Fixing Your Food to Improve Your Mood (and other beneficial side-effects)

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foodThe landscape is rough out there. Everywhere you look we have diet fads, healthy choices, and solutions for this or that and another thing. Yet, here we are in the United States of America, fatter, sicker, and more addicted to food than ever before. Oh, and we’re depressed at a rate higher than ever too.

What’s going on out there? Why are we so equipped with ‘answers’ and losing the battle?

In part, I’ll tell you why.

As Americans we have a cultural amnesia about what traditional foods are. Real, whole foods that nourish us from within.

And who can blame us?

Ads on TV, social media feeds, colorful grocery store aisles. Everywhere you look these days, there’s a product claiming to be good for you.

As a nation it’s killing us. Maybe not today, but it’s taking a toll on us like never before. Our new generation of kids, are predicted to NOT live as long as the current generation. That’s terrible news, that’s not acceptable.

We can do better, but it’s going to take a shift back to the basics and nourishing traditions of eating.

Many of us need to LEARN TO EAT (again). I know, I know, easier said than done. If you’re reading this with a side of guilt because there’s no time – or patience – or energy for you to willingly put anything additional on your plate right now. I get it.

But here’s the thing, if you haven’t figured this food thing out and you are suffering because of it – when is the right time?

The foods we choose to feed ourselves and families not only have a profound effect on our moods, ranging from depression to anxiety. They also effect the way we show up in our lives, and the energy we have available to give. It’s all connected.

Unfortunately, many of our connections have been hijacked by food that is NOT nourishing us. These foods are also wreaking havoc on our hormonal systems, nervous systems, and certainly digestive systems to name a few of the more common disorders we’re all used to seeing a treatment (not fix) for in the ads on TV that we need to ask our doctors about.

But here’s the truth, just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s normal.

Foods are meant to nourish our bodies for cellular growth, repair, and function. That means they need to provide the right raw materials for this to occur. Sadly, the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) has steered us wrong, because it leaves our bodies craving nutrients. And in an attempt to find these missing nutrients that are needed for optimal health, we are stuck in a pattern of consuming the very foods that got us to a state of nutrient depletion in the first place.

Why?

Because processed foods, which are the staples of the SAD diet, are nutrient depleted, quick, easy, calorie rich (and quick to store as fat) foods designed to taste good and keep you coming back for more. For that reason, it’s easy to understand the strong cravings we have for them, especially if that’s what we’re used to eating. They are addictive by design and the manufactures know this.

All of this is to say that if we want to bring about positive change, and we want to make better choices with foods for ourselves and our families, perhaps even improve our moods by fixing our food (yes this is something very real and doable) then there needs to be a starting point.

A good starting point is this:

1. Choose some real, whole foods.

That means foods that come from nature and are either in their natural state for consumption (think for example fresh fruits) and foods that are made from scratch, with hands, using minimally processed ingredients. Hold the manufactured ingredients you can’t pronounce and would never see in a recipe list here (that’s the stuff that got us in this state in the first place). And don’t skimp on the vegetables! Nobody argues over the benefits of eating more vegetables.

2. Use the simple strategy of bringing the good stuff IN FIRST.

That means eating the real, whole foods you choose before anything else. In doing it this way, you can be sure to get nutrients into your body that’s required for health. And by using this approach you will be effectively crowding out the other stuff. Really, it’s that simple.

Here’s why this works. It’s not about sacrifice, deprivation, or willpower. Rather, it’s about empowerment, because you are actively nourishing your body by first adding in the foods we know to be good choices. Doesn’t that make sense?

So, the next time you’re feeding yourself or your family, think first about bringing in something that’s truly nourishing for you and eat that first. You can think green or fruit smoothies, crisp salads, vegetable based soups, crunchy raw vegetables, you name it, the sky’s the limit with good options.

The recipe for health and happiness is to eat good food, love yourself, and repeat as necessary. Your body will thank you. 

For more information visit Life in Harmony with Arlene Figueroa.
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Arlene equips moms with life rhythm tools and teachings to restore joy, sanity, and self - because when a mom can show up for her role from a place that’s full and vital - everyone wins. Arlene is an experienced career woman, wife, and homeschooling mother of three. She began the journey into health and wellness over 20 years ago when she cured her own IBS after conventional medicine failed (not one Doctor thought to ask about diet and lifestyle). Then, she became a mother and suffered from anxiety for the first time in her life when she became overwhelmed in her role. It wasn’t more information she needed, it was an application of smart and practical tools for living in a healthy life rhythm. So she built her tool kit to get back on track and started implementing new practices. Using experience as one of her greatest educator, combined with training, she helps moms restore, replenish, and revitalize their lives. Visit Arlene at https://arlenefigueroa.com/