5 Great Foods to Boost Your Mood

For those of you who have read my about me page, you know that I have been researching and improving my health for over 18 years.  Last year I completed a sports nutrition certification and realized, yet again, how many of the health issues we face today can be altered and slowly improved with just the right tweak in our diets.  I believed so much in it, that in just 1 year, I had completely turned my life around from removing the foods that were causing me pain and “flare-ups” of my diseases.  Depression was not going to get me once I identified what foods made me worse.

So today, I was minding my own business gathering ingredients for a nice big salad, when a processed food display jumped right up and tried to grab me.  <<< not really, but it almost did.  Chocolate is my weakness.  But this chocolate was on something that is a known flare for me and causes me to crash so much right after eating it I feel like I can’t move.  I become that tired.  So I knew what I had to do and I want to help you do the same.  Let’s grab some of these great foods instead!

5 Great Foods to Boost Your Mood:

  1. Go bananas <<< technically I linked to my favorite dry snack, but I love this version of dried bananas.  So what do these yellow fruits help us with?  Bananas employ mood-lifting power, with their combination of vitamins B6, A, and C; fiber; tryptophan; potassium; phosphorous; iron; protein; and healthy carbohydrates.  What happens in the body?  You get a quick boost from the fructose as well as sustaining energy from the fiber, which helps prevent a blood sugar spike and ensuing drop in energy as well as mood.  Mind you, this is natural and not some made up thing like “high fructose corn syrup”.  <<< icky for autoimmune responses…well just plain bad honestly. So I always stay away from that.  At our house, we tend to use bananas in smoothies, but if they have been there and are ripe, I will actually cut them up and put them in the freezer for later use as “banana cubes” in my blender.
  2. Sunflower seeds (or butter) <<< I love this stuff times 10.  I was doing research a few years ago on a theory I had that my prior acid-blocking supplements (completely weaned myself off them using natural remedy) were causing an issue with my magnesium levels.  Why is this important?  Magnesium, in addition to regulating mood, is vital for many body functions to operate normally. Magnesium deficiency can be responsible for feelings of fatigue, nervousness, and anxiety (triggers increase in adrenaline), and it’s been linked to various mood disorders. However, stable magnesium levels can help the body and mind achieve a calm and relaxed state.  Some scientific studies have shown magnesium supplementation to be beneficial in treating major depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.  Boom!  There it was yet again.  That feeling to go down the right path and unravel the mess my doctors, no offense to anyone, had caused in my gut.
  3. Dark chocolate is the bomb dot come in my world.  <<< the one linked I often see in my grocery store as a savior if I am desperate to have something chocolate.  I have to read all ingredients, but this one is safe for me.  The organic cacao powder is my go-to for smoothies, baking and drinks of the hot kind.  Yummy.  How does this help me?  Sorry men, but PMS time, seriously, come in the house with this in the shopping bag.  Here is why: Among its many nutrients, cacao beans contain a slightly stimulatory, mood-boosting caffeine derivative called theobromine. Theobromine, a molecule with a structure similar to caffeine, has been shown to support mood and increase focus:)  I am big into plant-based or phyto healing, so as this chocolate melts on your tongue, a number of reactions occur, including the release of serotonin in the brain and mood-elevating endorphins in the body.  Yummy.
  4. Pass me my green tea y’all.  <<< I linked my all-time favorite recent discovery of this muscle recovery tea I drink after a hard day of yoga.  So why is tea, especially green tea helpful?   Tea, the green variety more so, provides catechin antioxidants that have been shown to support brain function and promote proper balance of the stress hormone cortisol.  Further, a toasty mug of tea can supply you with L-theanine, an amino acid that might promote you being alert a bit more.  Also a report published in Public Health Nutrition showed that study participants who sipped four or more cups of green tea daily reported having a more positive mood.  I recently started making my green tea 30 minutes ahead of time in the fridge using cold water and mint leaves.  I then drink it cold and I know that provides a metabolism boost as well.
  5. Walnuts were also on my list of foods to eat.  <<< again, I have to be careful.  No glaze, no almonds (I personally found out they cause me stomach pain…who knew? Autoimmune is a tricky navigation.), no additives.  JUST walnuts!  Why are they helpful?  Walnuts contain a handful of components that contribute to the elusive good mood, including omega-3s, vitamin B6, tryptophan, protein, and folate.  Higher blood levels of omega-3s have been linked with better mood and lower rates of depression, while lower blood levels of omega-3s have been associated with higher rates of depression and negative feelings.  Boom!  Grab you some walnuts friends.  Or nutty friends…either way. Normal suggested dosage of omega-3 oils is one gram (1,000 mg) per day. You’ll get about the same amount, as well as a healthy dose of fiber and protein, in just half an ounce of walnuts.  I put them on my yogurt, but yogurt is a whole different story, so read the ingredients!  I personally have been enjoying some Brown Cow yogurt…but prior to that is was the Stonyfield Farms kind.  Again, navigate so that you can actually read all the ingredients as I discuss in my 4 Weeks to Wellness course.  You don’t want things you can’t read going into your body.  It really does flare all kinds of things that are just bringing you down.

Thank you guys for reading this and go out and clean your pantry today!  Stock up for better health!

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5 Steps to Being Healthier Today!

5 Steps to healthThis post was so popular that I have decided to add a contact form about the greens if you are interested in learning more about them!  Read until the end!

5 Steps to Being Healthier Today!

1. Eliminate processed foods.  Have you ever looked at the back of a “FAT-FREE” box of coffee creamer as compared to real cream?  Just look at the ingredients.
2. Drink more water.  Why?  “Water’s involved in every type of cellular process in your body, and when you’re dehydrated, they all run less efficiently — and that includes your metabolism.
3. Add a Greens smoothie to your day.  Why the “Greens”?

