Did you know that some foods will help ease anxiety and encourage “feel good” hormones in your brain (ie. serotonin)? With the hectic, busy lives we live these days, it is helpful to know what foods help you reduce anxiety and support your immune system for your best health.
Here’s a list:
Walnuts – high heart healthy fats, magnesium and Omega 3s
Oatmeal – a regular serving actually changes brain chemistry and activates serotonin. Also helps combat pain and bring on calm feelings. Not to mention the bonus of fiber since it is a complex carbohydrate.
Bananas – this fruit improves the transportation of tryptophan into the brain to be converted to serotonin
Salmon – Not only full of Omega 3s, but is rich in tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin)
Spinach – Nutrient dense powerhouse. A mood booster rich in magnesium, a natural way to relieve tension and relax muscles
Chia Seeds – touted as a tryptophan powerhouse. These little seeds help boost mood and promote restful sleep. Easy to sprinkle on salads, add to smoothies, and to garnish meats.
Perhaps some of these were a surprise to you, or perhaps you knew them all. Oatmeal was the one that I didn’t expect because I always focus on eating it for it’s fiber content. Find ways to include these in your daily eating and you will reap the benefits of less anxiety and a healthier body.
source: The Trails Mix July 2019 issue 146
To relish in the fun and info of the past 5 years of this blog, I decided to repost links to the Halloween posts from the past. Enjoy.
7,000 Calories – https://wordpress.com/post/eatlivefit.net/601
Halloween Snack – https://wordpress.com/post/eatlivefit.net?copy=1439
Halloween Goonies Appetizer – https://wordpress.com/post/eatlivefit.net?copy=2141
This year, I wanted to remind you to be mindful of your treat eating. Here’s the way to keep your sweet treat to 100 calories so you can indulge without blowing it. Pick ONE!!
3 fun sized kit kats
5 starburst pieces
1 1/2 tsp nerds
10.5 sour patch kids
14 candy corns
3 twizzler sticks
8.5 peanut M&Ms
I wanted to weigh in on the timing of weight loss the right way. The honest truth is weight loss takes time. How much time you ask, depends on your individual situation. What works for one person, your friend perhaps, may not work for you. You are your own unique being. You have your own set of circumstances, challenges and talents. Thus, your body has it’s own schedule for weight loss.
I will tell you that no matter the length of time, the effort you put into weight loss will come back to benefit you. During the first few weeks, months for some of you, amazing transformations are happening inside your body that you cannot view with the naked eye. Every cell in your body is leaning and preparing for change, mitochondria are gaining efficiency in energy production and your gut is building up healthy bacteria. These are the first steps in preparing your body for weight loss.
“What we acquire without sweat, we give away without regret”
This little phrase has helped me remember that I have to “work” for results. They are WAY more meaningful if I have worked to make them happen then if they came easily and without effort. The self confidence gained from, “I did it,” is much more valuable and meaningful.
I agree with this recap on the time and effort it takes to achieve weight loss from several trainers at http://www.myfitnesspal.com article this month:
“You probably already know it can take a while to see the benefits of working out and eating healthy, but knowing something and accepting it are two different things. “Many clients will join a fitness program only to terminate too soon,” says Michael Piercy, MS, certified strength and conditioning specialist, owner of The LAB and IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year 2017. Think about it this way: “The weight that you might want to lose didn’t get there in one day, so we know that it won’t come off in a day.”
Plus, there’s the fact that losing weight really quickly isn’t a great idea. “The faster you lose weight, the more likely it is to come right back (plus some) when you stop dieting,” says Christel Oerum, a certified personal trainer and diabetes coach. “When you lose weight too quickly, you also decrease your body’s metabolism, meaning that you burn fewer calories. When you have reached your weight goal and go back to a normal, healthy diet, you may have decreased your metabolism so much that even a ‘normal’ diet will make you gain weight fast.” That’s why slow and steady is the best approach, which means 1–2 pounds of weight loss per week maximum.” – 8 Things Trainers Wished Everyone Knew About Weight Loss Article
If you like pickles, then you have to try this new vegetable snack! I know many of you struggle to find a vegetable you like and one that will fit into your eating. I just discovered these little bags of pickled vegetables at my store this week. While I don’t recommend they be the only vegetable you eat, occasionally, they are a decent product to throw into the mix.
They are perfectly portable and taste good too. The sodium content is a little higher than ideal, but for a picky veggie eater, not bad. They were in the refrigerated section at Super Target. They are also for sale at Sprouts. If those stores are not near you, check out this link for store locations: https://www.glkfoods.com/store-locator/
How familiar does this scenario sound to you?
You woke up this morning with great intentions, new day, new start. You downed a glass of water as you cooked breakfast. You ate a healthy breakfast of eggs, oatmeal and fruit. At lunch , you erred on the side of grilled chicken with a huge plate of salad (even though I wanted to add in the sugar laden cranberries and opt for the fried chicken). Dinner was a quick meal of steak and vegetables before running out the door for an evening packed with carpool, and activities or errands. When you arrive home, tired and hungry later that evening, you open the bag of Oreos and finished off the whole first row.
