BY SPORT SPECIFIC COACH LAURA NAVA
You are what you eat. Food effects not only your weight, but what you eat effects your mood and energy.
If you have a hard time keeping your eyes open during the workday or have a tough time getting through the afternoon slump, you might want to re-think your diet. Loading up on foods rich in complex carbs, healthy fats and protein are best picks for all day energy. Sugary drinks, breads, and candy give too much fuel into our blood too quickly-spiking your blood sugar levels, ultimately ending in a crash, leaving you tired and hungry again. Eating healthy fats, proteins and complex carbs take longer to digest, giving a steadier long-term energy while also making you feel full longer. Some foods to fuel up on that won’t spike your blood sugar and keep you going all day long are;
- Oatmeal is full of fiber, slow to digest and provide energy evenly.
- Eggs have 6g of protein, per egg. Again, this provides fuel slowly but they also contain more nutrients per calorie than most foods which helps satisfy hunger.
- Salmon, tuna or sardines are high in Omege-3. Not only does it supply steady energy but also helps prevent heart disease.
- Berries are perfect if you want something sweet that won’t give you the crash that doughnuts or a candy bar will. Berries also have antioxidants and other nutrients that help nourish and protect cells all over your body.
- Water is an underutilized energy drink. If your body doesn’t get enough water, it gets tired. Water helps carry the nutrients to your cells and helps get rid of waste. It’s especially important to drink when you are working out.
What you eat effects your mood. Nutrients provide the biological building blocks for neurotransmitters. These are the chemicals in the brain that effect your thoughts and emotions. If you don’t eat enough vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or polyphenols, found in different plants, it’s hard to make adequate mood enhancing transmitters. These goodies prove to protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia. Negative emotions cause 75% of overeating. You overeat because you feel bad and then feel bad because you overate, it’s a vicious cycle. Your brains are hardwired to reward. Taken to extreme, it can cause addiction. Some foods, especially sugar foods, trigger pathways and feelings as drugs do. Some people get more intense feeling after eating sugary foods than others. Particularly when under stress or dealing with emotional trauma. Eating spinach, or green leafy foods, are a great source of folic acid, a b vitamin sometimes used in treating depression. You can also find folate in beans, lentils and broccoli. Getting a daily dose of Vitamin D is important for your attitude. Dietary sources of D come from almond milk, oatmeal, and wild salmon. And don’t forget to get some sun, the sun provides Vitamin D. Bananas contain an amino acid called tryptophan that produces 5-HTP, a compound that makes serotonin and melatonin. They both regulate your mood and sleep. Bananas also contain magnesium, which helps with sleep. The more fruits and veggies people eat, the happier, less depressed and more satisfied they can be with their lives. In a Swiss study, it was reported that people that ate more than 5 servings in fruit and veggies a day (more veggies than fruit), had reduced distress levels. People who ate less than 5 servings a day had a higher likelihood of reporting stress and anxiety.
What you eat effects your weight. This is something I know you all know. But with all the different information about nutrients, foods and diets, how do you know that what you are eating is the right stuff?? So, to make it less complicated, I go by this philosophy; eat whole, real and unprocessed foods, not too much. Or go with what Greg Glassman said, “Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar…” Each of us are different, and you may need more protein than the next person but it still comes down to the same thing, eat, whole, real, and unprocessed foods. Focusing on what we are taking in will help to stave off weight gain and chronic diseases.
You’ll like this, checkout this comparison…
McDonald’s medium meal vs. Healthier Options
McDonald’s Big Mac– Calories 563, Fat 33 grams
Medium-sized McDonald’s French fries– Calories 384, Fat 20
Medium-sized McDonald’s vanilla shake– Calories 733, Fat 21
Total for one meal: 1,680 calories & 74 grams Fat
AND THAT’S A MEDIUM MEAL!! MOST FOLKS GO FOR THE “BIGGIE” SIZE. That is more calories in one meal than what some of you may eat in a day. And the fat is from trans-fat, the bad stuff. Oh MY!! For 1680 calories, you can eat better, nutrient dense foods, in 4 meals, such as…
- Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms
- Quick Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Almond Butter & Celery
Snack– 261 Calories
- Spinach salad
And let us not forget about our skin—every 35 days, our skin replaces itself, making new cells from the food you eat. Got skin problems? Sometimes, the expensive creams won’t help if its an inside problem rooted by our nutrition. Nutrition really is the base of our lives.
Want some help? Schedule a nutrition consultation, with me, and we will sit down and go over what you are doing now, how it is helping or hurting your goals and action steps to make it work for you. Sign up for a free nutrition consult below, or if you want a meal plan designed for you, I can help with that too. It’s time to get your nutrition right!
~ Coach Laura
“Good Mood Foods; How diet affects Happiness” Lani Muelrath