NOT SO LONG AGO…,
A pig was locked in a cage. Everyday, he hopelessly tried to squeeze his body through the steel bars.
By chance a man came walking by.
“Free me, please free me!” cried the pig.
“No way,” replied the man, “you probably beat me if I did.”
“No, not at all!” swore the pig with many oaths; “On the contrary, I will be grateful and serve your community like I serve mine!”
The pig sobbed and sighed and wept and begged, the man’s heart softened, and he agreed to open the cage and release the pig.
The pig pounced on the man, “What a fool you are! Nothing is going to stop me from beating you NOW!
The man pleaded with the pig to fulfill his oath, but the pig only promised to accept the decision of the first three things the man chose to ask regarding his actions.
So the man first asked a baobab tree what it thought of the matter, but the baobab tree replied coldly, “What are you talking about? Don’t I give you plenty of shade, and don’t you in return break my branches for fun? Don’t whine, be a man!”
The man walked further down the road until he saw a cow turning a well-wheel; but this chance in counter didn’t go well either, for the cow was pissed.
“You are a fool! How can you expect gratitude? When I produced milk, you fed me grass and vegetables, but now that I am dry, you watch me starve!”
Finally, the man asked the road to be his judge and jury.
“My dear friend,” said the road, “how foolish you must be. Here am I, useful to everybody, yet you, break bottles and throw trash on me constantly.”
After hearing how the road really felt, the man turned around, and on his way back he met a peace officer, who asked him why he was looking so miserable?
The man told the peace officer everything that happened.
“The pig is going to do what???” said the peace officer. “Hold on, I’m confused, tell me that story again.”
The man told the story again, but the peace officer scratched his head and still didn’t understand any of it.
“I am terribly hard of hearing,” said the peace officer, sadly, “it seems to go in one ear and out the other. Can you please show me the place where it all happened, and then perhaps I shall be able to understand your story.”
So, the two returned to the cage.
“You’ve been gone a long time!” squealed the pig, “but now let’s begin our beating.”
“OUR BEATING!” yelled the man as he pleaded with the pig. “Give me five minutes. I need to explain what happened to this peace officer, he’s clueless.”
The pig agreed to freeze, and the man began to tell the whole story again.
“I GOT IT!” yelled the peace officer. “The man was in the cage when the pig came walking by?”
“Dumb, dumb,” interrupted the pig, “I was in the cage.”
“Really?” replied the peace officer. “Ok, I got it now. The pig was in the man, and the cage came walking by. No, that’s not right either. You might want to start beating him while I try to figure this out.”
“No, it can wait. You need to understand what happened!” agreed the pig.
“Ok, tell me what happened again,” said the peace officer.
“I’m the pig, he’s the man, and that’s the cage!” said the pig. “And, I was in the cage. Now, do you understand?”
“I think so,” said the peace officer. “But, may I ask a question.”
“Ask away,” said the pig.
“How did you get in the cage?” asked the peace officer.
“In the usual way,” answered the pig.
“But, what’s the usual way?” asked the peace officer.
The pig lost his patience, jumped into the cage, and screamed, “NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!”
“Completely!” responded the peace officer as he smiled and shut the cage door for good.
To Every Spiritual Being living the human existence this second edition of The Preamble of the United States Constitution is for YOU. First and foremost, WE, The United States of America, acknowledge and wholeheartedly apologize for our crimes against YOU and YOUR ANCESTORS. Moreover, WE promise these words in the second edition of the Preamble will not ring hollow like its predecessor. Now in Order to form a more Perfect Union, establish Righteousness, insure inner Peace, promote Unity, foster Love, and secure the Mental, Physical, and Financial future of Ourselves and our Posterity, we must TRUST one another!
I can’t be without my greens! It’s something about how they make me feel. My mind is clearer, my thoughts are fluid, and my body is energized. It doesn’t matter if it’s one of my favorite greens juices, Green Goddess, or a plate full of sauteed collards. I need to eat something green almost every day. I blame it on my grandmother. When I was about 3 or 4, she would cook a huge pot of spinach. I mean HUGE!! We would eat it until we couldn’t eat anymore along with some hot water cornbread. Talk about good clean eating.
I believe that is why my body has become used to experiencing the joy that they bring. When I don’t feed my body nutrient-dense foods my mind is foggy, my thoughts are shallow, and my body feels drained. Juicing leafy greens always gives me a mind, spirit, and body reboot. I can’t wait to grow my own this season. Thanks, grandma for prepping me for the lifestyle that I live today!
