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Avoid Bridal Burn-Out with Stress Busting Nutrition

Posted Sep 02 2014 10:08pm
 

Originally posted in Caribbean Belle Weddings Magazine

 

Whether you are the laid back, go-with-the-flow, chilled out, free-spirited gal, or the obsessive compulsive perfectionist, planning a wedding can be stressful because you are dealing with people from all walks of life and can never predict what will go wrong throughout the process. Even if you've had the event mentally planned for years, it is almost certain that things won’t go exactly as you had imagined. Between choosing the attire and decorations, managing your in-laws and organizing the catering, those pre-wedding butterflies can easily turn into stress-induced hives if you don’t embark on the journey prepared. When you are stressed your body responds by increasing blood pressure, your immune system slows down and you are constantly on edge due to all the extra adrenalin in your blood produced by your stress-coping adrenal glands. Your body can only run on adrenaline for so long until your adrenals burn out of fuel, causing you to crash. Before you freak out and never want to think about getting married, hold up, there are preventative measures you can take. Start by being well rested, practicing deep breathing, and most importantly, eating healthy. Let’s discuss some foods and herbs that can help reinforce your body against the effects of stress.

 

Wedding

Photo Credits - Christian Compton  Hand Models - Sara Ouellette Subero and Stephan Subero ;)

 

Leafy Greens

Magnesium, a mineral crucial to your body running smoothly, helps muscles relax and also calms the nerves. It's found (along with other minerals) naturally in green veggies, particularly leafy ones, like Swiss chard, spinach and kale. While I was planning my own wedding, my best defense was an adrenal nourishing green smoothie. Combine your favorite fruit, plant based protein powder (or raw hemp or chia seeds), nut milk, a drizzle of virgin coconut oil and a large handful of leafy greens. Blend and enjoy! Nothing blasts stress away like a green smoothie!

 

Ashwagandha

Frequently utilized as an adaptogen in Ayurveda, ashwagandha is a herb that is traditionally used to relieve anxiety and reduce inflammation. It is recognized as having the special ability to be simultaneously energizing while being calming as well. Understandably, these effects make ashwagandha a natural stress reliever. It can help you resist the damaging effects of stress so you can feel revitalized and recharged. You can take ashwaganda in powdered or capsule form, as a tincture or an herbal tea.

 

Nutritional Yeast

You may think of it as “hippie food,” yet this nutritional powerhouse has stress-relieving B vitamins and 15 minerals, including magnesium, selenium and zinc. It boosts metabolism and is beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar and weight loss. Sprinkle about one tablespoon on salads, rice or pasta dishes to make a nice faux-cheese taste.

 

Raw Nuts and Seeds

Almonds specifically are packed with vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. B vitamins and magnesium are involved in the production of serotonin, which helps regulate mood and relieve stress. Zinc, found abundantly in pumpkin seeds, is essential for immune health and is shown to fight some of the negative signs of stress, particularly in our fast-paced urban lifestyles, and even more while planning a wedding. Raw nuts and seeds, especially hemp and chia, are also a very rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are shown to be very effective for preventing stress. Toss a quarter cup of your favorite raw nuts and seeds in a salad for some extra crunch. 

 

Rhodiola

This unique herbal remedy, rhodiola, offers a powerful antidote to the stresses of modern-day life. It relieves stress by balancing the body’s stress-response system. Rhodiola helps re-establish balance by acting as an adaptogen—an agent that strengthens the body’s response to physical, mental, and emotional stressors. It is believed that rhodiola enhances the body’s tolerance to stress by influencing key brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, and natural feel-good opioids such as beta-endorphins. You can take rhodiola in powdered or capsule form, as a tincture or an herbal tea.

 

Citrus Fruit

These fruits are some with the highest concentration of vitamin C, and this vitamin has been proven to be one of nature’s greatest stress fighters. Vitamin C lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels, and it also eradicates free radicals caused by stress in the body. So, eat a grapefruit or drink some freshly squeezed orange juice. The sweetness is delicious, and the natural sugar also gives you a nice, healthy boost of energy.

 

Cacao a.k.a Chocolate

Yes you read it right, I am recommending chocolate ladies! But when I say chocolate, I mean the real deal. Minimally processed (raw if possible), real dark chocolate, which is very high in antioxidants and has been shown to reduce stress hormones and increases mood-improving serotonin. It's all right to indulge; just keep the portions in check. Enjoy some cacao powder in your smoothies and oatmeal in the morning, or have 1 to 2 small squares of real dark chocolate after lunch.

 

Ready, set, I do!

Making the right choices when it comes to your diet throughout the wedding planning process will play a huge role in lowering your stress level. Eating right also means knowing what to avoid. Try to stay away from things that will give your body and mind real highs and lows, like excessive caffeine and alcohol, as well as refined sugar products like candy bars, pastries, white bread and pasta, as these will simply give you a blood sugar spike of energy, but leave you feeling irritable, moody and low energy later. The bride to be needs all the patience and energy in the world! Give your body what it needs to function optimally so you can be a calm, healthy and happy bride to be!


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