What you eat has a big impact on your quality of life. When you are making decisions about what to eat, are you considering how it will make you feel 30 minutes from now or 3 hours from now? You are probably thinking about things like how quickly you can get something on the table that is cost effective and tastes good. These are common thoughts that take priority when deciding what to eat but I want to challenge you to prioritize asking yourself how this food will affect me. Does it support me and my goals? If not, what’s the next best option? Sometimes we forget that food is our body’s fuel source. When you fill your body predominately with whatever is fast and cheap, you aren’t giving your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally and fight off and prevent disease and illness. Not only that but without good quality protein, fat, and carbohydrates your body can’t move with ease, and you experience increased inflammation and pain. All of that sounds terrible but there is good news… You have the power to take control over your diet by making healthier choices!
Perhaps you have heard the saying what goes in your mouth today will affect your health tomorrow. When you consider the lifestyle, you are living today and whether it will sustain you throughout your lifespan, your diet is a crucial factor. Many common chronic health conditions are attributed to a multitude of lifestyle factors, one of the most influential being diet. If you regularly eat from fast food chains or buy processed foods at the grocery store, this will eventually catch up to you, potentially resulting in chronic disease and physical ailments which have a major impact on how you live your life.
The food you eat impacts every cell in your body. It impacts your brain function which impacts your mood and memory. It also impacts your physical function which impacts mobility and disability. When your mental and physical health are compromised you can probably guess that disease and illness aren’t too far behind. Below we share some red flags that your diet might be negatively impacting your mental and/ or physical health that you can share with your physician or health care provider for further guidance on how to best make nutritional choices that support you!
Food and Mood
Mood swings, brain fog, hunger pangs these are all common complaints among our society today. You may not know it, but all of these concerns might be a sign that your blood sugar is unstable. Often times we don’t consider our blood sugar as a factor to our symptoms unless we are a diabetic, but this is a great example of how even in the absence of disease or a diagnosis you can still experience negative effects to your blood sugar as a result of a poor diet. Your mood swings and energy crashes are the evidence. Track your diet as exact as possible for 7 days if you can but no less than 3 days and share it with your health care provider. Be sure to include the time of each meal and snack, also. The time of day that you eat could also be a culprit. Ask them if your diet might be impacting your low energy levels, mood swings, anxiety, stress, hunger pangs, nausea, headaches, and increased arousal. Sometimes just eating within 30 minutes of waking, especially when you’re under high stress, can help balance your hormones and blood sugar. This can make all the difference in how you think, feel and act throughout the entire day!
Food and Movement
You know what you eat affects your mood. Your mood highly influences your thoughts, and your thoughts highly influence your behaviors. If you aren’t in a good mood and have low energy, do you think you will go to the gym after work or home to crash on the couch or back in front of the computer? This perpetuates sedentary behaviors which may lead to obesity and other conditions like Osteoarthritis which impact your ability to move. Your diet also impacts your body’s lean muscle mass which is essential for mobility and maintaining independence. Without a healthy amount of muscle, you will experience difficulty performing everyday tasks which further leads to sedentarism and disability and can ultimately cost you your independence. Protein and movement go hand in hand when building lean muscle mass. Talk with your healthcare provider about how much protein you should ideally be consuming each day. Then speak with someone about all your protein options. Regardless of your diet preferences, protein is essential and comes in many forms to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters.
Ultimately, your diet either supports health and thriving or it supports disease and illness. There are many ways a healthy diet can support your overall health and well-being. Join us for one of our live workshops this month where we take a deeper look at nutrition and how you can use your diet to support exercise and overall health.