Beneficial bacteria & balanced blood sugar are two huge factors for mitigating anxiety. Here are some examples of what I eat in a day for anxiety management!
Anxiety has long been something I’ve dealt with in my life. With two drug addicts for parents, I’m not sure if it was clinical anxiety or just good sense. Either way, I’ve spent the last several (maybe ten?) years delving into every topic imaginable trying to overcome it. I now know that diet is one of the most critical factors so today I’m sharing what I eat in a day for anxiety management.
I’ve written a lot about anxiety over the years (you can check out those articles here). It’s something I’ve struggled with on and off and I’m finally at a place where I feel like I’ve overcome it. I’ve overcome it in the sense that while it will never be completely gone from my life, it is entirely and 100% manageable (without prescription medications). I feel so thankful for that. I’ve done a ton of work to get to this point and I want to help others get there too.
Two of the most important factors when it comes to diet is stable blood sugar and balanced gut flora. Obviously eating well overall, avoiding sugar and eliminating junk food are crucial. But because that’s pretty common knowledge, I wanted to delve deeper into a diet that helps manage anxiety.
First, I highly recommend food allergy testing. It’s not always accurate, but it’s a good starting place. Eliminate foods that you have a noticeable reaction to.
I find it helpful to limit dairy and 100% eliminate gluten. Both have been linked to anxiety, particularly gluten. You can read my article more on this topic here.
Eating foods high in sugar or carbohydrate causes our blood sugar to spike and fall, which feels a lot like anxiety, even a panic attack. Therefore it’s crucial to maintain balanced blood sugar throughout the day.
Lastly, beneficial gut flora (the good probiotics) has been linked to improved anxiety, less depression and a better mood overall. Because of this I take a daily probiotic on an empty stomach (usually before bed) and try to eat fermented foods daily.
Here are some examples of what I eat in a day for anxiety management!
I love a good breakfast and I often have bacon and veggies from my garden. I almost always have eggs. This is for a few reasons. Eggs are rich in protein, they’re full of vitamins and they’re a wealth of healthy fats.
Because protein is necessary for proper neurotransmitter production, it’s critical to get 20g-30g of protein per meal. There’s about 7grams of protein
Scrambled eggs, tomato slices drizzled with olive oil, avocado. Or a smoothie with spinach, coconut milk or goat kefir, collagen protein, avocado, blueberries and MCT oil.
Lunch is always a salad. I keep pre-cooked protein in my fridge like grilled chicken, sautéed ground beef or pieces of salmon I popped in the oven and then refrigerated. My salad almost always consists of:
- red onion
- Bubbie’s fermented pickles
- a chopped hard boiled egg
- protein of choice on top or thrown in
- tons of olive oil and sea salt
It may not sound like the most appetizing salad, but I swear it’s delicious. I also just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. This is usually leftovers like peas and broccoli my kids didn’t finish, taco meat from the night before, random vegetables that need to be used up – pretty much anything.
Lunch has to be the easiest meal of the day for me. I need to throw something together quickly and move on. Both my husband and I work from home and we don’t have a ton of time for a mid-day meal.
We do however have breakfast and dinner as a family every single day. We sit down and the kids don’t get up until they’re done.
To be fully honest, I probably have tacos for dinner 37 times a month. I use the Siete grain-free almond tortillas, but when I’m not having tacos, here are some of my go-to dinners:
- bunless burgers (lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, ketchup) with oven roasted olive oil fries and steamed buttered broccoli
- wild salmon with a whole artichoke dipped in butter and caprese salad
- scallops, asparagus and cauliflower rice (above)
- grilled chicken kabobs with Greek rice and Greek salad
- grain and gluten-free enchiladas
Even though you won’t see a ton of ferments within the above recipes, I try to have a tablespoon or two of a fermented veggie with my meal. Doing this not only improves digestion, it provides a great dose of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Beneficial bacteria and balanced blood sugar are two huge factors to mitigating anxiety.
Hopefully you’ve gotten some good ideas for healthy, blood sugar balancing meals!