How often do you hear about nutrition as it relates to being a better wife (and this has NOTHING to do with weight loss or physical appearance!)?
When we treat our bodies well with proper nutrition, they function better, leading to improved emotional well-being. On the other hand, consuming excessive sugar and processed foods can leave our bodies struggling to process what they weren't designed to handle, leading to negative emotional effects such as lethargy, irritability, and anxiety.
Read the full post for a little bit about my own experience of maintaining a healthy diet despite being a busy mom. You'll find a few tips and suggestions for simple and convenient foods, along with how incorporating clean supplements into your routine can further support your physical and emotional health.
By prioritizing proper nutrition and taking care of your body, you will be better equipped to serve your husband and family.Read more...
Right now, with most of society in a panic over the coronavirus (or as I've decided to call it, the Beer Flu), and almost everyone quarantined to home, our focus is on what to do with our time...and what to eat.
Too many of us are stressed out and all we can think to do is worry, get annoyed at the people who are worrying, or eat.
Let's talk about some foods that can help our bodies to release stress and maintain some peace.
Selenium has been shown to help decrease anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Nuts are known for having high levels of this mineral. You only need a handful of mixed nuts or even just two Brazil nuts to increase your selenium levels. Nuts are also high in magnesium, which helps to relax the brain in high quantities. Peanuts and pumpkin seeds are great sources, but opt for unsalted. Nuts are a great way to fight stress!
Magnesium relaxes the brain, and also helps our nerves and muscles relax. Foods high in magnesium (in addition to nuts and seeds) are spinach, basil, and believe it or not, peppermint.
3. Dark Chocolate (my personal favorite)
Most people think of turkey when they hear tryptophan, but did you know that dark chocolate is rich in tryptophan too? The body uses tryptophan to create serotonin, which relaxes the brain. Be sure to choose dark chocolate that contains 70% or higher cacao.
Milk also contains tryptophan, and having a glass of warm milk specifically can be especially soothing.
Now that we know all about tryptophan, it's good to note that complex carbs enhance the absorption of tryptophan. Oats and oatmeal are a great source, especially when you opt for oatmeal that doesn't contain a ton of sugar.
So we know about tryptophan, we know that it creates serotonin, and that it needs to be absorbed. Vitamin C helps to convert tryptophan into serotonin. Some great sources of Vitamin C are kiwi and oranges! Studies say that a diet rich in Vitamin C may help calm you and put you in a better frame of mind.
7. Shrimp and Salmon
We all know that fish is typically rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but did you know those can reduce anxiety and depression? Your best sources are shrimp and salmon.
8. Broccoli and Bananas
When you don't have enough potassium, you can feel tired, fatigued, irritable, and anxious. Both broccoli and bananas are known for their generous helpings of potassium in each serving.
9. Green Tea
L-theanine is an amino acid that has been shown to reduce stress, assist with relaxation, and enhance moods. A great way to serve up these amino acids to your body is by drinking green tea.
10. Yogurt and Kimchi
Foods with probiotics help to keep your gut healthy. A healthy gut can create a healthy environment for your mind and emotions. There is growing research that shows a connection between healthy bacteria in your gut and a healthy mental state.
Honey not only contains tryptophan, but it also contains potassium. It helps to fight off stress hormones and relaxes the nervous system.
Another vitamin that helps lower stress hormones is folate, because it helps your body produce serotonin and dopamine to assist in mood regulation. It's also been shown to help lower the risk of depression. So throw those chickpeas on your salad, make some hummus, or toast some up for a crunchy snack!
To make your life just a little bit easier, I created a shopping list of the shelf stable foods so that you can easily find those products:
Which of these are you going to snack on first?
I'm pretty sure it's obvious what mine will be...
If you're anything like me, you've probably been on a million and one diets throughout your life. Maybe you hit your goal weight, maybe you didn't - maybe you gained the weight back, or maybe you're trying now to maintain all of your hard work.
Cutting calories (safely) is a great way to lose weight.
But - the calories we DO consume can make or break our weight loss efforts AND our energy levels.
Eating a 150 calorie chocolate bar might not throw off your tracker for the day, but replacing it with some Greek yogurt and a banana can not only keep your tracker happy as well, but can also help you to feel great all day long and still keep your tracker happy.
There are SO many healthy foods that we already know we should be eating (and which ones we shouldn't!).
How in the world are we supposed to know exactly which foods can give us the energy we need?
To take some of the guesswork out for you, I've compiled a list of the best foods to keep you energized throughout the day. As busy moms, we need to keep our energy on high so we can get #allthethings done, so here are some foods that you can incorporate into every meal.
- Coffee and Green Tea
- Whole Grain Cereal
- Greek Yogurt
- Chia Seeds
Lunch and Dinner:
- Dark, leafy greens (Spinach, Kale, etc.)
- Tuna Fish
- Wild Salmon
- Lean Beef
- Raw Almonds (no added oils or salt)
- Trail Mix
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Dark chocolate (70% cacao or more)
These are easy foods to spread throughout our day so that we can keep our energy on high.
Which of these are your favorites?
As a busy mom, waking up at 4 o'dark in the morning, sometimes it can be difficult to get up and moving.
Even if you wake up later around 7 or 8 a.m., just getting started is so challenging.
So what's easy and comforting? That beautiful, glorious, rich-smelling, warm, comforting first cup of coffee. It's kind of like magic, right? The best part of waking up may not necessarily be Folgers, but it's definitely coffee.
OR - maybe you don't drink coffee. Maybe you prefer a crisp soda first thing in the morning. To each her own.
As we look for ways to feel more energized throughout the day, one obvious question we have to ask is, "Does caffeine really help my energy levels?"
The quick and easy answer is YES. Caffeine can help you feel not only more energetic, but also more focused.
For the more than 85% of adults regularly consume the amount of caffeine equal to about 2 cups of coffee per day, this is great news, right?! Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug in the world.
The problem with caffeine is that its affects can only be felt for approximately 4-6 hours. If you wake up at 6 a.m. and have your first cup when you get to work at 8 a.m., that's worn off by 2 p.m. and you're crashing again.
Don't you want to feel great ALL day and not just for a few hours?
Caffeine can also cause a rapid heartbeat and increase blood pressure, which on the one hand could be helpful for some people - but for others, that's a huge health hazard. It can also cause heartburn, nausea, and vomiting when taken in large quantities (ever have more than 4 cups of coffee in a day? I sure have!).
Another downfall that may surprise you - caffeine prevents calcium absorption, which is especially important information for women as we *ahem* get older.
Here's the bottom line:
- Caffeine can help you feel more alert
- Caffeine can help you be more focused
- Caffeine's effects are short-lived
- Caffeine is a drug, so it can create dependency, induce withdrawal symptoms, and cause negative side effects
It's not bad to drink a cup or two of coffee every day.
The problem is when caffeine is your main source of energy. There are so many other sources of nutrition that can help us to feel more energized throughout the entire day, without the side effects of "too much caffeine" or withdrawal symptoms. We're going to explore some of that this month!
Your turn: how much caffeine do you consume each day? Do you get it from coffee, soda, food, energy drinks?
Tip: If you need more energy NOW, check out my guide on 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy!