Do you ever feel burdened by sadness, anger, or malaise and feel your emotions are getting the best of you? Did you know that you have the ability to rewire your brain so that you naturally feel more happiness?
And as if that's not enough, recent research in the field of epigenetics has found that positive thoughts, like healthful foods, actually impact our health through our genes. The truth is, we are not stuck in a particular genetic destiny! The power of health is in our hands (and minds and bellies)!
I am excited to announce that my first book, currently titled, Healed: The Food-Mood Method to Reclaim Your Health and Happiness is due out late spring/summer. In it you'll learn about the power of food and mood to reduce inflammation, reverse disease, and boost happiness. And here, for the first time, I'm sharing excerpts–one on food, the other on mood: first, one of several gratitude practices; second, a healthful dessert with no added sugar. I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below. You can learn more about my book here.
Gratitude Exercise Research shows that putting our attention on what we are grateful for 21 days actually rewires the neurons in our brains so that we focus on our blessings and feel happier. Writing it down is important for this shift. Research shows that gratitude affects us hormonally as well. Several examples demonstrate the mind-body connection to health through gratitude. "By appreciating the colors, aromas, tastes, and textures of food, we activate important hormones that assist with the digestive process."* Further, gratitude increases our production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, respectively, which is precisely what many prescribed antidepressants do. There is so much to be grateful for from the food we get to enjoy to the love we experience. Believe it or not, even pain is something we can be thankful for. Why? Because we are alive to feel it.
Keep a gratitude journal for 21 days. Every day either in the morning or at night before bed (or both if you are so inspired) write down several things you are grateful for in your life. As you write, really concentrate on being thankful, how lucky you are and why. Tune in to your body and find where these positive emotions manifest - your chest, your heart, your shoulders, for example. Feel the gratitude in you.
Then, after 21 days, keep going. To bring a fresh daily perspective of gratitude, each morning write down one thing you are looking forward to that day. Each night, note at least one thing that happened that day that you are grateful for.
*Segersten, Alissa. "How to Optimize Your Digestion for a Large Meal." Whole Life Nutrition®. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Between the dates and the chia seeds, this pudding is loaded with fiber. Chia is also high in calcium, magnesium, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid. Great as is or serve with sliced strawberries.
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 T cocoa powder
2 T raw honey
3 fresh dates, pitted
1 t ground cinnamon
½ t vanilla
3 T chia seeds
2 t cacoa nibs
Place first six ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed for 20-30 seconds until well combined and dates are pulverized. Add the chia seeds and cacao nibs and stir with a spatula to combine. Pour mixture into three small containers such as jam jars or mini bowls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before serving.
Nutritious Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes | © 2016 Nan Foster Health, all rights reserved.