3-Day De-Stress Diet

Certain foods can make you calmer by lowering your production of stress hormones, dampening your physiological response to threatening throughts and situations and acting as natural tranquilizers. This 1,500-calories-a-day plan shows you how to put them together. Note: Ingredients in bold have anti-stress properties.

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DAY ONE BREAKFAST

Muesli with Pear & Candied Ginger Compote

 

In a bowl combine

1⁄2 cup rolled oats with

1⁄2 cup 2% milk. Let sit in fridge 15 minutes or overnight.

 

Mix

1 finely chopped pear,

2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger &

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed.

 

Top oat mixture with pear mixture.

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DAY ONE LUNCH

Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl

 

Combine

3⁄4 cup cooked quinoa

1 teaspoon prepared pesto

2 ounces skinless rotisserie chicken

2 cups chopped baby spinach &

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes.

 

Serve with

8 ounces sparkling water mixed with

4 ounces pomegranate juice &

squeeze of fresh lime

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DAY ONE SNACK

Tea with Apricots & Nuts

 

40 pistachios &

3 dried apricots

 

Serve with

8 ounces green, black or ginseng tea

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DAY ONE DINNER

Salmon with Parmesan Pasta & Garlic Greens

 

Season

4 ounces salmon with sea salt & black pepper & broil for 8 to 10 minutes, until internal temperature is 140°.

 

Toss

1⁄2 cup cooked whole grain pasta with

1 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese &

1 tablespoon finely chopped sundried tomatoes.

 

Sauté

2 cups chopped kale with

1 teaspoon olive oil,

1 clove minced garlic &

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes for 6 minutes, until crisp-tender.

 

Serve

salmon with pasta & greens.

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DAY ONE DESSERT

Dark Chocolate Berry Parfait

 

Top

1⁄2 cup fresh blueberries with

2 tablespoons plain low-fat

Greek yogurt &

1⁄2 ounce shaved dark chocolate

 

Serve with

8 ounces of chamomile tea.

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DAY TWO BREAKFAST

Banana French Toast

 

Whisk

1 egg,

2 teaspoons 2% milk &

1 teaspoon cinnamon.

 

Dip

1 slice sprouted whole grain bread into egg mixture;

cook in hot skillet brushed with canola oil for 4 minutes on each side, until golden.

 

Top with

1 chopped banana,

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds &

2 teaspoons raw honey.

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DAY TWO LUNCH

Brown Rice Burrito Bowl

 

Layer

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce,

1⁄2 cup cooked brown rice,

1⁄2 cup canned black beans &

2 ounces skinless rotisserie chicken.

 

Top with

2 tablespoons each: salsa,

2% shredded cheddar cheese, prepared guacamole.

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DAY TWO SNACK

Tea with Dark Chocolate

 

3⁄4 ounce dark chocolate

 

Serve with

8 ounces green, black or ginseng tea

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DAY TWO DINNER

Caramelized Onion Pizza

 

Sauté

1 cup sliced onion in

1 teaspoon olive oil &

1⁄2 teaspoon dried rosemary for 8 minutes, until caramelized;

 

Place on top of

1 whole grain pita & sprinkle with

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese. Broil for 8 minutes, until golden.

 

Serve with

2 cups spring salad mix

 

Tossed with

1 teaspoon flaxseed oil,

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, sea salt & black pepper to taste.

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DAY TWO DESSERT

Baked Apple & Walnuts

 

Chop

1 apple & microwave for 3 minutes until tender; stir in

1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon. Top with

1 tablespoon plain low-fat Greek yogurt,

1 tablespoon chopped walnuts &

1 teaspoon 100% maple syrup.

 

Serve with

8 ounces of chamomile tea.

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DAY THREE BREAKFAST

Yogurt Pomegranate Smoothie

 

In blender, puree

6 ounces pomegranate juice,

6 ounces plain low-fat Greek yogurt,

1 small banana,

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed,

2 teaspoons raw honey &

1⁄2 cup ice.

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DAY THREE LUNCH

Waldorf–Tuna Salad Sandwich

 

Combine

3 ounces canned tuna (drained)

with

2 teaspoons olive oil mayonnaise &

2 tablespoons each: finely chopped celery, finely chopped grapes, finely chopped walnuts.

 

Serve on

2 slices sprouted whole grain bread with

2 leaves romaine lettuce.

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DAY THREE SNACK

Tea with Trail Mix Popcorn

 

Toss

3 cups air-popped popcorn with

1 teaspoon each: pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries & chopped cashews

 

Serve with

8 ounces green, black or ginseng tea.

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DAY THREE DINNER

Steak Salad with Sweet Potato Fries & Curry Ketchup

 

Cut

1 small sweet potato into french-fry shapes, toss with

2 teaspoons olive oil; sea salt & black pepper to taste; bake at 425° for 30 minutes, turning once.

 

Mix

1 tablespoon ketchup &

1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder. Top

3 cups spring salad mix with

21⁄2 ounces sliced grilled steak,

2 teaspoons crumbled blue cheese &

2 teaspoons balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Serve

steak salad with fries & ketchup.

Jack Puccio

DAY THREE DESSERT

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

 

Melt

1⁄2 ounce dark chocolate. Dip

4 large strawberries into chocolate, set on wax paper–lined baking sheet, sprinkle on

1 tablespoon crushed pistachios, refrigerate for 5 minutes, until set

 

Serve with

8 ounces chamomile, valerian or lemon balm tea.

 

Next: Stress Less and Smile More at Home and in the Office

 

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First Published October 19, 2011

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