Food Vs. Mood: How One Affects the Other

This a guest post written by Martin Smith (bio below).  As The Bro Chick grows, we welcome posts from authors writing about mental health and any and all topics under its umbrella. 

Please note that the thoughts in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Bro Chick and any advice should be followed up with a medial doctor.  Thanks!

If you munch on something like a dessert, you know that while it will boost up your energy level immediately, it can also lead to poor mental health in the long run.
A number of studies have revealed that diet helps not just physically, but also plays a significant role in altering your mood. In fact, it even brings about changes in the brain structure.  However, not all foods were created equal and are certain foods work to improve your mood as well as your overall well being.

Here we have enlisted few tips by which diet may help in revamping the mood.

Eat Regularly
If blood sugar level falls down, you’ll find yourself feeling irritated, depressed and lazy. Try eating at regular intervals to keep your sugar levels balanced (this is especially important for people with mood disorders). This will assure that your body is receiving a
sustainable supply of fuel, which will keep you mentally sound.

Eat slow energy food items like oats, cereals, seeds, and nuts.  Rather than eating three huge meals a day, aim for four to six smaller meals throughout the day. Avoid eating foods that give an immediate spike or fall in your blood sugar level like sweets, desserts, and alcohol (womp womp).

Stay Hydrated
It has been proven that if you don’t drink sufficient fluids, thinking clearly or concentrating can become quite tedious. It might even spoil your mood further by making you constipated (the worst).  It is recommended to drink 1-2 liters of water a day. This helps keeps you hydrated and rejuvenated through the entire day.  Although smoothies, teas, and coffees are also considered fluids, they contain caffeine and sugar which are not very beneficial for your health.  Stick to water, it’s free!

Don’t Skip Meals

Many people have a tendency to miss out on their meals, specifically breakfast.
Breakfast is still widely considered the most important meal of the day, and if you miss it you’ll most likely feel tired and even anxious throughout the day.  Skipping meals reduces the body’s potential to assimilate food and messes with your blood sugar (as mentioned above).

Eat “Mood Foods:
There are some foods that help you to stay healthy as well as happy.  Eating good amounts of protein helps to ease off the absorption of carbohydrates in the blood,
and boosts mood and energy levels.  Eggs and yogurt are good examples of these proteins.
Vitamins, especially vitamin D helps to helps to cure several mood ailments. Spend some time under the sun (with sunscreen!) or eat foods like soy milk, oatmeal, and beef to get your supply of vitamins.  Fiber helps to increase the serotonin level in the body and release the ‘feel good’ chemicals, which can minimize mood swings. Beans and peas are good fiber friendly foods.

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When you make certain changes in your diet, allow yourself to adjust and adapt to the new pattern.  Apart from eating well, exercise also plays a focal role in helping you feel good. Don’t forget about breathing exercises, another natural way to help soothe your mind.

Author Bio
Martin Smith is a content curator, recipe developer and fitness blogger. True foodie by heart, he is fond of good food and delicious desserts. His passion for nutrition stems from a life-long love affair with food and cooking especially chocolate recipes on https://www.tesco.sg/

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January 2nd

I don’t think I like New Years as a holiday anymore.  There’s too much build up and pressure that it just guarantees a let down.  New Years Eve is fun, but highly overrated.  You go to so much trouble to put together some epic way of ending one year and beginning another, when most people just wind up with a hangover and disappointment.

I had a fun New Years Eve this year, very fun to be correct, but it was still just a day.  And on this day, like most days before it, I thought about all the things I was going to do differently once the clock struck midnight.  I was going to wake up and do yoga and meditate (even though most days I already do one or both of those things), and I was going to eat better and drink less (even though I already eat pretty well and I already cut back on drinking).  So January 1st started with yoga, good food choices, and a positive outlook on the next year.  But January 2nd was different.

On January 2nd I woke up with a horrendous migraine that basically disabled me from doing anything but lay around and think.  And what I thought about was this strange concept that surrounds New Years.

