Simple Stress Relieving Tips

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Good morning!

Surprisingly, I am not sore after the Earthquake run ‘n shake 5 point oh no last night! It must have been all the Polly’s Yoga for runners that I did afterwards. :tongue:

Eric and I also watched The Recruit last night, after deciding that a laid back movie night was much in order!

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Bum + couch = bliss. ‘nough said.

Eric is home today and tomorrow and he doesn’t have to be anywhere near the G20 Summit. I am very happy that I don’t have to worry about him being there!

We also picked up our CSA box last night…

We both agreed we have never seen green onions this big before!!

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IT’S ALIVE!!!

I am officially stock piling Garlic Scapes now! LOL

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Last week, I didn’t have time to make my Easy Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto but this weekend I vow I will make a huge colossal batch and freeze a bunch of pesto. A reader suggested this to me, and I think it is a wonderful idea. I also heard that the garlic scapes can be used as ‘green beans’ in a stir-fry. Just chop them up and throw them in!

Scapes, spinach, mixed lettuce, asparagus…

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Asparagus is almost out of season now. *sniff.

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Fluffy lettuce.

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Zucchini…

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Apples with character :biggrin:

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Mmmmmm, the star of the show!

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When life gives you strawberries, make JAM!

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Last night I whipped up a homemade strawberry jam to use in this morning’s Vegan Overnight Oats.

Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of strawberries, stems removed and chopped in half
  • Sweetener, to taste (agave, maple syrup, sugar, etc)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds or a bit less (absorbs water)

 

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Directions: In a bowl mash strawberries with a fork until a jam-like consistency forms. Add a little sweetener to make the strawberries pop. Now stir in 1/2 tbsp or a bit less of chia seeds into the jam and place in fridge overnight or for 1-2 hours until it thickens.

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The strawberry jam was very watery after mashing the strawberries, so I added the chia seeds to absorb the water and to thicken it up. It worked like a charm!!! I am convinced that chia seeds are a pantry essential. They are just so versatile.

The result was fresh, homemade strawberry jam with an antioxidant kick.

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My vegan overnight oats this morning were the carob powder variety with a mashed banana mixed in to marinate overnight. I layered with the strawberry jam. I also put a layer of frozen banana (1/4 of a banana broken up into chunks), 1/4 of a Chi Glo Bar, 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tsp shredded coconut, and a cherry strawberry on top!

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Perfecto.

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Keep It Simple Stress Relieving Tips

This morning, I read an article called Tips to eliminate stress in your day on the Huffington Post.

Some of the tips offered by Gretchen Rubin include:

  • Never let your car’s gas level fall into the "empty" zone.
  • Put your keys away in the same place every day.
  • Turn out the light as soon as you’re sleepy.
  • Walk around the block.
  • Take 10 minutes before bed to tidy up.
  •  If you have to pack a lunch for anyone, get it ready the night before.
  • Make your bed.

I liked this article because it showed very easy and simple ways that we can reduce stress in our lives without feeling like we have to tackle some huge obstacle in front of us. I am especially guilty for letting my car go into the empty gas zone! I also rarely make the bed in the morning. I do however put my keys in the same spot everyday. I would also like to try implementing this 10 minute tidy up trick before bed. I think that would make a big difference in the morning!

Do you do any things on this list? Are you guilty of not doing any of the above like I am? Do you have any SIMPLE ways to reduce stress on a daily basis?

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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara June 24, 2010

* Never let your car’s gas level fall into the “empty” zone.
>Sadly, I pretty much always let my car’s gas level go below the “empty” zone!
* Put your keys away in the same place every day.
>I always out my keys in the same place and make sure they are visible!
* Turn out the light as soon as you’re sleepy.
>Whenever I’m sleepy I turn off the light. If I feel like reading, I use a small night light so the room is still nice and dark.
* Walk around the block.
>Nope, sometimes I do but I usually go for a run or swim instead.
* Take 10 minutes before bed to tidy up.
>I should really start doing this. I still haven’t fully unpacked everything I took with me for college last semester…
* If you have to pack a lunch for anyone, get it ready the night before.
>At my house, lunch is always cooked and ready the night before.
* Make your bed.
>For some reason when I’m home I never do this…at college I do though. I should probably start making my bed at home as well.
My Stress Tips:
1. Read a book before bed
2. Wake up early and have a relaxed (non-rushed) breakfast.
3. Eat at a table
4. Keep an agenda for appointments and things you need to get done
5. I keep all my clocks at least 5 minutes fast so I am always early.
6. Drink hot tea before going to bed

