Do you ever feel like there is a constant battle going on inside you between where you are and where you want to be? You dream and yearn for a better life for yourself, for your family, for your community, maybe even the world. However, a lack of energy, overwhelm, apathy, and /or sadness get in your way. Your dreams come to fruition only in your mind, not in reality. Our bodies are in energy crises. We are doing more, demanding more, wanting more. We are constantly stressed and constantly reaching for coffee or energy drinks to keep up with our life. At the end of the day, we don’t have much left to give to our family, friends, or hobbies.
Our body’s biochemistry and its optimal function depend largely on acquiring proper nutrients on a daily basis. Deficiencies in key vitamins, minerals, or amino acids can affect the proper functioning of neurotransmitters, which carry message to and from the brain and the body and are a major player in our mood and vitality. In addition, quality of food and eating habits’ also contribute to our energy levels and our ability to cope with and handle anxiety, fatigue, stress, depression, and low self-esteem.
One leading cause of fatigue, brain fog and anxiety and poor nutrient absorption is blood sugar imbalances. Common causes of Blood Sugar imbalances include over consumption of refined sugar, white bread, white pasta, pastries, and sweets, smoking, too much caffeine, a high fat diet and not enough good quality protein. Stress, not only from nutrient deficiencies, but impurities in our environment, personal care products and house hold cleaners play a huge impact on our biochemistry. Toxic and negative thoughts can also impact on our adrenals , which have a strong connect with blood sugar imbalances.
Reducing sugar is key to blood sugar balancing, however this can be challenging. Sugar can is hidden by food manufactures under the disguise of other alias, such as;
- Agave nectar
- Agave syrup
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Brown rice syrup
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane sugar
- Cane juice
- Cane juice crystals
- Carob syrup
- Confectioner’s sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Corn sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup solids
- Crystalized fructose
- Date sugar
- Diastatic malt
- Evaporated cane juice
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Grape sugar
- Invert sugar
- Maple syrup
- Refiner’s syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
Our stress hormones have enough to deal with without adding on the stress of toxicities. Watch for energy and mood sapping chemicals in personal and beauty products, and processed foods including:
Artificial Sweeteners,MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), Blue Dye #1 and #2,Red Dye #3 and #40, Yellow #6 and Tartrazine, Sodium Nitrate (especially those in loose lunch meat),Sulfur Dioxide, BHA and BHT, Potassium Bromate
Foods/Nutrients to Include in your diet for optimal energy, mood and balance include:
- Omega 3- found in sources such as salmon and herring, walnuts, chia, flax and hemp seeds
- Meat Protein – good quality is the key here. You will want to go for leaner meats like chicken, turkey or ostrich, fish is good too. Try as much as possible to get free range organic meat that has been grass feed and not given any antibiotics or added hormones.
- Vegetarian Protein- Quinoa, nutritional yeast, beans, nuts seeds, algae.
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Foods rich in Tryptophan such as turkey, sunflower seeds, watercress, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms or broccoli.
- Cocoa powder (raw) / dark chocolate
- Green tea
- Whole Grains
- Foods high in Zinc such as oysters, beef, lamb, wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, cashews, cocoa, chicken, beans and mushrooms.
- Foods High in Vitamin C such as Bell Peppers, guavas, red and green hot chili peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables, kiwi, papaya, oranges and strawberries
- B vitamins – nutritional yeast is a good vegan source of B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin D – found in cod liver oil, oysters, fish, eggs, mushrooms, fortified milk.
Many health professionals and doctors specializing in the connection between food and mood recommend the Mediterranean diet which focuses on consuming mostly olive oil, fruits and vegetables, fish and legumes. Diary is usually kept to cheese and yogurt and meat consumption is low.
Some great meal/snack ideas are:
Banana/ almond/flax smoothie with a coconut or almond milk base. You can also add raw cocoa powder for extra zinc and antioxidants, as well as, a handful of green leafy vegetables or a super greens powder.
Turkey Burger with sweet potato fries
Greek Yogurt with berries and granola.
Kale, top with quinoa, almonds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
Poached eggs and asparagus
Brown rice and black beans
Trail mix with dark chocolate chips, nuts and seeds
Salmon burger and kale and side salad
Spinach salad top with salmon
Spinach salad topped with strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese crumbles.
Hope you this was helpful. As always, we are here to help you reach your health goals. Please reach out if you have any question at www.mindfulnourishment.ca