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...
Nourish Your Mind & Body in 5 Ways

Nourish Your Mind & Body in 5 Ways

To keep us at our best, we know how important it is to nourish our mind and body! We also know that in order to operate at an optimum level and perform everyday, we need to ditch the sweet sugary snacks, processed foods and reduce stimulants such as coffee.  These cause issues with your blood sugar levels, contribute to dehydration, will give you a ‘foggy head’ and will lead to adrenal fatigue (stress hormone).  This is not where we want to be.  I for one don’t want to be concerned about my health when I need to take care of the one’s I love. Check out my 5 strategies to help you nourish your mind and body below:   Hydration Consuming at least 2 litres of water per day is essential for normal bodily functions. Lemon squeezed in a glass of water first thing in the morning is a great way to wake up, is a boost to your immune system and your liver will love you for it. Fail to consume enough and your body will not be able to function properly.   Whole Foods It is no secret that when it comes to food, fresh and colourful is best. Vitamins/minerals, proteins, fats & complex carbohydrates are essential in our diet. Processed food has excess sugar & chemicals will negatively affect our health. These foods really do give us an abundance of energy, nourish every organ and contribute to clearer thinking and better overall performance.  Think fruits, vegetables (green leafy’s), complex carbohydrates, lean protein & good fats.  Flavour with beautiful natural herbs and spices and you are on to a...
“Some days I don’t know how you do it”

“Some days I don’t know how you do it”

My friend sent me a message last week with the words “Some days I don’t know how you do it”.  She often see’s us going through our own ups and downs with the mental and physical health of my son’s.  She saw on Monday that after my son’s 3 week hospital admission, there was little improvement to his health status. My friend, however, is going through an incredibly tough and confronting time herself. The whole family is and has been for many years with her having to face her own serious health battles too. Right now they are facing serious health issues for one of their children and are having to make decisions that will potentially affect the rest of their child’s quality of life. The fact of the matter is, that she is trying to be strong for everyone but is on the verge of cracking herself. Not only is she trying to hold her family together during their own difficult times, she is dealing with grief and uncertainty around the health of one of her friends, who is terminally ill. How do I respond?  We all have our different stuff don’t we?  Differing levels of resilience from person to person and environmental factors can change our ability to cope at any given time.  So my response: “Well I guess I figure all the worry and stress really doesn’t help me or anyone else. In fact, for me it makes it worse. I can’t think clearly, can’t function properly and I sure as hell can’t make decisions effectively. I guess I have practiced it (coping) over a long, long time. Monday, I...
Gluten & Dairy Free. Our Why!

Gluten & Dairy Free. Our Why!

Anyone will tell you, making major lifestyle changes can be overwhelming at best. So when you are trying to implement sustainable dietary change for your whole family, who all have years of ingrained habits, it is no easy feat. How do I know? Because I would consider myself an accidental expert in change implementation on many fronts. More specifically, we have evolved our diet significantly with many drastic changes over the past six years. Two years ago our whole family went on a radical dietary change to support my eldest son Matthew who, for health reasons, needed to try a gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar and processed food free lifestyle. We needed to drastically reduce the inflammation levels in his body and it was an overwhelming success.  At the time, Matthew had been taken off a strong medication to try and control the inflammation and the autoimmune reaction his body was having due to a pathogen called Aspergillus.  This is commonly known in CF circles as ABPA (allergic broncho pulmonary aspergillosis).  Matthew suffered a severe reaction to a medication called Methylprednisolone (a powerful steroid to reduce inflammation) and it was deemed that this was no longer a viable option for him.  At this stage, something had to give and so I turned to complimentary medicine with the blessing of Matthew’s doctor and supervision of the hospital dieticians. To say it was difficult wouldn’t really even start to explain those first days. I look back and wish I had have known what I do now. It didn’t need to be as hard as it was and there were many things I could have...
Body talk

Body talk

Image supplied by Kate Heaslip Photography When I was growing up, in fact until I had children of my own, I knew very little about the human body and almost less about my own.  There is probably a combination of reasons why: disinterest; lack of guidance; not being in the school curriculum; and of course being preoccupied with social life, dancing and drama (I wanted to be an actor/performer when I was younger). Background – I knew nothing! When Matthew was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) he was 4 weeks old and like most people I knew NOTHING about CF.  Naively I thought that CF had something to do with some sort of physical disability similar to that of Cerebral Palsy.  We walked into the first appointment where various members of the hospital team went over the basics of what CF was, the mechanics of it, how to manage it, what to look out for…. You get the drift! Overwhelm to action! I was totally overwhelmed.  I knew little about the human body and my overwhelm was intensified by the immense grief I was going through. It made me realise if a person has little idea about the mechanics of their own bodies, how can they make informed decisions?  It starts with us right?! As the years went on I learnt more and learnt to listen to my own body.  Did you know your body talks to you?  It does! And if you listen carefully and pay attention it can tell you a whole heap about how you really are! Matthew was 3 and Joshua was 4 months old when I started to study Naturopathy. ...