Eat Better to Feel Better

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How important is food as it relates to your mood?

There is a lot of documented research that indicates that there’s a correlation between food and mood. More specifically, according to the findings of a 2014 study in the online journal PloS One, which looked at diet and depression in 3,663 people, concluded that long-term exposure to an unhealthy diet (processed foods and sugar) can be a risk factor for depression.

But on a more personal level, food plays a significant role in how I feel mentally. For instance, I’m naturally a very “happy go lucky” type of individual with an optimistic look on life. Furthermore, I typically eat pretty clean, meaning not ingesting refined sugars, white carbs, gluten, processed and fried foods. But, during the Holidays, I tend to indulge like most. However, within 30 minutes of eating the aforementioned foods, I definitely notice a significant difference in my mood. I become very depressed, and pessimistic. Therefore, I try to eliminate these type of foods from my nutrition plan altogether, as I like feeling my best at all times. In essence, there is a direct link between food and mood.

What do you do to stay mentally fit?

Exercise plays a significant role with maintaining my mental fitness. I engage in cardio and strength training 5-6 times per week. My workout starts at 4:30am, before the world awakens. I have less distractions during this time, which ensures a successful workout. Additionally, maintaining a close walk with Christ also plays a significant role in staying mentally fit; along with prayer and meditation, staying connected with family and friends, eating healthy foods, nurturing my mind with positive affirmations and readings, surrounding myself with positive/optimistic people and taking a vacation a few times a year with my husband and Golden Retriever “Jasper”.

 

Give me your favorite, easy prep, healthy meal.

One of my favorite easy prep healthy meals is a Cherry Vanilla Protein Shake: 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream protein powder (Optimum Nutrition brand), ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk or water, 6 cherries (remove stem), 4 large ice cubes, blend with a nutri-bullet or blender, pour in cup and enjoy.

Nutritional Facts:

Calories: 273/serving, Protein: 48.81g, Carbs: 11.18g, Sugars: 5.75, Fat 3.31g

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