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Most of us are anxious and stressed, and it’s only getting worse. To give you some perspective…

In 2018, The American Psychiatric Association surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults about their sources and levels of anxiety, and here’s what they found.

  • Approximately 39% reported being more anxious than they were at this time last year
  • Another 39% said they were equally anxious
  • Only 19% said they were less anxious than last year

Stress and anxiety are different. Stress is typically categorized as a reaction to an external cause, such as a deadline at work, and subsides once the situation has been resolved. Stress should theoretically be a short-term physiological experience. Anxiety on the other hand is a reaction to the stress. Anxiety doesn’t fade into the distance once a threat is mediated.

The goal isn’t to eliminate stress from your life, that’s impossible, and some stress can actually be healthy, but most of us need to manage our day-to-day stress so that it doesn’t become chronic.  We can also use some of these same tactics to reduce general day-to-day anxieties.

Here are five ways to reduce day-to-day stress and anxiety.

ways to beat stress and anxiety

Meditation

It’s mostly common knowledge now that meditation can reduce stress. Meditation takes your body out of a fight-or-flight response, or a stress response, and into a rest-and-digest state. In a rest-and-digest state, we are better able to respond and not react to a situation, our digestion works better, our muscles relax, and we are better able to manage day-to-day responsibilities.

With all of the benefits of meditation, the biggest obstacle for many people is how to start a practice. I share some of my top tips to starting a meditation practice here. 

Sleep

Depression, weight gain, and high blood pressure are just a few of the health issues that can be related to insufficient sleep and the connection between poor sleep and stress can be a cyclical one.

Too much stress can cause you to have a bad sleep, leading to mental and physical health issues which can, in turn, cause stress in daily life, leading to poor sleep at night.

Click here for five simple ways to improve your sleep.

Supplements

When it comes to supplements to help ease stress and anxiety, I turn to Ayurvedic medicine and herbs that have been used therapeutically for thousands of years. Some of my go-to herbs include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Holy Basil. I will take these herbs on their own, or as part of a daily supplement. I recently started using Terra Origin's Inner Balance, which is now available at Target (both in stores and online). Inner Balance includes include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Holy Basil, as well as other stress reducing herbs such as Astragalus, Kelp, and L-Theanine.

A few health benefits of these herbs include:

 Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an incredibly healthy medicinal herb. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, boost brain function, and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola can be used to reduce stress, combat fatigue, increase mental performance and improve physical and mental resilience.

Holy Basil

Is an adaptogen with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s used to help tackle stress, anxiety, and inflammation.

Movement

Exercise reduces your stress-level; however, there is an important cavate. Moderate to high-intensity exercise may increase cortisol (your body’s stress hormone). Generally, that increase is seen as acute—meaning it won’t have long-term effects. Yet, if you are doing high intensity exercise multiple times a week, especially if during a stressful time, your cortisol levels will stay elevated.

Consistently elevated cortisol levels can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, osteoporosis, and even impaired fertility.

It’s important to balance high intensity exercise with low-intensity movement such as yoga, Barre and walking. You may need to avoid high intensity exercise if under chronic stress until your hormones rebalance.

Your-To List

Managing my daily to-do list maybe one the best strategies I’ve used to combat daily stress.  Here’s how I like to manage my to-do list. I keep a master weekly list of what I need to accomplish for the week, both professionally and personally. Each night I look at my master to-do list, and on a Post-it Note, I create a list of my most important tasks for the next day.  I do my best to limit my daily to-do list to accomplishing one important task of the day, which I tackle in the morning, and then maybe 3-4 medium things to do, and 1-2 small tasks. For me personally, I know that’s really all I can manage in a day. I include any workout I’m doing that day as a “to-do” item, and include that in my tasks so it stays a priority right along with my work projects.

Thank You Terra Origin for sponsoring this post and thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. As always, opinions are my own. 

Using this system has really transformed how I work, and prevents me (on most days) from feeling too overwhelmed.