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Wei-Wei June 24, 2010

These are some great tips! You’re getting mighty creative with your VOO parfaits there ;) keep it up! It looks absolutely delicious. :D

Wei-Wei

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Jackie June 24, 2010

The jam looks so tasty. How do you come up with all these great/yummy ideas??? I can’t wait till our local Valley strawberries are out so I can give it a try.

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Jo June 24, 2010

Very wise de-stressing tips. Walking around the block is my favorite go-to move right now.

Also that strawberry thing looks amazing!

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AGS June 24, 2010

Hmmm. I guess I really fall outside of the mix on this one. I think these things are fairly unimportant. Stress for me comes from work and and relationships. Everything else doesn’t matter. Maybe I’m just not wired to “the little things”. I suppose the philosophy is: if you deal with the big things, then the little things just take care of themselves, or if they don’t take care of themselves, they don’t matter. (But this could be because I spend so little time in my home, so I really hardly know what it looks like during waking hours.)

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Paige (RAN) June 24, 2010

Awesome idea to add chia seeds to make jam. It looks marvelous!
I try to do as many things on the list as I can. One thing that gets done every single morning is making the bed. If I don’t get it, my husband does. The ones that I slack on is making lunch before bed ( I make mine, but not the husband’s…he gets the short end of the stick because it rarely gets made in the morning too!) and placing me keys in the same spot. I use different bags for different jobs, but use the same set of keys, so it can be hard to keep up.

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 24, 2010

That jam would make such a good waffle or pancake topping!

Writing out to-do lists is my number one way to reduce stress. Having everything written out helps to stop me from going over and over the list in my mind.

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Liz June 24, 2010

I can’t wait to try making jam!! Do you think it would work with frozen strawberries? Or just fresh ones?

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Dorry June 24, 2010

I’m afraid I let my gas tank get to empty FAR too often! But I like this list – some very simple, effective ideas. :)

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman June 24, 2010

I do a lot of those, but generally keeping my house clutter free helps me avoid stress. If papers or junk pile up I get anxious.

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Hillary June 24, 2010

An easy freezing tip for the pesto is freeze it in ice cube trays then it is already in a single serving and you can just pop one out when you need it

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Triathlonbabe aka Grace June 24, 2010

Ooooooooooo, that looks mawvelous dawlink!

Never let your car’s gas level fall into the “empty” zone. – I’ve only done this a half a dozen times and the hubby always tells me….what were you thinking…uh that’s just it, I wasn’t…LOL!

Put your keys away in the same place every day – I highly advise this, as we get older, that tends to be one of the most vital things to remember.

Turn out the light as soon as you’re sleepy – Gosh I’ve never heard this one, but it sounds good.

Walk around the block – Not when it’s 105 heat index…doh!

Take 10 minutes before bed to tidy up – I do like to have my sink empty of dirty dishes before I go to bed though.

If you have to pack a lunch for anyone, get it ready the night before – Always, in fact I make my GMs and my hubbies smoothies the night before.

Make your bed – Always like to have a made up bed…I know, the hubby thinks it’s goofy cause we’re gonna mess it up anyway…LOL! Mom always said, have your bed made, you never know who’s gonna visit surprisingly. :)

My addition to this, I always get my clothes ready for the next day…always!

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jenna June 24, 2010

mmm…fresh strawberry jam with out gelatin….sound devine!

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Sarah June 24, 2010

I do all of these things :) I’m farely OCD about cleaning ie I wash all my pots/pans before I eat my meal and will pack my lunch for work the next day before dinner. I just function better in a clean environment!

