How I Curb Anxiety

I'd love to tell you everything is smooth and jammy over here on my side on the pond, but that wouldn't be entirely truthful. Like many people, I struggle with anxiety. It's usually nonsensical anxiety that my body pushes on me like a large, unwanted gift of straight-up awful. My mind knows it's silly. My mind doesn't want it (No, thank you!), but can't seem to reject it. Thanks a lot body! 

Am I destined to choking down beta-blockers and SSRIs to ease my racing heart and trembling hands? To help quell my social awkwardness? Nah. Here are just a few things that I personally implement to help deal with daily anxiety. As always, check with your doctor before undertaking a new health routine. I'm not a doctor. Only you and your provider and/or counselor can determine what's best for you.

These are some of the things I do daily. I've listed them in order of my day. The holidays can be stressful, so try some of these out and get to relaxing. 

Go Vegan

Shocking, right? Fo' real though. A 2012 study found that eliminating animal products from one's diet resulted in improved mood within two weeks! Animal products can have an inflammatory effect on the body.

Why do fruits and vegetables improve our mood? Because of the inhibitors of the depression-associated enzymes that are found in various plants. So eat those plants up! Really though, you don't need me telling you to eat plants...

...better moods on plant-based diets could also be from the good stuff in plants—a class of phytonutrients that cross the blood brain barrier into our heads. A recent review in the journal, Nutritional Neuroscience, suggests that eating lots of fruits and vegetables may present a noninvasive natural and inexpensive therapeutic means to support a healthy brain.
— Dr. Michael Greger



It works. Sounds hokey, I know, but try it out. At the very least you'll smell nice!

In the morning and throughout the day I like to dab lavender oil on my wrists and neck. It's a very light and unoffending scent (unless you hate lavender). I use Aura Cacia 100% Pure Essential Lavender Oil. It's an easy buy at my grocery store, but you can find it on Amazon too. 

Lavender is known to have a very calming effect. That's why it's always in the heating pads. For more interesting information on lavender with regards to treating anxiety, check out this video and this video

If you really don't like lavender, orange oil is also known to lower anxiety levels. I use the doTerra Wild Orange Oil the same way as the lavender oil. Find out more about that in this great video. You can purchase orange oil at Amazon


Incredibly, saffron has anti-anxiety properties. I actually started huffing saffron for my crippling cramps. However, I learned that it's reported to be just as effective as Prozac. Legit stuff. Look into it, you'll want to, from the video here. The best part is that you can buy it from the grocery store! Or from Amazon. Plus I really, really, like the way saffron smells. It's kind of pricy, but you don't actual use any of it. Just sniff it. Maybe try to refrain from doing it in public though...



Rooibos, or red tea, can ease stress and anxiety. Researchers recently found that human adrenal gland cells in a petri dish produce about 4 times less steroid hormones, like cortisol, in the presence of rooibos.

I really like this organic Rooibos Chai by Numi. You can read more about how it beats stress here. Also, green tea is good for relaxing the mind. I drink tea throughout the day to keep me in relaxed state. Todd calls Rooibos, "monk tea" because it makes him feel super zen. Like a monk! 

Soothing and/or Uplifting Music

Listen to your favorite tunes to cheer you up or calm you down. These are some of my very favorites. 


I meditate (or practice "mindfulness") at least four days a week for 15-30 minutes. It takes a little practice. Often I hear people say they could never meditate because they just can't stop thinking! Yeah...that's kind of the point of doing it. Your brain will always be thinking of things, even during meditation. The best advice I've heard is to let the thoughts come and go. Don't follow them and don't push them away. Like a cloud, just let them pass. If I'm really having trouble, I will focus on my breathing. 

I really like to use guided meditation, because I find the words of another very soothing. This isn't "image" guided meditation, mind you. I'm not a big fan of that for some reason. If you're interested, there a few apps I use and like a lot. The first is called Insight Timer. I have it on my phone. I also subscribe to Meditation Oasis with Mary Maddox, as a podcast on my phone. She is very relaxing to listen to. Loving kindness meditation is a wonderful thing to practice. Meditation is all about being "in the moment" and not worrying on the future, or regretting the past. 

I always meditate laying down, because it's more comfortable for me. There's no right or wrong way to go about doing it. Meditate however suits you best. Also, yoga is also a great way to slow down. I do yoga three days a week and meditate during the day and sometimes at night as well. 


