Thursday, September 1, 2011

Food for Thought...

Do you every have one of those day/or weeks where you are physically and mentally drained and you just don’t know why? Your sleeping fine, not too stressed and yet you cant keep your eyes open. Well...I'm having one of those day today.

I guess I haven’t been paying too much attention to my body the past few weeks, forgetting to take my vitamins, maybe eating a little too much junk food during the hurricane, being too lazy to exercise, you know what I are some energy boosting food and nutrition tips to use every day to keep your mood happy and your mind alert and focused.

Many meals - I am a broken record when I talk about eating small frequent meals throughout that day but studies have shown that when you have a small meal or a snack every 3-4 hours throughout the day, it naturally boosts our metabolism, keeps us satisfied, in a good mood, and keeps us focused. A small meal or snack could consist of a yogurt with fruit, peanut butter with crackers, fruits, cheese, etc.

No skipping - Never skip a meal, especially breakfasts. The saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" has been overlooked by so many people. It really is the most important meal of the day.

Carbohydrates – Carbs are essential for boosting energy and mood. Healthy carbs that come from whole grains, fruits and veggies can raise your seratonin levels, which naturally regulate your mood. Avoid sweets; they can raise your blood sugar, which can eventually lead to fatigue and irritability.

Go Nuts! - Cashews, almonds and hazelnuts are rich in protein and contain magnesium, which is a mineral that plays a roll in converting carbohydrates or sugars in your body to energy.

Lean Meats and Proteins - lean proteins contain amino acids, most specifically the amino acid thyrosine whose job is to boost levels of dopamine and norepinephrine which are brain chemicals that keep you feeling focused.

Fish - Specifically salmon and other fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. This food component has been studied and showed to protect against mood swings and depression.

Dark and Leafy greens - spinach, collards, kale, etc, all contain the vitamin Folate. Folic Acid (or folate) like magnesium protects against mood swings and depression.

Dark chocolate - my favorite energy-promoting tip...chocolate contains a chemical called theobromide, which promotes good mood and energy.

Water - keeping hydrated, sounds so easy right! Dehydration and fatigue go hand in hand so if your not drinking enough liquids then you most likely are going to be sleepy throughout the day.

Supplements - a multivitamin is always a good idea to help us get the vitamins and minerals that we may have missed in our foods. I personally take a multivitamin and an extra B-complex. B vitamins have been studied and shown to help your mood, keep you calm and your stress level down and also keep your mind alert. **Always talk to your doctor before starting any new vitamins or supplements.


  1. Ms. Smarty Pants......LoriSeptember 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    I'm trying to catch up on your last few posts.
    Loved this one today......great review of all the good things that certain foods can do for your mind & body. I do take a multivitamin, but thanks for the tip on the B-complex. Do you recommend any particular brand? Also, wondering what you think about taking "probiotics". You see them advertised everywhere. I know that cultures are good for your tummy, but can you get enough by eating plain yogurt each day?

  2. There is not a brand that I specifically recommend, I like to buy vitamins at Trader Joes, they are usually pretty inexpensive and they have a good variety (they even have a adult gummy vitamin for those of us who have trouble swallowing pills).

    Yes, probiotics are great, they promote regularity and health for your tummy and GI tract. I prefer to get probiotics in yogurt because your body is more willing to accept and utilize it rather than the ones in pill form. A yogurt every day with pleanty of hydration and exercise and your tummy will always be happy :)