I’ve found that listening to a 10-15 min. nighttime meditation in bed with the lights off really helps me relax physically and mentally so my mind isn’t racing! Plus a good sweat session always helps burn some stress :)

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Lindsey @ Foodie on the Rocks June 24, 2010

Cuh-razy nice looking parfait there, Angela!! And what an awesome idea to use chia seeds to thicken up the jam! I am definitely going to do this jam recipe.

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Mikki June 24, 2010

I always make hubby’s lunch the day before (no time at night!) but I am AWFUL about the keys. I never know where they are like currently I am using the “spare” key as my own key because I seem to have misplaced my giant jumble of keys…again (see: always)

Thank goodness your hubby is home safe with you today and not downtown in the madness. Maybe he could prep everything for your garlic scape pesto?? (a gal can dream right?)

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Heather Baedke June 24, 2010

oh my goodness your strawberry oats looks fabulous! What kind of carob powder do you use?

Thank you!

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Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble June 24, 2010

I need to add the make the bed and the clean up 10 minutes each night. I think that could make a big difference and make my weekend tasks so much less daunting. Sometimes I’m really good about leaving my car keys in the same place, and sometimes I’m not. I get much better about these types of things when I’m in a routine but lately I’ve been traveling way too much for work!

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Sarah June 24, 2010

Love the stress relief tips! Especially making your bed and leaving your keys in the same place every night – I do those and they definitely help! I have a problem with not letting your gas gauge reach “empty” though – I’m so bad about that!

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Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] June 24, 2010

I think you should have a page JUST for your Vegan Overnight Oats. The are seriously the most amazing photos!

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Janine June 24, 2010

I’ve been in love with scapes from the first time you mentioned them. Went out the very next weekend to the farmer’s market and loaded up. So much fun….these veggies have some serious personality! A recipe that I found that I am IN LOVE with….think that maybe you’d like it, so I’m sharing quickly. I don’t remember where I found it, but there are many variations on the web.

White bean/scape dip:
4 scapes, chopped
1 can any type white bean, drained and rinsed (I use great northern)
Juice from 1/2 lemon (or lime…interesting twist)
1-2 T. EVOO (I’ve used both, and both times w/ great results)
1-2 T. water (for consistency)
Salt and pepper if desired
Hot pepper flakes if you want kick (haven’t tried this yet)

Process scapes & lemon until well blended. Add beans, EVOO, salt, pepper and process again. Add water until desired consistency.

I can’t get enough of this. So easy…so yummy. To me, it falls somewhere between a guacamole & hummus taste. I LOVE to dump a layer on a tortilla, add tons of lettuce, tomato, etc. & sunflower seeds, and chow down. Or as a dip for crackers, cukes…..

Love your blog, Ange. It’s the only one that I follow faithfully…and I thoroughly enjoy every ounce of wisdom and adventure that you share. Thank-you!

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Stacey@http://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ June 24, 2010

I so agree with those stress tips. I love the strawberry jam, I need to make my own non loaded with sugar homemade jam.

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Lauren Modeen June 24, 2010

Thanks for these little de-stress tips! It’s funny how such little things can lead to so much stress if left unchecked. By being a little more diligent, you can live so much more peacefully.

Another thing I try to do to keep stress away is “compartmentalize.” Annoying and unfortunate things happen all the time, but if you chalk it up to the “cost of operating as a human” it makes things easier. For example: car expenses are a huge pain for me, and I always feel so frustrated spending hard earned $ on fixing things I didn’t even knew existed (eg; certain car parts). But if you “compartmentalize” that the car expenses are just part of being alive, I find that it isn’t as upsetting!

Nice job on the jam. I’ll definitely be giving that a try :)

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Kate June 24, 2010

I take 20 minutes each day to do something cleaning-wise. Whether it’s vacuuming, scrubbing the shower, dusting, laundry, etc… it helps to keep things clean on a constant basis so I’m not spending 4 hours on my Saturday morning CLEANING! I also have disposable wipes I keep underneath my bathroom sink that I use to wipe down the counter every other day. And I keep my make up in a basket that I can easily put in the drawer after I use it in the morning. Keeps things from being cluttered in the bathroom! :) Woah, after reading this I realized I’m a little obsessive about being clean!

