”This one makes a net, This one stands and wishes, Would you like to make a bet Which one get the fishes?” Chinese Rhyme

You can create a lifestyle that will protect our mind, spirit, and body. Small choices make a big difference. A positive, healthful lifestyle builds security, nurture, consistency, and stability into your life. Simple strategies such as eating a healthful breakfast, drinking plenty of water, going for walks, reading inspirational materials, and positive thinking and speaking can make a big difference. Some people fail to overcome addictions due to a terrible neglect of their personal lifestyle. For example, if a person gives up an alcohol addiction but consumes only junk food, caffeine, and sugar, it makes it much harder to overcome cravings and stay off alcohol. Lifestyle choices affect body, mind, and spirit.

Choose Healthful Foods

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The proper care of the body will also have an influence on your mind and spirit. Enjoy wholesome foods that provide energy, vitality, and strength. Eating a diet rich in junk food, refined sweets, and processed food does not provide the nutrition needed for mental processing, nervous system health, and mood regulation.

Nutritionists Elizabeth Somers describes the effects of such a diet: ”Repeated poor food choices can set fundamental patterns in the production of the brain chemicals that regulate appetite and mood so that you become a victim of mood swings, food cravings, poor sleep habits, and other emotional problems because of poor eating habits.”

Janice Keller Phelps, a physician who ran a drug detoxification clinic in Seattle for 20 years, worked with more than 20,000 addicts. A recovered alcoholic herself, she believes that most addicts have a basic sugar addiction with an underlying depression. She writes: ”Sugar addiction is the world’s most widespread addiction, and probably one of the hardest to kick. Because it is shared by so many addictive patients, I believe it is the ‘basic addiction’ that precedes all others. Most of my addicted patients tell me that at one time they craved sugar almost daily. Furthermore, few people recognize their sugar addiction.”

To lessen a sugar craving, eat whole foods with complex carbohydrates that provide healthful energy to your body and brain. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts and seeds. These tasty, satisfying foods strengthen your physical and mental health. If you are not getting the nutrients that you need, cravings will soon take over. When you eat well your mind will be sharper to discern temptation and stronger in judgment to solve problems. You will have more brain energy to deal with stress, challenges, and new situations.

Dietary fat influences the health of the brain as well as other organs of the body. The type of fat you eat affects how permeable, fluid, and responsive your cells are to chemical messengers. Plant fats encourage flexible, responsive cell function. Flexible cells mean healthier heart, vessel, and brain action. Some great plant sources of healthful fats include olives, avocados, nuts, flax and other seeds, olive oil, and canola oil.

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Saturated animal fats such as red meat and butter, and trans fats that are commonly found in chips, fries, and pastries, are vessel hardening and not the best for optimal brain function. But omega-3 fats are good for the head and heart. In particular. they have been shown to help reduce aggression and depression in some people. Good plant sources include ground flax seed, walnuts, soy beans, and canola oil.

Stick to a Regular Eating Schedule 

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Breakfast is vital to start your day right. Eating breakfast gives a satisfying feeling so you are less likely to reach for caffeine or sugar to raise your mood or energy levels. Eating plenty of whole grains and fresh fruits gives you slow-release energy that will fuel your mind and body for the day’s tasks.

If you don’t eat breakfast your body will rum on nervous energy. When that happens, a stress hormone, cortisol, is produced which raises the blood sugar level. High stress hormone levels combined with poor nutrition will make you more edgy and more susceptible to depression and mood swings.

So, be proactive instead of reactive. Eat a hardy high fiber breakfast. This will help you deal with stress better so you will be less likely to run to the vending machine when problems arise. A good breakfast will also lessen your cravings for sugar, caffeine, and snacks.

Don’t deprive yourself the pleasure of a healthful, well-planned lunch. Enjoy your meals at regular times. Going too long without eating can make your blood sugar and your mood take a dive. If you have supper, lighten it up. One of the big reasons that people skip breakfast is because they load up on heavy foods at night. Then they don’t sleep well, wake up feeling groggy and unrefreshed, and have no appetite. So train your appetite to enjoy foods at the time your body needs them most: in the early and middle parts of the day.

Including plenty of fresh fruit varieties,leafy green and other vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds is going to provide a rich array of vital nutrients. These nutrients work together to improve mood, reduce cravings, provide energy, and improve mental function. With lots of high-fiber plant foods at mealtime, there will be less of an urge to snack.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drink-WaterWater vitalizes your body because it eliminates toxins, improve circulation, speed nutrients to the cells, and perks up a dull brain. Water intake prevents mild dehydration, which can trigger irritability and false hunger signals. The average adult needs about eight glasses a day. Getting plenty of refreshing water through the day is essential for vitality and a proper functioning metabolism.

Other healthful alternatives to stimulating, dehydrating beverages include 100 percent fruit juice (in moderation), herbal teas, and grain beverages. Keeping your body fresh and clean inside and out with plenty of water is an important key to a healthful lifestyle. A relaxing batch cleanses, act as a tonic, soothes the nerves, and is a pleasant diversion. So, get into the water habit!

Exercise for Excellence

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Getting plenty of physical exercise has a powerful effect on the mind as well as the body. When you feel better, you think better. Exercise has been shown to improve mood; lower stress, depression, and anxiety levels; and increase brain power! It also helps to increase energy levels and improve the quality of sleep for most people. Exercise promote physical health by reducing the risk and progression of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. It also improves mood and mental function. What is the best form of exercise? The one that you are willing to do! Brisk walking, hiking, bicycling, swimming, golfing, skiing, canoeing, chores, such as splitting wood, gardening, jumping on a trampoline, stair climbing, stationary exercise machines – all provide good exercise and help reduce stress. Remember: Motion balances emotion. So when you feel down, get up and get moving, both mentally and physically. Beat a bad mood – just get on the move! 

Think Positive

Making a plan and rehearsing it in your mind can help you practice making positive choices. Before you start your day, read something inspirational and visualize your day and how you will make positive choices. If you should fall down, know that you can get up again. Forgive yourself and decide right then to get back on your victory path. Learn from your mistakes and grow!

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