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March 2017

Mindfulness Practice/ Other Anxiety Tips

Create an Eating Schedule to Manage Anxiety

anti anxiety eating schedule

The Importance of Regular Eating for Anxiety

Managing anxiety with food and healthy ingredients isn’t just about eating the right foods. It is also equally as important to eat regularly throughout the day. That means having 3 delicious meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with some snacks in between. When you skip meals or don’t eat enough, your body experiences a drop in blood sugar levels.

As your blood sugar levels drop you can experience a host of unpleasant symptoms. Symptoms can include feelings of nervousness, jitters, light-headedness, fatigue, racing heart, and more. When you are anxious and stressed most of the day and nearly every day of the week, your body over produces adrenaline. Not only does over production of adrenaline wreak havoc on your body, but when anxiety subsides your blood sugar level can drop even more. Talk about making your already burdensome anxiety feels even worse.

For some, it feels challenging to eat proper meals throughout the day. School, work, kids, family activities, or friends often make it hard to eat at regular intervals throughout the day. This leads to skipping meals or grabbing an unhealthy meal/snack.

What I have found is most helpful to me was creating an actual eating schedule for my day-to-day life. Sitting down, creating a plan, and dedicating yourself to your eating goals motivates you to stick to your anti-anxiety eating schedule! Physically writing your eating schedule down gives you something to actual look at as a reminder as well. You are more likely to stick to a plan you took the time to write and schedule out.

Create Your Eating Schedule

Make this a fun experience! For this exercise, you will be combining 2 important anxiety relieving tips:

  1. You are creating your anti-anxiety eating schedule to keep your blood sugar levels in check. This will help fight off worsening feelings of anxiety throughout the day.
  2. Mindfulness! Gather your paper, pens, markers, colored pencils, or whatever medium you want to use. Fully immerse yourself in this experience. Take this time out of your day to have fun, get creative, and unwind. Use fun colors, make little drawings on the side. Focus completely and totally on the task at hand.

You may feel a little silly doing this, but it’s a great way to practice mindfulness and take some time to distract yourself from your anxieties.

Although this will vary from person to person, I like to create my schedule to make sure I’m never going more than 3 hours or so without eating. I found this is what generally works the best for me. The days when I do skip a meal, say lunch, I can feel the effects during the afternoon. I’m moody, my head starts to hurt, and my anxiety will worsen.

Final Thoughts

Although creating an eating schedule and eating at regular intervals won’t solely manage your anxiety, it is an extra step to ass to your anxiety fighting arsenal. You can add this into your daily routine to help stop blood sugar drops and stop anxiety from getting even worse. So, try it out. See what it can do for you. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised 🙂

Questions for you:

  1. Do you eat regularly throughout the day?
  2. Do you typically skip meals?
  3. Have you ever tried an eating schedule to help improve your anxiety?

 

Breads/ Breakfast

Healthy Cinnamon Crunch Bread

cinnamon crunch bread

The Ultimate Moist & Fluffy Bread

Fluffy bread, warm cinnamon, buttery crunchy oat topping…are you drooling yet? Well, you should be! This super healthy whole wheat cinnamon crunch bread is going to make you so happy. When I came up with this recipe I wanted it to be the perfect healthy and satisfying breakfast. I wanted moist and fluffy bread, great flavor, and no dense gummy texture like many healthy pieces of bread, cakes, and muffins have. I don’t know about anyone else, but those kinds of recipes are awful and not pleasant to eat. Lucky for you I have come up with a healthy bread that has the perfect texture. You’d have NO clue there is no oil, butter, or dairy. Unsweetened applesauce holds the place of fat in this recipe.

What really makes this recipe super special is the cinnamon crunch topping. Ok, so there is a small bit of butter in the crunch part – but it is hardly anything per serving and isn’t going to hurt you 😉 I love me some buttery, crunchy oat crumble topping and on top of this cinnamon bread it is outstanding. It’s almost like you are eating a decadent coffee cake. It is so satisfying and goes great with a morning cup of coffee or tea.

Of course, this recipe is filled with anti-anxiety ingredients like cinnamon, apples (vitamin C), oats, and whole grains! More about the details about these anxiety fighting foods at the bottom of this post!

cinnamon crunch bread

The Recipe

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a bread pan with cooking spray. My bread pan is 9×13 and I use coconut oil cooking spray! Set aside.


In a small bowl mix the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and honey together. If you’re not using honey this is where you will add your other liquid sweetener of choice.


In a large bowl mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar together.


Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and fold together gently. Stir until just combined and there are no dry pockets of flour. You don’t want to overmix or you risk making your bread tough. We want fluffy bread here!
Pour the bread batter into prepared pan.

Now it’s time to make the crunch topping- aka the best part. Combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt in a microwavable safe bowl. Add butter and microwave until butter is almost melted. Stir to combine. It smells so so so good. You know that brown sugar packet oatmeal you used to eat as a kid? It smells exactly like that, yummy! I mean, if you want to go ahead and do a taste test…not that I did that or anything…
Sprinkle crunch topping on bread batter.
Bake for 45 minutes. It may take some ovens longer to cook. If you do the toothpick/knife test and the bread isn’t done, bake for an additional 5 minutes at a time.

Anti-Anxiety Ingredients

anti anxiety ingredients

Cinnamon – is a great warm spice that helps control your blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels spike or drop, it promotes increased feelings of anxiety. Therefore, when you suffer from an anxiety disorder avoiding blood sugar issues is important! Cinnamon helps control it, which will help keep anxious feelings away.

Oats – have tons of vitamin B, which is essential for helping combat anxiety. Oats also are one of the best foods to help produce more serotonin in the brain – one of the biggest stress/anxiety fighting chemicals. When your serotonin levels are low, anxiety increases. Oats will help your brain produce more serotonin so you can fight off anxious thoughts and feelings.

Apples/applesauce – are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is believed to help anxiety by elevating your mood. Additionally, vitamin C can help clear out fatigued adrenal glands. Adrenal glands regulate your body’s ability to secrete hormones. If the glands are overworked and clogged, from stress, anxiety, etc., then anxiety can run wild. Vitamin C helps clean out your adrenal glands.

Healthy Cinnamon Crunch Bread

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey (or another liquid sweetener like agave, cassava, maple syrup, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • -------------------------------------------------
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a bread pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2

In a small bowl mix the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and honey together.

3

In a large bowl mix the flour, spices, salt, baking powder and soda, sugar.

4

Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and fold together gently. Stir until just combined and there are no dry pockets of flour.

5

Pour the bread batter into prepared pan.

6

Make the crunch topping. Combine flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt in a microwavable safe bowl. Add butter and microwave until butter is almost melted. Stir to combine.

7

Sprinkle crunch topping on bread batter.

8

Bake for 45 minutes. *

Notes

* Check to see if bread is cooked with a knife or toothpick - it should come out clean. (If it's not done after 45 minutes - bake for additional 5 minutes at time until cooked).