With Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, it may seem like a difficult task to maintain a wellness diet. However, with a few considerations it is possible to enjoy your meal without feeling like you are holding back.
Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day
As a part of your day to day routine strive to eat multiple smaller meals spread throughout the day as apposed to three large portions. This will not only leave you feeling satisfied and energized throughout the entire day, but also improves your metabolism allowing you to maintain a healthy weight. Thanksgiving should be treated no differently in order to avoid overindulging at dinner time. Ensure to stick to your regular routine early in the day leading up to Thanksgiving dinner to avoid overeating and feeling lethargic afterwards.
Focus on Spending Time with Family
Thanksgiving is truly about giving thanks and enjoying the company of the most important people in our lives. The food can often become the centre of attention, so directing our focus away from it can allow us to take a step back and appreciate what we are grateful for. Before or after dinner, plan to do some sort of activity as a family such as going for a walk. This will not only be a wonderful way for your family to enjoy the holiday, but will leave you feeling better. Plus, this will allow you to burn off extra calories so that you can enjoy your meal guilt free.
Build Your Plate Wisely
When dinner time comes around, there are a few things that you can do to make your meal more nutritious and avoid eating too much. The great thing about Thanksgiving dinner is that the meals are often home cooked and prepared from scratch, which supports a wellness lifestyle. Start off by taking the foods you know you can’t resist, but are not necessarily that good for you in reasonable proportions. After that you can fill your plate with enough colourful veggies to leave you feeling satisfied. As well, drinking plenty of water is of importance in order fulfil your thirst needs, which can be mistaken as hunger if not met. Lastly, enjoy a drink with dinner to celebrate if you please, but be careful with how much alcohol you consume as the calorie content is quite high and should be kept in moderation.
Keeping these tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy your Thanksgiving without worrying about affecting your progress towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
We all know it’s important to maintain healthy nutrition and we honor this knowledge by telling our loved ones why we should eat more vegetables. Unfortunately, much of this information doesn’t stick. Often, it only aggravates the children who see it as some sort of cosmic injustice taking place:”Why do we have to eat VEGETABLES, of all things, to be healthy?” In all honestly, our own opinion about the matter is usually no different. This makes the injunction for more vegetables even less convincing.
First, we must learn to love eating vegetables.
This will enhance our talent for cooking vegetables. More importantly, loving vegetables dissolves our desire to lecture our children about them. As we begin to practice what we preach with an authentic love of doing it, we will impress our children in lasting ways.
He or she who loves vegetables eats them for breakfast!
This is remarkably simple and it brings vegetables to a whole new level of prominence in your life. There’s something magical about breakfast. It’s wrapped with awesome sensations like the rising sun, birds signing, and the smell of coffee. With this comes a natural rise in serotonin levels and many other endocrine hormones that give us positive feelings. Children are most attuned to this natural,morning high. Coupling the morning time with vegetables which could benefit from these positive associations just makes perfect sense! Furthermore, having just woken from a night-long fast, breakfast time offers us a unique opportunity to fall in love with any food that we choose to eat, not just bacon or French toast.
Lastly, relax and enjoy your child’s defiance – it’s a sign of good health!
One thing is for certain. Children are born into this world with a vitality level that few adults can remember. Adults want children to be healthy and strong, but they already are these things!
If adults were endowed with a childlike vitality, two things would probably happen: 1) They would be unceremoniously plunged into the present moment and begin to live a more vibrant life. 2) They would quickly take on that characteristic of children which abandons all fear for future health concerns. Just imagine the freedom!
The bottom line is that we can regain the freedom and vitality of our childhood. This vitality IS achievable through the consumption of copious amounts of cooked vegetables. And our children, surrounded by the love of nutrition, will learn to enjoy vegetables as a part of life, which will ensure that they maintain their vitality into adolescence and adulthood.
I believe in informed choice. Here is the lowdown on the various terms being used to describe chicken (and egg) raising: organic, vegetarian-fed, cage-free, freerange and pastured. It is important to define these terms, as their very names mislead and confuse.
Organic: “Not everything it’s cracked up to be.”
This label merely states that the chicken’s food sources are free of harmful chemicals. It does not clarify how the chickens were raised, or if they had access to a pasture or not. Trendy, but not relevant.
Vegetarian-Fed: “Dumb cluck.”
Since most people think grains should comprise the majority of the chicken’s diet, a vegetarian-fed chicken seems appealing. The truth of the matter is that chickens need protein from grubs and bugs, as well as fresh greens and seeds. “Vegetarian-fed” is another designer term, and guarantees that the chickens do not have access to the pasture, where it would be virtually impossible to keep them from eating grubs.
