Do you ever feel a little off-kilter, like anything your colleague/partner/child says might hit you the wrong way? Maybe you feel fragile, like things affect you more than they should and you can’t quite bounce back. Or like you’re on a roller-coaster throughout the day, sometimes in a great mood and then suddenly hit a low?
Depressive disorders are now the leading cause of disability worldwide. (source) Let’s talk about the food-mood connection, Eric Bradley's Food & Moves Group (F.A.M.) and how to fix some nutritional mistakes you could be making that are causing you to act like a crazy biatch.
Realize that these mood patterns could be so ingrained from eating your regular diet for ages that you won’t even know you’re being thrown off. Maybe you even just think it’s “your personality”, or “it must be menopause”, or “life is just too much and I get stressed”.
Try these techniques and you might just find a new balance:
How are nutrition and mood connected? The human body basically contains 2 brains, one in the head, and one in the gut. These are formed from the same tissue during fetal development. Even when you’re all grown they’re still connected by the vagus nerve which travels up the abdomen. This nerve is how the bacteria in your microbiome communicate with the brain. (source) I find this fascinating & enlightening at the same time!
Bear with me here for just a minute. A rapidly emerging field of research suggests that the microbiome-gut-brain axis is of substantial relevance to mood and behaviour. Similarly, unhealthy diet has recently emerged as a significant correlate of and risk factor for depression. […] Although in its early stages, the emerging field of research focused on the human microbiome suggests an important role for the gut microbiota in influencing brain development, behaviour and mood in humans. (source)
If your gut is healthy and balanced, the same will go for your brain and your moods. It’s vital to foster a healthy microbiome for many, many reasons, and stable positive mood is one of them. As explained here, “What we eat affects everything from our production of neurotransmitters and hormones to our energy levels and the quality of our synaptic connections – all of which can determine how well we respond to the stresses and demands of daily living.”
We see this on a daily basis with the people around the globe that are a part of our F.A.M. Group and Community. F.A.M. (Food & Moves) is the platform we have created to give you everything that you need and hold you accountable to ensure you get across that line. Making the beautiful switch to real food and mindful eating is a huge component in the success of our people and Eric Bradley's Food & Moves Movement.
First a little good-mood-food inspiration…
Here are a few testimonials from people who transitioned to real food with our program and who are a part of our F.A.M. Group & Community:
I’m a little over 2 months into the program. For me, I cut the sugar very gradually. I used to get depressed and angry, especially when I was tired or going through a stressful situation. In the last month or so, I’ve noticed that I haven’t gotten angry or depressed even though nothing has changed but my diet and overall health. Maybe it’s being healthier and my husband is also a lot happier (he’s doing it too) and healthier that’s made the difference. I tried to do this for years on my own and it was F.A.M. and it's easy and straight forward components that finally made everything click for me. Thank you Eric Bradley!
I have been eating on Eric Bradley's meal plan for about 6 weeks. Not only is my arthritis pain gone but I’m finding that I sometimes forget to take my meds for anxiety. […] My moods are better in that I’m handling things well without that overwhelming feeling that I can’t cope. […] I plan on keeping tabs on my moods and slowly reducing meds. Eric Bradley's Mood & Emotion Tracker has been a tremendous help. He has made a believer out of me! I am so thankful for my F.A.M. family!
I inadvertently fell into Eric Bradley's F.A.M. Group while I was depressed and stuck as a result of a broken relationship and the addiction to carbs, sugar and laziness that came along with it. I have been on his nutrition plan and workout system for almost 6 months now. In terms of ‘normal mood’ changes that I noticed, I find myself enjoying being active. If something stressful/upsetting occurs I’m able to deal with it properly and resume to a level/stable mood and I have motivation to complete goals and actually do things. If I have to cry, it's therapeutic and I accept is as being a normal human emotion to release whatever i’m feeling as opposed to the deep/hopeless/painful crying that often accompanies depression. I no longer consider myself to be depressed and it is literally all thanks to the food i’m now feeding my body. The beautiful bonus is that I have lost over 30lbs. I could have never done it without Eric Bradley and F.A.M.
