Food is literally everything - what and how we eat is how we feel.
The relationship we all have with food can be complicated. While some folks have always been conscientious of their diets, others not so much. This pandemic has pretty much forced us all to take a look at what and how we consume the stuff we all need to sustain. Yep, the good the bad the straight-up ugly. Let's not even go there for people who turn to food for comfort - these are trying times...I salute you. I've had my moments (oh zebra cakes - you are both delicious and nostalgic, yum + emotion = trouble)
I've always had a natural curiosity about food and even took a few semesters of health and nutrition in college. I think most make that connection that what we eat affects our body - pretty obvi. However, to what extent takes a little more digging. Always up for a good challenge, I took some time to learn more and found out that some foods can even affect our state of mind. A study from Havard Medical outlined an Antidepressant Food Scale, which lists 12 antidepressant nutrients related to the prevention and treatment of depression. Some of the foods containing these nutrients are oysters, mussels, salmon, watercress, spinach, romaine lettuce, cauliflower, and strawberries.
Crazy right? I mean yes and no. Again the connection with what we use to fuel the machine that is our bodies is widely known. Still, I think there is a distinction between the yeah yeah eat good stuff, ugh and genuinely grasping how too much sugar in the am will throw our ability to focus off. Making it mean for your brain to be present for that all hands or trying to remember how to do fractions, let alone teach it to your kiddo.
All this to say - no one should or has to become a food scientist to be able to gain better eating habits. I'll be honest. I have received some slack for my vegetarian plant-based diet, and people think I take myself too seriously in this respect. Well - ya kinda, I guess. I attribute my life choices to the fact that I am a pretty healthy lady who has gone through chemo, radiation, and even a coma. The way I see it - you have to take as much time and dedication you put on the other aspects of your life into how you feed that thing that does so much for you - yo body.
I am the opposite of a health nut and have a good relationship with my local bakery. I do, however, make it a priority to eat the good stuff and take the time upfront of the week to make sure I am being fair to myself. Setting myself up for success to speak.
Couple things to keep in mind:
Mindset - I deserve to feel good, strong, alert, and healthy.
Make a plan - research healthy recipes for at least 3 days - yep, breakfast, lunch, diner. I use Pinterest a lot for this. Don't forget to include a few snacks (i.e oreo thins, popcorn, chips/salsa) for when you get snacky. Get a small ramekin to help with portion control - your grown-ass you know what's enough :P
Follow-through - I will take the time to get the balance right.
Learn - Labels can be tricky, here is a great link to help decipher those so called "low cal" descriptions.
Make it Yours - Change things up, so many recipes out there, but I know what I like and no olives for all my plates period.
Habit-forming - The more you practice, the easier it does get.
Have fun - Make a thing of putting meals together - a bonding moment with hubs or kiddos. Or just use a moment alone.
You are a priority. Treat Yourself like you deserve - kit gloves baby. Be kind to your body, and it will, in turn, be kind to you.