Who or what inspires you to eat nutrient-dense foods?
You all have heard me talk about how important food combination is for a healthy gut. This is a very good article from the blender girl. What do you think?
Food combining is an approach to eating that works on the premise that our bodies can only digest one concentrated food at a time. Concentrated foods are defined as starches and proteins. So, to simplify it, anything foods other than fruits and vegetables.
The digestion of starches (grains, potatoes, and many other roots) requires alkaline conditions, whereas the enzymes that digest proteins thrive in an acidic environment. So, if we eat a starch and a protein together, we’re asking our digestive systems to be alkaline and acidic at the same time. It’s not possible. Unfortunately, many of the typical Western food combinations ask the body to do just that.
Here is the lowdown on food combining, and how you can pair foods to improve your digestion and have more energy.
- bell peppers – red, green, orange yellow
- squash and zucchini
- avocado (also a fruit)
- coconut (also a fruit)
- animal (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt)
- beans (both starch and protein)
- nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts)
- seeds (hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, watermelon, sesame)
- bamboo shoots
- beet greens
- bok choy
- brussels sprouts
- burdock root
- collard greens
- dandelion greens
- green beans
- lamb’s quarters
- mustard greens
- onion (white, yellow, purple, green)
- red radishes
- swiss chard
- zucchini (a vegetable fruit)
Grains and Starchy Vegetables
- jerusalem artichokes
- lima beans
- potatoes and sweet potatoes
- water chestnuts
- winter squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, pumpkin)
One of the most overlooked aspects of mental health is nutrition. Food plays a significant role in our physical health, as well as our mental and emotional health. When you are struggling with depression, it can feel a bit overwhelming to think about eating the right foods. However, some of these small changes in your diet may help to decrease your symptoms and have a positive effect on your daily life.
What Foods Can Help With Depression?
Whatever your dietary preferences, there are a variety of options that can provide mood-boosting benefits:
Wild-caught fish, especially the more oily types such as salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, and tuna (not canned), are great choices to help fight depression. Why? Because they are rich sources of Omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats help to build connections between brain cells as well as build and strengthen the receptor sites for neurotransmitters. So, an increase in Omega-3’s in your diet can help lead to increased serotonin production and improvement of mood.
Although other nuts such as cashews, brazil nuts, and hazelnuts are helpful in supplementing Omega-3 fats, walnuts seem to be the winner in this category. Walnuts are known to support overall brain health, being one of the highest plant-based sources of Omega-3 and a great source of protein to help keep blood sugar levels at a healthy balance.
Beans are a great source of protein and fiber, both of which help to maintain stable and consistent blood sugar levels. In addition to helping minimize the blood sugar spikes and dips that can affect our mood, beans are also great sources of folate. Folate is a B vitamin that helps the body use vitamin B12 and amino acids, helping the body to detox cells and create new cells. Garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) are very high in folate, offering over 100 percent of the daily recommended value in just a half cup. Pinto beans are another great choice, with a half cup serving offering 37 percent of the daily recommended value of folate.
Flaxseed and chia seeds are wonderful additions to your diet if you struggle with depression. As with some of the other foods mentioned, these two types of seeds are particularly great sources of Omega-3 fats. Just one tablespoon of chia seeds provides approximately 61 percent of your daily recommended amount of Omega-3 and one tablespoon of flaxseed provides roughly 39 percent of the daily recommendation. As you can see, these two seeds pack a powerful punch if you are looking for small ways to improve your diet and your mood.
Pumpkin and squash seeds are a great addition to increasing tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that produces niacin and helps create serotonin. Although turkey is what most people tend to think of when hearing the term tryptophan, there are many other food sources that offer greater amounts of this essential amino acid. Pumpkin and squash seeds near the top of the list, with just one ounce providing approximately 58 percent of the recommended daily intake of tryptophan.
Yes, you need to eat your veggies! Although this is important for everyone, eating vegetables can be of great help if you struggle with depression. Leafy green vegetables, in particular, are good sources of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). ALA is one of the three main types of Omega-3 fatty acids, the other two being DHA and EPA. When considering vegetables to help increase your Omega-3’s, the powerful players tend to be Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, and watercress. Folate, fiber, and other nutrients also make vegetables, especially the darker leafy greens, a wonderful choice when looking for foods to help improve and stabilize mood.