Cage-Free: “Ruffle your feathers.”
I was a bit annoyed when I found out the real meaning of this marketing label. It insinuates that the chickens are free to roam, and are not confined to the dismal living conditions of a cage. In reality, the chickens may not be caged, but are usually confined to dark barns they can never leave. At best, they have access to fenced bare dirt or cement yards stripped of all plants and potential nourishment. That yard access, however, is usually designated by the term “free-range.”
Free-Range: “Caught with egg on your face.”
Again, the implication is that these chickens are roaming a lush, green pasture with unlimited access to grasses, grubs and sunlight. The term has become abused, because many commercial poultry farms can simply place a small door in a huge barn with access to the outdoors. Access, however does not guarantee that the chicken will make it outside. And “outdoors” in these setups could mean a dirt or concrete patch. The legal qualifications to use this term are that chickens need only a small patch of dirt to be on instead of being caged. No pastured diet is considered in this legal definition. The term “free-range” is often confused by the public as meaning pastured.
Pastured: “Something to crow about.”
There are three types of pastured poultry. Some are kept in movable, floorless “tractors” with continued access to grass. Ideally, the tractors are moved daily to give the chickens access to new grass for eating and cleaner areas, free of daily droppings. Another system provides free access to large areas of pasture, secured by movable electric fences to keep foxes out (foxes can deplete a flock rapidly). The third option, fenceless pastured, is the freest lifestyle for the chicken—and often the most traumatic for the farmer. I have chased many a fox and flailed my arms at numerous hawks.
The term “pastured poultry” makes people think of pasteurization. A more user-friendly term would be “grass-fed,” but the term “free-range,” which implies chickens happily grazing in the pasture, seems to have better market appeal.
Unfortunately, as you have just read, “free range” is really not so free. Pastured poultry comes from small farms that sell their wares at local markets. Supermarkets, and even most health food stores, do not carry pastured eggs. Pastured eggs can also come from your own backyard. Many families are now raising hens in their yards, enjoying their many benefits.
How nutritious are eggs?
Eggs are an easy and inexpensive source of protein with at least 9 amino acids. In general, eggs contain almost all vitamins (except for C) with high levels of all B vitamins, and a good source of folate, A, D and E. Eggs provide a high source of the nutrient choline, which is important in the regulation of the nervous system, brain and cardiovascular system. Eggs are also a rich source of many essential minerals.
Eggs from pastured hens have been shown to offer even greater nutritional value. In 2007, Mother Earth News conducted an egg testing project to establish just this. Their testing found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:
How to Ensure a Good Nights Sleep? 2/3 more vitamin A 3 times more omega-3 fatty acids 3 times more vitamin E 7 times more beta-carotene
– Jeanne Ohm D.C. Pathways Issue #27
Photo Courtesy of Tia Ohm
Establishing and Advancing the Chiropractic Family Wellness Lifestyle Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org and www.discoverkidshealth.com Compliments of ICPA Member: Dr. Gary Barone DC
So, where did kefir come from, and what exactly is this wonder culture? The origins of kefir are somewhat shrouded in mystery. The long-lived inhabitants of the Caucasus Mountains have used kefir, perhaps forming by spontaneous wild fermentation, for more than 2000 years. This extensive mountain range, the dividing line between Europe and Asia, is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse places on Earth. The Muslims of the Caucasus considered the kefir grains a gift from God, a sacred food. Grains were passed down from generation to generation; to this day, people in Tibet enjoy a breakfast of kefir, which they culture in yaks’ milk and favour with salt. I cannot help but feel connected to this process when I consider that my grains come from such a long tradition of honour and care.
The precious “jeweled grains,” were brought to Russia; the legend of the journey is a story of romantic intrigue, involving a Caucasus prince and a beautiful girl. From there they have traveled westward ever since. The grains themselves are not true grains, but are a gelatinous matrix of bacteria consisting of various strains of friendly yeasts and lactobacilli, lipids, sugars and proteins.
There are two varieties of kefir grains: milk and sugar. You can culture milk kefir grains in a medium such as cow, goat, sheep, yak, nut, or soy milk. They transform ordinary milk into a slightly effervescent, slightly sour beverage that is much higher in gut-friendly microorganisms than yogurt (a cultured dairy product with which most of us are familiar).
