Healthy mind – Healthy body

Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘diet’ and ‘fitness’ side of health but something that is often overlooked is the state of mind, it seems though that more recently it is hitting the spotlight more frequently.

From my point of view state of mind is the starting point for everything else going on.  A lot of things can affect our state of mind, outside influences as well as ourselves.

I am always keen to find new ways to influence my state of mind – I obviously realise it’s unrealistic to expect to be in a happy euphoric state all the time but I sure as hell would prefer to lean more on that side of the scale than be miserable and depressed – why should one more realistic than the other?

I think the key is, as much as it sometimes doesn’t feel like it, you’re in control of your mind.

Remember you’re in control.

Remember to give yourself permission to say no to things that you know are just no good for you.

Remember you deserve to be happy.

Believe it.

Live it.

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Healthy is boring. WRONG!

I pretty much considered that focussing on being ‘healthy’ is a boring and time consuming thing – who can be arsed with that?

Thing is.  It’s not boring, food doesn’t have to be bland and tasteless and it doesn’t have to be time consuming either.

The most time consuming thing I’ve found about all of this health nonsense is the research – what food does what, why do we need it, how does it work blah, blah, blah.  Fortunately for me, I’m finding it all rather interesting!

Anyway, referring back to my previous post on exactly what foods we need to eat to help boost our moods I had a look today through the list and I was pleasantly surprised.  Most of the foods I have been eating, or recently incorporated into my diet are on the list! Yay!  I will blab on no further and list these out below, foods in bold appear more than once in this specific nutrient list.  Oh, just to note, I haven’t written down every single food, just the ones I like (or in brackets ones am prepared to try) – to find out more Google is the place to go!  Here goes:

  • Calcium:  dairy like milk, cheese, yoghurt, spinach, (kale), salmon, broccoli, (edamame), figs, almonds
  • Cromium: sweet potato, apple, organic egg, tomatoes, whole-grains, broccoli
  • Folate: lentils, (pinto beans), asparagus, spinach
  • Iron: egg yolks, fish, lamb, beef, chicken, spinach, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, raisins, green pepper
  • Magnesium: spinach, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, lentils, avocado, goats cheese, bananas
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: walnuts, salmon, beef, cauliflower
  • Vitamin B6: Pistachios, salmon, chicken, pork, raisins, beef, bananas, avocado, spinach
  • Vitamin B12: All bran, beef, yoghurt, feta cheese, eggs
  • Vitamin D: oily fish like tuna, salmon, cheese, egg yolks
  • ZInc: lamb, spinach, beef, garlic, egg yolks, salmon, pork, peas, cashews

So that’s just a quick and dirty mashup of various foods containing these particular nutrients, looking at it again I have probably missed duplicating some foods in the list but it’s too time consuming to Google every single food item to ensure I’ve captured every nutrient it holds, it’d make the list too long anyway and this is just to give you (and me) an idea – specifically for mood enhancing as per previous blog post ‘How to be Happy!’

As I’ve found, you probably eat quite a few of them already – especially since that isn’t the entire list and there’s plenty I’ve left off there.  The general idea is replace the sugary crap in your diet with these good guys.  FYI dark chocolate came up a few times but I haven’t listed it as I’ve never really liked it that much.

So to conclude – eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring, a lot of the foods there are pretty tasty and can be whipped up into quick meals.  With online shopping it doesn’t have to be too much of an effort to get these foods in either – maybe the first time but next time you can hit the re-order button!  Obviously, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post buying organic, hormone free etc type foods can be more time consuming but once you find the best place to buy, you’re on a roll.

Happy eating!

Featured image from: http://www.naturalawakeningsmag.com/Natural-Awakenings/February-2013/Food-Mood/

How to be HAPPY!

So with Monday approaching and our weekend coming to an end some of us find our mood sinking.  For those that can wake up in the morning and ‘choose to be happy’ well, more power to you, but there are some of us that think that’s a load of crap!  It got me wondering if there’s any way around it and in keeping with my health kick I wondered:  can diet affect our mood and if so what foods can make us feel happy?

