Training the mind

How Does Food Affect Your Mood?

How Does Food Affect Your Mood?

Did you know that food has vibrations that allow it to create change in our bodies on a cellular level? Food that is alive and from the earth will energize and invigorate you, while processed, pre-packaged, dead food will leave you feeling lethargic and uninspired, like a light that has fizzled out. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Dark green leafy vegetables are full of chlorophyll, which is basically liquid sunshine. It is the substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy. When we consume raw dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard, we fill our body with the equivalent of the plant’s life blood – the very thing that allows a seed to flourish and take form.

Chemically, the blood of the plant, chlorophyll, is very similar to our blood and, when consumed, it helps us to oxygenate and breathe life into every cell. Pretty cool, huh? Chlorophyll is also extremely cleansing and detoxifying.

Here are some other high vibrational foods for you to try:

1. Tree Fruits – try apples, pears, bananas, coconuts, avocados, nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and olives.

2. Non-green veggies

3. Raw Cacao – chocolate in its pure form has over 1,200 phytonutrients. It contains nutrients like magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese. It also contains phenylethylamine, which are the feel good characteristics, and theobromine which dilates the cardiovascular system to allow all the benefits to come in.

4. Goji Berries – packed with antioxidants, which can help minimize free radical damage to our cells.

5. Cultured and Fermented Foods –a great source of probiotics, which will help your digestion stay on track.

I firmly believe in the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Junk in = feeling like junk, and rich, living, nutrient-dense food = much happier body and mind. Don’t just take my word for it. We’ve all tried the junk in, junk out experiment, so don’t you think it’s time to rock your body and mind with some fresh and fabulous food? By eating food that vibrates at a higher frequency, we increase our life-force energy and feel more radiant inside and out.

Detox is Not as Scary as You Think!

Detox is Not as Scary as You Think!
You know how nice it feels to drive your car home after getting a tune up? The oil is squeaky clean, the fluids have been topped off, windshield wipers have been changed, tire pressure is at that perfect level, and it’s been washed inside and out? Well, just like our cars need a tune up, a seasonal detox allows our bodies to become shiny and new again too. It allows our body to reboot our metabolism, boost our immunity, clears the cobwebs from our minds, gives our skin a chance to glow, and allows us to lose weight effortlessly.

Are you afraid that it will be too hard or that maybe you aren’t worth it? I know for a fact that you ARE worth it, because I know deep down you are just like me. You want to be happy. You want to feel energetic, vibrant, and full of joy. Do you remember what that feels like? You can be confident in the fact that you are worth it. You are enough! AND, I will be with you every step of the way supporting you, answering your questions, and cheering you on, because I know you can do this.

Maybe a little fear comes up for you at the thought of not being able to eat your favorite foods.

Are you concerned about giving up your daily coffee, chocolate, or evening cocktails perhaps?

Are you afraid I’m going to make you drink juice and smoothies all day?

Maybe you think that you will feel hungry or deprived. No worries, my friend, because I’ve created this detox so you can pick which level of detox adventure you want to go on. Having all these feelings are natural, but you know what is not natural? Feeling like we have to constantly count calories, not eat any fat, and go around in circles from one diet to the next. The thought of doing that for the rest of my life sounds just plain exhausting!

There is no reason to be scared because you will NOT feel deprived. We are going to keep it simple and eat wholesome, nourishing foods. The only thing you have to lose is some unwanted poundage, dark circles and puffiness under your eyes, and that feeling of lethargy that has been dragging you down. You will discover your blueprint for the foods that work for your unique body.

I have everything you will need: a step-by-step guide, the recipes, a shopping list and meal planner, as well as a transition recipe packet & food diary. I will be with you every step of the way with daily e-mail support and to cheer you on.

Check out all the details here  Register now and change your life forever!

Eating Healthy When You are Crazy Busy

Eating Healthy When You Are Crazy Busy

I wanted to share some tips with you for when you are really busy but still want to eat healthy, because it makes you feel GREAT to keep eating healthy, right?!
And we aren’t going to let “being busy” stop us from feeling great, right?!
Well, I have some tips for ya on what you can eat to stay healthy when you are busy!