Milk kefir grains are opaque, pale cream to yellow in color, and resemble cooked cauliflower. As they feed, they produce more grains over time. Sugar kefir grains, also called water kefir, feed on a mixture of sugar and water, often with dried fruit added for additional flavor and trace minerals. These grains are similar to milk kefir but do not have the same bacterial complexity. They are smaller in size, and transparent in appearance. Sugar kefir results in a beverage that is fizzy like soda, but unlike the high fructose corn syrup drinks on the market, this tasty treat is full of enzymes and probiotics. It’s a favorite of our children, and even the sweet neighbor kid who is a known picky eater.
Photo Courtesy of Tia Ohm
Suzi Croes, Pathways Issue 32
Establishing and Advancing the Chiropractic Family Wellness Lifestyle Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org and www.discoverkidshealth.com Compliments of ICPA Member: Dr. Gary Barone
I love the holidays, and I love to eat, so holiday dinners are my favourite! Buttery potatoes, juicy roasts, colourful trifles… you name it, I’m all over it!
The problem is that I often find myself going overboard, especially at a party. At best, I end up with a tummy ache afterwards, and at worst I find myself getting sick days afterwards. This year, I plan on sticking to a plan so I don’t end up with that awful rolling-on-the-floor feeling. Here’s how:
Have a pre-party snack before going out, to curb any tendency to overeat. Choose something that has protein in it, like yogurt or nuts. Protein requires more time and energy from your stomach to break down than other macro-nutrients, so you feel a little fuller for longer.
Eat and be merry
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water during the day of and the day after a holiday event. During dinner, have a non-alcoholic drink between glasses of alcoholic beverages, like soda, juice, or water. Your throat and your head will thank you!
When filling up your plate, choose the best-for-you foods first (like vegetables) before moving on to other, richer offerings. Don’t hang around the buffet table during appetizers. Grab what you like, and then move to another area where you can socialize without the urge to constantly graze.
Don’t skip meals to compensate for a large dinner or extra drinks. It’s important to continue to consume vital micro-nutrients to help your body recover and stay on top of your health, so have a balanced breakfast such as a spinach and mushroom omelette.
A smoothie is another great way to get your nutrients in. What I love about them is that you can throw almost any fruit or vegetable in and it will taste delicious. If you want to really level up on the nutritional benefits, you can add one scoop of a whole food supplement and mix it in so the taste of it is practically invisible! (If you choose one like Green’s First, it also tastes great on its own!)
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Happy holidays, and bon apétit!
Glucosamine is a naturally occuring chemical produced by our bodies. It is in the fluids around our joints, and helps create the other chemicals that build ligaments, tendon, and cartilage. These soft tissues protect the ends of the bones from rubbing against each other and act like cushioning when you move. Thus, the state of these tissues is essential to joint health.
Degeneration of the joint tissues can happen with cartilage damage, musculoskeletal injuries, and progressive chronic conditions, and is often a major concern for individuals as they age. However, many studies have shown good evidence that taking glucosamine orally is effective in aiding joint health, and preventing joint-related disease.
For example, knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects singular joints. Throughout the progress of this disease, the tissues in and around the joints become worn down. This minimizes the shock absorption abilities of your joints. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include join pain, stiffness, and eventual loss of function.
A study published by the American Medical Association has shown that the added intake of glucosamine helped in delaying the long-term progression of knee osteoarthritis. As you age, the regeneration of essential amino acids, sugars, and proteins slows down. By supplementing your natural stores of glucosamine, you are stimulating the production of collagen, which gives your soft tissues elasticity. Your cartilage begins to rebuild inside your joints as it receives the essential nutrients.
Another study published by BJSM suggests that a regular dosage of glucosamine may be as effective at pain reduction as ibuprofen, a common pain relief drug. After receiving glucosamine therapy, participants reported less joint pain. Thus, you may find that the short-term supplemental use of glucosamine eases your joint pain, and you may prefer the lower side effects of glucosamine over ibuprofen. Be sure to always follow the recommended guidelines for dosage on the packaging.
Provide your body with the building blocks it needs to create healthy tissue, and you help your body heal itself!
Where can I get glucosamine?
At NewPort Village Chiropractic, we offer an array of supplements and vitamins that can help you in your quest for better nutrition and overall health.
The glucosamine supplement we carry is Procosa by USANA. It is 100% vegetarian, unlike most supplements derived from shellfish and other animal-based ingredients. Procosa is also formulated with Vitamin C, an essential nutrient for your immune system. It has an added Meriva complex that helps you absorb the nutrients.
