Written by Carla Hampshire, Massage Therapist and Author of Healthy Body for Life
We are now entering the festive season – a season of joy, family gatherings, excellent food…and STRESS! With lots going on, including parties, an excess of food, family squabbles, trying to make everybody happy, shopping until you drop, playing Santa, stress mounts quickly during this time of year.
Stress can have a negative effect on your overall health and well-being. When you are stressed you may experience headaches, back and neck pain, frequent colds and flu, problems digesting your food, trouble sleeping, and depression and anxiety. Don’t let this happen to you this holiday season.
You may not be able to eliminate all the stress this season brings, but you can take better care of yourself. It all begins with putting the right food into your body. Yes, there will be treats to sample, but don’t make it a part of every meal.
Some simple rules to follow are:
Here is some additional advice to help nourish you in times of stress. The following foods actually help reduce stress.
Foods that help reduce stress
Now let’s examine foods that will actually raise your stress levels. Try to avoid over-consuming the following foods.
Foods that aggravate stress
By eating a nutritious and balanced diet, you will be better equipped to deal with stress this holiday season. This should be a time for family and friends to enjoy one another’s company and share good food and great times together. Focus on good nutrition to help you stay stress-free this Christmas and enjoy the season!
Apple Quinoa Salad
Quinoa contains many of the stress-reducing nutrients mentioned earlier in this article. This salad makes a very nutritious and colourful addition to your Christmas meal. Enjoy!
2 cups cooked quinoa - chilled (you can cook quinoa in vegetable broth for added flavour)
1 - 14 oz can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 apple diced
1 bell pepper diced (I use half red and half yellow - makes for a colourful salad)
2 spring onions thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro or parsley
Mix all these ingredients into a large bowl.
In a small bowl combine the following ingredients:
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
Whisk until smooth then pour on top of salad.
Toss to combine and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Chill for at least one hour then serve.
For more information and to book an appointment with Carla, please call
Momentum Health Creekside at 403-239-6773
The book is available at Momentum Health Creekside and
at www.CarlaHampshire.com (where there is a link to Amazon)
Carla Hampshire – Registered Massage Therapist
Carla Hampshire has been a registered massage therapist and reflexologist since 2002. She is a member of the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada Association (NHPCA) and is recognized as a 2200 hour practitioner, a qualification generally required by insurance providers. She offers therapeutic, relaxation, prenatal and sports massage. She helps relieve a variety of conditions such as: sciatica, whiplash, chronic muscle tension, and TMJ dysfunction. Carla enjoys working with clients of all ages. She is also a certified personal trainer, holistic nutritionist and a professional bodybuilder. She is married, has 6 children and 4 grandchildren. Carla is the author of "Healthy Body for Life - A Guide for Women Over Forty" which is available on Amazon and right here at the clinic.