Does the food we eat really affect our mood?

Does the food we eat really affect our mood?

These days I get about in a few online women’s business groups.  These are mostly women who are fiercely passionate about educating and supporting families in and around health, happiness and well-being. I couldn’t give up the chance to have a few of them come and share their love and passion with you. This week we have the beautiful Teresa from “Thelma & Terese” who is talking all about the relationship between “food and mood”.  She has even gifted us a wonderful nourishing recipe at the end of the blog mmmm. Terese is fiercely passionate about spreading her health message and has an abundance of information on her website if you wanted to check it out (scroll to the bottom where we have all of the links)! Over to you Theresa!     Does the food we eat really affect our mood? Absolutely it does. Feeling irritable, tired, uncomfortable and guilty could be a result of skipping meals, too much caffeine/alcohol, too much refined sugar or overeating. For a stable mood, we need to be eating a balanced whole-food diet at regular meal times with nutritious snacks in between as needed. However, there are many other factors that contribute to how we feel when we look at the way food interacts with our brain and GUT. Neurotransmitters Our brain uses neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine as communication signals to communicate with the rest of our body and tell it what to do. Balanced levels of neurotransmitters in the brain improve mood, sleep and increase alertness. These mood-affecting chemicals and precursors like tryptophan are made of amino acids found...
16 Ways To Support Carers & Families In Crisis

16 Ways To Support Carers & Families In Crisis

What is it that carers need when they are in crisis? TO BE HEARD | TO BE SEEN | TO BE HELD A few days ago I needed to go to the hospital, an hour away, to collect medicines and drop “samples” off for testing. Normally I would have had spare supplies at home, but with my son’s admission last week being cancelled I was left a little behind the 8 ball… unusual these days but of course I am human. It took longer than expected, but I was pleased to have been granted time to listen to a few podcasts, have a conversation on the phone with my mum, have a cuppa and some breathing space… As I finally walked out of the hospital and back to my car, my name was called out by a gentleman on a phone who I did not recognise. He definitely knew me. He rapidly hung up the phone, introduced himself as “X’s Dad” and the penny dropped. He is his child’s full-time caregiver. This is a man in my private Facebook community, Carers Connect.  I had met him briefly by chance at a local fundraiser for a prominent member of my local community. I stopped and sat down with him and asked how they were all going (son is 15, same age as my boy). He recognised me from the box I was carrying – his son had been on similar medications over the past couple of weeks.  I was shocked however to find out his son had a cardiac arrest just 4 days earlier.  He was in the ICU, he fell and...
Too much to do, so little time . . .

Too much to do, so little time . . .

Ohhhh boy!  I tell you what, the list of things that we “need to do” and “must achieve” is never ending and at times seems to be ever growing. Always “too much to do and not enough time”!  Is that something you can relate to? RESPONSIBILITY Being a carer and parent in modern day society can be beyond challenging.  High level “responsibility” in carrying the health and well-being of others in our hands, the confronting decisions to make and information that we are expected to face daily, ongoing financial and social pressures, the sometimes unattainable standards of expectation of ourselves to perform and add to that the noise of social media can leave us feeling deflated, overwhelmed and simply not good enough. When all we really want to do is provide the best quality care to the ones we love.  Let’s face it, most of us would give our left leg if it meant we could take away the pain, hurt and suffering our loved ones experience. CATCH 22 Many people that I talk to simply don’t see any way out of this “catch 22” situation… No light at the end of the tunnel and no way to change or adjust the pressures of their lives.  The sad fact is that more often than not, something is missed, something or someone comes last and doesn’t get the attention or fuel they need to go on.  So the stressors continue and the stress levels increase and become prolonged. DANGER As humans we release a series of hormones when our body perceives it is in “danger”, these are adrenaline, cortisol and oxytocin.  But when we...
A day in the life of a carer . . .

A day in the life of a carer . . .

She sits down to her computer at 7.45 pm, without knowing how long she has, she gets straight to work.  It seems like a day where she has achieved nothing in her “busy-ness”. Feeling satisfied yet exhausted, she slipped into bed at 12.30 am of the same morning, after administering the third and final intravenous (IV) antibiotic for the day to her chronically ill son.  Up until midnight, she had been supporting a couple of vulnerable carers online going through their own tough times. She woke briefly at 5.20 and ensured her husband had what he needed for his day at work. She dozed back off for a few more minutes of sleep. This is a typical day of a carer.  A carer, who at the moment, has a more intensive care regime for her son, who is undergoing intensive IV antibiotic and physiotherapy treatment.  He has Cystic Fibrosis.  They are two weeks into the treatment of a potential four week regime. A week ago they were fortunate to have the choice to take the boy home and administer this treatment from there. The family can then remain together. Hospital treatment means the family are separated for long periods at a time. Beep, beep, beep – the piercing sound of the alarm startles her yet just as swiftly it is put onto snooze – she steals another 10 more valuable minutes.  Eventually she rises just before 7 am and tries to wake the children on her way down to the kitchen.  The kettle boils in the background as she gets to work on preparing the IV medications. Today her youngest child is focussed...
The simple gift of giving

The simple gift of giving

Do you get to this time of year and wonder how on earth you can help your friend or family member who is doing it tough?  Perhaps you care so deeply but just don’t know how you can help them or make a difference?  You know you can’t change their circumstances but if there was only a way you can make their days just a bit easier….. THERE IS! For many of us Christmas signifies the time of year where we get to take a “break” from our job, even if it is only for a couple of days.  We take the opportunity to cast our mind back over the year that was and set new intentions, hopes and dreams for the year to come. While it is a beautiful time where we come together and celebrate, for caregivers and those who experience extreme grief and loss at this time of year, it is impossible to get into the spirit. There is simply NO relief in sight.  No real ‘new beginnings’, just more of the same.  Responsibility levels do not change,  often needs increase.  Emotions are run high and it can be a stark reminder of what they are missing, not what they have! WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THIS! Over the years I have spoken to many people and recently I surveyed people to find out exactly what would make a difference to them in their toughest times.  Here are the top 5  ways you can help out those doing it tough during holidays and every day: VISIBILITY & VOICE People simply want to be heard and...