As part of our Anti-Aging month theme, we are offering a 15% off discount for our USANA Procosa supplements! This offer stands while supplies last.
A friend and I often give each other “Nutritional Nuggets.” Little ideas to help us encourage healthy eating in the home. With two young boys who could easily be pegged picky eaters, I am always looking for new and inventive ways to ensure they’re eating nutritiously. So here’s my nutritional nugget to you:
Reintroduce, reintroduce, reintroduce! I make it a habit as a parent to NEVER confine my children’s palate to a once or twice reaction. In fact, we avoid assigning likes and dislikes to food as we understand it to be ever-evolving . I encourage my children that our tastebuds are always changing and that it’s exciting to try foods again and again waiting for the day that our mouth appreciates them.
Some people are shocked when my five year old begs for broccoli with dinner, but they might be more surprised to learn about the year my son fell in love with broccoli. As a two year old he was offended by the site of it. I would tell him that he didn’t have to eat it, but it did have to stay on his plate. Over time it’s smell and appearance became acceptable to him and we were ready to encourage a lick. The first lick resulted in full on body chills. It would be weeks before that lick turned into a bite.
It was never a source of contention as I would simply ask “Let’s see what your tongue thinks of broccoli today.” Becoming familiar and comfortable with broccoli meant pretending they were little trees sometimes or coloring pictures of broccoli and learning about the many nutrients in broccoli and how those nutrients help our bodies stay healthy. While still in the infancy of our broccoli love affair, we looked at broccoli seeds and learned how broccoli grows.
When a friend remarks “You’re so lucky that your son loves vegetables!” I think back to those early days of chills and repulsion and can say with complete confidence that loving vegetables can be learned. Would you believe that from the days of praying he’d take a lick, it is now the first thing eaten off his plate at dinner time. In fact, sometimes the only thing, but I’ll take it!
If I could leave you with one “Nutritional Nugget” to encourage your child’s healthy eating habits it would be to avoid entertaining the idea that there are nutritional foods they don’t like. We easily fall into patterns and adjust our shopping and cooking to the likes and dislikes of our children until we are no longer introducing certain foods assuming they don’t like them. Children are much less likely to make long-term decisions about foods or activities than us adults, and it’s helpful if we don’t put that level of commitment into their daily whims. Also by avoiding saying “S/he doesn’t like broccoli” we are not attaching this to our children and they have more freedom to change their minds.
Recently I took my son out to eat at a diner where he was allowed to choose ANYTHING he wanted off the menu. He ordered “Carrots, an apple, and french fries.” Okay, you’ve got me on the fries, but the point is that these are the foods he wants to eat, not the foods he has to eat. And don’t even get me started on how many times I picked up spit out carrots off my floor before he actually started to swallow them. Good luck with all your nutritional goals for this year and happy reintroducing!
By: Janaiah von Hassel, CEO of Kiro Kidz, is a proud mother of two young boys, Landon and Corbin, who she happily nurtures alongside her husband, Matthew. Janaiah turned to chiropractic after receiving her son’s autism diagnosis and, in doing so, discovered that her entire family benefited from care. In her desire to spread the word, she has found great fulfillment in her work with Dr. Todd Defayette on the creation and development of Kiro Kidz. This animated children’s book tells an exciting tale of the benefits of chiropractic care.
Baked Broccoli Bites
Call it our new alternative to a tater-tot. Kids love tatertots and who doesn’t? But they are just not the best thing for you. Even if you make them at home with good fats, it is still just potato, and in my mind, that is the least nutritious vegetable you (or your kids) can eat.
Instead, let’s make it green. Let’s use broccoli, with some cheddar, and you have a tasty broccoli-cheddarsoup-like-snack, yum! Add some eggs and almond meal to help bring it all together. Now what we have is a flavorful, cheesy morsel you can serve to your kids to dip in their favorite condiment.
This will definitely be made again, in bulk, and kept on hand to throw in the oven any day we feel we will need an extra snack. And there are veggies in it, hallelujah! Finally a snack with veggies not just the adults, but the kids can enjoy.
Did I mention they are gluten-free? Yep, no breadcrumbs in this recipe, just some almond meal for binding. Took me roughly 25 minutes to make, and if you have pre-steamed broccoli on hand or frozen, it is even quicker. Easy, healthy and tasty; the perfect snack for the whole family any time of the day.
