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Track Your Food: Your Mood Depends On It


Most clients in my practice arrive frustrated by fad or extreme dieting. Not only are the short-term gains pricey (between money and time spent on shakes, supplements, and meal prep) but the anguish, anxiety, irritability, hunger pains, sleep disturbances, and mood swings prove unbearable or impossible to maintain over time. They arrive feeling depressed and depleted.


Practitioners that work with metabolic disorders or mental health should understand the brain-gut axis. Research shows, beyond a doubt, digestion up-regulates or down-regulates weight gain, immunity, motivation, mood, memory, learning, etc. depending on how healthy the gut is. Until recently, scientists were unaware of how reliant mood was on a healthy, diverse microbiome (favorable colonies of gut bacteria that mediate immunity and inflammation). Now the medical community recognizes that gut function is extricably linked to brain function.


So we start by evaluating diet. A free, reliable way of doing this is to keep a food and drink log every day, for about one week. Write down everything including gum, coffee creamer, hard candies, flavored waters, energy drinks, etc. Meal times, product brands, and amounts will give you a much clearer picture of exactly what is going into your body. People are surprised when they look back over the choices they make. With access to a data base such as the USDA's, or another reliable source, you can tabulate your nutrient composition. Better yet, invest in your health and work with a practitioner to provide a more complete evaluation and make recommendations based on a bio-individual analysis that considers medical history, mood disorders, skin conditions, ethnicity, age, blood type, food tastes, sensitivities, allergies, supplements, lifestyle behaviors, and other important determinants.


Here's a tip: The basis of a healthy diet is achieving balance between a wide variety of foods, particularly fibrous plant foods that offer diverse gut-healing microbes, don't eat for at least 14 hours each day (preferably fasting 7pm-11am), and add a few supplements to ease digestive discomfort and decease metabolic stress. Most people have no idea what that might mean for them specifically. Chances are, eating and drinking choices you've made over many decades include the very foods that are having a disguised, devastating impact upon your digestive health...which ultimately steals your joy. So, grab a piece of scrap paper and get real about tracking your diet. Act like your life depends on it, because it could! Let me know if I can help. Find me at bayintegrativewellness.com



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