Life Hacks to Improve Nutrition for Mental Health

hey there everybody and welcome today’s presentation on depression and anxiety treatment 101 improving nutrition I’m your host.

Nutrition is one of those sort of sneakythings that we don’t think about a lot but it can play a huge role in improvingyour health and mental health and I’m not talking about completely scrappingthe way you eat and eating in a way that you feel deprived or you feel unhappyI’m talking about making some small simple changes one at a time maybe youdecide you’re gonna start drinking more water

okay let’s focus on that for therest of the month and then once you’re comfortable doing that and you’reregularly drinking more water then you can try to do something else make thesesmall changes because they’re going to be more likely to last another changeyou can make is eat colorfully when you have your plate in front of you try to have at least three colors on your plate at every single meal blues yellows oranges greens Purple’s blacks there’s lots of colors experiment with newrecipes or foods.

I am 50 years old and I am still finding new foods that Ihaven’t tried before or I haven’t tried in a really really long time likeartichokes or asparagus or mangos and some of those things I tried when I wasyounger and I didn’t like them but trying them again as an adult I foundthat they’re actually not so bad or maybe I try cooking them a different wayasparagus for example when it comes out of my garden and it’s like hours oldfresh it is really really good and I even like it raw or lightly steamed Is till don’t like asparagus from the supermarket because it tastes too bitterto me once it’s been picked and for more than 24 hours.

I find that it has toostrong of a taste and that’s my preference my son does not likestore-bought spinach because it’s too strong however I grow spinachhydroponically at home and he loves that he is more than happy to eat thatbecause he says it’s not as strong be willing to experiment you can buy thosetabletop hydroponic setups where you can grow your own salad greens and you knowit sounds a little gimmicky but it really is really produces a muchdifferent tasting food and it gives you the option to try different things youcan try different types of lettuce and different types of greens to increaseyour water keep a water bottle with you all the time.

If you’re carrying it with you you’re gonna be more likely to sip on it and that can help you stay more hydrated try to pay attention to the caffeine you drink because caffeine willtypically well caffeine is a diuretic and will cause you to be more dehydratedso will alcohol.

So if you’re drinking caffeine or alcohol make sure to alsodrink extra water gradually reduce processed foods and I say gradually dothis because so much of the American diet is built on processed foods that ifyou decide you’re going to eliminate all processed foods or you know all flour orwhatever it is cold turkey you’re probably going to feel stresseddepressed deprived.

So gradually reduce it maybe start out by having one meal aday where you don’t have any processed foods and then two meals a day and thenhey three meals a day it will be easier once you start identifying non-processedfoods that you like like oatmeal that is not highly processed you can get thesteel-cut oats that are easier to use you’re not having to take it from theoat itself and grind it up.

But we’re using things that haven’t been overprocessed and had all of their brand and good stuff removed a dietitianfriend of mine suggested that unless you have to for medical reasons don’teliminate anything completely because when you do that oftentimes it leads youup to feeling deprived and you end up binging on it later find ways to allow yourself small portions of it at our house we keep chocolate in the freezer that way you can get out a piece of chocolate and ittakes longer to eat because it’s frozen and so you’re sucking on it for longerwhatever it is that you like.

If you like M&Ms for example you can tell I likechocolate get the snack sized bags and keep them in a place where you can onlyaccess one at a time if you have all of the snack sized bags in your pantry thenand you get a craving at 2:00 in the morning you may be likely to go throughmultiple multiple bags of them so I recommend to people if they have hardtime with self-control only buying a snack sized bag at a time or onlyallowing themselves access to whatever that preferred food is at a restaurantif you love pizza.

For example only have pizza when you go to a restaurant andthen don’t bring more home so you’re not tempted to graze on it for the nextthree or four hours and keep prepared vegetables and fruits handy for snacksbaby carrots are great apples are great grapes are awesome these are things thattend to be comparatively speaking lower calorie than a lot of our processedfoods like chips and and things like that raw broccoli is great if you likeit celery there are a lot of things.

And then you find that you’re getting a lot of your multiple colors through yoursnacks and you have things available and an eighth thing that is on here or noton here but I will add a lot of studies have shown that we tendeat whatever we see the most don’t keep processed foodsideally don’t keep any food at all on the counter where you’re tempted to grabit as you walk by but if you must keep something on the counter keep thingslike fresh fruits available.

So if you are tempted to grab something when youwalk by its an apple or a banana instead of something like cookies or cake I hopethat gave you some ideas on some easy ways to start improving your nutritionas I said at the beginning take one suggestion whatever sounds the easiestor most exciting.

I guess to do right now start with that one do it for a month ormore until it becomes habit and you’re not even thinking about itand then make another small change in order to make sure that your changes are lasting.

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