Ahh, the Mediterranean! Have you ever been there? Do you long to visit its sunny…
Diet is such a habit isn’t it? An ingrained habit from childhood. Often what we eat and the amount we eat as kids sets us up for our dietary habits over a lifetime.
I remember as a child eating a lot of meat and potatoes: boiled, mashed or roasted. There was meat at almost every meal. Spag bol for lunch, roast chicken for dinner. Home-made sausage rolls for lunch, meatloaf for dinner. Chicken soup for lunch, lamb curry for dinner. Hearty, stodgy and meaty.
You need hearty, stodgy and meaty when you come from Scotland, as my Mum does.
Today, I prefer a lighter, more plant-based diet with lots of fish. I follow the Mediterranean Diet which is brain-healthy. Much better for your body, great for your mind.
Now, changing what you eat may not give you an instant mood booster.
What will make you feel good is the knowledge that by choosing healthier food you are taking better care of your body and mind. This shows you believe that you are actually worthy and deserving of better health, which will counteract those negative thoughts about yourself.
There is also something very exciting about eating food that looks good and tastes good. Fresh coloured fruits and salads. Salmon not only tastes delicious, it’s also great for your brain.
Different colours and textures on the plate are appealing and we begin to feel better even before we’ve started eating. We expect our food to taste good and that we’re going to enjoy it. Eating mindfully adds to the experience and enjoyment.
They say ‘we eat with our eyes first’ and if you can prepare a dish of interesting colours, textures and flavours, that is a real mood booster.
Now, it can be difficult to change your entire diet overnight. Some dieting books recommend you throw out everything in your pantry and fridge and just start again.
I’m not sure how effective that is.
For me, incorporating better food into your diet is something better done gradually and with minimum effort. Like trying to fit more physical activity into your day, find ways to include healthier foods without it seeming an ‘extra’ effort.
A healthy diet is important for physical health and also to keep your body and brain working properly. There is also a demonstrated connection between the food we eat and our mood. It is very satisfying to prepare home-cooked meals and this doesn’t mean it has to be time consuming. Simple, nutritious, delicious food is the way to a brighter mood.
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