I watched a brilliant show on the BBC the other night, The Food Hospital. It worked on the principles of treating patients with the view of “Food is Medicine”. It followed three patients. One suffering from obesity and eczema, another depression and another had developed a food phobia and only ate 500 calories a day (pancakes and chocolate).
The one that interested me most was the girl suffering from depression. She had been overweight and depressed since she was very young. The Medical Doctors and Dietician’s method of treatment, was to educate her on what fresh whole foods, would improve her mood and showed her how to cook in a healthy way that would enhance her health. The turn around in this woman after 10 weeks of being supported by a Health Coach and switching to a healthy lifestyle was amazing. She walked in glowing, her eyes had a sparkle and she was smiling ….The patient said she was feeling really optimistic, she was happy, she hadn’t cried in weeks and she’d lost weight……Wow, just from food!
After watching this show, I started to think about how food affects your mood?
My son said it today. We had just picked some fresh fruit and vegetables, and as he crunched into an apple, he couldn’t help but remark how good it made him feel. In fact, I think he even surprised himself by this discovery.
And then on the flip side ever eaten so badly, the next day you just feel crappy, slow and sluggish?
I try to live a balanced life and go by the principle of 80/20. This is eating healthy 80% of the time, leaving room for 20% of flexibility, to eat with pleasure and without guilt.
So thinking about Food as Medicine, here are some health and lifestyle tips that I have learnt as a Health Coach at IIN. They are really quite simple, but thought I’d share them with you.
Here they are:
1. Drink more Water – Our bodies are made up of 75% water, so it is essential to keep our bodies hydrated to function at peak performance.
2. Get Cooking – cooking is one of the most important life skills you can learn. You control what you buy and the ingredients that go into preparing a healthy, balanced meal.
3. Eat Whole Foods and as unprocessed as possible – fill your body with a wide range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, nuts and seeds.
4. Eat a Rainbow of Food – variety is the key, to ensure you are getting all the correct vitamins and minerals the body needs to stay healthy.
5. Don’t Skip Breakfast – breakfast kick starts your metabolism and helps you be alert and active throughout the day. Studies show, people who skip breakfast, binge more, than those who don’t.
6. Keep Active – try and incorporate some activity into your daily routine. Walking, running, swimming, yoga, surfing, tennis. Find what you love and just do it!
7. Sleep Well – sleep is essential for repair and maintenance of your body. People who don’t get enough sleep, often crave sugar! So remember this simple tip if you feel you are craving more sugar than usual.
8. Find the time to develop a self-care routine and nurture yourself.
9. Eat less sugar, processed food, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks and tobacco.
10. Develop healthy relationships that support you. Reach out and stay connected with your friends, community and family.
Heres to your Health and Happiness xxx