By: Tia Ohm
Baked Broccoli Bites Recipe
What You’ll Need:
1 cup steamed broccoli, (about 2 cups raw, chopped into bite-sized pieces)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, from grass-fed cows
1/2 cup almond meal
2 pastured eggs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
sea salt and pepper to taste
grass-fed butter to grease pan
What to Do:
1. Prepare to steam your broccoli by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil in a steamer. Add your chopped broccoli and steam for about 10 minutes or until fork is inserted easily. Allow to drain and chill in freezer while you prep your other ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add chopped broccoli, cheese and almond meal and gently mix together with a spoon
3. Preheat oven to 375°. Using your hands, form the broccoli into bite sized balls and place onto greased pan.
4. Once you have used up all your ingredients, bake in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning half way through until golden.
Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day!?! Whether your favorite is chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, or any of the dozens of other flavors, ice cream is a favorite for kids of all ages!!!
And while ice cream is good no matter how you get it, probably the best way is in a cone where you get to lick it and then spin it and then lick again. And when it’s hot you have to keep up with the melting. So sometimes you have to lick and spin faster than others, right!?!
The reason that ice cream is best when licked from a cone is because your tongue is specifically designed for it. No kidding! Your tongue is equipped with about 10,000 taste buds that allow you to enjoy an endless variety of different flavors and a number of specific qualities including sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Your taste buds are sensory organs like your ears, eyes, and nose. They pick up the sense of taste and then transmit messages to your brain which processes the messages and you think “Yummy”!!! Ice cream!!! (Or “Yuk, what was that”!?!)
The amazing thing is that they use to think that your taste buds were organized on your tongue in a specific pattern. Bitter was supposedly in the back, sour and salty on the sides, and sweet at the tip. Now we know that’s wrong because you can taste anything anywhere on your tongue.
The reason that it’s best to lick ice cream is because when you spoon ice cream into your mouth you can overstimulate the nerves in the roof of your mouth and get a headache sometimes called brain freeze. Here’s something cool to try the next time you get brain freeze, immediately place your tongue up against the roof of your mouth and press firmly. The temperature of your tongue will warm up the roof of your mouth and rid you of the headache within seconds.
You never get brain freeze from your tongue. Your tongue solves brain freeze. That would suggest that licking is the best way to enjoy ice cream don’t you think? Your tongue was designed for it! Your body is so smart. It is perfectly designed. It was from the very beginning and it continues to grow and reorganize itself with every passing day.
That wisdom that you were born with uses your nervous system to communicate and coordinate. Chiropractors check to make sure that your inborn wisdom is expressed as fully as possible. They do that by making sure that the bones of your spine aren’t disrupting the function of your nervous system. The clearer your nervous system, the better the communication and the better your whole body works. So the next time you enjoy an ice cream cone, remind yourself how amazing you are!! And enjoy every last lick!!!!
The way you start each day is incredibly important. Whether you’re a mom, a coach, a writer, a small business owner or a yoga teacher, what you do first thing in the morning matters. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down. And if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this: Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon. It’s so simple, and the benefits are just too good to ignore.
Warm Water with lemon:
Boosts your immune system. Lemons are high in vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
Balances pH. Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
Helps with weight loss. A study in the journal Obesity shows that replacing sugary beverages like fruit juice and soda with water reduces the number of calories you consume per day by about 200. Over a year this adds up to 21 pounds that you can shed with almost no effort. It has also been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
Aids digestion. Warm water stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen toxins in the digestive tract. (Cold water chills the muscles and blood vessels in your gastrointestinal tract, and hot water burns the enzymes in the lemons, minimizing their positive effects. Warm water is the key; it relaxes the muscles, dilates the blood vessels and maintains the integrity of the nutrients in the lemon.)
Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
Clears skin. The Mayo Clinic reports that vitamin C may improve the appearance of wrinkled skin. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood, which helps keep skin clear, as well.
Hydrates the lymph system. This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration and adrenal fatigue. Believe it or not, 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue), it can’t perform all of its proper functions leading to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, weight gain, and more. Your adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and, along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
Like I said, the recipe is really simple—a cup of warm water and the juice from half a lemon. Therefore, adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light.
– Ashley Pitman, Pathways Magazine #37
Warm Lemon Water
What You’ll Need:
8 oz. warm water
½ organic lemon
What to Do:
Bring a cup of water to a boil. Let sit and cool down until it is just warm.
Add juice of half a lemon, avoiding the seeds.
Enjoy first thing in the morning.
Compliments of ICPA Member: Gary Barone DC
Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, published by ICPA, Inc.
