1 1/4 Cup walnuts or cashews
1 Cup firmly packed dried unsweetened mango
10 soaked medjool dates, pitted
2 TBSP hemp seeds
1/3 Cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 lime and zest
Dash Sea salt
Preheat oven to 350.
Add dried mango to a mixing bowl and cover with warm water (don’t skip this step or they’ll be too tough to blend).
Let soak for 5-7 minutes, or until soft and pliable, but not too soggy.
Drain and lay on a towel and pat off excess moisture. Set aside.
Add nuts to a food processor and mix into a fine meal. Set aside.
Add dates and soaked mango to the food processor and mix until a rough paste/sticky dough forms.
Add nut meal, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, lime zest, and sea salt. Mix until it forms a moldable dough.
1 Spaghetti squash
1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP Coconut sugar
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp white or black pepper
2 TBSP Avocado oil
1 Diced yellow onion
3 Celery stalks
2 Cups cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage, broccoli, and or carrots)
Cut spaghetti squash in half length wise and carefully scoop out seeds. Lay skin side up in a glass dish, place 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until flesh is very tender. Shred flesh with a fork so it breaks apart into strings, set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together Coconut aminos, garlic, coconut sugar, ginger, and pepper.
Heat avocado oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Add onion, celery, stirring often, steam for no more than 3 mins.
Stir in cabbage until heated. This should take no more than 7 mins total.
Stir in spaghetti squash and “soy” sauce mixture until well combined.
1. You’ll become more mindful.
Which one takes longer and really makes you slow down? Eating clean also means eating with purpose and savoring food. That means a better relationship with everything from radishes and radicchio to red velvet cupcakes (which you’ll no longer crave).
2. You’ll save money.
Kiss sick days and medical bills goodbye when you get nutrients from eating clean, real food. Plus, shopping locally and in season makes sense– and cents. Planning clean meals for the week is cost-effective if you make a list and stick to it, as there’s no chance of overspending at the store.
3. You’ll live longer.
Study after study has shown that consuming these foods can lengthen your life-span. And in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, European researchers have found that increasing your produce intake to more than 569 grams per day reduces your risk of mortality by 10 %.
4. You’ll have better relationships.
Preparing clean meals takes time, just the kind of time that allows for easy, relaxed conversations with your kids, spouse and other family members and friends. If they’re too busy with screen time to share stove-top time, point them to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2014 study, published in Public Health Nutrition, showing good health comes from home cooking.
5. You’ll be smarter.
Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts keep our minds sharper and our memories stronger by a whopping 24 %, proved a study published in spring 2015 in Neurology. Our brains also function better with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, as shown in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, while they slow and sputter down when we fill them with sugar (including alcohol), fast food and the wrong kinds of fats. If that’s all too much too think about, remember one point from the Nature Reviews Neuroscience report: A balanced diet means better brain health.
See also 9 Amazing Brain Boosters to Add to Your Diet.
6. You’ll have more energy.
Adam and Eve were onto something when they bit into that apple: Fruit is just one of many clean foods that provide an instant dose of energy. High-fiber fruits like apples take longer to digest and can instantly stave off that afternoon slump while providing critical vitamins for the evening ahead. Other pick-me-ups include quinoa, almonds, eggs, kale, citrus fruit and a good-old-fashioned glass of water.
7. You’ll be better in bed.
Mamma mia! Women with metabolic function in Italy and other regions of the Mediterranean enjoy a healthier sex life than those in the US, thanks to the components of their diet– yep, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and olive oil. That’s what researchers found in a comprehensive study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research.
8. You’ll help the planet survive.
There’s an oft-quoted statistic that food travels approximately 1,500 miles from farmer to consumer in the United States. By eating seasonal and local foods, as recommended by Clean Eating, you can help reduce your carbon footprint. As the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in 2003, “The major threat to future survival and to US natural resources is rapid population growth”and “the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is more sustainable than the average American meat-based diet.
9. You’ll be stronger.
The lean protein that comprises part of the clean-eating philosophy builds lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism, found a study presented at The Obesity Society’s annual meeting in 2014. Some mighty choices for your muscles (in addition to animal-based products like chicken, fish and lean beef) include quinoa, chickpeas, nuts, spinach and seeds.
10. You’ll be happier.
Food and mood go hand in hand. And the better the food, the better your mood. If you need to brighten your day, go for berries, bananas, coffee, lean proteins, chocolate, omega-3 and turmeric fatty acids, all proven to boost your mental state.
Not looking to use Conventional Drugs to help ease Anxiety? Try some of these herbs.
