Food & Mood & holiday dates for diary

Published: Mon, 05/16/16

Good morning, I hope you had a fabulous weekend. The weather was fantastic and even better than Spain.  Today I am writing about food and mood and do you know food can have a huge impact on your mood and feelings? Here’s why.

Food and how it affects your mood

Have you been feeling down lately with a lack of energy? 

No motivation?

Feeling sad and depressed?

Feeling anxious?

Do you know the HUGE impact the food you eat has on your mood and feelings?

The KSFL way of eating can transform your mental health; increasing energy, positivity and relieving anxiety. I couldn’t understand why I was always tired and grumpy and because I am a Fitness Instructor I exercise and I thought I was eating the right foods ie low fat products, pasta, rice, bread I need those to give me energy – right?  Dairy – great for my bones! I constantly snacked on fruit, dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Well they are a better snack than biscuits, aren’t they? I wasn’t a big coffee/tea drinker, I only drank de-caf coffee 1 or 2 cups a day, with skimmed milk.  All of the above were affecting my health one way or another but I didn’t know that until I started KSFL. I started to have a better understanding of what I was eating and becoming more in tune with my body.

In my classes I have a lot of clients who have changed their lives by making better choices with their food. Majority of my clients attend KSFL as they want to lose the weight but over the weeks they see and feel so many other health benefits, ie improved sleep being a big one.

I have some clients who don’t want to lose weight but want to have a better understanding regarding eating healthy so I adjust their diet to suit them. 

KSFL is for anyone I tweak to suit each individual.

Depression, anxiety, sadness and feeling overwhelmed can quickly spiral into a daily habit but by addressing your nutrition and doing daily exercise this will help elevate your mood and help you feel more positive.

Here are some of the explanations in the relationship between food and mood:

Spikes and drops in blood sugar levels caused by food are associated with changes in mood and energy.

Food influences brain chemicals which in turn influences how we think.

Artificial colourings and flavourings are in so many foods and this can cause abnormal blood sugar levels to spike and hormones to go into overdrive.

You may have hidden food allergies that you may not be aware of that cause mood swings, cravings and feeling slow and sluggish.

Nutritional deficiencies from not eating enough of the right foods for example- not getting enough vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids can affect mental health.

What’s the psychological relationship?

We all know the comfort food problem, you feel down so you head into the kitchen and start munching on comfort food.  You then feel comfort in the short term but then guilt with the excess of “bad” food you have consumed.  If it’s a sugary or high carbohydrate comfort food you feel puffy, bloated. Your mood goes even lower as you are now adding into the mix guilt, brain fog and tiredness.  It becomes a vicious cycle.

With these links in mind try to consciously think next time you reach for food when you are down, try to replace it with something full of nutrients.

Healthy fats are KEY to brain health.

PLUS fats keep you fuller for longer and keep your cravings at bay.

How do you find out if food is affecting your mental health?

Try and keep a diary to see what you are eating NOW. You may not realise what your diet is really like and this will then help you plan out how you can change it.  Write in your diary how you feel after you have eaten it?

Take your time to eat the food slowly, let it digest then see how you feel? Write it down or pop a note in your phone and see if you have a pattern building up.

How often are you eating?

Being hungry can make you feel tired, irritable and depressed. You need to eat regularly. Include good fats like avocados, olive oil, oily fish, olives, and plenty of protein to keep you fuller for longer.

Avoid foods which make your blood sugar rise and fall such as sugary / high carb foods.

Are you eating enough green vegetables? 

Vegetables contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins and fibre we need to keep us healthy physically and mentally. So ensure you include a variety in each meal and eat PLENTY. Steam your veg if possible and really load it onto your plate.

Are you drinking enough?

The guideline is 3 litres a day… I know that can seem quite a task, but by keeping water always available you will find you drink more. If you don’t drink enough water, you can feel down and low on energy. If you don’t like water then add a slice of lemon or try herbal teas. Just sip through the day and build up to 3 litres if you don’t drink anywhere near that right now.

Are you eating enough GOOD fats?

I need to KEEP SAYING this as it is SO important.  Your brain needs good fats to keep it healthy. Try having more oily fish, sprinkle seeds on a salad with a little olive oil too, use coconut oil to cook with and eat avocados daily.

Are you eating protein?

Your brain needs amino acids that are in protein, to regulate and balance your feelings. Include organic chicken, turkey and eggs in your meal plan.

Are you a coffee addict?

Too much caffeine can make you feel anxious, as a stimulant it is not good for late at night either as it may disturb your sleep! Try and cut it down or swap for fruit teas!

Walnuts – Tryptophan rich.  
Brazil nuts – selenium rich.
Sunflower & pumpkin seeds – magnesium, omega 3, zinc (with sunflower seeds also being rich in selenium).
Garlic – selenium
Olive oil – omega 3
​​​​​​​Hemp oil – omegas 3, 6 & 9
Peppers – B-vits, magnesium.
Broccoli – B-vits, magnesium.
Spinach – Folic acid.
Bananas – B6, tryptophan.
Berries – vitamins
Chicken & turkey – B12, tryptophan
Salmon & tuna – B12, omega 3, selenium & zinc
Eggs – B12

Holiday - Monday 30th May is a Bank Holiday so there will be no classes and no HIIT class Tuesday 31st May. Back to normal Wednesday 1st June.