NOURISH YOUR BODY TO CALM YOUR MIND- HOW DIET PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN MY ANXIETY
To the outsider, I look like I have my shit together. Professionally, I have a successful business, a beautiful home, awesome family and friends, a wonderful fiance, and four adorable dogs. But what they didn’t know was that I was in this dark abyss of severe anxiety and panic attacks. Anyone who has experienced either of these knows they can be debilitating and downright scary. From sitting on the side of the freeway, hoping you don’t pass out to lying in bed because you are afraid to do anything else, it can take a toll on you mentally and physically. It can feel like you literally can’t control your life, but I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN. And your diet can play a major role in that. I am living proof that overhauling your diet can be an important player in changing your life. Here are some of my favorite tips:
CUT THE BOOZE.
Not forever, but for now. In a time where happy hour is a mainstay in our lives, ditching that glass (or two) of wine may sound like the worst thing in the world. I know, I work in an industry where wine is my business. But quitting that habit can have profound effects on your mentality. You wake up clearer, your thoughts are more coherent, and you don’t have those day after jitters (that’s enough right there to throw you into full anxiety mode). For me, keeping my drinks to a minimum was the biggest proponent in decreasing my anxiety.
TRY PLANT BASED.
When you shift from a heavy meat eating diet to one that thrives on plants, you can’t help but notice the mood-boosting effects this way of life has on you. From cutting out the hormones that are present in dairy, meat, and eggs, to just getting more vitamins and minerals in your diet— the results are astounding! And don’t worry about the protein, when you eat plant based, you actually get MORE protein than you would eating a meat laden diet. Plus, now you can feel good about the fact that you’re saving lives! http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/03/06/brighten-up-your-mood-with-a-colorful-plant-based-diet
DITCH THE SUGAR.
We all know the sugar high, but did you know that doctors are now claiming that sugar is more addictive than Meth? How crazy is that??? What’s worse is when you come down off that high. Eating sugar depletes the bodies supply of serotonin, the feel good chemical. Also, when your body is trying to process all the sugar raging through your bloodstream, insulin production surges, causing you to feel tired and low.
TOSS THE GLUTEN.
Bread…pasta…yum! Yeah, maybe in the moment of eating them, but your gut needs to work overtime to process these foods. An increasing number of people are becoming gluten sensitive and that manifests itself through digestion and absorption of nutrients. When your body isn’t being nourished properly, anxiety ensues.
DRINK YOUR GREENS.
Juicing is one of the fastest ways for your body to assimilate nutrients. Because the fiber is removed during the juicing process, what’s left is an abundance of vitamins and minerals for your body to thrive on. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned so far it’s that the body needs all the nutrients it can get to function optimally.
Our ancestors didn’t have anxiety or depression issues, this is a more recent development. But sometime around the 50’s, the “low-fat” craze sprouted and so did these issues. Our ancestors thrived on healthy fats from plants, nuts, and seeds, encouraging healthy brains. Did you know that the human brain is made up of 60% fat? When we don’t get enough, our brain is literally crying for help. A lack of healthy fats including omegas, EPA’s, and DHA’s is known to cause mood disorders. Try tossing some avocado, hemp seeds, and coconut oil into recipes and take note of how you feel. The results are phenomenal!
The last point doesn’t have to do with diet, but rather looking into yourself and creating a healthy outlook on life. Meditation is a key element to this. I know it sounds scary, but a daily meditation practice of even 10 minutes can have eye-opening effects on your mental well-being. Don’t think you can do it? There are plenty of free guided meditations in the Apple app store.
You don’t have to do it all at once, because that can be daunting. Maybe add in one new change a week, see how you feel. I know that once I gave my diet a facelift, my anxiety and panic attacks significantly decreased. And I am not talking about just a little bit, I was living with anxiety daily and a panic attack every other day to virtually being anxiety free. And how much better is life when it is lived to it’s full capacity?