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8 Foods to Eat for a Good Night’s Sleep

There are a number of reasons why some of us have trouble sleeping. Stress, hormone levels, and anxiety all play a role in how our bodies respond to fatigue. A glass of warm milk doesn’t always do the trick when we’re trying to remedy our restlessness. I’ve always heard that it’s a bad idea to eat before bed, but there has to be something we can nibble on, right? Luckily for food lovers, there’s a whole array of foods that contain different proteins, minerals, vitamins and amino acids that help us sleep. The key is to boost levels of serotonin and melatonin while adding proteins and acids that will help absorb them. Try out some of these meals about ninety minutes before going to bed, and we promise you’ll wake up feeling truly well rested.

1. Whole Grain Cereal with Almond Milk

Photo Source: Vegology

Who doesn’t love having breakfast for dinner? Have a bowl of whole grain cereal with low sugar and almond milk. There’s magnesium in almonds, which has muscle relaxing properties, and the cereal will help the production of serotonin and melatonin, two hormones important for sleep. Throw in some bananas for some extra magnesium and a bit of potassium, too.

2. Pineapple & Cherries

Photo Source: Paleo Grubs

Cut up some pineapple and mix it in a bowl with cherries. They both have natural melatonin which will definitely help you stay asleep instead of tossing and turning all night.

3. Cheese and Crackers

Photo Source: Better Recipes

There’s a reason warm milk is most people’s go-to sleepy snack. Milk and cheese contain tryptophan, which metabolizes to serotonin and melatonin. Pair your favorite cheese with some crackers, the carbs will help absorb the tryptophan.

4. Herbal Tea

Photo Source: The Odyssey Online

Tea isn’t just hydrating and soothing. Decaf green tea has amino acids to help you relax and reduce stress, but if you want something a little sweeter you can go with chamomile which has glycine, a mild sedative. Add some honey to increase your insulin level and help absorb tryptophan.

5. Hummus

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Hummus contains vitamin B-6 which helps regulate your sleep in addition to tryptophan. Keep some in your cupboard and enjoy with pita chips or veggie sticks.

6. Trail Mix

Photo Source: Babble

Make a trail mix with pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and pretzels to boost your levels of tryptophan, insulin and natural melatonin.

7. Air-Popped Popcorn

Photo Source: Medical Daily

Watching a movie before bed? Pop your own kernels with an air popper and then sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. Carbs and dairy make for some serious zzz’s.

8. Fish and Shellfish

Photo Source: Edible Brooklyn

Fish and shellfish are great sources of protein and other nutrients. Tuna and salmon contain vitamin B-6 and crustaceans have tryptophan as well.

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5 Great Ways to Unwind After a Stressful Week

There’s no denying that life can be downright stressful sometimes. While amazing moments of accomplishment and happiness are always worth it, the amount of stress that it sometimes takes to get there can be a bit grueling. That’s why it’s always important to have a few sure-fire destressing activities to get yourself back on track. Here are 5 awesome things anyone can do for a little peace after a stressful week.

Disconnect

Source: PopSugar

It may not be easy to do, but disconnecting from the world a bit can do wonders for your stress levels. Sign out of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for awhile and take some time to enjoy yourself. Read a great book, go for a hike or even lay about and daydream, being alone with your thoughts can do wonders. This slight reprieve from the never-ending information train will leave your mind feeling cleansed and your spirits much higher.

Get Moving

Source: Glam Meets Glam

You don’t have to do any intensive workout routines or run six miles on a treadmill, but getting out in the fresh air and taking a nice walk or going for a relaxing bike ride is a great way to clear your mind and get a little bit of quiet time.

Do Something Creative

If art is your thing, create a few fun sketches, start a new DIY project, maybe even try out a complicated recipe. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you finish will stay with you for days and getting into something creative is fantastic for relieving stress while also doing something you love.

Have a Relaxing Bath


Source: Studded Hearts

Almost nothing beats a nice, relaxing bath: it’s a classic de-stressing technique for a reason. Light a few candles, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy some time in a warm bubble bath. You’ll finish the experience felling a bit pruned but very relaxed.

Spend Time with Someone you Love

Our closest friends and family have a way of making us forget about all of the bad things in our lives. Whether you have a nice night in or an exciting evening out, companionship and good times are sure to keep you smiling. Just remember to be with them and not your phone!

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7 Perfectly Clean Post-Workout Snacks

Abs are made in the kitchen. While working out is very important to a healthy body, what’s even more important is your nutrition. After working your muscles, you have to feed them. In order to truly see progress in the gym and in your fitness, you have to get your nutrition in check. Within an hour after working out, make sure to consume a healthy snack, one with carbs and protein, to help refuel and reenergize your tired muscles. Here are some clean options everyone can enjoy:

Chocolate Milk: According to Ingrid Nelson, a personal trainer in our nation’s capital, “Chocolate milk has a lot of benefits for muscle recovery. It helps replenish the muscle tissue and actually gives you a shorter recovery time.” The tasty childhood drink contains a nearly perfect ratio of carbs to proteins that will give your muscles exactly what they need.