So fast, just pour some coconut water, rice milk or hemp milk into the blender, then throw in your fruits AND some veggies (spinach, cucumber, romaine lettuce, just to name a few).
Add some protein if you like (hemp seed or chia seed, or maybe a scoop of hemp protein powder) and some healthy fats (avocado, coconut milk. or the proteins I mentioned before which also have you covered on the healthy-fat front!).
For extra flavor, add some vanilla extract or dash of cinnamon.

Chop up a bunch of lettuce – romaine or red leaf – and add some spinach. Pile on some other veggies – tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, sliced beets, bell peppers, onions…whatever you like.
Add some protein. Choose pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, cooked organic chicken breast, kidney beans, sprouts, a hard-boiled egg, or salmon or tuna.
Make a quick dressing with stone-ground mustard, olive oil, and a couple sprays of Bragg’s Amino Acids (or just a bit of sea salt if you don’t have Bragg’s or can’t find it). Toss it all together and eat.
If you chop the veggies in bulk you can make a couple salads at a time, don’t add the dressing to them yet, and they usually last a couple days.

Know where you can get healthy take-out.
This could be from a nearby restaurant (I love my local Vietnamese restaurant and it’s really close and inexpensive) or you could find a place like Snap Kitchen in Austin, Texas, which I recently explored and am now in love with. They prepare healthy food to go. I stopped by this morning and picked up a couple dishes to tide me over the next few days. They have organic and locally-sourced produce, organic chicken, and free-range grass-fed beef and bison. Their portions will keep you on track but you can also get a medium or large size meal if you want to have extra leftovers.
No, it’s not quite as cheap as buying and preparing it yourself, but if you are a busy person (OR you just don’t enjoy cooking) and would just spend the money on junky fast food or pizza delivery, then it’s a much better value.

It’s always the small habits that add up. Don’t let yourself fall back into old habits that cause you to not feel so great! I’d love to hear from you, too: what do you like to eat when you are really busy?

Why Sleep? Your Adrenals Need A Break

Why Sleep? Your Adrenals Need  A Break.

The “fight or flight” syndrome – you’ve heard of it, right? Accompanied with the image of the saber-toothed tiger dashing after a hunter, getting ready to attack. You often get into this situation, don’t you? In modern times, we’re not literally in that frantic position, but our bodies are often reacting as if we were fighting for our lives. Our adrenal glands, located on top of each kidney, are forced to work overtime in an effort to deal with stress from all sources: injury, disease, work, family, finances, environment, etc.

It’s hard to imagine these small endocrine glands, essentially the size of a walnut, responsible for the manufacture and secretion of vital hormones such as cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. The cortisol production is crucial for the body to combat stress. Whereas thousands of years ago the stress was a finite amount of time – you either outran the predator or survived or you were eaten – nowadays, stress seems to be a state of being for so many people.

Although not getting along with a boss or missing a bill payment are not life-threatening like the saber-toothed tiger, our bodies react to the stressors in a similar fashion. The body starts to feel unsettled. More and more cortisol is produced because the body believes it needs massive amounts of energy to run for its life. This happens over and over again throughout the day: getting the kids ready for school and getting yourself ready for work, traffic, spilling coffee on your new suit, your assistant calls in sick and you’ve got to send out 20 packages today, the babysitter is late picking up the kids from school and taking them to soccer practice, your late afternoon meeting runs over and you leave the office late so family dinner becomes you eating leftovers alone. And all this is going to happen again tomorrow!

Here’s the problem: chronic stress can overload the adrenal glands to the point of exhaustion. For some, the fatigue will become overwhelming and the adrenals will no longer function properly to provide the energy and resources the body needs on a day-to-day basis. When someone is exhausted, a natural suggestion is to get more sleep. That’s not always easy with adrenal problems because insomnia is a common symptom. There are, however, steps you can take to prepare yourself for sleep, which is certainly one of the best ways to refresh and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.

For better sleep and to heal your adrenal glands:
1) Go to bed at the same time every night between 10-10:30pm.
2) Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and sugar in late afternoon/evening (or remove them completely from your diet to avoid any rollercoaster-like blood sugar surges).
3) Keep a gratitude journal near your bedside. Every night, list five things for which you are grateful. Remind yourself that even though you may feel fatigued, there are wonderful aspects of your life and many reasons to heal.

