Mood Food

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Do you ever wonder why sometimes you are in a great mood and
other times you could punch someone? If it's not sleep related or stress
related, your mood can often be linked to food: sugar, in particular. I was
discussing sugar with a client the other day and she told me about a study in
Madagascar. There, the children are very well-behaved; they hardly, if ever,
burst out into public tantrums. They aren't screaming one minute and crying the
next, and the parents don't look at you, weary-eyed and say (in lieu of an
explanation), "He's three."

There, the behavior is linked to diet - more specifically,
what they don't eat - sugar, being the number one culprit. When you feed a
child (and an adult) natural, whole foods, the body can process these foods as
it was designed to. It utilizes the food as brain fuel and body fuel, supplying
important nutrients to muscles and the heart. But, when you stuff your body
full of fats and sugar, you are messing with insulin levels and literally
wreaking havoc on your organs. Ever wonder why your joints hurt sometimes?
Sugar. Notice how some people have worse hangovers than others? Most likely, if
you are indulging in sugary beverages, you are going to feel it the next day.

This morning, over coffee and breakfast, Alex and I flipped
it on the Food Network to see "Alex's Day Off," a show we watch from
time to time. The host was making breakfast for her husband and daughter, which
consisted of potatoes doused in oil, a ton of salt and a block of cheese on
top, donuts, thick pieces of bacon, eggs fried up in the leftover fat... while
it looks delectable, you have to wonder: why? We don't live in a society
that can indulge in these foods on a daily basis. Meals like this, or on
Thanksgiving, often leave us in food comas. It's because we have stuffed our
systems full of items it doesn't want. In a sense, we can poison ourselves with
food, and when we become obese (or continuously eat bad foods), that's exactly
what we are doing to our bodies.

By now, you know what to stay away from on a daily basis
(and of course, it's fine to indulge once in a while). But, what about the good
mood foods? To help aide your mood, you want foods naturally high in vitamins
and minerals: B vitamins for energy, as well as iron, folate, potassium and
magnesium. Here's some of our favorites:

Bananas

Spinach

Turkey

Salmon

Nuts

Dark chocolate

Pumpkin seeds

There are countless good mood foods - most of which come
from the ground or aren't packaged in a box. Start to pay attention to the
connection between how you feel and what you eat. It's one of the easiest
fixes: change your diet, change your mood!

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