So the second post in this series is about diet. It may seem logical to most that how and what you eat will effect how you feel both physically and mentally. This is a concept that I have and still continue to struggle with. When I was a child, I was super athletic, a real little tomboy. I loved being outside, running around, playing in the dirt and just getting into whatever mischief I could. We were allowed watch TV but never for long periods and my parents always encouraged us to use our imaginations and find things to do OUTSIDE. We live on a farm so I suppose that makes a lot of sense. I loved running and basketball and we had a very healthy upbringing. My relationship with food became more toxic as I got older. When my bullying first started, I realised the joy that chocolate and junk food in general could bring me. It’s been a slippery slope since then. I’m not obese and I’m quite healthy bar some minor well managed medical problems but I could always be healthier and since that time I have never truly been happy with my physical appearance.
Wow this is tough to write…
I guess what I’m struggling to say is that, my relationship with food has impacted hugely on my mental health over the years. When I felt crap I’d eat, when I was bored I ate, when I was sad or lonely I’d eat to make myself feel better. When I was finished eating, I’d look in the mirror and feel disgusting. It took me up until recently and even during the course of writing this post to truly realise that my relationship with food is unhealthy and makes me feel like shit both physically and mentally. It’s kind of ironic but I really like healthy foods and I have a pretty good diet most of the time. My battle has been with consistency. I could have a really good day and then ruin it for the following days or weeks by eating crap at night etc… Examining my relationship with food and making it more healthy, certainly won’t and hasn’t cured my anxiety but it certainly helps if you don’t feel sluggish and tired on top of battling everything that comes with anxiety. It’s a key role in my anxiety management and I have been really neglecting it.
So I recently just told myself NO. No more excuses, no more comfort eating and no more feeling like shit. I want to be healthy, I want to feel good in my mind and body and I want to help alleviate my anxiety whatever way I can. This blog isn’t going to become about my new diet but I thought I might share some meals and exercise plans I’ve been making. I’m not on any programme, I’m just committing myself to this. I know I’ll trip up and I’m setting myself realistic goals and for the first time I really think I’ll get there.
So below are some of the meals I’ve eaten over the last week:
Lean turkey mince cooked in coconut oil, with mixed vegetables and a low fat tomato sauce.I always eat wholegrain pasta and sprinkle in some chia seeds during cooking to add extra protein. On the side is a small mixed salad with feta cheese.
Above is a turkey stir fry with dark soy sauce. It’s lean turkey breast with a mixture of mushrooms, sweet peppers and onions. I didn’t have any brown rice so I went with pasta instead.
Chia seeds are something I swear by. There are a great source of good protein, fibre and omega 3. I add it in during my cooking, sprinkle some on salads and it’s always part of my breakfast.
I have always been a lover of herbal teas but as part of a healthier diet I have to eliminate some of my caffeine. I don’t drink coffee but I’m Irish so tea is a big part of my day. I try to swap two cups of regular black tea for a herbal one each day. I drink most herbal teas but this peppermint is a favourite at the moment.
Sleep can be hard to come by when I’m feeling anxious or having a bad day so I always find a cup of this tea with a little honey helps me catch a few hours.
I had to realise that having a healthy diet doesn’t mean you can’t have some of your favourite foods. I think I’ll be successful this time because I realise moderation is a big part of enjoying food. I went out for dinner at a burger restaurant and to keep things healthy I got sweet potato fries and a wholegrain burger bun. It was YUMMY 😉
I try to walk every second day and then do aerobics at home everyday. I increase the intensity nearly every week or when I feel like I need to. There are loads of great apps out there to help you track your exercise. I’m currently using a GPS Tracker App to map my walking route and another one to log my calorie intake each day. I can honestly say I have started to feel the impact already. I feel fresher when I wake up and when I had a bad anxiety episode the last few weeks, it gave me something to focus on. I’ll keep you updated as I progress and I hope you have gained something from this 😀
Until next week,
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