Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Need a Boost!

I'm well into week 3 of my 6 week challenge and things are still going well. I couldn't make my weigh in this week but my home scales has me down another pound which is great. I'm not really craving or missing any of the foods I have cut back on. In fact I went to my aunts house for dinner last week and there was the most delicious looking loaf of freshly baked bread and while I am sure it was gorgeous, I did not feel hard done by not having a slice. I have been working regular potato and brown rice into my meals but less than I would have had before. I also invested in some coconut oil to cook with, and a little bit really does go a long way! It's pricy and it does have a distinct smell when you use it in the actifry but it is lovely. I have been loving the quinoa but I think next week I may give lentils a go to mix things up a bit.

The past few days though I have been feeling down. I can't seem to pinpoint a reason for this but I guess we all go through phases of not really feeling ourselves. I have always been a very emotional eater, tending to binge when my emotions get the better of me. I could have had one of those days today and I know exactly what I would have eaten; A sausage roll AND a jambon for breakfast washed down with a mocha. Then lunch would have been a chicken fillet roll and a bag of sour cream and onion crisps followed by a mid afternoon hot chocolate. Dinner would have to be a full on carb fest of either pizza or cheesy pasta probably followed by lots of chocolate. Now I do not doubt that all of that food would have made me feel great while I was eating it - but what happens when the food is gone; guilt, disappointment, shame and of course the physical bloatedness that comes from all that fatty, salty, carby food. Overall it is a recipe for disaster that seems like a good idea at the time but never really is.

They tell you not to try and mask your emotions with food, and not to reward yourself with you. But I like food and it is a really big part of my life, so I have done a bit of research into foods that will actually boost your mood and not leave you feeling guilty!

Photo courtesy of voraorn /

Omega 3 - This is found in oily fishes like salmon as well as walnuts, flaxseed and chia seed.  These fats promote healthy functioning of the neurotransmitters in your brain that regulate your mood.

Photo courtesy of winnond /

Vitamin D - Studies have shown a link in Vitamin D deficiency and depression, so ensuring you have plenty of it in your diet can help to keep the low feelings at bay. You can get a supplement for this but eggs, milk and fish are all high in vitamin D. Fish and eggs also have high levels of protein which has also been found to contribute to balanced moods.

Photo courtesy of pakorn /

Vitamin B/Folates - These are found in all your leafy green vegetables. Cabbage, Spinach, kale. You parents always told you to eat your greens for a reason!

Photo courtesy of adamr /

Selenium - low levels of this have been linked to depression and low moods. You can get a boost from sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, liver and shellfish.

Photo courtesy of Grant Cochrane /

Finally, the one we have all been waiting for - chocolate is proven to boost your mood. The trouble is ensuring you don't overdo it and trigger some negative feelings. I find that dark chocolate is best for this as it is much more difficult to over indulge and it contains all the antioxidants and goodness you need!!

I have treated myself this week to my favourite healthy foods! Real 0% fat greek yoghurt. This stuff is so hard to get, everywhere seems to have greek style yoghurt which is full of sugar and additives to make it thicker. I have found Fage 0% real greek yoghurt in Donnybrook Fair, but it is by no means cheap. It is full of protein and low in propoints and absolutely delicious! So I will continue to be treating myself to this every few weeks. Also it is just coming to the end of fig season so I grabbed some from M&S today to make roasted fig and greek yoghurt for dessert tonight (recipe will be posted tomorrow)! So you can reward yourself with food - just try to change to the healthier kinds of rewards!

1 comment:

  1. Zoe, what a terrific article. You have great insight and self-knowledge for one so young.
    Delighted that your challenge is going so well.
    Missing you all terribly but keeping in touch makes it easier.
    M xx