Nothing changed when 2017 ended and 2018 began.  I mean, I was one day closer to turning 30, but that happens every day.  It was just another day.  I mean, I did celebrate this new day watching the most insanely awesome firework show I’ve ever seen. So I guess that was different, but otherwise everything else was pretty status quo on January 1st.

We often think that a new year means we have to change.  But what if things were pretty good in the old year?  Can’t we just keep rolling on and change accordingly?  If I want to go on a diet, I will.  I mean, I won’t because diets are stupid and I love eating, but if I do decide to eat better/less then I’ll do it whenever I feel like it.  It could be in January or March or even August, it really doesn’t matter when.  

The point is, if you want to make a change then just do it.  Don’t wait for a specific day of the year or some sign from the universe to do something.   And don’t think that just because it is a special day or you received some sign from the universe that you have to make a change at all.  Maybe you’re just crushing life and should keep it up.  Either way, don’t think you owe anything to 2018 and need to immediately quit all your bad habits.  Maybe some of your bad habits make you who you are, and they’re not so bad at all.  Unless you’re smoking crack or something, that’s definitely bad and you cut that out immediately.  Otherwise, 2018 can chill out to wait and see what type of person you are, or aren’t. 

Happy New Years, friends.  May 2018 be less of a clusterf*ck than 2017. 

Grattitude

*Note: I am aware “Grattitude” is actually spelt “Gratitude” – there’s a sign near the city that has is spelt this way because gratitude is really about your attitude.  See what I did there?  Let’s move on…

As I’m sure you’re aware, this past week was Thanksgiving.  My fiancé, or ‘fiancebabe’ as we like to call each other and he shall hence be known as, spent Wednesday-Saturday (technically Sunday morning) with various combinations of our family members.

While I’m sure a lot of people might think “Jesus. You must have wanted to shoot yourself,” we were thinking “Jesus. We’re REALLY lucky.”

I have an unconventional family that we refer to as our “modern family” and I love every single one of them, no matter how we’re related.  I also have an incredible future family-in-law that I would seriously choose to spend time with.  Not many people can say that.

Instead of raging the town at some bar in the city, we spent pre-Thanksgiving doing what every good Italian family does; eating.  As we went around the table and shared what we’re thankful and grateful for, I reflected on the many blessings in my life.  I went for the sappy road and shared my gratitude for my beloved fiancebabe and my soon-to-be in-laws.  But here are some other things I am (and lot of us should be) grateful for…

  • I’m grateful for the $8.17 organic chicken bone broth (with added organic bone marrow) I bought for lunch because it means I have a stable job and salary that allows me to enjoy such extravagances (once in a while).
  • I’m grateful for the many empty whiskey and wine bottles in my apartment because it means I have good friends who helped us drink them.  And even better friends who brought them.
  • I’m grateful for my insanely sore thighs because it means I am healthy enough to use them, and that I was able to treat myself to a Soul Cycle class.
  • I’m grateful for the medication I take every day because it means I have health insurance, a good doctor, and a country that’s finally recognizing the importance of mental health.
  • I’m grateful for the hangover I had on Saturday because it means I had a great time and that my mom can still out drink me.  It also means my body has a checks and balances system in place that makes me say “I mean it this time – I’m only having one glass of wine tonight.”
  • I’m grateful when my phone blows up from a group text because it means I have friends who want to stay connected to each other.  Plus it means I have a phone and my phone is super helpful, and it entertains me on my way to work.
  • Most of all, I’m grateful for when I feel uncomfortably full, for when I’m so comfortable I don’t want to get out of bed, for when my face hurts from smiling, and when my stomach hurts from laughing because it means that I have a good and plentiful life.

I almost forgot to mention something else I’m grateful for, or should I say someone else – I’m so grateful for my fiancebabe. Because of him I get to share all of the good (and the bad) things with someone who loves me in such a unique and powerful way.  He’s also not too bad on the eyes (wink).

I hope everyone found something to be grateful for this year, and I hope you find even more to be grateful for next year.

Oh, one last thing – I am also grateful for Pumpkin Spice Lattes because they are amazing and they mean it’s fall and I am NOT SORRY ABOUT IT.

