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Thru God’s Grace

     And now I commend you to God to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


Acts 20:32

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. - Hippocrates

Creativity & Foods to help with Moods!

April 14, 2017

 [ Violet's conptemplating all of the recent changes in her life this year, moving in with the ladies, forming new relationships, getting know the Lord, an learning more about her moods and how to manage them healthfully. ]

 

You may not realize it but color is an important part of our world and lives.  Just think about it, what would it be like if we lived in a world without color..depressing to say the least!!  Color is an important factor in our environments, our food [ imagine eating black and grey food, especially fruits & veggies, Yikes! ], and even what we wear.

 

 

Mood disorders, from depression, anxiety to bad moods due to life's details can be supplemented by adding colorful foods first because the rainbow of fruits and veggies, and other real foods (legumes, beans, seeds, nuts etc...) are filled with nourishing and healing nutrients that support our body in many ways.  

 

 [ Violet visits with the Ringling sisters who are full of life and color!  They're discussing how living and wearing their favorite colors brightens up their moods and their lives.

They were going over some sweet options better suited for Violet for her mental health management, and she's having a hard time letting go of her favorite processed treats! ]

 

The reason why so many of us crave food high in sugar, fat and carbohydrates is to subconsciously support our moods. Craving foods in these areas can be the body's reaction to anxiety, stress, and even depression.  Don't fear, there's hope :D  We can reset our body's craving signals through consuming better more nutritious and supportive foods that the body will learn to crave!  I know, it probably doesn't sound so delicious LOL!  But, whole real foods that have become so foreign in today's world were place here for the purpose of supporting our body, and yes, over time it will respond!! :)

 

 

[ Our connection to our Lord is our main line to renewal; I can do all things through Christ~  This is one of Violet's favorite scriptures :) ]

 

Our brains are wired with Neurotransmitters which are the messengers that control things such as our moods, and appetite along with other functions.  Neurotransmitters are directly connected to and affected by what we put into our body.  Knowing the right kinds of food our brains need to influence our moods is a large piece of the moody puzzle! [ if you're suffering from any psychological disorder, please seek outside help from a trusted source or  professional, this information is meant to support our body so that it can in turn support our mind ]

 

 

Sugar and fats appear to temporarily free us from our in prisonment of negative emotions.  (we've all been there :D)  In fact, foods rich in carbs actually Do release a chemical that helps to improve our moods!  But wait...don't go grabbing a plate of Trwinkies just yet! :D  Although there's nothing wrong with a mouthwatering sweet treat and most of us aren't going to give that up, those can be enjoyed in moderation or you can make your own tasty sweet treat, much better than trusting your body and mind to the processed junk foods available today!

 

 [ These are a sweet treat I made from the book Recipes for Repair, a plan to help and heal autoimmune disease and reduce inflammation. These( Nutty Coconut Delight's) are made with Almonds, Chia Seeds, Honey, Walnuts & Shredded unsweetened Coconut; and they are Delish!   It's not difficult to make sweet treats at home with simple whole food ingredients ]

 

Furthermore, if you consume too many sweet carb loaded treats over time, it will begin to create problems for your body and mind!  Overconsumption of sugary foods leads to issues such as candida, low energy, weight gain, diabetes and many other issues brought on because our bodies weren't designed to process excessive amounts of sugar.

 

Getting in your Omega 3's is paramount in firing up those neurotransmitters for better moods!  Low levels of Omega 3 are associated with depression and depressed moods.  Our brain is made up of mostly fats [ Yep, we're all Fatheads! :D ] so it makes sense that we need fats for healthy brain and body function. [Remember the age of Fat Free :o  I cringe at the thought, nothing but low nutrient over sugared, to make up for the lack of taste nutrient dead foods!  Thank goodness that ridiculous trend's over!!]  Omegas are also important in fighting inflammation in the brain and body which will help us to feel better overall!

 

[ This bear knows the importance of getting in his Omegas...they keep him from turning into Grouchy Bear! :D ]

 

 

How to get in those Omega 3's? Fish! Wild Caught fish, fresh or tinned (canned) at least twice weekly is a delicious way to get in this nutrient.  There's a good variety of fish in this group: Lake Trout * Mackerel * Sardines * Herring * Salmon * Albacore Tuna * Cod * Snapper * Halibut.  With a selection like this there's no getting bored eating fish!