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Mary June 24, 2010

I need to follow the advice on the car keys… I think I lose my keys at least three times a week.

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 24, 2010

That definitely looks better than any jam I’ve seen on shevles!

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Mary June 24, 2010

I also belong to a CSA. I have for a couple years now and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
I’m so guilty of letting my gas tank get waaaay to low. It drives my husband crazy. I do make my bed everyday. My mom always taught us to do that and she always said it makes the whole room feel cozier…which is so true! I love when I take the time to tidy up before bedtime. It starts my morning off so much better when I walk down the stairs in the morning and I see that everything is put away.

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bitt June 24, 2010

chia does deserve to be a staple in everyone’s house! wish it was more widely available and cheaper for most people.

love your pictures.

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Erin June 24, 2010

That strawberry jam is GORGEOUS!

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Marina June 24, 2010

My stress-relieving tips are focused more so on the mind aspect of stress but I’ll share them anyway because I don’t think they are too “out there” :P

- let go of the urgency to know what the future holds. Accept uncertainty and limited control
- practice mindfulness and relaxation through breathing deeply and focusing your mind on the present moment
- make sure to completely relax (both body and mind) before you go to sleep. If you fall asleep stressed out or angry, you will wake up feeling the same way

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Rachel @ Suburban Yogini June 24, 2010

I love stress busting tips and I love Gretchen!

* I don’t have a car, it really helps my stress levels!
* My keys live in a dish on the sideboard. I know where they are all the time.
* Sometimes I fall asleep before I turn the light off
* Always walking and cycling.
* Always clear up before bed. It’s nice to wake up to a tidy house
* Always pack my lunch the night before
* Himself always makes the bed

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sassy molassy June 24, 2010

your 5k post from last night was hilarious btw. Loved the ribbon you made yourself! ANd that strawberry jam idea is GENIUS! Any chance glo bar shipping will come down in price? I wanted to order some last night, but realized that to ship to OR it would cost $25. Yikes.

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Kris | iheartwellness.com June 24, 2010

I love these tips!

I follow almost all of them anyways…I am very “like that” same thing before bed. Always put the mail, keys, cellphone in the same place. Make breakfast at the exact same time!

Lol, sometimes maybe I just need to leave my keys in another room to keep me on my toes ;)

Great looking jam!

xxoo

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Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) June 24, 2010

Great tips, and love the looks of that fresh jam, yum!

I don’t do ANY of those tips… but I think I should! Esp keeping my keys in the same place and tidying before bed!

I always settle down with a warm mug of tea to get ready for bed. It’s great at the end of a stressful day!

xo
Kris

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 24, 2010

What lovely jam!!!
oooh and I made basil pesto last night – so delish!

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Katherine June 24, 2010

I’ve actually been doing a lot of those things lately (I’ve been working with someone to reduce my stress level). It’s so the little things that can alleviate tension/make you feel better. Your layered glass looks wonderful,too!

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Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) June 24, 2010

I do almost everything on that list. I’m still over-stressed, though. lol :D

Jenn

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Gypsy June 24, 2010

oooo – crisp, clean, tight sheets are one of my favorite things!! Love a made bed…it’s such a grandma rule but it really does make a difference!

I emailed my fiance a picture of your latest VOO creation as a teaser for tomorrow morning :)
i just made homemade jam 2 days ago with my strawberries that were getting a bit too overripe but next time I’ll use chia seeds–

My tidy up trick: Never leave a room empty handed. There’s always something that needs to be put away.

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Sabina June 25, 2010

I stumbled across your blog from Averie’s (Loves Veggies and Yoga). Thanks for sharing those stress-relieving tips. I am a HUGE proponent of getting everything for the next day ready the night before (especially lunches!). It took my husband a while to get comfortable with this system, but after seeing how easy it made mornings, he’s now converted. :-)

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Nicole June 25, 2010

I picked up my house for 10 min’s before I went to bed last night. It is amazing how much you can get done. I walked down stairs this morning…and it felt wonderful!

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