Although we can’t necessarily CURE stress, we can help reduce stress with healthy nourishing gluten free foods! Maybe that’s what your body needs in the New Year. I know it is for me. Stress can take a toll on the body’s immunity and other natural defenses, but eating nutrient dense gluten free super foods can offer relief. Join me as we go into 2017 with a new perspective, new stress less meal prep tools, and this Gluten Free Foods to Reduce Stress Meal plan!
See that title? Yes, of course you did. Maybe you’re curious about it. Gluten Free Foods that REDUCE STRESS. Key word being REDUCE not cure stress, although I wish they did. I’d be GOLDEN and Stress free by now if so. Ha! But let me back up a minute here and explain my WHOLE reasoning on why I am posting this type of gluten free meal plan. A stress LESS, reduce stress, stress free meal prep plan. Mmmm k?
You see, majority of folk out there are posting their most popular recipes from 2016. Or they might be sharing what they learned from 2016. I love it! Both great ideas. To reflect on positive. But me… oh boy. I dare to be different I guess. I want to reflect on what I learned from the fear and hardships this year and how to TACKLE life in 2017. Life lessons to be shared ya’ll! And how eating certain gluten free foods to reduce stress (or at least help reduce stress) was KEY for me.
Stress seems to be inevitable. But maybe, just maybe, we can shift perspective and adjust our diet so we can ENDURE and come out on the other side stronger. Capeesh?
This year my husband went from retirement, to unemployment, to new job and a career change. Alongside that, I worked my tushy off for this site (because I LOVE to, but also to avoid those real feelings of not being in control of life), had a major surgery, then found out we were moving cross country all within a month. Um… it’s been quite the year. Stressful, well, ya. But in a “we so need this change” kind of way.
What have I learned from all this? For one, life will throw you curves balls, and LOTS of them. But two, our mental health and well being have a TON to do with how we handle those curve balls and stress. If we can feed our brain (with healthy food), feed our gut (with all the prebiotics/probiotics), and learn to rest, we can swing and HIT back a lot of those curve balls.
Here’s what I mean. Stay with me here.
Two MAJOR things need to be put under the microscope.
Your environment and your food choices. Since I am not an expert in the environment part, because I’m still learning to make my environment BLISSFUL, I’ll chat about the food choices. Food that can help ease anxiety, calm us, and nourish us. Pretty much my major need in 2016!
Serotonin rich foods, omega 3’s (healthy fats), B Vitamins (especially B 12), Minerals such as Magnesium, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich spices/herbs/leafy greens, and foods that can help regulate blood sugar (healthy carbs, nutrient dense protein, lower sugar REAL foods, high fiber).
All these are KEY components to keeping that brain/neurotransmitters firing properly and regulating mood.
I love what Dr. Axe says here.
Neurotransmitters are your brains “messengers” and control mood, energy levels, appetite, and several other functions in the body. AND they’re significantly influenced by what we eat or don’t eat.
So are you ready to get that brain healthy and calm the crazies? I am!
Let’s walk through this gluten free meal plan together. Each meal contains a gluten free food to reduce stress. That being said EACH ONE OF US react to stress differently and digest food different. If you have SIBO or are sensitive to FODMAPS, then some of these foods might not be the best UNTIL your gut is healed. Make sense? But in the end, it’s all about balance, real food, and resting/digesting. I’m reminding myself here. EEK!
At the bottom this Meal Plan, I will share with you my list of kitchen gadgets that save time in the kitchen and make for STRESS LESS meal prep. Sound good?
Breakfast and Snacks
- Rich in Antioxidants, B 12 from gluten free Oats, and Cacao is high in Magnesium. Which is a calming mineral.
Healthy fats and fiber. Both can help regular blood sugar.
Loaded with anti-inflammatory properties with the turmeric and coconut milk for healthy fats. Pineapple is also high in tryptophan to help produce serotonin.
Salmon, olives, and goat cheese oh my! So much healthy fat here. Helps regulate blood sugar and salmon of course is high in Omega 3’s and DHA/EPA/! The leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in folate, . Folate (a B Vitamin) can help body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters (i.e serotonin and dopamine).
Cod is light fish and a great source of protein! It also is a good source of Omega-3s, which can aid in the production those “good mood” neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin.
These tacos are slow cooked to perfection. The Pork tenderloin contains a good source of Vitamin 12 and zinc (another mineral good for feeding the brain.) The plantains are lower in sugar than bananas. These tasty starches are a slow release carbohydrate and contain a good source of fiber! All those spices and veggies pack in a lot of antioxidants.
OKay, now that I’ve let you in on my favorite meals to CALM the brain and body, let’s talk meal prep.
I normally would list out a grocery list here, but I kinda think this list is way more needed for the meal plan. Gluten Free Foods to reduce stress meal plan NEED a stress free meal prep tool kit. Dontcha think?
Here are my LIFE SAVER TOOLS!
You can click the object on the picture take you straight to my Shop or Amazon Shop! Just FYI
- 3 Speed Hand Blender – I use this a lot to quick puree soups, chowders, or even a simple smoothie. Super FAST clean up.
- Three-in-One Stainless Steel Food Container Set – This has been our go to for quick meal prep and lunches. Love all the sizes and it’s durable.
- Mandolin slicer with storage (3 blade) – Quick to prep veggies or slice toppings for sandwiches, burgers, etc. Again, super easy clean up and quick storage.
- Non Stick Wok – Finally a wok that is easy to clean for stir fry! YES!
- 5 blade Spiralizer – My go to for spiralizing all the things! I love the different blades. As you can see, I used a different blade for the Tuna casserole dish. Thicker. This spiralizer is durable and easy to clean. No stress!
- Simply Organics Spice Kit (starter) – Instead of a bigger bottle a spice I don’t use often, I found these spices sampler packers make testing out recipes more user friendly and budget friendly.
- Rice Cooker (Multipurpose) and Steamer – I cook almost ALL my gluten free grains in the rice cooker. Oats, quinoa, rice, and even lentils. Saves on time and I don’t have to watch the stove.
- 6 Quart Digital Slow Cooker with Timer – Another meal prep life saver. This slow cooker has a timer so you know when it is ready. Plus it has 4 settings. Low, medium, High, and warm.
- Snap n’ Strain – OMG I love this thing. I don’t splatter stuff everywhere and it drains pasta and noodles fast fast. I also love their Stand up Bag pour holder. So you don’t have to try and pour everything in a bag with one arm. LOL! Totally been there.
I just wrote my longest post of the year. Like whoa! Can you tell I am passionate about this topic? Mainly because I am living it. Currently. I think we all go through bouts of high stress and life transitions. It’s good to have a support system and a plan of attack when you start feel that pressure.
That being said, let’s start off 2017 with NO pressure and all super duper PLAN for LIVING life fully! Healthier minds, healthier bodies, and healthier relationships!
Do you have a gluten free food that calms you when stressed? Tell me one way you are going to reduce stress in your life in 2017! I know you can. And keep me accountable too. Mmm k?
See you next year ya’ll!
*This post does contain some affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Cotter Crunch in 2016!