While some stress (“eustress”) can actually be good for us, too much stress can take a toll on our health and well-being.
As a result of too much stress, 50% of workers skip lunch due to excessive workloads, and 31% of employees deal with stress by consuming more caffeine. Some others might turn to highly processed and sugary foods, without being conscious that by doing this, they’re creating a vicious cycle of habits that can further perpetuate the stress they’re under.
We’ve heard it over and over: food affects our mood, and being mindful of what goes into our gut is one way to help ourselves feel better from the inside out. Bananas, oats, and berries are just a few of the whole foods that have been proven to lift our mood and aid with overall brain health.
Why smoothies? Besides being super friendly to the gut, brain, and digestive system, smoothies are a fantastic way to stay energized, hydrated, and satiated. These refreshing mood-boosters are the perfect combination of flavor and nutrition, they’re quick and easy to make, and they can very well satisfy your sweet tooth. But it doesn’t stop there. These are just a few of the many health benefits that smoothies offer us.
Prep the good stuff beforehand and have them at your office or workspace every day this week:
1) To beat the Monday blues
Sometimes the Monday blues just demand to be heard! Did you know that chia seeds are known to effectively help with depression? Being a great source of magnesium, a mineral known as “the stress antidote”, chia seeds are a wonderful superfood to add to any smoothie.
Try this high protein blueberry-chia smoothie to make those blues taste a little sweeter and get through your work e-mails with ease:
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (for this smoothie we recommend this unsweetened coconut milk)
- 1-2 tbsps chia seeds
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Bonus tip: Let the smoothie sit for 10 minutes before consuming it so that the chia seeds can get properly soaked, giving you better digestion and maximum nutrient absorption.
2) When chocolate feels like the cure
Do you get cravings for sweets shortly after your lunch break or after a stressful meeting? This cacao-cherry smoothie hits the spot. Not only do these two ingredients taste amazing together, but both of these nutritious foods are great for heart health.
Plus, if you’ve been trying to keep things low-cal, you’ll definitely be coming back to this recipe:
- 1 ½ cups frozen cherries
- 1 cup milk of choice (this unsweetened almond milk works great)
- 1-2 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder (we love this one)
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- (Optional) 1 tsp agave or maple syrup
Bonus tip: Reduce or increase the milk to adjust the consistency to your preference
3) To kiss that mid-day crash goodbye
Whether you work from home or at the office, you’ve probably had to deal with that unwelcome mid-day slump. Here’s where opting for this matcha latte smoothie will give your focus + concentration a good boost.
To add to that, studies have proven that matcha green tea is highly effective at reducing stress and anxiety:
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 2 tsp matcha green tea powder (This one is a great choice)
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- 1 scoop collagen powder (optional)
Bonus tip: Matcha is rich in caffeine and gives you more energy than coffee, for several hours longer, but instead of giving you jitters, matcha has calming effects that can help improve your mental and emotional state.
4) For those late hours
Sometimes working late hours is unavoidable, but you can make those evenings a little more bearable with an energizing acai smoothie. Aside from being a great source of antioxidants, this superfood was considered to be a “magic berry” in ancient times, one that holds healing and immune-boosting properties, in addition to effectively reducing oxidative stress.
All that and they’re delicious. Yes, please!
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries (or berry of choice)
- 1/3 cup frozen cauliflower
- 2 tbsp acai berry puree or powder
- 1 Medjool date
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
Bonus tip: Make it an acai bowl, top it with some low-sugar granola, sliced banana, shredded coconut, goji berries, or a drizzle of honey. Get creative with it!
5) Because post-vacation depression is actually a thing
This may or may not hit home for you: sometimes the end of a vacation can cause depression, anxiety, and a lack of motivation—especially if your work is already a source of stress. Adding green veggies to smoothies is a great way to up your fiber intake, which is one way to help prevent symptoms of depression.
Take a break, turn away from the screen, and be present while drinking this:
- 2 cups kale
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 cup pineapple pieces
- 3/4 cup coconut water
- 2 tsps honey
Bonus tip: Sprinkle some cacao nibs on top for a nice crunch.
There’s a variety of ways to manage when we find that we’re dealing with too much stress, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Taking a few minutes to prepare a nourishing smoothie is a subtle way to start. A small act of love for yourself.
Whether you’re already a smoothie junkie or you haven’t developed that obsession just yet, you might be pleased to learn that a nice, cold smoothie is almost magical in how effective and feel-good it can be from the inside out. Your gut and brain will thank you.
Images sourced from pexels.com
You might agree that at one point or another, work has been a source of your stress and anxiety, and you’re absolutely not alone on this. 40% of U.S. workers admit to experiencing office stress, and one-quarter say work is the biggest source of stress in their lives.