6 Steps to Stabilize Your Mood and Boost Cognition
Did You Know:
That mood is affected by food, and it can change based on what you eat? Have you ever craved carbs when you are stressed or felt agitated when you are hungry? If you experience mood swings, symptoms of depression or anxiety, cognitive issues like brain fog or attention difficulties, your body is talking. Brain issues might not hurt you like a stomach ulcer hurts or show up on an X-ray like osteoporosis, but brain function affects every organ, tissue, gland, and hormone that is secreted in the body. An imbalance can impact your life just as much as any chronic disease. The good news is that our brain and chemical balance is nutrient-dependent and with a Food Rx we can nourish the brain, stabilize mood, and boost cognitive function.
I have a lot of personal experience with this problem. I was born with dyslexia and other cognitive difficulties, and I can tell you first hand the power nutrition can have. Science is continuing to show how specific chemicals make us feel good and how deficiency makes us feel bad. If we can support the pathways to deliver nutrients to the brain, then we can smooth the rest out. Whether it’s clinical depression or helping someone with concentration issues like attention deficit disorder (ADHD), food can be a powerful medicine, and you can benefit from a nutritional prescription. It’s time to start listening when our body is talking and provide it with a food prescription, a Food Rx to get to the solution.
Feed Your Brain In Six Simple Steps
Let’s dive into six simple steps to help you best handle your current mood and cognitive condition.
- Stabilize Blood Sugar. Take your prescription (eat food), six times a day so that you’re eating every 3-4 hours. That means you’ll have three strategic mood-balancing meals and three mood-balancing snacks. This way of eating will prevent blood sugar spikes or drops that correlate to mood swings, or feelings of stress, anxiety, or unclear thinking.
Eat Your Medicine. The goal when it comes to using food as medicine is to target specific metabolic pathways for fat metabolism, adrenal hormones, neurotransmitter receptor sites, and the gut microbiome. We’ll target these pathways with a strategic layering of foods into your meal maps, which I provide in my book, Food Rx.
- Eat Fruits And Healthy Fats. Consistently providing natural sugars from fruits paired with healthy fats throughout the day helps to stabilize blood sugar for mood-boosting effects.
- Combine Healthy Fats With Vegetables. Pairing vegetable-based fibers with fats help to trigger pregnenolone production. Pregnenolone is a hormone that travels to the brain and helps induce a calming effect on the adrenal glands.
- Eat Foods For The Gut. This food prescription focuses on adding lots of cooked vegetables because they are easy on the GI tract. It’s also a good idea to layer in as many fermented and cultured vegetables into your meals and snacks, which contain both pre-, and probiotics to help re-inoculate the gut with healthy bacteria. This helps to improve the function of the microbiome to naturally boost serotonin production. Your gut and brain will thank you.
- Include My Power Foods For Balancing Mood. You’ll want to include as many of my Power Foods for brain health along with my Foundational Foods recommended and listed in my book, Food Rx, to speed up your brain-balancing prescription. I give you a sample meal map that layers these foods into delicious recipes like my slow cooker turkey chili, Kimchi Salmon Patties, and my absolute favorite fermented salsa!
- Relieve Stress & Seek Out Support. The best stress reliever when it comes to exercise is cardio. Getting your heart rate up helps to burn anxiety hormones and increase blood flow to the brain. Don’t go overboard, but try and get 3-4 days of moderate cardio exercise in your weekly routine. Also, depending on your situational or cognitive challenges, talk therapy and occupational therapy can be extremely helpful. In my own cognitive struggles, therapy was a key part of my prescription for success.
- Build You’re Dream Team. When it comes to mood imbalances and cognitive challenges, it can be tricky because there are no specific markers, which is why so often patients are misdiagnosed. Is brain fog a symptom of autoimmunity? Is depression situational or biochemical? I recommend asking your doctor for an array of tests to best understand your mood and cognitive challenges. Testing for various antibodies, hormones, neurotransmitters, and toxins, which I specifically explain in my book, Food Rx, can be a helpful tool to achieve success.
- Stop And Say, “I’m Confused.” This is one of the most empowering statements and something I found helpful when I was going through my own rehabilitation that my neurologist taught me. Stop and say, “Hold on a minute, I’m confused.” It’s perfectly all right to say if you are feeling anxious, confused or overwhelmed by a situation. There is no shame in your game!
When I was going through my own challenges, there wasn’t an ultimate health plan for how to incorporate foods into a prescription for health, so I had to create one. I’ve created this specific food prescription for you. Fast Metabolism Food Rx is your game plan to create homeostasis, balance, and support for your mood and cognitive challenges. The goal is not to alleviate these emotions or traits; the goal is to establish an internal environment that is nurturing and useful to you. Food Rx is a playbook that puts the game in your hands, and you are the captain of your team. We’re going to work through Self-Discovery Quizzes and Whole-Body Diagnosis Quizzes to understand your condition. We’re going to enjoy delicious recipes in the meal maps provided, and guide you through how to ask for labs and use them with your doctor to achieve success. The Fast Metabolism Food Rx is going to feed your body back to health.