Apparently the answer is YES!! As I like to keep things pretty simple I’ve listed the mood boosters below:

  • calcium (often lower calcium levels in us ladies which doesn’t help our moods so we need to top this up!)
  • chromium
  • folate
  • iron
  • magnesium
  • omega 3 fatty acids
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin D
  • zinc

Get these into your diet and hopefully you should feel the effects after time – I think it’s worth me trying out so I will keep you posted.  This is the webpage I found with this info that also lists the food where you’ll find these nutrients:  http://greatist.com/happiness/nutrients-boost-mood

Now, for the ladies out there who want to know what I picked up regarding reducing PMS symptoms, I read:

  • limit salt – it reduces bloating;
  • increase B6, Omega 3, calcium, zinc, magnesium (as listed above ‘happy’ foods – in basic terms eat fruit, veg, protein and fibre – avoid fast-food, sugary crap, ready-made meals etc – eat fresh!);
  • avoid alcohol, white flour, caffeine and sugar – they can make symptoms worse;
  • avoid ‘diet’ drinks or sweeteners as they can contain toxins that can have an adverse chemical impact on your brain cells – eek;
  • Get some exercise – even if it’s mild exercise, dance around your room for 10/20mins  – it’s important to get your blood pumping to keep things moving; and
  • stay hydrated – a cup of warm water with half a fresh lemon squeezed in is great for flushing out toxins and an energy booster

I know it can all sound rather dull – I am incorporating these things in my diet and replacing the ‘bad stuff’ but that is not to say I can’t have the ‘bad’ food when I want it.  (I think it’s human nature to want something more as soon as you’re told you can’t have it.)  But what I’m finding is – the more I read and the more I’m eating fresh foods and putting tasty meals / smoothies together (not bland as I assume ‘health’ food to taste) the more I’m actually preferring to eat them over some greasy take-out which I used to eat more frequently than not!

Anyway, ending it there as my Sunday night is almost over!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Source of featured photo: http://www.funelf.net/this-is-my-happy-face/

“I feel like I’m stuck in someone else’s master plan:”

Why Health is becoming Me:

Now Girl vs the Future

“Go to school, get a job, get a mortgage. All I’m really doing is dying.”
“Let me get you some more pills”

Are you there?
Or are you buried underneath someone you’ve become?

If you’re doing everything everyone else (family, friends, society) has expected of you but you’re not happy, feeling frustrated, anxious etc then there’s probably good reason for that.

The reason why you hear about success stories of people who have made changes in their life and are happier than they’ve ever dreamed of is because it’s true.  It makes you sick though, right?  It’s always them and not you.

Why isn’t it you?

Because:
1.  You keep giving up!  
2.  You’re taking the easy option.
3.  You ‘can’t be arsed’.

How do I know?
Because those are the ‘qualities’ I have!  Those ‘qualities’ are exactly why I am not where I want to be and instead of doing something about…

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8 Amazing Health Benefits of Leeks

Having made a dinner of grilled salmon on a bed of sautéd leeks with other vegetables it got me wondering….are there even any health benefits to leeks?? I picked them up because I know they have a sweet taste and I’m a bit of a sucker for that. In asking my flat mate about the health benefits she didn’t think there was much in it, disgruntled I googled and now happy I came across this great post below!
I shall be eating leeks again!

The leek is a vegetable that belongs, along with onions and garlic, to the genus Allium, however unlike its fellow members, leeks do not form bulbs. The edible part of the leek plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths called the stem or stalk. While leeks may appear unassuming or even boring, they have several health benefits that are similar to those of garlic and onion.leeks

Nutritional Content of Leeks

100 grams of leeks contain about 83g water, 1.5g protein, 14g carbohydrates and minimal fat. Leeks are a source of several vitamins and nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Health Benefits of Leeks

1. Fight cancer: Leeks are a good source of allyl sulfides which have been shown to modify certain pathways associated with the growth of tumors.

2. Protects linings of blood vessels: The flavonoid kaempferol which…

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