 

 Two  to three servings of wild caught fish per week could help brain function, (perhaps that's why the old adage came about, Fish is Brain food!) :D You can also take a high quality omega 3 fish oil or Flax oil. { I use Carlson brand derived from cold water fish using sustainable methods, they are easy to swallow, with NO aftertaste and even come in a variety of flavors that I've heard are tasty; great for kids! I purchased from Amazon for around $28.oo for 300 soft get capsules.  I actually bit into one today and it has a pleasant lemony taste. :D }

 

           [ Looks like one of the egg buddies is crying because his friend is frying! :D ]

 

 Other foods that will fire up those neurotransmitters and that are rich in vitamin B12 which also supports our brain and energy production and boost moods are (  Eggs, that INCLUDES the yolks folks :D  The Protein in eggs can significantly boost levels of Tryptophan ( which produces  the feel good chemical serotonin in our brains ).  The yolks are as rich in tyrosine and tryptophan and are full of antioxidants, so forget that 'dump the yolks campaign' and get to cracking'!!  If you consume dairy products, cheese( Raw cheese even better if you can get you hands on some, I have yet to. ) is another heavy hitter, just try and make sure your dairy sources are organic, especially if you can't find grass-fed milk and cheese.  

 

          [ Whole Milk is always more nutritious than 2 or 1 percent or low fat! ]

 

                            [ The state of conventional dairy farming ]

 

             [ Grass Fed Cows allowed to roam freely, & full of nutrients from their diet ]

 

I know you're tired of hearing this, but in the case of dairy products, (they can't be washed or rinsed off  like fruits and veg) and conventional dairy is loaded with Growth Hormones,  Antibiotics and sometimes other additives ( which are transferred to our body.)  It's frustrating and seems like a maze just to get simple, real food on the table, but unfortunately we live in the age of mass produced animals made bigger to produce more meat and dairy, deplorable conditions for their living quarters and US pressure on farmers to continue to do so.  This goes for our meat and poultry production too ( but that's for another blog post :] ).  Thats why it's so important to be our own advocates, and to be aware of what we're putting into our body.

                               [ This pic looks rather 'Seedy' to me! LOL! :D ]

 

 

Go nuts!  Nuts and seeds both contain tryptophan, ( a feel along with other benefits like being high in B vitamins which produce serotonin ( see a pattern with real foods

here? ) protein (keeping us full) and fiber rich (keeps things moving, know what I mean? :D) and full of antioxidants.

 

You may have heard of turkey at Thanksgiving is a recipe for a good snooze, that's because it's loaded with Tryptophan, ( the KEY 'ingredient') in the brain's chemical that  make Serotonin the brain chemical in creating our feel good moodscalming, & relaxing, so grab a (good quality meat source) turkey  for a sammie, a wrap, and  toss in spinach (also high in this feel good chemical) or a salad and relax! :)

 

Exercise as we're aware of is a key component to feeling better from the inside out!  It's been widely shown to have antidepressant effects along with heart health, cholesterol and  blood pressure lowering abilities.  So get moving! :D

 

 [ The Crew has some chill time before their workout.  London want's no part of it! ]

 

                       [ The Crew's working hard to pump up their endorphins! :D  Not quite sure how Violet feels about it! Clawdie's verbose as usual! :D ]

 

 

                [ Violet is learning how important exercise is for her whole health ]

 

       [ These ladies are off in their own thoughts, or perhaps  in a state of No Mind! ]

 

So many of us lack proper levels of vitamin D that naturally comes from the sun.  A popular and useful treatment for depression is Light Therapy.  There's a definite relationship to serotonin levels and the amount of light we're exposed to. Sunlight aids in the release of our brain's serotonin levels triggered through an area in our retina,  thus giving us a mood boost and random moments of doing the happy dance!!.  

 [ Clawdie, Veronica, Violet & Lemon kick back for some Vita D in the noon sunshine! ]

 [ Looks like their moods are uplifted already!  Claudia's just showing off! :D Violet's a little extra over there on the lounge chair! Fun times. ]

 

Many people suffer from SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is a form of depression that's triggered by the changing seasons. Anxiety disorders have also been connected with changing seasons and the reduced amounts of sunlight available.  Did you know that getting just 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight directly onto your body a few times a week can help you reap the benefits of vitamin D!!!  

