Who needs anti-depressants when our neurotransmitters are functioning?
Most of the neurotransmitters in the brain and in the gut are formed by amino acids. Amino acids are found in proteins. A diet rich in amino acids is essential for helping to keep our moods stabilized. Nutritional approaches and lifestyle behavior modifications for treating emotional imbalances, such as anxiety and depression, are often as effective as medications, yet without the many side effects.
Sugar, refined white flour, alcohol, some medications and stress all have a negative impact on how the neurotransmitters function in the brain and gut (our second brain). As the “ill-function” of the neurotransmitters increases, so does the craving for more sugar. As the dis-regulation of the receptor sites and the neurotransmitters get unregulated by the “empty” calories and stress, mood imbalances start to intensify and cravings continue to increase. It seems to be a vicious cycle.
It is imperative that you eat a good, healthy diet, low in refined sugar, high in fiber and essential fatty acids. It is important to include good quality protein on a daily basis to help get the proper amino acids that are needed for all the neurotransmitters in the brain.
Additional supplementation may be needed. Supplements such as 5-HTP, Sam-e, L-Tyrosine, GABA, L-Taurine, and L-Glutamine can help with the proper regulation of neurotransmitters. There are also herbs, certain vitamins and lifestyle behaviors that help with mood imbalances.
It is best to work with a health practitioner when incorporating these supplements, herbs and lifestyle changes into your routine. It takes a holistic approach when healing one’s emotional imbalances, thus techniques to help reduce stress and to get adequate sleep, and incorporating a healthy, whole foods diet are imperative.
We as a nation have badly develop a habit of relying on the big food manufacturers to tell us what to eat. For most of us, our daily diets are pretty SAD. We shop for convenience and are miss-guided through deception. They have us by our lack of time and our naivety. Since when do store-bought, processed cookies have tons of fiber in them? Since manufactures discovered that fiber is good for us, yet it can’t really come from processed foods, so they add a man-made version of it…which by the way, produces mischievous amounts of… gas. And thus, we see this sort of food as a “health” food and not what it truly is; a sugar-landed, weight producing-processed food.
So my question to you is, how does one get from being a SAD (Standard American Diet) eater to a whole foods, natural eater?
I am hoping these 10 tips will help set you on the right path towards healthier eating habits.
Here’s to your health!
1) Don’t drink your sugar. Do you want a fast acting, sure-fire way of dropping calories from your diet? Then nix the sugary drinks. Drink water instead. What, you don’t like plain water? Then try adding some lemon to it or a couple drops of essential oil to help make it taste to your liking. Try being creative with it, sip it throughout the day and watch your energy levels stay high!
2) Get enough rest. It’s almost a guarantee that you won’t eat healthy after a 3-4 hour night of rest. Our bodies usually need 7-8 hours. To me, not enough rest means a shoddy willpower mechanism. Your mind and your body will most likely be wanting to reach for a sugary pick me up, which will be harder to fight off when you are super tired. (Water can help a little bit with your tiredness).
3) Make use of your refrigerator. Way back… when they didn't have refrigeration, they used to have to ferment and can stuff, which is healthy in its own right, but now we have refrigeration! Processed foods do well on the shelves, but whole foods usually like it a little colder. The inside of my refrigerator has a lot of color, very little boxes, and ceramic dishes with convenient left overs. No more excuses as to why you can’t get in plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables! Your refrigerator should be filled with things that grew from Mother Nature.
4) Cook mindfully. Be present when you cook. Enjoy the process of knowing that you are creating something that will be nourishment for your body. Let all 5 senses get involved. A grateful attitude will bring joy to the act of cooking.
5) Eat mindfully. If you are stressed while you eat, your digestion will be off. If you are not paying attention, your mind and body will lose sight of what is being eaten, and either you will overeat or eat the wrong foods. Be fully present and fully enjoy the act of eating. Again, all 5 senses should be involved.
6) Square up your meals. Good fats, a little bit of protein, lots of vegetables and a portion of complex low-glycemic carbs. equals ideal weight, lots of energy, and better moods. O.K., there’s a little more to it than this. However, how may meals have you had gone by your chin with nothing green or no healthy fats on the plate? French fries, a cheeseburger and a coke can equal weight gain, no energy and rotten moods. What kind of foods are you choosing from each category?
7) 80/20 rule. 80% of your foods during the day should be wholesome and healthy. 20% gives you wiggle room for those fun foods. If you want to see weight drop off go for a 90/10 rule. These rules say…go ahead have that treat and don’t feel guilty. Just don’t have 5 or 6 unhealthy, naughty foods.
8) Be adventurous. Start exploring new foods. Get out of your comfort zone for a bit and try new healthy foods. Have you had any Jicama lately? Variety is key to a good diet. Same breakfast every morning…boring! And not as healthy as changing it up. Different foods means different nutrients.
9) Eat for nourishment. Every time you eat, it’s a chance to nourish your mind, body and soul. Would you put inferior gas into your car? Probably not. It won’t run very well. Same goes with you. The better you feed yourself, the better you’ll work.
10) Know that you are worth it. You know the effects of poor eating habits. You might be experiencing them now. It’s time to invest in yourself. Give your “self” the nourishing foods that you deserve. You are so worth it!
Eating healthy takes a commitment, determination and a vision. Be determined to see all your health goals through!
Do you ever wonder why diets don’t work?
You can’t turn on the TV, drive down the road or go to a party without being confronted with America’s hottest obsession: weight. Diets are a billion-dollar industry; companies spend millions and millions luring you to try the latest diet (low carb, high protein, low fat, no fat, you name it) with promises that this will (finally!) be the solution—your shortcut to a thinner body. Advertising efforts also deeply affect our children, who develop distorted body images and are often on diets as early as nine or 10 years of age.
Our culture touts diet pills, celebrity workouts, convenience foods and trendy diets to help us achieve our desired weight, but these quick-fix solutions have backfired. America’s populace has reached its highest weight in history. About half of Americans are overweight; one-third are obese. Diets steer us away from our common sense and dip deeply into our pocketbooks while eliciting few, if any, lasting results. Why?
I think the main reason is that we have steered ourselves away from eating real food. I am taking about the foods that come directly from the earth and meat that comes from animals that have eaten real foods, the foods that their bodies were meant to have.
We are also sitting more...we are a "sitting" culture. We lack movement, especially the movement that brings us outside. Outside so we can get the fresh air that we so desperately need.
It's a blog...
I am a fanatic when it comes to uncovering the truths and the falsities to sound nutrition and good health. When we use a little common sense we can back up anything, yet there is always room for debate.