Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Feeling Stressed?

Meditate and do Tai Chi or Yoga or each morning

The simple technique of quieting the mind, following the breath, and relaxing the body can put you in the right frame of mind for getting through a stressful day with a positive mental attitude.

At Work:
During the day the stress mounts, whether at home or at your place of work. This can result in tension, headaches, back pain or lack of focus and general unproductivity.

A few simple ways to help reduce these stress symptoms is to: Change your position or take a quick walk around the office, drink some water, stretch, or do a yoga exercise. One great way to accomplish this is right on your computer, Reduce Stress at Your Desk on has 4 free different streaming video exercises designed to be done in your chair that target your neck, back, shoulders and upper back. They run from 4-6 minutes each and have proven to be effective.

2. Exercise:
Walking 20 minutes per day can change body chemistry in a way that calms the nervous system and reduces stress levels. Aerobic exercise is especially good for producing endorphins in the body - which are natural soothing hormones released during sustained exercise.

3. Make dietary changes:
Reducing sugar, carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol in your diet can go a long way towards getting your body back into a healthful balance. It's now recognized that when we eat carbohydrates, these foods turn directly into sugar in our bodies. The more sugar we eat, the more depleted our B-vitamins become. B-vitamins are essential for a healthy nervous system.

4. Supplement with vitamins and minerals:
Taking a daily multi-vitamin, mineral supplement and B-vitamin supplement can strengthen your nervous system whether you're already depleted by stress or storing up for an onslaught of stressful circumstances. The mineral calcium is especially helpful for calming the nerves and toning up the nervous system. Athletes preparing for a race understand that extreme physical activity can be stressful and boost their bodies with nutrients beforehand.

5. Use herbs in tincture and tea form to calm yourself:
The Ginsengs: Both Panax ginseng (Korean ginseng) and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) have been shown in numerous studies to support adrenal function and enhance resistance to stress. Both Ginsengs are adaptogens, which means they restore balance, stimulating a function when it is low, subduing it when high. Both can be used to restore vitality, increase feelings of energy and well being, increase mental and physical performance and enhance the body's response to stress.

Valerian: clinical studies have shown valerian's ability to relieve insomnia, decreasing time needed to fall asleep while increasing deep sleep.

Kava Kava: European studies have found Kava effective in the treatment of nervous anxiety, insomnia, restlessness as well as reduce heart palpitations, chest pains, headache and gastric irritation.

Enjoy a cup of herbal tea at night. Create a bedtime ritual of drinking chamomile tea to relax. Or try an herbal liquid tincture sleep formula containing chamomile.

Homeopathic remedies are scientifically proven effective and side-effect free. Try one of the many sleep formulas on the market that contain chamomilla and other sleep inducing remedies.

Banana Nut Cake Bread

● 3 cups all-purpose flour
● 1 tsp baking soda
● 3/4 tsp salt
● 3 large eggs
● 2 cups sugar
● 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
● 2 tbsp vanilla extract
● 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas,
● 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
● 1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and finely chopped
● 1/2 cup buttermilk
● nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

Beat the eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil on a medium-low speed until combined.

Beat in the flour mixture.

Add the vanilla, banana, coconut, nuts, and buttermilk and beat just to combine.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula.

Bake, rotating pans halfway through until a cake tester inserted in the corners comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely.

Bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.