To honor Independence Day, The Daniel Plan wants to help free you from the bondages of stress. We all face challenges, adversity, difficulty with relationships and financial struggles which can take a toll on your overall well being, and open your mind to eat bad foods and stop exercising.

This week, we’ve gathered a variety of techniques to relieve your stress, naturally. You may be surprised that the food you eat, and exercise, have a tremendous stress-reducing ability.

Starting off, plan this Thursday morning to go hear Dr. Daniel Amen and his wife Tana at our first of seven Healthy Living Workshops, hosted at The Refinery. Also, take the Summer Fitness Challenge and focus on taking steps forward on your journey to better health. And read Tom Wilson’s advice for reducing stress in “Exercise Stress Management.” And we’ve connected the dots for you in this brief article, “Stress Less” which covers what to eat, avoid, do and more to lower your stress.

Watch the video from Dr. Oz and take the “Great American Stress Test” to measure and start addressing ways to lower your stress levels. Dr. Mark Hyman also shares a short, simple “Take 5” soft-belly breathing technique to relax yourself in this video and article.

Instead of indulging on food, alcohol, sugar or chocolate, try this Avocado Creme Creme recipe from Chef Jenny Ross, who owns and operates 118 Degrees restaurant. If you need help conquering your cravings, read this.

Additionally, Dr. Daniel Amen shares “The Sleep Solution” which is chapter 10 from his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body.” Dr. Amen also suggests reading this chapter from “The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution” by Trudy Scott.

Get motivated to overcome your trials after reading Cheryl Baker’s letter. And, we’ve included health-rich green smoothie recipes thanks to Eric Cardella.