Fixing Your Food to Improve Your Mood (and other beneficial side-effects)


A woman eating a healthy salad.The landscape is rough out there. Everywhere you look, we have diet fads, healthy choices, solutions for this or that, and other things. Yet, here we are in the United States of America, fatter, sicker, and more addicted to food than ever before. Oh, and we’re depressed at a rate higher than ever, too.

What’s going on out there? Why are we so equipped with ‘answers’ and losing the battle?

In part, I’ll tell you why. As Americans, we have a cultural amnesia about what traditional foods are. Natural, whole foods that nourish us from within.

And who can blame us? There are ads on TV, social media feeds, and colorful grocery store aisles; everywhere you look, there’s a product claiming to be good for you.

We can do better, but it will take a shift back to the basics and nourishing traditions of eating.

Many of us need to LEARN TO EAT (again). I know, I know, easier said than done. Suppose you’re reading this with a side of guilt because there’s no time – or patience – or energy for you to put anything additional on your plate right now willingly. I get it.

But here’s the thing: if you haven’t figured this food thing out and are suffering because of it – when is the right time?

The foods we choose to feed ourselves and our families not only have a profound effect on our moods, ranging from depression to anxiety. They also affect how we show up in our lives and the energy available to give. It’s all connected.

Unfortunately, many of our connections have been hijacked by food not nourishing us. These foods are also wreaking havoc on our hormonal systems, nervous systems, and certainly digestive systems, to name a few of the more common disorders we’re all used to seeing a treatment (not fix) for in the ads on TV that we need to ask our doctors about.

But here’s the truth: Just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s normal.

Foods are meant to nourish our bodies for cellular growth, repair, and function. That means they must provide the right raw materials for this. Sadly, the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) has steered us wrong because it leaves our bodies craving nutrients. In an attempt to find these missing nutrients that are needed for optimal health, we are stuck in a pattern of consuming the very foods that got us to a state of nutrient depletion in the first place.

Processed foods, which are the staples of the SAD diet, are nutrient-depleted, quick, easy, calorie-rich (and quick to store as fat) foods designed to taste good and keep you coming back for more. For that reason, it’s easy to understand the strong cravings we have for them, especially if that’s what we’re used to eating. They are addictive by design, and the manufacturers know this.

All of this is to say that if we want to bring about positive change, and we want to make better choices with foods for ourselves and our families, perhaps even improve our moods by fixing our food (yes, this is something very real and doable) then there needs to be a starting point.

1. Choose some real, whole foods.

That means foods that come from nature and are either in their natural state for consumption (think fresh fruits) or foods made from scratch, with hands, using minimally processed ingredients. Hold the manufactured ingredients you can’t pronounce and would never see in a recipe list here (that’s the stuff that got us in this state in the first place). And don’t skimp on the vegetables! Nobody argues over the benefits of eating more vegetables.

2. Use the simple strategy of bringing the good stuff IN FIRST.

That means eating the real, whole foods you choose before anything else. In doing it this way, you can be sure to get nutrients into your body that are required for health. By using this approach, you will be effectively crowding out the other stuff. It’s that simple.

Here’s why this works. It’s not about sacrifice, deprivation, or willpower. Instead, it’s about empowerment because you actively nourish your body by adding foods we know to be good choices. 

So, the next time you’re feeding yourself or your family, think about bringing in something truly nourishing for you and eat that first. You can think of green or fruit smoothies, crisp salads, vegetable-based soups, crunchy raw vegetables; you name it; the sky’s the limit with good options.

The recipe for health and happiness is to eat good food, love yourself, and repeat as necessary. Your body will thank you. 

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Arlene equips moms with life rhythm tools and teachings to restore joy, sanity, and self - because when a mom can show up for her role from a place that’s full and vital - everyone wins. Arlene is an experienced career woman, wife, and homeschooling mother of three. She began the journey into health and wellness over 20 years ago when she cured her own IBS after conventional medicine failed (not one Doctor thought to ask about diet and lifestyle). Then, she became a mother and suffered from anxiety for the first time in her life when she became overwhelmed in her role. It wasn’t more information she needed, it was an application of smart and practical tools for living in a healthy life rhythm. So she built her tool kit to get back on track and started implementing new practices. Using experience as one of her greatest educator, combined with training, she helps moms restore, replenish, and revitalize their lives. Visit Arlene at