  • Detoxify, alkalize, and promote pH balance within the body
  • Acidity-fighting magnesium and potassium blend
  • Cutting-edge probiotic support for digestive health
  • 38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods
  • Multiple servings of fruits and vegetables in every scoop
  • Free radical-fighting antioxidants

4. Add protein in the morning.  I prefer the things I have linked to because of these reasons:

  • Experience quicker post-workout recovery
  • Build lean muscle mass with fewer calories
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Get feel-good, mood-elevating energy with maca and cacao powder
  • Promote healthy digestion with seven different soluble and insoluble fibers

5. Cut the sugar…but you can keep the fruit.  I have gone white processed sugar-free in the last two years and don’t miss it!  What do I use if I have to make a recipe with something like sugar?  Buy coconut palm sugar.  But if you are worried about sugar in fruit, check out this link.  I am guilty of loving mangoes.

So, in a nutshell…drop the sugar, add the water, add protein, and greens, but drop the processed food!!  Contact me here if you want to know more about the greens or visit vitalizeyouwellness.com click shop!

 

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3 ways to build a strong friendship.

3 ways to build a strong friendship

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.   ~C. S. Lewis

Do you ever meet someone and things just instantly click?  How about over time, you come to realize someone you weren’t quite sure about at first, has crept into your heart and you realize that you would miss them if they weren’t in your life?  However your friendship starts, it takes lots and lots of nourishment to keep it going.  Just like any relationship worth having.

One of the hardest things when you get older, is to keep friendships alive that might seem to be dying off.  I know that when I was growing up, we’d call each other on the phone and make plans all the time.  But once you are not in close proximity anymore, it really takes a more proactive approach that some people just don’t seem to have time for.  The truth is, we are all busy so that’s just an excuse…it’s time to call friends, on the phone, and not just message or text them.  I know that seems quick and easy, but there’s something about hearing your friend’s voice even a few times a month that can really make a difference.

3 ways to build strong..er friendships

  1. Talk it out.  Even if you don’t always agree, arguments can be a sign that you still care enough about the other person to be concerned about a certain behavior.  If you didn’t care, you might not bring it up.  If they care about you, they will make time to listen to what you have to say and hear you out.  Not just jumping to the worst conclusion.  If they do that, well, it might be a sign that even when you talk, they only hear what they want to hear.
  2. They make time for you…face time.  I know that we have all had those friends who couldn’t get together unless they needed something.  If you want to get together, they have x, y, and z to do.  But if the latest band is in town and they want to go, they text you.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  Proactive friendships are different.  You enjoy spending time together and there doesn’t have to be an event, reason, or purpose.  As a matter of fact, before you leave that outing/meeting/movie or whatever, you make time in your calendar right then for the next meeting.  You are truly glad to get together…and it doesn’t feel like the other person is hiding anything or just making excuses when you ask what they are doing on a certain night.
  3. Seek balance in the friendship.  Sometimes, it seems you are the only one putting in all the effort.  At other times, you might be the only one making all the plans…asking when you can get together or even being the first one to text…without much response if any.  During those times, it can be easy to assume that perhaps the friendship is not working out.  Maybe the other person is truly not aware they are constantly giving you the brush off, or maybe they are.  But at a certain point, it’s time to realize that you are carrying the friendship alone.  There is no balance.  A proactive friendship is one that really makes you feel good about your friend.  You get together, you call, you actually carry out plans that you make.  You don’t feel let down by constant broken plans, or empty promises.  A balanced friendship makes you feel great.  You have someone who you can count on no matter what.

I saw something on Facebook last week that made me think of writing this post.  A person said she knew her “friends” had read the message she sent them as it said so, and they just didn’t respond.  Not only that, but she was liking and commenting on things her “friends” did, but no one seemed to do the same for her.  I understand how once in a while, messages can get missed.  But if you rely solely on messages as a form of communication with a friend, well, that might be a problem as well.  It’s time to look at your friendships closely.  Are you being proactive and sharing the responsibilities or are you just too “busy” to keep up?   Want more tips that you can use and a real support group?  Read more here >> The Club with Soul <<

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Motivational Monday…leadership

Today was already Motivational.  I listened to a call from one of my business leaders, and she had some great insight from The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  I have not read the book, but have it here to start tonight.  I was glad to hear that I do some of the things she mentioned already and will go over a few points here.

  1. I place the blame on myself if things go wrong.  That has been my way of thinking since I led a team at my school and was head of our Effective Schoolwide Discipline program.  If things started to unravel, I knew it was up to me to get them “sewn” back together.
  2. I think proactively, and try to encourage others to do so.  I do not wait for others to contact me.  I hope you all understand that I don’t think it’s wrong to lead this way.  I don’t want to leave you out there hanging.  I want to encourage you as much as I can in the beginning, then when you get to know me, and understand my style, you feel less timid about asking me a question.
  3. I like to chunk goals.  If you have little goals, they are easier to reach.  But that being said, I do like to see the whole picture.  However, I was recently on a call where they tried to explain the end result, and I was like, whoa.  That looks huge.  Back to baby steps.
  4. The relationship with the person is very important to me.  I would like to know your why.  What motivates you to reach the next goal.  What keeps you a float when you think you could sink?  I have the life vests ready.  Just let me know!!
  5. New habits are also very important.  I learn something new every single day.  No matter how long I have been doing a “thing” or a “job”, I learn something new all the time.  I am like a sponge.  I want to soak up the knowledge of those around me making things happen.  The people I admire who attain the next level.  The beauty of it is…they are still learning too!! 

attitudePeople may hear your words, but they FEEL your attitude.  Believe you are a leader and you will be!

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