“You are what you eat.” ~ Unknown
“I don’t eat junk foods and I don’t think junk thoughts.” ~ Peace Pilgrim
“One should eat to live, not live to eat.” ~ Moliere
“Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign that something is eating us.” ~ Peter De Vries
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” ~ Bethenny Frankel
“Junk food drags you down.” ~ Miranda Lambert
“Garbage in. Garbage out.” ~ Gina Pilon
Have you ever really truly made the connection between how you feel, not just physically but emotionally?
Most people realize when they don’t get enough sleep they can feel cranky and tired, or when they have suffered a loss in their life they can feel depressed and fatigued, or when they are anxious they can be curt and unable to relax.
They also know when they are excited about something they get an adrenal rush that gives them energy they didn’t think they had, or when they are in infatuation (love) they have energy to burn and feel happy beyond belief.
What many don’t know is what you eat can and does have the same impact on not just our energy levels but how we feel; whether it be happy or sad, peaceful or anxious, calm or jittery, crabby or kind.
Numerous studies have been done to show the connection to our moods and the foods we eat, and I could list them all to try and convince you. However I like evidence-based science; meaning you do your own study and see the truth for yourself, in other words find the “proof in the pudding”. I observe myself and my family and that alone is evidence enough for me.
Case in point: recently I was away on a vacation and typically I eat a vegan diet (because this is what works for me and allows me to feel my personal best physically and emotionally) with a lot of raw in there. However, we all know what vacation food can be like and my diet during that time was not the best for me personally. After seven days of animal protein (dead, pesticide and antibiotic-laden), a lot of cooked food, way more sugar than usual, at most two glasses of red wine, and not my usual amount of vegetables, my energy started to drain. I expected the energy drain, because I know this from past experience. I can’t imagine what I would have been like if I had thrown a bunch of processed food into the equation. Ouch!
What really grabbed my attention (even though I knew this to be true as well), was how much my mood had changed and not for the better. I was foggy, irritable, not able to focus as well, and more negative than I care to admit even to myself. Essentially the garbage that I had put in was coming out. Fortunately I had the good sense and knowledge to see what was happening and quickly got back on track with good wholesome food and some additional cleansing.
The following example is derived from traditional Chinese medicine with respect to the ‘Energetics of food’, which help to keep us balanced.
|Grounded, Relaxed||Root vegetables
|Light, Creative, Flexible||Leafy greens
Wheat, barley, quinoa
Gas stove cooking
Electric stove cooking
|Connected, Harmonious||Organic foods
The following tables are from the Ayervedic principles and body types. I find this one very accurate; I am a strong Kapha with some Pitta.
Try to incorporate some of these principles into your diet and see how you feel. Usually after a week of cleaning up your diet, getting rid of processed foods full of preservatives, eating more organic, adding in more vegetables and fruit, and basically eating a whole food diet according to your body type you can start to feel the difference within a week if not days.
Give it a try; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Here are the tables:
|VATTA Body Type|
|Body Type||thin, delicate bone structure, low body fat, hard to gain weight|
|Characteristics||sensitive, spiritual, running late, can’t sit still, forgets to eat, routine of the day feels difficult and overwhelming, flightiness, memory problems, easily confused, not too present, baldness|
|Signs of Balance||sharp, quick thinking, creative, fast talking, abstract, creative types; might have propensity toward arts, writing, poetry, music|
|Signs of Imbalance||gas, bloating, unfocused, spacey, dry skin, hair and nails, coldness and chills, nervousness, sleeplessness, worry, cavities|
|Organs to Nourish||nervous system, colon, bones|
|Foods to Reduce||stay away from low-fat diets, raw and cold foods, need very careful planning if vegetarian or vegan to stay grounded and focused|
|Foods to Increase||warming, lubricating, grounding, heavier foods to calm down, good quality oils, warming foods to counteract coldness|
|Beneficial||creamy tasting soups, lighter proteins like fish and eggs, mashed sweet potatoes, root vegetables, heavier grains, regular and balanced meals, weightlifting, pilates, yoga|
|PITTA Body Type|
|Element||fire and water|
|Body Type||medium body frame, well-proportioned, prone toward muscularity, easily overheated|
|Characteristics||type A personalities, compelled to accomplish things, focused, organized, never misses meals and can be cranky if a meal is skipped (has a strong metabolism), workaholic, doesn’t do well in hot, humid climates, sassy, creates problems that don’t really exist when feeling too balanced, needs to eat often|
|Signs of Balance||productive, get-it-done person, organized, has a capacity to work until they drop, energized, enthusiastic, quick but sharper than vata|
|Signs of Imbalance||easily agitated under stress, irritable, overly competitive and other heat-associated conditions; diarrhea, skin rashes, burning eyes, increased appetite, perspiration, over-working|
|Organs to Nourish||liver, gall bladder, spleen, small intestine, blood, eyes|
|Foods to Reduce||excessive spices that are too heating, red meat|
|Foods to Increase||sweet and bitter foods, cooling and astringent, sweet-tasting spices (cardamom, fennel), protein|
|Beneficial||peppermint tea, fresh lime, lighter proteins (chicken and fish), dark leafy greens (bitter and cooling), sweet vegetables, calming and relaxing physical exercise, pilates, gentle relations|
|KAPHA Body Type|
|Element||earth and water|
|Body Type||larger body type, not necessarily overweight, gains weight easily, holds fat and water, strong, great powerful athlete when in shape|
|Characteristics||grounded, stable, solid, clear about the ways of the world, sensual, strong sexuality, sense of physicality, steady appetite but not overly strong like pitta, can miss a meal, slower metabolism, resists exercise and is slower moving, often trying to lighten up (physically and emotionally)|
|Signs of Balance||reliable, dependable, calm, peacekeeper, even-tempered, loving, affectionate|
|Signs of Imbalance||holds on to emotions, lethargic, sleeping too much, depressed, lack of enthusiasm, feeling dull and sluggish, overweight, congestion|
|Organs to Nourish||lungs, stomach, body fat, lymphatic system|
|Foods to Reduce||High-fat foods, heavy and fatty proteins, dairy, gluten-based grains, red meats, starchy vegetables|
|Foods to Increase||drying and heating foods, heating and pungent spices for their thermogenic properties, lighter grains, light proteins, vegetables|
|Beneficial||beans, quinoa, spinach, dandelion, salads, cayenne, pepper, ginger, self-acceptance and body-image affirmations, cardiovascular exercises, love the body you have (Kapha woman trying to be Vata)|