Your mood (often created by the foods you choose) determines what you eat at your next meal. Imbalanced eating habits trigger a vicious cycle where you feel worse and worse and turn repeatedly to the wrong foods for a quick fix….In contrast, when you make the right food choices, you’re providing fuel for a healthy body, a good mood, an active mind, and a high energy level. —Elizabeth Somer, Food & Mood ￼
The concept of “emotional eating” is most often based on the notion that people become emotionally upset, which then leads them to binge on large quantities of primarily low-quality junk foods as a source of comfort. What is seldom discussed however, is what triggered the emotional upset and cravings for certain foods in the first place.
It begs the question: which came first, the emotional upset or poor nutrition and junk-food binging? This is an important distinction. Negative emotions don’t just spring out of nowhere. Improper nutrition is a primary cause of imbalanced psychological states and frequently triggers emotional upset, which in turn perpetuates the cycle of imbalanced eating and imbalanced emotional states. The only way to loop out of this vicious cycle is to balance the body’s internal chemistry by providing adequate nutrients and eliminating offending foods.
Whether it be chronic depression, irritability, anxiety, fear, anger, obsessive thinking, or constant worrying, the Standard American Diet is loaded with foods that not only cause physical imbalance and deterioration, but mental and emotional imbalance and deterioration as well. At the same time, the Standard American Diet is lacking in the whole, fresh, natural foods loaded with the vital nutrients needed for proper brain function and mental health. Having an awareness and understanding of this can significantly increase your ability to decipher which foods are best for you, and can also significantly increase your chances for successfully changing your eating habits.
As people begin to eat healthier and develop more body awareness, they’re frequently amazed to discover that poor eating in general and certain foods in particular, trigger emotional upsets that cause them to unconsciously eat more of the offending foods rather than the other way around. In fact, the healthier and more balanced they eat, the healthier and more balanced their emotional states become. Because normal brain and body functions have been restored, they no longer react to situations as they would have in the past. They find they’re able to maintain a balanced state of emotional well-being as long as they maintain their healthy eating lifestyle.
It’s Also About What You Don’t Eat! Remember that proper nutrition is as much about the foods you eat as it is about those you don’t eat. Foods to which you are sensitive or allergic, including the common food allergens, processed foods with chemical additives, especially aspartame and MSG, and extreme foods such as sugar and caffeine, are all major culprits in creating a psychological environment ripe for emotional fragility. Equally problematic are the nutritional deficiencies that can result from the absence of nutrient-rich foods in your diet. So it’s as important to identify and eliminate offensive foods, as it is to be sure you’re getting adequate nutritious foods regularly such as fresh produce and essential fatty acids. ￼
Become a Food Detective Whether someone is emotionally binging or experiencing acute, chronic, or intermittent irritability, depression, anxiety, hypersensitivity, fear, anger, worry or other disagreeable emotional state, learning to listen to the body and correctly interpret and respond to the messages it sends is a worthwhile skill for everyone to develop. The best way to do this is to become a food detective. Keeping a journal of what you’re eating and any corresponding symptoms is one way of playing detective.
Another is to train yourself to investigate situations in the moment, and at the same time take immediate action to remedy the current situation and reflect on how to prevent yourself from repeating it in the future. To do so, take a moment whenever you’re feeling out of sorts to stop and ask yourself:
1. What exactly am I feeling both emotionally and physically (i.e., headache, fatigue, irritability, anger, spaciness, etc.)?
2. When did I start feeling this way?
3. What foods or beverages have I had, or not had, today or yesterday that may have caused or contributed to this imbalanced state?
4. What foods or beverages do I regularly have or not have that may be causing an overall state of imbalance in my body and mind?
5. What actions can I take at this moment to start feeling better and get my body and mind back into a balanced state of well- being?
6. What actions can I take to help prevent this from happening in the future?
It may take some time to get to know what your body is trying to tell you. But the more aware you become of what causes your symptoms and reactions, the better you’ll be able to make corrections. In addition, as the specific associations between what you’re eating and how you feel become clearer, the more motivated you’ll be to eliminate the foods and habits that are causing you problems.
Your desire to feel good will soon override your desire for bad foods.
￼￼Kelly Hayford, C.N.C. is the award-winning author of If It’s Not Food Don’t Eat It! As a former chiropractic assistant and junk-food junkie turned nutrition and health coach, Kelly has helped thousands restore their health, energy and natural weight.
￼￼Kelly Hayford, C.N.C.
Compliments of ICPA Member: Gary Barone DC
Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, published by ICPA, Inc.