You’ll Never Guess The De-Stressing Food Everyone’s Talking About

Let’s talk about stress babe…it happens to all of us. Every one of us has her own stressors, big or small. The key is finding healthy ways to relieve that stress so it doesn’t interfere with your health goals. Because when you feel anxious, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol spike, and cortisol can slow your metabolism, raise your blood sugar, and weaken your immune system.

 We gotchu though ~ you can reduce your stress and cortisol levels naturally through your TIU lifestyle. That’s why we love meditating, doing yoga, getting 7.5-8 hours of sleep a night, and giving our bodies Lean, Clean, ‘N Green meals from the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan to help stay relaxed and balanced.

There’s also been a lot of buzz lately about some ancient foods called “adaptogens” that can naturally help your body cope with stress. You may have heard about them so we want to give you all the details. Adaptogens are herbs, roots, and mushrooms that help you adapt to stressful situations (that’s where they get their name). They can also boost your mood and brainpower. You can use these in smoothies, coffees, or even chocolate to balance stress hormones and feel like a Zen goddess!

We’re breaking down four popular adaptogens and everything you need to know!


Maca is a root grown in Peru that usually comes in a powdered form. There are few different varieties depending on the color of the root, each one with slightly different benefits. Maca is also related to some of our favorite cruciferous veggies ~ broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Studies show that it can increase your energy levels, lift your mood, and help decrease stress and anxiety.¹

How to use it: We like adding a teaspoon to our morning smoothie, stirring it into an almond yogurt, or mixing it into a Protein Pancake.


Reishi is a type of mushroom often used in Chinese medicine to boost the immune system and improve circulation. Red Reishi is specifically used to treat anxiety and give you happy vibes. ²

How to use it: Hot chocolate or mushroom coffee mixes are really fun to try! You can find these online or at your local health food store. We like making lavender lattes with mushroom coffee too! Just add a teaspoon of edible lavender flowers to the java as it’s being brewed 💜


Ashwagandha is an herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to help decrease stress levels and balance thyroid hormones. One study found that 300mg of Ashwagandha taken twice a day helps decrease the stress hormone cortisol.³ Lowering your cortisol levels can rev your metabolism too!

How to use it: You can find herbal supplements using Ashwagandha at most health food stores. There are also delicious chocolates with Ashwagandha at health food stores. Just make sure you choose a chocolate that has at least 70% cacao. This is great as a dessert 1-2 times a week.


Chaga is a mushroom that’s often used in coffee or tea. Chronic stress can put the body in an inflammatory state and lead to achy muscles and joints, making it harder to recover from a workout. Chaga mushrooms are extremely high in antioxidants that help lower that inflammation. It’s actually one of the most potent antioxidant foods!

How to use it: Chaga is usually one of the main mushrooms found in mushroom coffees and teas.


1. EFFECT OF THREE DIFFERENT CULTIVARS; BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 



Want even more info on how to treat your body right? Join the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan! It’s packed with science-backed information on what to eat, when to eat it, and WHY! Plus, as a member, you instantly gain access to every edition of the Plan and thousands of #TIUapproved recipes!



  1. Love this!! I struggle with anxiety and depression from time to time and I’m so going to try these thing especially the Reishi!! Thanks 😘

  2. I’m excited to try the l Reishi, i’ve been a big ball of anxiety and stress lately. I think part of it is not sleeping well. I work overnights and sleep during the day and the most I get is 6 hours. Just ordered this and hoping it helps me sleep better :) thanks for the info

  3. Hi Ladies! Just wanted to post some personal feedback regarding Maca. If you have any sensitivities to increasing your estrogen levels or hormone issues, use maca with caution. I tried it before consulting my OBGYN, and my hormone levels have been a mess since :(. I was already aware of my issues with estrogen levels and have not been on a BC with estrogen for many years and I can’t consume soy products for these reasons. I realize this is rare and I am probably in the small percentage, but lets just say, without getting into grave detail, my body started having symptoms of pregnancy and I promise I could not have been ;) Apparently, this is the adverse effect since my doctor discussed how Maca can be used by some natropath doctors and homeopathic specialists to balance hormones. Key point – check with your doctor and listen to your body when you try new supplements! :) <3

    1. Maca actually gave me hormonal migraines too. I would definitely agree with you to use this with caution. 😉

  4. I too had an extremely strong adverse reaction to maca root. It definitely messed with my hormones and exaggerated my mood swings, acne, etc.

    I’ve read that this kind of reaction is rare but definitely something to consider and make sure to pay close attention to your body.

    Thank you, K&K, for all of this info!! I’m always interested in trying new things. Excited to find some Reishi and try it out 💜

  5. Thanks for all the info! Love trying out new ways to manage my anxiety.

  6. I’ve personally had a great experience with Maca and it has definitely helped to reduce my stress!
    For an amazing pre workout hot sip, I mix:
    1tsp maca powder
    2tsp chicory &
    1 tsp cacao powder with hot water, adding about 50ml cold almond milk.
    This gives me so much energy! Definitely try it!
    <3 xx

    1. Hi babe! You should consult your doctor about interactions with any prescription medications to be safe. xxo

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