Jumpstart Your Day with Exercise

Jumpstart Your Day with Exercise

Jumpstart Your Day with Exercise

Experts say it’s better to workout in the morning. Here are a few reasons, I agree with them:

1. Energizer – Exercise in the morning will give you energy for your day!
2. Rev your metabolism – Early morning exercise keeps your metabolism elevated for hours, which means you will burn more calories through out the day.
3. Get it over with! – Things come up during the day and evening that make fitting in a workout impossible – there is no excuse to skip exercise in the morning.
4. You will feel accomplished! – How nice is it to be on your way to work knowing you’ve already accomplished something good for you.
5. You’ll become smarter! – Well, not exactly, but studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental sharpness. Exercising in the a.m. means you start your day without mental fogginess.

If you think you have no time – start small. Try getting up 20 minutes earlier and walking for 10 minutes! Walk out for 5 – turn around and walk back home. It will be over before you know it!

Reach out and Touch!

Reach out and Touch!
Reach out and Touch
In our continued pursuit to tackle our cravings and pin ‘em to the mat once and for all — this post will focus on the more tangible side of things.

Reach out and touch… you heard me.

That’s correct. Item number THREE on my Thirteen Surprising Sources of Food Cravings list is — lack of personal contact. Ouch!

Are we really ready to talk about this? We joke about how people aren’t as true to us as a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. We tease that a cupcake is better than sex. We refer to coffee a hug in a mug.

But who’s laughing when chronic illness climbs aboard the foodie train?

Here’s one area of “nutrition” that we often miss: comfort comes in many packages.

How many of you stressed-out folks reach for something that you can’t find advertised on TV? Think about that for a minute. If you’re reaching for something to comfort you – and there’s a TV commercial or radio/magazine ad for it – think again! Take a second look.

Real comfort does not come from Nabisco, Kraft, General Foods, General Mills, PepsiCo, or Nestle. Of that I’m certain.

They lack the “Reach Out and Touch” factor. Speaking of … when was the last time you felt truly comforted by another human being? An affirming hand on your shoulder. A slight caress to the upper arm showing that they’re listeningand that you’ve been heard. Fingers interlocked – hand in hand solidarity. A gentle full-body squeeze to let you know that you’re loved, supported, and valued. Are you getting enough of this?

I’ll be honest — I know I’m not. I’ve got a serious case of “comfort debt” going on. What about you? Are you depleted or reveling in a surplus?
Reach out and Touch!

We already know this about food, but here’s a reminder. No cookie, latte, or creamy whipped frozen fluff can truly satisfy the “comfort debt” most of us have going on. One way to remedy this is to walk around wearing a Free Hugs button. It’s an idea.

Without getting into a big to-do over a deep subject I couldn’t possibly cover here, let’s chat about body language. What does your body tell (or scream) to those around you? Are you approachable or do you give off vibes sure to keep the world at bay? I understand body pain, so that issue aside, physical contact is still a necessary fact of life. Do you exude a willingness to participate? Do you initiate reaching out for a handshake? Not everyone is comfortable with physical contact, of course, but you can use your common sense to make that decision. Trust your judgment.

And, I can hear you from here. I know some of you (many of you) are single. You may not have a significant other in your life. But, you do have options. There are neighbors, friends, and people we haven’t met yet in grocery stores and the Target parking lot. Unless you’re living on the moon, human contact is an option.

On another note – I’m using the term “human” loosely. There’s no better hug than one that comes attached to a purr or a wag….

If you don’t have one of these nifty “comfort debt” reduction tools already, get one. Go out and adopt a furry hug today!

Get caught up on our journey to tackle cravings! Read or re-read the original Cravings Post here.

We tackled the topic of Sleep Loss here.

And we tackled the topic of Thirst here.

Crave more posts on the topics of cravings? Let me know which ones you want to address next!.

About the Author: Sue Ingebretson is an author, speaker, certified holistic health counselor, and the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton. Her book, FibroWHYalgia, has been a perennial Amazon best-seller in the chronic illness category.