Foods To Eat To Stay Upbeat! - Goji Fitness

Foods To Eat To Stay Upbeat!

Foods To Eat To Stay Upbeat!

First off, like everyone I listen to the news and am horrified at the crisis that unfolds in front of us. Half the people I know have or have had the virus and two of my friends lost one parent to COVID-19. But I also have a lot of friends and clients who are safely home and staying protected. I’m thankful for their health and patience. It keeps them alive.

I’ve received many emails about how hard it is to be home, do nothing and how depressing and what to eat not to gain weight and succumb to lethargy. So this blog is offering a few ideas you can test out.

Are you also getting cabin fever in these times of COVID19 quarantine?

It expresses itself in different ways for different people: lethargy, depression, anxiety, fear, restlessness, lack of motivation, etc.

What my years as a nutritionist and my personal human experiments have taught me is that our feelings really are chemical reactions to our external and internal environment. And while we cannot control the outside world right now, we certainly can control and shape our internal environment. In short, it means eating for mental health.

  • Eating to feel upbeat, to combat moodiness.
  • Eating to energize the mind and the body and see the upside of things.
  • Eating to feel calmer and more positive.
  • Eating to feel light and vibrant.

Over the past 14 days, I have made two major changes to my diet that have proven very effective in keeping me positive, recover from COVID19 faster (and I know I’m one of the lucky survivors) and stay in top shape. In fact, I’m at my best weight ever, feeling fitter by the day as the cough dissipates and I also changed my exercise routine and advised a few of my clients with big health goals to follow along and give this approach a try to speed up their results during the shelter of quarantine.

STEP 1 – TWO MEALS A DAY

The first change was to change my routine from 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) to 2 meals a day only. I eat breakfast mid-morning and eat dinner at 6PM at the latest. No other food intake or snack in between. Let’s be honest. We don’t need as much food as we think we do when we sit around all day. In addition, our days rhythms are less hectic, we don’t run around as much as we used to. And even though the stress levels are there, there are more mental than physical and by cutting 300-500 calories a day, I have not suffered a bit. On the contrary, it helped sharpen, perk up my brain (no more food coma or lethargy from overfeeding a body that does not need it). It also really helped me reach and maintain my weight goals. Note that because my diet is very clean and unprocessed (step 2 below) my blood sugar levels are very stable and allow me to fast for long period of times between meals, therefore maximizing fat loss. Not everyone has experience fasting, therefore my recommendation to you is to honor your style of eating but cut 300-500 cal depending on your bio-individual feeding schedule. It could mean skip all snacks if you’re a big snacker or reduce your 6 meals a day to 4 if that’s your feeding schedule.

Do not skip breakfast! Your brain needs to be well fed in these dark depressing times. Proceed to step 2 for more information.

STEP 2 – EAT VIBRANT, FRESH AND LIVING FOODS

For whichever number of meals you are left with to eat per day, choose to eat foods that make you feel upbeat. They are vibrant, fresh and living foods:

  • Vibrant foods: meaning the best micronutrient profile as judged by quality (organic, non GMO), color (a rainbow of color on my plate) and seasonal so the food has its maximum nutrient density. Plants are more micronutrient dense and the leafy greens are top of the chart.
  • Fresh foods: The look of vegetables is crisp and fresh. No wilted leaf, tarnished color, or droopy plants. It looks freshly picked or use frozen produce. Avoid canned foods and prefer dried beans over canned or fresh fruit over canned, etc. Avoid left-over!!! Very important to chemically keep upbeat and healthy. Reheated foods have little to no nutrient density. It’s dead food… not fresh. So cook smaller version, choose simple recipes that you can make in 20 minutes. I only have to prepare dinner for my household so I do spend the 20-30 min every night and it feels nurturing.
  • Living food: The foods you eat are unprocessed. I recommend you cut all pasta, bread, chips, cookies and other flour based products which are processed, not alive and use calories you could source from other better foods. Living means that the cooking time is also minimal to preserve nutrients and color. Choose steam or saute rather than bake or stew. Use your blender to make smoothies, juices and fresh vegetable soups. If you have pasta, make it once a week and respect 1/3 pasta and 2/3 veggies ratio!

With COVID-19 I have not eaten any raw salad in almost a month because I’m afraid of how the greens were handled. But I enjoy the raw vegetables I can wash with soap such as carrot, celery, avocado and cabbage for instance and I cook al the other ones lightly.

Here’s a link to a consumer report about food safety in the time of COVID-19.

Breakfast is rich in essential fatty acids to feed the brain first thing in the morning after a night’s fast and keep it sharp and happy for the first part of the day until dinner. I have alternated between:

  • a Zenberry fruit and nut smoothie (1 mango, 1 banana, 1 pitaya frozen pack, 2 TBSP ground flax seeds, 2 TBSP Zenberry Greens for a protein and super greens and algae boost) or,
  • a grain free oatmeal (blend 2 TBSP ground flaxseeds, 2 TBSP chia seeds, 1 TBSP cashews, 1 TBSP pumpkin seeds, 1 TBSP toasted coconut shavings, 1 TBSP sunflower seeds or hemp seeds, 2 TBSP goji berries, cinnamon, cardamom in a blender. Pour in a bowl and add hot water, stir and let grow. Add 1/2 cup blueberries on top and cacao nibs) or,
  • 1 1/2 cup apple sauce with cinnamon, cardamom and 1/4 cup seeds and nuts
  • and on Sunday only 4 or 5 of my 4 ingredient pancakes

Dinner is vegetables, vegetables, vegetables, etc. My favorite dinners this week were:

  • Sauteed broccoli with sauteed crispy firm tofu, lemon and nutritional yeast
  • A baked sweet potato, stuffed with with 1/2 an avocado mashed and sauteed kale with garlic, lemon and Braggs Aminos
  • Sauteed red cabbage with scallions and pinto beans
  • Raw organic coconut wraps with avocado mash, carrot shavings, sauteed collard greens and chickpeas
  • Lentil fusilli pasta (1/2 a cup) with sauteed garlic kale, topped with wild-caught sardines (with skin and bones, in a can)

STEP 3 – AIM FOR 3 MOVEMENT BREAKS PER DAY.

Finally, elevating your workout game is a HUGE remedy against depression. It’s an instant mood boost.

I do a strength training/cardio workout in the morning, a walk at lunch time and yoga before dinner at around 4 or 5PM.

I highly recommend you try to move every 4h or less. It will change your entire day for the better, and help you look and feel your best. It does not have to be a 45 min commitment every time. Just 15 min cardio/strength and 20/30 min yoga and a nice walk is enough.

When in lock down, what you eat and how you move, directly affects how you feel. It’s not easy to implement the above but the CHALLENGE OF IT will really get your mind snapping out of any funk you find yourself in. Today I had to deny myself a snack at 3PM…. I reminded myself. You really don’t need it Emma. Wait 2 more hours. And so I did… Dinner will taste that much better, especially since I regained my sense of smell and taste two days ago!

Stay safe everyone! In these times of suffering and holy times for many, I think of you and wish you and yours to be safe,

Emma

PS: I was tested positive 8 days after my first symptoms and got my results (positive of course) on Day 12. Even without symptoms, when recovered, you are still contagious for at least a week… Be patient and wait to be safe for others to leave the house.

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