto (eating a high-fat, low-carb diet with enough protein can help your body burn fat rather than carbs).
Use Weekends to Meal Prep
One way people find the time to make fresh, healthy meals at home more often is to meal prep on the weekends. Make a list and head to the grocery store to buy everything you’ll need to cook dinners that week – and get some stuff to prep some lunches too. What you make for lunch will depend on your access to a microwave or refrigerator throughout the day, but you can spend a half hour or so on Sundays planning out your lunches, and even making things like chicken salad or a large batch of pasta to individually package for the next few days. This makes it easy to eat healthier throughout the week!
Some Summer Recipes to Try
As we approach warmer weather and new seasons, our diets often change from heavy, hot items like soups and chilis to more light and refreshing salads or lean proteins like chicken or fish. Another benefit of summer meals is the variety of fresh produce available. Fruits and vegetables are beneficial for fighting digestive distress, meaning you can feel better when you eat these healthy foods. Here are five easy, tasty, people tested-and-approved recipes you can try this summer for better digestive health and stress management:
- Grilled Steak Salad: Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean doing away with red meat entirely!
- Nectarine Sunshine Smoothie: A great treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, chock full of nutrients!
- Summer Corn Salad: This fresh salad adds several great vegetables to just about any meal.
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Meat, cheese, and rice can be used to stuff peppers for a delicious full meal – or you can change up the stuffing with your favorites!
- Grilled Veggie Taco Bowls: Eating “healthy” doesn’t always have to cost a fortune! These tacos bowls are inexpensive to make and can be made with or without dairy.