 

It isn't easy for many people to get adequate amounts of sunshine depending on where they live. A Light Box could aid in some of the mood boosting benefits of the sun when it's not available.  A company called Sunbox sells light therapy boxs (or SAD Lamps) and have been in business for over 25 years. You can find them at www.sunbox.com  these light boxes can also be found on Amazon.com, and it might be a good idea if you're actually living with SAD to talk to your doctor and find out what recommendations they may have.  In a perfect world, we'd all be given prescriptions to move to Hawaii :D

 

 [ Heather, an artist knows the power of creativity and well being.  Here, she introduces Violet who suffers with mood issues to the power of color and creating!  Violet's a little unsure, as she's never really been attracted to activities like this, but she's willing to give it a try! ]

 

 

 

 [ Violet discovered that it doesn't take much to relax and just doodle!  Here she's doodled a quote on moods! ]

 

 

                       [ Check out this video on the power of Doodling! ]

 

Positivity and Creativity are essential factors in our mood health because we are creative beings (even those of you who don't believe so!).  When we're participating in an activity in which we're creating often we are able to identify negative thoughts and emotions (get in touch with our feelings) that are connected to depression.  

 

Positive thinking takes some extra work , especially if it's not something you do naturally ( glass half empty person).  However, positive thinking actually does change the make up the brain; Neuroplasticity is the science of your thoughts creating a change in the actual structure of the brain!  So what does it mean?  it means that thinking positively, having a more positive approach to life and it's up's and down's and participating in positive activities can stimulate positive feelings.  It can take up to 21 days to form a new behavior.  That's not too long or too much work for increased emotional, mental health and well being is it? :)

 

Creative activities, endeavors are inherently rewarding and our brain actually receives Dopamine; a chemical released in the brain) that elevates our moods when we experience pleasurable experiences. ( This is why adult coloring books are so 'trendy'  even though adults have colored and doodled in coloring books long before it was a trend!).  People who have creative endeavors are generally more satisfied with their lives overall.  At times, for many people they may not feel 'happy' while creating but after they've created and that's because the dopamine is in full effect and they've also been able to release emotions through their creativity.

 

You don't need a specific talent to be creative ( though we all, even if undiscovered have some form of talent :D ).  My Grandma and Dad have always loved cooking, and Grandma found it therapeutic, NOT for me LOL!  I've always loved crafting, drawing, puzzles and books!  All it takes is an open mind, a sense of adventure to step put and explore and discover what it is that you enjoy! :D  

 

 [ Piper used some of her time on her day trip to San Francisco to give prayers of thankfulness and gratitude to God for the blessings in her life, and to pray for her fellow LivingThruGrace Crew  members and friends... ]

 

The one who is always here for us through all walks of life is our Creator.  He knows our thoughts, feelings and our hearts, after all he created us right down to each hair on our heads!

 

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. ~Luke 12:7

 

 [ Willow contemplates her place in this world and what the Lord desires her to be... ]

 

Prayer and the connection to our Lord is the lifeline for our survival, and the rope for our rescue when we fall victim to satan's plans to devise us.  If it's one thing I've learned (but I've learned so much from m Lord!) is that we have to continually surrender ourselves to Him, and allow him to take control.. I stumble in this area so often because i believe that I have it all under control.  It's when I let go and lean in to him that His wisdom and guidance begin to lift me up and steer me in the right direction.

 

 [ Violet is learning to take comfort in the surrendering of herself to our Lord... ]

 

There have been a number of heavy hitting studies that have shown ( Though those of us who have a relationship with our Lord, do not need scientific proof of anything.) that engaging in spiritual practices and or meditation is linked to an actual thickening of the cortex in the brain. The thickening of the cortex was found to be in the exact location that thinning of the cortex is found in those who live with depression.

 

Ask for God's help, put your life in His hands...  

 

The Lord will fight for you; you need to only be still. ~Exodus 14:14

 

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. ~Deuteronomy 31:6

 

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