Licorice Root contains a natural hormone alternative to cortisone, which can help the body handle stressful situations, and can help to normalize blood sugar levels as well as your adrenal glands, providing you with the energy necessary to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Some claim licorice stimulates cranial and cerebrospinal fluid, thereby calming the mind.As a soothing tonic, drink it warm as in a tea.
Some herbal supplements reduce anxiety without making you sleepy (such as L-theanine), while others are sedatives. Valerian(Valeriana officinalis) is squarely in the second category. It is a sleep aid, for insomnia. It contains sedative compounds; the German government has approved it as a treatment for sleep problems.
Valerian smells kind of nasty, so most people take it as a capsule or tincture, rather than a tea. If you want to try it, take it in the evening—not before you go to work! Valerian is often combined with other sedative herbs such as hops, chamomile, and lemon balm.
Yes, it’s in beer, but you won’t get the tranquilizing benefits of the bitter herb hops (Humulus lupulus)from a brew. The sedative compound in hops is a volatile oil, so you get it in extracts and tinctures—and as aromatherapy in hops pillows.
“It’s very bitter, so you don’t see it in tea much, unless combined with chamomile or mint,” says Blumenthal. Hops is often used as a sedative, to promote sleep, often with another herb, valerian. Note: Don’t take sedative herbs if you are taking a prescription tranquilizer or sedative, and let your doctor know any supplements you are taking.
If you have a jittery moment, a cuppa chamomile tea might help calm you down. Some compounds in chamomile (Matricaria recutita) bind to the same brain receptors as drugs like Valium.
You can also take it as a supplement, typically standardized to contain 1.2% apigenin (an active ingredient), along with dried chamomile flowers. In one study at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia, patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks had a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms compared to patients taking placebo.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that passionflower has shown in a few studies to work as well as some of the benzodiazepine medications that are usually prescribed for treating anxiety.
A four-week double-blind study, for example, compared passionflower with oxazepam. Results showed oxazepam worked more quickly, but by the end of the study period, both treatments were shown to be equally effective. Bonus—side effects like daytime drowsiness were fewer with passionflower.
A second study also showed that passionflower helped ease symptoms like anxiety, irritability, agitation, and depression in participants going through withdrawal from an opiate drug addiction.
Dosage: Try one cup of passionflower tea three times daily, 45 drops of liquid extract daily, or about 90 mg/day.
A 2010 multi-center, a double-blind randomized study of lavender oil compared to anti-anxiety medication lorazepam found that both were effective against generalized and persistent anxiety. Bonus — lavender had no sedative side effects.
“Since lavender oil showed no sedative effects,” researchers stated, it could be an effective and “well-tolerated alternative to benzodiazepines” to treat generalized anxiety. An earlier 2000 study found similar results.
Dosage: Try about 80 mg/day of the supplement, or use the oil as an aromatherapy solution.
Though usually found in combination with other herbs, lemon balm also has anti-anxiety powers on its own.
Research published in 2004, for instance, gave participants a single dose of lemon balm extract (300 mg or 600 mg) or a placebo, then measured their mood after one hour. The higher dose resulted in reduced stress and improved calmness and alertness. Even the lower dose helped participants do math problems more quickly.
Dosage: Use in aromatherapy, try 300-500 mg of dried lemon balm three times daily, 60 drops daily, or 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm herb in hot water for a tea four times daily.
A 2012 double-blind, placebo-controlled study gave participants either placebo or a capsule containing 300 mg of high-concentration full-spectrum ashwagandha extract, twice a day. The study lasted for 60 days. Those taking the ashwagandha showed significant improvements. Even the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were substantially reduced in those taking the extract. And there were no serious side effects.
In an earlier 2000 study, ashwagandha had anxiety-relieving effects similar to those of lorazepam.
Dosage: Typical dosage is 300 mg standardized to at least one to five percent withanolides, once or twice a day.
This one isn’t really a herb — it’s a water-soluble amino acid, but it’s gotten such good research behind it, we had to include it here. It’s found mainly in green tea and black tea and is also available as a supplement.
Studies have found that it acts directly on the brain, helping to reduce stress and anxiety—without causing drowsiness.
Research from 2008, for example, found that those participants taking 50 mg of L-theanine a day had a greater increase in alpha (relaxed brain waves) activity than those who took a placebo.
An earlier 1998 study found that 200 mg a day leads to increased alpha brain waves and a relaxed, yet alert, a state of mind.
A later 2011 study found that it was also associated with reduced anxiety, and was well tolerated and safe for participants.
Dosage: A typical cup of black tea contains only about 25 mg of l-theanine and green tea only about 8 mg. While a cup of tea may be calming, if you want more potent effects, try a supplement, about 200 mg a day.