Can you relate? You are not alone. The average person makes over 200 decisions about food everyday? It is really a lot! Each one of those choices can support or hinder your weight goals. Some days you get all the choices right 100%, and others you veer off course. Mindfulness is a BIG part of a healthy diet. Remembering that life is about balance and not perfection. Being honest with yourself is also key. Being aware of all the food choices you make each day and how they impact your total caloric intake is important. Merely consuming an extra 100 calories a day, each day, can add up to 10 lbs. of weight gain each year to your body*. Reminding yourself of this may be motivation enough to keep you focused on your goals of staying healthy and feeling your best. Rather than beating yourself up about one slip up, realize that tomorrow is another chance to start fresh and make better choices.
Have you heard of the Flat Tire Syndrome? Picture this, you are leaving work for the day and arrive at your car only to discover one of the tires is flat. Since one tire is flat, would you go around the car and slash all the other tires to make them all flat? Of course not, that would only make your situation much worse than it already is currently. The same it true for a healthy diet. When you make a poor choice (eating the entire sleeve of cookies), it doesn’t help to give into an inner voice telling you that you already blew it, so you might as well eat the rest of the package. NO! A better approach is to write off the one sleeve of cookies, put away whatever is tempting you, and choose another activity. Making a mindful choice to stop what you are doing and make a change, is a step in a direction that will build your confidence and make you proud of yourself. Each day is a fresh start.
*source Brian Wansink, Cornell Food and Brand Lab in Ithica, NY
That Sugar Film tidbit for your reading today. Love these bites of information about eating late at night. Read on…
“Dinner is done, yet something is not right. Not hungry, yet hungry. But is that hungry, or not hungry at all?
There are many reasons potentially behind the evening snack-a-thon. Let’s have a look at a few!
We have done it for years, and we like it. Which in some ways can make an attempt to kick late night snacking more difficult.
So clever, those advertisers! Seeing the chocolate coated Magnum succulently snapped will drive your subconscious mind straight to the freezer. You want it. You need it.
Iron, magnesium, zinc vitamin C and B vitamins (among others) are integral in our energy and mood pathways, and deficiencies could lead to you begging for brownies. Raw cacao is a great source of magnesium, so if you are lacking (which many of us are!), your body thinks ‘CHOCOLATE!’. However most chocolate is packaged with detrimental highly processed sugars.
Blood sugar dysregulation
Overeating may leave you tired, and consequently reaching for sugary snacks
Many of us are victims to the tooth grind when feeling under the pump! So crunching on the crisp can offer a satisfying (if subconscious) de-stress activity. In addition, salt is commonly craved when the adrenal glands are being worked, due to a constant production of stress hormones.
It has been suggested that the post 8pm snack attack may be due to our ancestral survival need to store fat and ensure the overnight fast ahead – hence the sugar/starchy/salty junk food cravings. But in this ever-so-comfortable, protected from the elements, endless food supply day and age, these needs are likely not as necessary.2
Each of these underlying drives (and there are more!) behind snacking when not hungry at night can be addressed independently. Hopefully then, the desire for late night snacking will naturally subside.
But why should we care?
At the end of yet another manic day, the reward of couch and cookie time is understandable. But have you considered that what you eat may be more punishment than payment?
Late night eating has been linked with reduced hippocampus function – meaning the area of brain in charge of memory and learning is unhappy. The timing of food consumption may impact our innate body clocks, and late night snacking is thought to interrupt the formation of long-term memory.1
We must also consider we are not exerting much energy post 8pm – and excess energy is typically stored as fat. Hello, weight gain.
And with food’s impact on blood glucose – specifically the sweet, carby chow – you can encourage increased serum levels, well into the morning, which is not good news for those with or at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Finally, our organs do some serious repair work at night – particularly our liver and intestinal tract. We want – and need – these dudes to work efficiently.
To do so, we need to be sleeping properly. But often if the body is super busy breaking down foods we do not rest fully.
Not only are organ activity, rest and repair compromised, so is our energy the following day, and increased risk of heartburn. Boo.
When you just gotta
Whilst we will ideally feel content and preparing for slumber post dinner, sometimes it just ain’t enough.
You could distract yourself with other activities, or ensure the tempting pack of double-coat Tim Tams are not in the house (both legitimate strategies!). Or try a herbal tea! It mightn’t sound like it will cut the mustard, but give it a try. There are plenty of delicious blends to choose from, so find one you like.
However, here are some ideas for snacks to reach for, with focus on protein and fibre, for those days when you just gotta!
- Kale chips
- Roasted and spiced chickpeas
- Lightly toasted coconut chips
- Mixed raw nuts and seeds, or lightly toasted with tamari
- Coconut yoghurt, berries and cinnamon
- Sliced apple and 100% nut or seed butter (like almond or tahini)
- Carrot sticks (raw or lightly roasted) with hummus or cashew cream cheese
- Nut based treats, like Nutty Banana Bread Balls
- Egg on a cloud or eggs boiled and rolled in a delicious spice
If you want to snack, just don’t feel guilty when you do. Whilst ideally we are eating until 80% full, several hours before bed an blah, blah, blah, if you are going to snack away, snack with joy!
By Angela Johnson (BHSc. Nut. Med.)
Loh, DH, Jami, SA Flores, RE Truong, D Ghiani, CA O’Dell, TJ & Colwell, CS 2015, ‘Misaligned feeding impairs memories’, eLife, vol. 10, no. 4
Scheer, FL, Morris, CJ, & Shea, SA 2013, ‘The internal circadian clock increases hunger and appetite in the evening independent of food intake and other behaviors’, Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 421-423.”