Banish anxiety with Nutrition

The first time I experienced a full blown panic attack was in January 2005. I was lying in the same bed I had drifted to sleep in for 5 years with the man I loved. Only now, I didn’t love him …and our wedding was only a few short months away. The realization I’d have to call off our wedding and leave the life I knew, at 21 years old, was enough to give me such bad anxiety I actually tore the lining around my lungs and had to be hospitalized.

The condition created by that original panic attack makes my body extremely susceptible to the adverse effects of anxiety. My lungs never healed right and likely never will. So, I had to create strategies to help keep my stress and anxiety under control.

At first, it was exhausting. But then I came across research about probiotics playing a role in mental health, and a study on magnesium deficiency and stress, and then another one on the key role Omega-3’s play in brain health. I was intrigued. I had wanted to revamp my diet for purely superficial reasons but if a nutrition overhaul could kick anxiety to the curb, well that was a game changer. i’m still not perfect, but I am far happier, calmer and able to tame my anxiety.

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  • More solid foods, less smoothies

    I love smoothies. I LOVE SMOOTHIES. They are an easy way to pack all the nutrients I need into one cup and feel like I check “ate healthy” off my list. The only downside to smoothies is they are quickly digested, often causing blood sugar spikes and dips. If I get caught in a anxiety inducing situation during one of those dips, Im toast. I can’t think. I just panic. I need solid energy to keep my body and brain even so I can handle life bumps. So, yeah, it takes a bit longer, but opt for eggs which are packed with brain boosting Choline, vitamin D, E and B12.

  • Tea

    Tea is bomb. Its better than coffee for you and it tastes amazing. Somehow Tea has taken the back burner to coffee but I challenge you to consider making the switch. You don’t need the caffeine content if you are eating an energy packed breakfast. Caffeine releases hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine, which make you alert (good), but also trigger your fight or flight response, which can increase your anxiety.

    • My favorites: Chamomile at night, and green tea in the morning.

  • Double up on veggies at dinner

    In order to keep blood sugar stable and get in as many nutrients as possible-both of which are important to curb anxiety- try one portion and two veggies for dinner.

  • Know your cravings

    I love crunchy foods, anything with vinegar, and anything spicy. So, I try to make foods that meet this craving. My fav: Avocado toast. I know, I know, how very en vogue of me. But, the reality I can top that puppy with anything I want to meet my cravings, plus I’m getting my Omega’s which are vital to brain health and function.


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THREE FOODS THAT CAN MAKE YOU FEEL ANXIOUS

  1. Coffee. Im not saying quit. Im just saying scale back. The simple fact you may say “I NEED A CUP OF COFEE” also undermines your ability to handle life and your day without it. You got this girl! The only thing you need is you and your limitless potential.

  2. Diet soda. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, reduce levels of serotonin. Serotonin is the feel good hormone in our body. Literally with each gulp of that soda you are eliminating your bodies ability to feel good. UM, WHAT?? ditch it. Need a bubbly fix? Try carbonated water.

  3. Pasta. I want to disprove this so badly because mama loves her pasta so much, but sadly, it is true. This again has to do with spikes and dips in blood sugar effecting your bodies ability to handle stressors.

allison avalon