In my early 20’s I used to think that there will come a time in my life when I will simply reach a state of endless happiness. Where all my worries will simply disappear and I will become happy and stay like that forever! Haha, so naive! Little did I know that those years were actually my most stress-free or minimum stress years but I guess we all have to start somewhere and stress is something I consider to be relative. Also we all internalize it differently and let’s not forget that life is 90% what happens to you and 10% how you react to it. Plus being young does not mean you’re stupid, it just means you don’t know. And not knowing it’s ok. It’s ok!
Now, I am 27 years old and yes adulthood has hit me in my face like a brick hits a wall. In Europe unlike the US we mature later, or better said we are financially supported by our families until we can do it, if they have the possibility. So adulthood hits us in our faces later on, later than here anyways.
I left Romania ( my home) when I was 23 years old, moved to Chicago by myself. No friends, no family. When I think about it now I am like ” Ranim you were so freakin’ brave!” because the current version of myself would probably think twice before making such a big change. Back home I never had any household responsibilities and was financially supported by my parents. I studied Medicine which took me around 6 years to finish so that had a lot to do with it too. Fast forward to now, well things are way more different. I have my own home, I have a job, I have responsibilities, a relationship which needs my time and energy, my family, my future dreams, self-care routine, trying to cook in all this chaos and stay healthy, running my website and creating content for it, etc. You know, adult life!
So yes, STRESS is all over. My first reaction to STRESS? RUN! And by that I mean go out ( even when feeling tired), drink, eat more than I need and certainly not healthy things, numb myself with Netflix at 11pm, recreational drugs, anything that would not let me feel it. Anything that would pause it or delay it for a little bit and a little bit more. Wake up tired in the morning? Drink coffee. Come back home from work too tired to cook or do anything? Eat out. Feeling anxious? Have a glass of wine. Come back home even more tired? Watch Netflix until I drop dead and can’t even hold my eyes open anymore. What is funny about all this is that I am a Health and Wellness Coach and I coach people to become healthier every day. And that’s what helped me to get out of this vicious circle that I had created for myself.
During one of the sessions with one of my lovely clients that I have been seeing for almost a year now, I was asked how do I deal with STRESS? And that’s when it clicked to me. I never dealt with it, I always ran from it. But the truth is STRESS will always be there, it’s all about how you deal with it. Running from it was never an option. Or at least not a healthy one. So I started reorganizing this in my thoughts. It’s funny how sometimes we know things but we still don’t really get it! Like I am a doctor and a health coach, I know how damaging stress is but still I was not doing anything about it. Even worse I was actually amplifying it.
So I had to find an answer to ” How can we DEAL with STRESS?” and here is what I found.
Well first of all and I think the most important thing you need to do to keep your cortisol levels at bay is to prioritize SLEEP. That’s when your body calms down the most and has the chance and ability to restore/heal the damage created by stress hormones like cortisol after a stressful day at work let’s say. Second is FOOD. Yes, food is very important because FOOD can either reduce or exacerbate the stress reactions in your body. FOOD is information to your body, you are in control of what message you choose to send – ” Calm down!” or ” Stress about it even more!”.
So in today’s post I am going to share with you the top 3 foods that can help you eliminate stress.
1.Apple Cider Vinegar – this is like a superfood staple in the kitchen that you can incorporate it into your daily routine in so many different ways. It not only helps with reducing stress by triggering the release of tryptophan which plays a huge role in the release of serotonin ( the happiness ” feel good” neurotransmitter) but also helps with preventing weight gain and detoxifying your body. We know now that 95% of the serotonin is actually produced in the gut and not in the brain so the more we assist in the creation of serotonin, the less stressed we’ll be! Personally I use it in the morning – 2tbs of ACV in one cup of water on an empty stomach but you can always add it to smoothies, salads, and even teas. I use this brand because it’s raw and unfiltered.
2.Dark Chocolate/Cacao – one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet and one of the richest food sources of magnesium around ( chocolate cravings can sometimes be a sign of Magnesium deficiency – read more about it). Magnesium is arguably one of the most important mineral in the body. It is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. It is essential for cellular health and used for over 300 enzyme reactions in our bodies which is why deficiency in it can cause so many issues. It’s the ultimate relaxation mineral.
3.Brazil Nuts: are very high in selenium. Selenium is a mineral that is known to reduce feelings of depression and help boost your overall mood. I eat them raw, whole, unsalted, and shelled. About 1-3 nuts a day (that’s literally all you need to get enough selenium). You can also chop them and throw them in your salads or on a chia seed pudding.
I hope you find this post helpful. Let me know if you have any questions, I am more than happy to help 🙂
To Your Health and Success,