NUTRITION

Nutrition

You are what you eat. Oh yes, so true. And your mood will be greatly affected by what you eat. If you are thinking I haven’t got time or organization to go on a diet. Think of it like this. Every day you eat, every time you eat you make choices. You are already “on a diet”.  All I am suggesting is that you make wise choices.

I started my first weight loss diet when I was 15. There was a course at school called Figure it Out. I signed up and quickly learned the basics of a calorie controlled diet. Simple; if you wanted to lose weight all you have to do was have a calorie deficit of calories in verses calories out. Eat less, move more.  That’s it. At fifteen I learned everything I ever needed to know. And now, more than 40 years later, I’m still trying to figure it out.

About 4 years ago something just clicked. I stopped being “on a diet”. Instead I was on a life plan. And I finally made peace with food. I lost excess weight and have now happily maintain for a long time. Every day I am making choices. Wise ones.

Over the years I’ve had great success with Slimming World and Weight Watchers. I highly recommend both. But I’d like to share with you the latest way I eat. It’s called Intermittent Fasting. It feels fantastic. All you have to do is not eat anything for most of your day. It’s that simple. I stop eating after dinner. I used to have an evening snack, but no more. I then skip breakfast in the morning; Ignoring all the thinking that your breakfast is the most important meal. I just break my fast later. So I eat lunch as normal and dinner too. It works out that I am fasting 16-18 hours a day. I feel fantastic. I feel fantastic. So fantastic I said it twice.

The reason I feel fantastic is that fasting makes my body go into Ketosis. This is where my body is burning fat as fuel. Not eating means all my easy ‘fuel of carbohydrates’ are soon burned up and my body starts to burn fat. Burning carbohydrates feels like a fast fuel of kindling, whereas burning fat feels like I’ve put a long burning log on the fire. This fuel feels steady and it has stabilized my mood. I feel strong because I am in control, and then I feel in balance. There is tons of information about Intermittent Fasting on the Internet. Just check out You Tube. I highly recommend it.

This means I’ve got two meals a day to make the best choices. There is a lot of research done about mood foods. I’ve followed this advice and I can report that Yes, it really does make a difference to your mental health when choosing food. The most important thing is to stay away from process foods. By definition, a processed food is a food item that has had a series of mechanical or chemical operations performed on it to change or preserve it. Processed foods are those that typically come in a box or bag and contain more than one item on the list of ingredients.

Most of the people I know who are mentally unwell just eat crap; a sandwich from the corner shop, a burger from the drive through. Stop this!!! You’ve got to eat fresh fruit and veg. Again it is worth a web search to find out which fruit and veg best affect your mood. This research will tell you how good avocado is, and almonds and broccoli.

Remember you are always choosing food, so choose wisely. What you put in your gob will affect your mood. Affect it positively, because that old adage is true. You are what you eat.

Have a great day.

About the Author – Kate Hull Rodgers is an expert by experience. She has been mentally ill since 1986, more than 30 years. She is diagnosed as bi polar and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) Every day she battles to be in recovery, many days she wins. She speaks in corporate workplaces with her company www.humourus.co.uk. She has spoken in 29 countries. Also she runs Stepping Stone Theatre for Mental Health www.steppingstonetheatre.co.uk with her husband, Bill- and she is still happily married. Mustn’t forget, she is the proud mother of Harvey and Dominic – and the dog, Zebbie.