Stress-Reducing Food Warriors

By Ashley Danielson, RDN, LD

Have you ever considered managing your stress with food? With the current challenges that we are all facing, each one of us deals with stress differently. When you’re feeling stressed a combination of movement, food, hydration, rest, and time can help you manage.

As a Registered Dietitian, I always ask clients what type of stress they deal with on a day to day basis; whether you realize it or not, stress and what we eat go hand in hand.

Chronic stress can build up over time and wreak havoc on your body. It affects mental and physical being, as well as gut health. Deep inside our bodies, there is a gut-brain connection. while these two parts of your body are constantly working together, some days, it can seem that they are screaming at each other. Stress can trigger bloating, discomfort, and can even change your gut bacteria, which can affect your mood. Focusing on whole foods and mindfulness when eating is so important as you work through stressful events – and, there are even certain foods and beverages that have stress-reducing qualities.


These are some of my favorite berries, whether fresh or frozen. They contain flavonoid antioxidants that are helpful in reducing inflammation in your body, including stress-related inflammation. Eating blueberries can not only boost your mood but can be a barrier against depression.

Fatty Fish

Getting those omega-3 fatty acids can benefit our bodies in so many ways, due to being essential for the body to increase mood, aid in brain health and prevent heart disease. Fatty fish includes salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines and as a bonus, they also contain Vitamin D, a critical piece of our mental health and stress regulation.


If you haven’t tried this deliciousness, now is the time. Kimchi is a fermented food, made with napa cabbage and radish. High in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, probiotics are one of the top boasts from fermented foods, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. There is that gut-brain connection again. Kimchi can have a positive effect on your gut, thus helping to reduce stress overall in your body.

Swiss Chard

Similar to spinach or kale, swiss chard is a dark, leafy green vegetable, that you typically cook or sauté. One cup contains 36% of daily recommended intake for magnesium, which is a powerhouse for ALL of the stress related activities. When your body is running low on magnesium, you may feel an increase in panic attacks, anxiety and a decreased amount of sleep.

Matcha powder

I love having a hot cup of matcha tea, especially in the cooler temperatures. I feel relaxed right away. That should be no surprise as it contains an amino acid called L-theanine; this can help reduce stress within your body. L-theanine is higher in matcha than other green teas due to the leaves being grown in the shade. Research shows that matcha contains stress reducing and anti-anxiety properties, it also increases relaxation by reducing your resting heart rate.

These are just a handful of the many stress-reducing foods that you can incorporate in your life. Food is medicine to our bodies; just like movement, hydration, and rest. The next time you start to feel your body tense up or can tell that your stress level is higher than what is was yesterday, remember to breathe. Focus on the things that you know will help you in the long run, and grab a handful of blueberries!





The purpose of this blog is solely for guidance and enjoyment. The information included on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider before altering your diet, changing your exercise regimen, starting any new treatment or making changes to existing treatment.


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Parking available in the Scheels Parking Lot.

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About Kirk: 

Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life. 

Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.  

Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters. 

About Christen: 

Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.  

Two Light Studio Parking Information

We validate parking for THREE garages in the area!

  • Two Light garage located directly north of the studio. Please bring your ticket inside for validation.

  • Three Light garage at Main and Truman. Garage entrance on Truman. Please bring your ticket inside for a validation sticker.

  • Power & Light garage at 13th and Grand. Please ask for a parking pass at the studio front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)

If you find that you are running a couple minutes late due to parking, please call the studio to let the instructor know to wait for you before locking the doors.

Blackstone Studio Parking

  • We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:

    • Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.

    • Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).

    • Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.

    • Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!

    Please note:

    • The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!

    • This option is valid once per day per license plate.

    • Please do NOT park in the Crescent Moon lot − you will be towed!

East Village Studio Amenities

  • There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.

  • Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max

  • Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.

  • All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.

Stress-Reducing Food Warriors Info