One Ingredient Foods
Generally speaking, it is best to allow your body the freedom to digest foods as close to their natural state as possible.
Many of the processed foods or things you might find at a convenience store are filled with preservatives and offer little to no nutritional benefit. Your body is trying to make sense of what to do with such food, and it can significantly interrupt or rob your body (and mind) of key nutrients and energy it needs to function at its best.
What Foods Aren’t Helpful for Depression?
If you’re coping with depression, it can be just as important to know what not to eat. Unfortunately, many of these foods are of the sort that many people turn to when they’re having a rough day. Being aware of the negative impacts of these foods on your mental health can help you make better decisions:
We know that sugary foods and drinks are not good for our bodies. What you may not realize is that, just as sugar can impact your waistline, it can also significantly impact your mood. There are food choices all around us that are filled with sugar such as cakes, cookies, cereal, drinks, and even condiments such as barbecue sauce, salad dressings, and more. You may also be surprised how many foods are perceived as “healthy,” yet contain extraordinary amounts of sugar. Examples of tricky foods like this are granola bars, energy bars, trail mix, and honey roasted nuts.
Keep in mind that sugar will not always be labeled simply as “sugar” on the ingredient list. In order to be on the lookout for added sugar, you may want to also look for the following terms:
- Corn syrup
- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
Be mindful of your choices, and limit foods that are high in sugar, particularly those with added sugars. Keeping your blood sugar levels more evenly balanced through the day can help your mood stay more evenly balanced, too.
Just as with sugar, we are surrounded by processed foods that use refined grains. The term refined refers to forms of sugars and starches that don’t exist in nature, as described by psychiatrist and nutritional expert Dr. Georgia Ede, MD She goes on to share that, “If you are looking at a sweet or starchy whole food that you would come across exactly as in nature, you are looking at an unrefined carbohydrate.”
Many of the foods we seek for convenience are the very things that may be hijacking your mood. Foods such as white rice, pasta, crackers, bread, chips, and breaded foods are full of refined carbohydrates that offer little to no nutritional value and rob you of important B vitamins in the process of digestion. Keeping these refined carbohydrate foods in your diet will take your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride throughout the day, which can also result in symptoms of low mood and fatigue.
Not to ruin the party, but limiting alcohol is in your best interest if you struggle with depression. Alcohol is a depressant and can lead to impaired vision, judgment, and reaction time. Many alcoholic beverages can actually be quite sugary which, as we’ve been talking about, has a way of sabotaging your mood and causing blood sugar levels to elevate and crash. Although some research has shown that small amounts of alcohol such as red wine can be helpful, it is in your general best interest to steer clear if you struggle with depression. As suggested by Dr. Ede, “Alcohol will not solve any of your health problems, because no health problem is caused by a lack of alcohol.”
Yes, caffeine can help you start your day with a boost. However, it can also lead to crashes later in the day, and leave you feeling as if you need more to regain energy. Many Americans find themselves over-caffeinated, as we drink coffee and energy drinks regularly. Although caffeine itself has not been shown to cause depression, it is suggested that caffeine be consumed in moderation and not be used as an energy source. A better alternative is green tea. In addition to antioxidant benefits, green tea is also known to provide theanine, an amino acid that offers an anti-stress benefit that can be helpful for those struggling with depression.
Food for Thought
Our bodies interact with the foods we eat and the choices we make each day can impact our body’s ability to function at its best. Although there is no specific diet that has been proven to alleviate depression, we can see that there are plenty of nutrient-rich foods that can help to keep our brains healthy.
It is a good idea to talk with your medical provider before making significant changes to your diet. Remember to also be patient with yourself as you begin to try new foods and give your body time to adjust to the changes you are making. Making better food choices can help your overall health as well as make a positive impact on your emotional wellness.
Hey Health Warriors!!!
I know we don’t talk about this because it’s not “proper”, but it’s a natural thing to do. I know some people that go only twice a month! YIKES!!! I would be mentally and physically sick if I don’t go everyday. Everybody system flows differently, however, all of our organs have the same functions. Months of back up on your colon leads to sickness. Remember, your gut lining is the core of your body’s immune system..Health is wealth!!
I hope your day is full of love, peace, and bowel movements!