Banana with Almond Butter: Bananas are easy grab-and-go snacks as they come in their own natural casings. Almond butter combines fats and proteins in a tasty spread that will keep your belly satiated and your muscles satisfied. Need help on choosing a clean almond butter? This list showcases some of the cleanest, tastiest brands around.

Image by Ryan McGuire

Ezekiel Bread with a Slice of Cheese: The cheese has the protein and fats your body needs post-workout, while Ezekiel Bread, which is a sprouted-grain, offers a host of benefits, including an increased nutrient profile, a high fiber content, and a healthy serving of complex carbohydrates.

Greek Yogurt with Fruit: Protein in the form of Greek Yogurt? Check! Simple carbohydrate in the form of fruit? Check! Perfect and easy post-workout snack? Check! Plus, the probiotics in the yogurt and fiber in the fruit will both contribute to better digestive health.

Smoothie: Smoothies deserve the hype. They can be made to satisfy any taste bud and are perfect to drink on your way to work from the gym. A simple guide to smoothie-making:

Step 1 – Choose a base: Milk, Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Coconut Milk, etc.

Step 2 – Choose a fruit: Blueberries, Strawberries, Watermelon, Bananas, etc.

Step 3 – Choose a protein powder: Whey Protein, Vegan Protein, Egg-White Protein, etc.

Step 4 – Choose a green: Kale, Spinach, Avocado, etc.

And voilà, you’ve got yourself a refreshing smoothie.

Sandwich: Pack one in your gym bag to eat right after your workout. Keep it simple. Pair Ezekiel Bread with a lean protein like turkey and garnish with some hummus or avocado.

Image by Patryk Dziejma

Bars: No time to prep your snack? Worry not. There are plenty of commercially produced bars that can serve as a great snack post-gym. Check labels to make sure the bar you’re buying doesn’t contain tons of added sugars. These bars are sports-nutritionist and registered-dietitian approved.

This post was originally published on Laila Ali Lifestyle

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4 Healing Powers of Cucumbers

Each food we consume affects our bodies in a different way. By learning how to harness these natural benefits, we can better maintain control over our own health and wellness. One fruit with a particularly high benefit count is the cucumber. Cucumbers’ particularly high water content, as well as vitamin count, provide a whole slew of natural benefits. Keep reading for four amazing reasons you should be snacking on cucumbers all summer long.

Learn to make a DIY Cucumber Eye Mask: Bloglovin

Keep You Cool and Hydrated

With summer heat fast approaching, long, dehydrating days are on the horizon. Cucumbers are a wonderful snack to eat when you are feeling hot and dehydrated, as their naturally high water content can easily help quench your thirst.

Eliminate Toxins

Cucumber’s high water content additionally keeps fluids moving through your body at a rapid pace, flushing unwanted toxins and waste out quicker than other foods might. Eliminating toxins is particularly helpful for healing a wide range of ailments, from preventing muscle soreness to reducing cancer risks.

Regulate Blood Pressure

Fluctuating blood pressure can cause all sorts of unwanted side effect in our bodies. Adding more cucumbers into your diet is a natural way to help steady these highs and lows.

Promote Weight Loss

Likely due again to their high water content, cucumbers are great snacks to choose for those of us looking to maintain, or slim ourselves down to a fitter figure.

This post was originally published on Laila Ali Lifestyle and has been edited for Whitney Port.

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YOUR TUESDAY TRUCE: SIMPLE MORNING RITUALS

Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning is the last thing you want to do. Just 10 more minutes, you say to yourself. Maybe you had a rocky night sleep or are dreading the day ahead, maybe you’re just not feeling motivated. Here are 3 simple ways to start your morning right and set yourself up for an awesome day ahead:

  1. Immediately think about what you’re grateful for, and say thank you. Thank you for my comfy bed. Thank you for the glass of water next to me. Thank you for the brand new day to come. Recognizing all that we have is incredibly grounding and helps set a powerful tone for the day.
  2. Do a set of cat and cow. Get on all fours — no need to get out of bed. Stack your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees. Take a deep breath in and arch your spine, lifting your chest to the sky. Breathe out and round your back, pushing down with your palms. Repeat 5 times. This simple yoga move warms up the spine, helping to strengthen your back for whatever comes next.
  3. Enjoy your favorite morning beverage. It could be coffee, tea, warm water, or green juice. Whatever it is, sit down, and drink it slowly. We tend to rush through this part of the morning but it’s the perfect time to take a few deep breaths and enjoy your am treat.

Your Tuesday Truce, by Blaire Molitor

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