As a new mom, I was struggling to get the weight off. I was tired and grumpy all of the time. Here I had this beautiful new baby and I felt horrible and hated my new body. Since I was unable to breastfeed, I lived on caffeine. I ate anything I could grab quickly which was typically packaged junk food. I fell into the "Baby Blues" and was absolutely miserable. When surfing on Facebook, I stumbled upon Eric Bradley's page and saw he what he was about and what he was doing with people. I saw people just like me! I joined F.A.M. and everything changed for me. I have learned so much. I love eating healthy and doing the workouts but it's the support, guidance and accountability from the F.A.M. Group that is the difference for me. Now I am a happy Mommy & wife. My husband definitely approves of my new post baby body!
Foods to avoid for better & more stable mood:
Gluten intolerance is linked to autoimmune thyroid conditions (the body begins to attack the thyroid). The thyroid plays a huge role in regulating the metabolism and thereby keeping mood stable. Not only does gluten encourage autoimmune disease but it also damages mood-regulating functions in the gut:
A number of studies indicate that wheat can have a detrimental effect on mood, promoting depression and even more serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia. One mechanism that can help explain the mysterious connection between wheat and mental health problems is the fact that wheat inhibits production of serotonin.
Neurotransmitters like serotonin can be found not just in your brain, but also in your gut. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in your intestines, not your brain! (source)
This indicates that when you eat wheat the serotonin that should be produced in the gut is inhibited, and your mood suffers. Basically, wheat can = sad and angry. If you can relate to these negative symptoms, aim to cut gluten out for 2 weeks and see if you experience a noticeable improvement. Chances are you will.
Sugary foods have a toxic effect on your mood and mental health, not only through the direct effect of “sugar high –> sugar low” but also via at least 3 different mechanisms where it damages hormone signaling, neuron health and impairs the immune system. (source)
This would include obviously any processed sugary foods containing refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup etc, but also excess amounts of natural sugars (anything beyond, in my opinion, 3 servings per day). Why? It’s a completely unnatural amount of sugar to be consuming on any regular basis. A hunter-gatherer would have probably feasted on fruit a couple of times a year at most when it was in season and they found a good source, but this would definitely not be the norm on a daily basis. Our biochemistry is not designed to deal with this amount of sugar, natural or not.
I know we’re getting a bit broad here, but we are talking about anything containing:
- pesticides and herbicides – this would be non-organic produce, especially the Dirty Dozen. Pesticides are claimed to not directly harm humans, but they DO harm our gut bacteria, which by now we understand has huge effects on our health and well-being.
- artificial colours and sweeteners – Aspartame in particular, since “both depression and panic attacks are known potential side effects of aspartame consumption.” (source)
- genetically-modified organisms – these alter the gut bacteria for the worse – avoid foods containing non-organic corn, canola, soy and sugarbeet like the plague.
Foods to eat for better & more stable mood
In general, a traditional, whole-foods diet devoid of processed foods and focusing on healthy animal proteins, organic vegetables and good fats is what we’re aiming for here. This is where Eric Bradley's Weight Loss & Whole Food Nutrition System rises to the top. This is the kind of yummy & delicious fuel our F.A.M. community runs on and it is the difference in getting to a happier and healthier place. You can get it HERE:
Nutrients to support good mood
Here's a little cheat list for you to keep handy. Specifically we can focus on consuming more foods that are rich in fiber, minerals and nutrients such as iodine, selenium, Omega 3s, natural saturated fats, copper and iron. These help support the endocrine system and feed a healthy gut microbiome. Here are some foods to include in your next grocery shop! (source)
- Dark leafy greens
- Red meat – grass-fed beef and lamb
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Shellfish – Oysters, Clams
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Brazil Nuts
- Organ Meats (hide liver in meat loaf, meatballs, soup)
- Kelp and seaweed (capsules or dried, found in the Asian aisle or at the health food store)
- B-complex vitamin
Try keeping a journal for a couple of days, especially when you’re feeling particularly happy or notably anxious/sad/negative. The members of our F.A.M. FOOD & MOVES Group enjoy using a daily Mood & Emotion tracker to keep front and center how exercise and what they are eating help or hinder their day. To learn more about this incredible resource and community that is full of knowledge, support & accountability, visit us at WWW.FITNESSLIFEBYERICBRADLEY.COM.
Remember, if you want change, you must change things.
F.A.M.: FOOD & MOVES BY ERIC BRADLEY makes it a reality!