Using The Power of Food and Adaptogens to be More Resilient and Adaptive to Stress

Woman sitting at the laptop stressed. Image: Pexels - Karolina Grabowska

Stress — we all live with it and although we can’t live without it, we can use the power of food and superfoods to be more resilient and adaptive to it. Stress can absolutely impact our food choices and trigger emotional eating, food cravings, mindless eating, and binge eating. It can also do the opposite and make us not want to eat! When you can implement daily nutritional strategies to help you feel more calm, cool, and collected your relationship with food will have greater ease and balance.

It is very common for our energy to take a dip as our stress levels rise throughout the day. Cravings for sugar, salt, and caffeine often hit hard by mid-afternoon. By 3 pm you’ve already put in a full day — you likely got yourself and the kids ready for work and school, made breakfast and lunches, cleaned the kitchen, worked out, answered emails, completed tasks, produced, had meetings, ran errands, etc. Think about everything you did in the first 8 hours of your day! We exert a lot of energy, and mental focus and have secreted and used up a lot of cortisol and other stress hormones to manage our day.

What we could all benefit from by midday is a cat nap! Most of us can’t or don’t take it, and so we crave sugar, salty snacks, and caffeine for the pick-me-up we need to keep going for another 8 hours!

There are some key nutritional strategies however that can help manage your energy and help you to be more resilient and adaptive to stress, to prevent that cortisol from dipping too low, and to get a better handle on cravings.

Key Nutritional Strategies:

1. Get a good start to the day.

What you do at the start of your day influences the entirety of your day. Start your breakfast with protein, fats, and vegetable fiber like an egg and veggie omelet with a side of avocado. Drink Tulsi tea over coffee to support your adrenals, keep blood sugars more stable and elevate your energy.

2. Throughout the morning.

Throughout the morning drink hot water with 10–12 goji berries steeped. Goji berries are incredibly nutritious, energizing, balance blood sugars, and are adaptogenic making you handle stress with greater poise.

Man holding two plates full of food.

3. Focus on your lunch choices.

Make sure your lunch is focused on protein, essential fats, and vegetable fiber like a salad with eggs, poultry, grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish or legumes and topped with extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil and hemp seeds.

4. Have an elixir after lunch.

Have an elixir after lunch that includes some medicinal mushrooms (chaga, reishi, turkey tail, mesima, cordyceps, etc). Medicinal mushrooms are amazing adaptogens that elevate energy and allow you to handle your stress more optimally. You’ll also give your immune system a dose of love when you add these superfoods to your day.

5. Take time for a mid-afternoon snack.

Take time for a mid-afternoon snack. The adrenal glands are a sodium dependant gland, so this is a great opportunity to focus on snacks that contain natural sodium such as:

6. Enjoy a balanced dinner.

Enjoy a balanced dinner of protein, steamed or roasted veg, and a root vegetable (squash, yam, sweet potato) with a little good fat like olive oil, avocado oil, or clarified butter (ghee).

7. Finishing your day.

Finish your day with a cup of calming herbal tea. Try chamomile or Stress Soother or Reishi Tea from Traditional Medicinals

The key is to take care of your adrenals throughout the day with nutrient-dense food, protein, essential fats, vegetable fiber, and ensure to incorporate superfoods into your day so you get maximized energy, and productivity, stay mentally sharp, emotionally poised, prevent cravings and be more resilient and adaptive to stress. This is how you thrive!

Amy Bondar is a leading Nutrition expert and Certified Eating Psychology Coach who is passionate about helping her clients achieve maximum health and vitality through personalized nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

Amy Bondar’s comprehensive skill-set, two decades of experience and compassionate approach have allowed hundreds of people to achieve the vitality we all desire, and deserve.

The days of generic meal plans, fad diets, yo-yo dieting and simple advice about calories and carbs are long gone. When you work with Amy you will have strategies and learn nutrition principles that are nourishing, doable, sustainable, personalized and that yield results.

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