"The Original Chill Pill". Yep. Read ALL about it here, from Psychology Today. I won't go into detail, but magnesium has been scientifically proven to chill ya out, bro. I take a 250 mg supplement at night. It also helps with sleep (yay!) and constipation (no troubles in that department..) I make sure to get it from the foods I eat too. Foods that are high in magnesium are chard, pumpkin seeds, spinach, edamame, black beans, and quinoa. 

Heating Bag

I was gifted a flannel flaxseed filled bag for Christmas a few years ago and it is THE BEST THING EVER. Things are about to get real strange okay, but it's the truth.

I call it my "puppy" and Todd heats it up for three minutes every night in the microwave and I sleep with it. It's seriously my life. Sometimes if I'm really chilled or just need a snuggle bunny, I heat it up and lay it on my chest or neck. The weight and heat of it is so soothing. This is similar to what I have.


Exercise!! Very important. Get outside!! Also important. Snuggles with your favorite furry companion is definitely a stress soother. Breathing exercises are effective too. I like to take a big breath in and hold it for five seconds, let it out slowly and hold it out for five seconds. Repeat until you're as zen as a monk .

What do you do to help curb anxiety?

Sweet Potato & Orange Herbed Soup with Spicy Sausage

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
— Isaac Asimov

On this edition of "Get Rid of All The Food Before Our Trip!", sweet potato and orange are the stars with supporting roles from fresh cilantro and parsley, as well as spicy chipotle sausage. It's a good one, and just look how pretty this soup is! 

I had a few potatoes I knew were aging a bit and a several oranges leftover from giant bag of clementines that we'd bought from Costco a couple weeks ago. When I delved into my trusty Flavor Bible, I found that they pair beautifully together! I was pretty psyched. Two plants with one stone, if you know what I mean. Though, I've never been much a fan of citrus, specifically orange, in my soup...this was darn delicious.  

It's funny, when the herbs are blended in, the soup becomes a bit frothy which I found to be delightfully amusing for unknown reasons. It did dissipate after a short while though. 

I decided to make a sweet potato soup after learning that boiling the sweet taters is actually by far the best method of cooking for retaining their nutritional prowess. Now usually I try to stay away from boiling vegetables because I had always thought the opposite was true. Apparently with sweet potatoes, boiling is actually best. Roasting, in fact, wrecked havoc on them in regards to retaining their nutrition. Boo that!

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If you want to learn more about the best way to cook sweet potatoes (trust me you do!), check out this totally interesting video from the scientific, nutritional genius that is Dr. Michael Greger at Do I get excessively excited by things like this? The answer is an emphatic yes

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A creamy, sweet potato soup enlivened with fresh-squeezed orange juice that's complemented by green cilantro and parsley, and studded with browned Mexican chipotle sausage. 

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print recipe
Sweet Potato & Orange Herbed Soup with Spicy Sausage
A creamy, sweet potato soup enlivened with fresh-squeezed orange juice that's complemented by green cilantro and parsley, and studded with browned Mexican chipotle sausage.
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, sliced
  • dash of kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 small oranges, juiced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • 2 Mexican Chipotle Field Roast Sausages, chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Add the sliced sweet potato to a large pot. Pour in just enough water to cover the slices, add a dash of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Then, cover and boil for about 25 minutes.Meanwhile, in a large rimmed frying pan heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes, until the onions have browned.Juice the oranges and add the juice to a blender along with the broth, allspice, and pepper. Transfer the onions to the blender when they are done browning. Add the chopped sausage to the frying pan and brown for about 5 minutes. Once the sweet potatoes are done boiling, remove with a slotted spoon and place in the blender. Blend all the ingredients in the blender on high for several minutes until smooth and creamy, excluding the sausages and herbs.Now, add the herbs and blend until well incorporated. Heat in a high speed blender, or in a large soup pot until just heated through. You don't want to cook the fresh herbs. Serve hot and topped with 1-2 Tbsp. of the browned, chopped sausage and additional fresh herbs.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6
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German Word of The Day

Orange juice --> Orangensaft (o-rongen-zahft) "Saft" means juice! 

Good Deed of The Day

This is a big one. Wool isn't really that cruel, right? "Investigations of sheep shearing found that workers in Australia, the world's top wool exporter, and the U.S. killed, beat, stomped on, kicked, mutilated, and threw sheep around as they sheared them."

Wrong. Big time wrong. These sheep aren't pets, don't be fooled into thinking that just because they aren't slaughtered (which they usually are later) means they are treated as nicely as you'd treat your animal companion. They are nothing more than a commodity in the eyes of the wool business and if you think anything other than's time to open your eyes and bring an end to blatant ignorance and apathy. Help ask J.Crew and Ralph Lauren to use cruelty-free materials in place of wool!