Kerri Axelrod No Bake Turmeric Bars

These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory turmeric bars are a delicious treat that requires zero baking. They're gluten-, dairy- and refined-sugar free and packed with healthy fats. Skip to the recipe here, or read more about antioxidants and the benefits of turmeric below.

No Bake Turmeric Bars

The Power of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are an important Brain Food. Antioxidants are substances, such as vitamin C or E, that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents from your cell. The oxidizing agents are called free radicals, and if not regularly cleared from the system, can cause cell damage, contribute to the development of many illnesses, and generally promote premature aging.

Illnesses associated with oxidative damage include heart disease, mental illness, cancer, arthritis, stroke, respiratory diseases, immune deficiency, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease, and other inflammatory conditions.

Read more about antioxidants, the role they play in brain health and common sources of antioxidants here.

Anti-inflammatory food

Benefits of Turmeric 

Turmeric has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Turmeric has been used in India as part of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream alone so it is best to consume with black pepper. You can take turmeric in a capsule form, use in an herbal tonic like this Golden Milk Latte, or to add nutrients to your dessert recipes.

Terra Origin Turmeric Chia Recipe

No Bake Turmeric Bars

Why I love these no bake turmeric bars

They feature anti-inflammatory turmeric
They’re loaded with healthy fats
They are gluten-, dairy-, and refined-sugar free
Best of all, besides melting the chocolate, they require zero baking! 

crust is just a mix of coconut flour, Terra Origin Organic Turmeric Blend (Chai), cinnamon, almond butter, and maple syrup. That’s it.

The filling is just coconut oil, sugar-free chocolate and coconut flakes!

I love using the Terra Origin Turmeric Blend for this recipe because they’ve basically done the work of blending complementary spices for you! Turmeric can taste a bit bitter on its own, so this blend also contains pepper (for absorbency), cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to make the perfect tasting chai blend.  This blend is great to scoop and pair with almond milk for a healing elixir, or for you to try in the No Bake Turmeric Bar recipe below.

No Bake Healthy Turmeric Dessert Recipe

Let me know if you make this recipe and what you think in the comments below.

Curious about other Brain Foods? Read more in the series here.

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anti-inflammatory no bake turmeric bars featuring Terra Origin

No Bake Turmeric Bars

  • Author: Kerri Axelrod
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake

Description

These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory turmeric bars are a delicious treat that requires zero baking. They're gluten, dairy and refined sugar free and packed with healthy fats.


Ingredients

Scale

Crust
3/4 cup coconut flour
3 scoops Terra Origin Organic Turmeric Blend (Chai)(plus extra for garnish)
1 tsp cinnamon (plus extra for garnish)
2 cups almond butter (note: use 100% almond butter with no added oils)
1/2 cup maple syrup

Filling
2 cups sugar-free chocolate chips (I used Santa Barbara Chocolates)
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup coconut flakes


Instructions

Line a deep 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside

In a large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients for the crust, mix and set aside

In a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop, melt the almond butter with maple syrup until combined

 Mix your wet and dry ingredients and mix until a thick batter remains

Transfer the dough to the lined pan and press firmly in place Refrigerate for 30 minutes

Once dough in refrigerated, melt your chocolate chips and coconut oil on the stovetop and pour over the bars

Top with coconut flakes and additional Terra Origin Organic Turmeric Blend and cinnamon 

Freeze until firm

Store in the refrigerator or the freezer in an airtight container up to 5 days


Keywords: Turmeric, No Bake Dessert, Easy Dessert Recipes, Health Dessert, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Thank You Terra Origin for sponsoring this post and thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. As always, opinions are my own. 

An important message 
The entire Brain Food Series is designed to be a guide, to share educational information that empowers you in your own wellness journey. The information in this series in not designed to take the place of a medical doctor and nor is this series designed for you to act on every single topic I share each month. Some topics may be more relevant for you than others. Lastly, the field of nutrition and nutritional psychiatry are a rapidly evolving fields, with research updated frequently.

All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. Readers should consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.