Donuts Make Everything Better

This morning sucked.  After yet another night of “incomplete sleep” (i.e., waking up six times in one hour increments and begging my brain to let me sleep uninterrupted FOR ONCE), I dragged myself to my 6:45am gym class only to be met with severe back pain thanks to this bullshit weather.  Not being able to complete a workout because of my back is almost as high up on my list of “shit that frustrates the hell out of me” as accidentally stepping into ankle-deep puddles while wearing flip flops.

I’ve been feeling pretty low all week so I tried not to let it bring me down, especially when a girl from the gym started talking to me as we walked home.  I’m new to my gym so I didn’t want her to think I was some sort of crippled Debbie Downer.  After we parted ways I thought to myself, “She’s really nice, like most people as this gym.  This is pretty gr-”.  I didn’t get to finish my thought because out of nowhere a bird SHIT ON MY HAND.  My next thought was “Nope. I’m done with today.”

I got home, took a shower, and then, instead of doing my regular morning routine (meditating, making tea, packing my lunch, picking out my clothes, etc.), I got back into my bed and stared at the wall until I had to get up and go to work.  I put zero effort into getting dressed and picked out the comfiest clothes I can get away with wearing to work, and then headed for the subway.  The train showed up right as I got to the platform (win), I got a seat (double win), and pulled out my kindle to read a book I can’t put down (jackpot).  As I put my purse between my feet I looked up and saw a pregnant woman standing in front of me.  No one budged.  Not even the TWO DUDES manspreading next to me. So I smiled at her and got up so she could take my seat.  LIKE A DECENT HUMAN BEING.  I spent the rest of my ride getting shuffled around, and trying to find the right way to stand so I could hold the pole and my kindle without dropping it onto someone’s head.  Needless to say, I did not get a lot of reading done.

I got an express train so I had a longer walk to my office but figured the walk would be good for me.  As soon as I got above ground I was bombarded by an anti-Verizon hoard of people screaming at a building, and had to finagle myself around them just at the police showed up.  “Fuck this,” I said out loud, “I’m getting a fucking donut.”  I said that part out loud too.

My depression has been hovering around me the whole week just like this bullshit weather has been hovering over the east coast.  I’ve tried to fight it by going to the gym, being productive at work, and thinking positively.  Not one of those things has actually happened – they’re more like feeble attempts.  I mean technically I have been going to the gym, but my performance has been shit.  Work is mostly me hiding around the office so no will talk to me.  It’s not them – I love (most of) the people I work with, I just have a tendency to start crying when I feel like this and it’s super uncomfortable for everyone.  And thinking positively can go fuck itself this week.

Today I’m letting myself be sad.  Normally I try to fight back against my depression, or my anxiety, or the other shit that goes on in my brain, but not today.  I want to clarify that this is not the same as succumbing to it or giving up – quite the contrary.  I’m accepting it.  I accept that there are times that I feel bad, whether I know the reason or my brain is just being a dick.  Regardless, I know that I feel bad and I know that it won’t last forever.  Sometimes when I accept the bad feelings and let them run their course, they don’t last as long.  Instead of using all the little energy I have to pretend like everything is fine, I use that energy to do things that feel good to my sad self – like sleeping longer, spending time alone, staring at walls, and eating donuts.

On Tuesday, I felt crappy so I went for a walk and stopped at a coffee shop.  I saw a row of donuts and could hear them calling out to me, telling me to eat their deliciousness.  “NOT TODAY SATAN”, I heard my nutrition/fitness-focused self yell back.  I didn’t need the donut.  Today, I needed the donut.  So I bought one.  And I regret nothing.

Whether you have depression, another mental illness, or you’re just a normal human being with emotions, know that it’s ok to feed bad.  Instead of trying to hide it or force it back into the depths of your mind (because that always works out well), accept it and embrace it.  Let yourself feel bad and do things that feel right.  When you feel bad physically you take care of yourself, so do the same when you feel bad mentally.  Be kind to yourself and let yourself take it easy, it’s the least you could do for you.
And eat a donut – no one was ever sad while eating a donut.