Stressed? Let Food Soothe You

The kids are yelling, the boss is calling, and if that’s not enough, your spouse can’t find his socks! From those to more serious problems, like being out of work or over-worked (and underpaid), to fighting off bill collectors who want your home, you’re stressed to the hilt and I feel your pain.


Mounting problems like these may drive you to reach for a pint (or two) of ice cream, chips by the case, or worse yet, a nearby bottle of wine – but don’t! Allow me to offer a solution that can be found on your plate.


During times of prolonged stress, your body loses its stores of vitamin C from your adrenal glands, so you’ll need to replenish it. Think outside the orange juice box! Try kiwi fruit (just one provides 79 mg of vitamin C, more than women’s bodies need all day), collard greens, kale, mustard and turnip greens, and red bell pepper.


You’ll also need to stoke your nutritional fires with copious amounts of complex carbs (eat more!). Soluble fiber will stabilize your blood sugar and put the cool back in your life, while increasing your feel-good brain chemicals. (You’re welcome.) To get more complex carbs on the plate, try oats, barley, quinoa (sounds like keen-wa), whole wheat breads and cereals, brown, black, red and wild rice, and also whole wheat pasta.


Finally, if at 3 in the morning, you’re staring at the ceiling and counting sheep, you’ll want to eat more turkey, grass-fed organic beef (but no more than 2-3 servings/week of red meat), cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and asparagus. All these foods contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps you to get a peaceful night’s sleep.


Try this quick and easy recipe for Collard Greens With Soul:



Makes 2 servings


2 bunches of collards, washed, cut into strips

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tbsp red pepper flakes

1 fresh lemon (cut into halves), seeds removed

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp hot sauce



Heat non-stick sauté pan and coat bottom of pan with oil. Add collards, pepper flakes, and salt to hot pan and reduce heat until greens are wilted (stir frequently).


Squeeze juice of one half of lemon onto greens and sauté until tender and slightly crunchy over low heat – adding a small amount of water if necessary (about 8-10 mins). Add hot sauce (at the last minute).


Serve with remaining lemon cut into wedges.


Added to Nutrition, Alternative Medicine, Stress on Tue 03/13/2012