Archives for Clean Eating
Lately, I've been super focused on getting fit. After my father’s death (and all the subsequent life-altering experiences that came with that while trying to juggle “regular” everyday life such as work), I put on a few pounds, made excuses not to run or attend yoga classes, and -- well -- just basically put my physical health on the backburner. Now that I've had some time to adjust, it’s time to get back on track. I joined a gym in January (and am proud to say I've made it out of the “January Club”!), started cleaning up my diet again, and have been browsing various yoga classes to find something that’ll get me out of my living room and back into the studio. (Now, if only this pesky bitter cold winter would pass, I could get off the treadmill and back to the park!) Anyway, during this journey back to getting fit, I’ve done some thinking about why I want to get fit. Simply put, it’s for me. I want to feel better physically (which always makes me feel better mentally) as well as feel comfortable in my own skin again (another mental perk!). During these musings, I started wondering about the reasons not to get fit. That’s right; while I firmly believe in physical wellness and how it impacts our mental health and wellness, I also believe there are reasons you should avoid when getting in shape...and I think many of you will be able to relate.
Over the years, research has shown that food affects not only our physical health (um, duh?), but also our mental health. For example, a well-balanced diet can help reduce depression symptoms, prevent mood swings related to blood sugar levels, and help improve concentration. We all know that, right? However, what about clean eating? You know, cutting out all that heavily processed junk like frozen meals and even some "healthy" pre-packaged weight loss snacks?
How many of you eat when you’re stressed, anxious, panicky, or depressed? Now, how many of you exercise when you’re experiencing those same feelings? I didn’t conduct any formal poll, but I’m willing to bet more of you raised your hands for the first question than the second. (After all, according to the CDC as of 2010, the percent of Americans 20 years old and older who are overweight, including obese, is 69.2%.) Basically, more than half of American adults are overweight or outright obese. Geesus Ayche.
Have you watched Hungry for Change yet? A few Saturday nights ago, I had nothing better to do than sit in front of Netflix (sad, I know, but let's stay on topic here). As I flipped through the new releases, a documentary called Hungry for Change caught my eye. I suppose it was the documentary's cover image, a happy chick holding a grocery bag full of whole foods wrapped with a measuring tape, that caught my eye. Because my grocery bags have been looking more and more like that lately (see Can Clean Eating Help Restore Hormonal Balance?), it seemed potentially up my alley. So, what's Hungry for Change all about?
So, during a regular appointment earlier this week, my doctor confirmed what I've suspected for the past couple of months: My hormones are completely out of whack. Ever dealt with a hormonal imbalance? It's pretty stressful. Not only can it cause weight problems and wreak havoc on your skin , but a hormonal imbalance sometimes brings mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, and disorientation.