We are all too familiar with the heavy, bloated feeling after a big meal or maybe it’s the yucky feeling after not being able to stop after just one chip. Most of us are aware that physical health is related to mental health because of something called the food-mood connection. Simply put, food choices affect mood and mental health.
Your brain and the rest of your body require a constant supply of fuel. That fuel comes from the foods you eat and ultimately the food you eat affects your mood. There are a few simple principles to help guide you to a state of balance and with your physical health that will help you feel energized:
- Eat well 80% of the time: It’s easy to get caught up in being too strict with what we eat. Most of us have jumped on a bandwagon of some kind to get healthy, lose some weight, etc. The problem is that we become too serious and restrictive. We take the joy out of food and drink when we are strict. Indulge in the chocolate, that special drink at the coffee shop and take pleasure in the treat. Of course, there is the alternative to being too strict in that we are too permissive with our choices. The point being is that we need to eat well most of the time and allow for the occasional treats.
- Eat until you’re 80% full: All too often we eat too much and too fast because we’re eating on the run, in front of a tv or just need to eat to fuel up and not paying attention to food or portion sizes. Not eating until you’re filled to the brim helps with mindfulness and focus.
- Go easy on yourself: We all want to feel good, but we truly need to relax when it comes to food and allow it to bring healthy enjoyment. Let’s stop labelling what we are and maybe focus on the foods we enjoy. For example, instead of saying, “I’m pescatarian,” say “I enjoy fish.” That opens up the conversation to the pleasure of food rather than the restrictive, and sometimes political, conversation regarding what we eat.
- Get fresh air and exercise: With our busy lives this is one principle that often gets ignored, but just think how good you feel after a brisk walk and breathing in fresh air. When you feel good you want to fuel that feeling.
- Eat the rainbow: This one’s a tough one too when we’re surrounded by fast food restaurants, impulse items at the checkout and tempting commercials, but it can be done. A simple task is to plan meals for the week so you buy what’s necessary to prepare healthy meals that include fruits and vegetables.
- Use animal products as a side dish: North Americans love their meat, but we should be eating meat sparingly by treating it as a side dish instead of the main dish. Your plate should be dominated by produce.
- Drink water and less sugary and caffeinated products: Many drinks give us a boost, but then we come crashing. Often a glass of water can give us a boost and help with hunger. Try adding cucumber, lemon or lime, mint or any kind of fruit to your water.
- Enjoy the company of people: Get out and enjoy food with friends or better yet, have friends over and prepare a meal. Make it a regular occurring date. The social aspect of food can’t be overlooked.
Listen to your body and take small steps to eating well. Don’t self-sabotage or get mad at yourself when you have a treat. Change your mindset and start blessing your food and drink with thanks and start preparing your food with joy and connection. It’s time to start re-establishing a connection between yourself to food and drink.
When we turn to food for comfort without realizing we are often trying to fill the void of loneliness, depression and heartache. It is a short-lived satisfaction that tends to repeat itself over and over. When you get the urge to eat unhealthy food, such as sugar and carbs, reach for healthy foods. Eliminating the not-so-good foods from your home is a step in the right direction.
Is healthy eating hard for you? This might be a sign of energetic blockages from unresolved past experiences. Consider energy healing sessions to help reduce the cravings by releasing the blocked energy in your body.. Consider making an appointment with me to help you release some of your blockages. We will work at your own pace and comfort level.