Hello my friends! Welcome to 2014! How is the New Year going for you so far?? I hope it is all well and you’ve welcomed it on a happy note!! ;)
A new year brings in new ideas and resolutions and all the excitement of starting fresh! Because this is the year, it will be better, it will be happier and IT will be your best year yet!
Aren’t we all looking forward to a good year? We deserve it! We need it! We work so hard to make it all happen, don’t we? All these expectations can be hard on us though… juggling everything is an art form. Sooner or later a bit of anxiety creeps up… a few sad days… and before you know it, you’re in a slump.
Sometimes no matter what your intentions are, you just can’t cope with it all. There’s another fact in starting the New Year. It’s January. It’s winter! It’s cold and flu season…. less fresh air, little sunshine, short days. (unless you’re lucky to be in the South this isn’t much of a problem… ) Add all that up and it doesn’t look good, does it? Then there’s lifestyle factors, relationships, bills… sorry for the reminder of Life, but we’ve all got these and it should not be the end of the world. If you’re not being proactive in creating a positive life right now on a daily basis… all these factors will catch up and your own body will turn against you.
If you need a support system to deal with depression or anxiety please do not be afraid to reach out to someone close and share. Help is out there. But sometimes there’s a lot of pride in us and we get embarrassed about these emotions and we pretend away that all is fine and dandy.
Well, there’s only so much pretending you can do. Masking your symptoms will not make the problem go away.
But you can count on me as a friend right now, and know that I’ve been there. Deep in depression and anxiety… spent days in bed, my spirit and my heart lifeless, only my sad body left behind as a visible sign of someone clearly in a slump. My mind however was taking over, and the thoughts were not pretty.
At that time, my body was starting to fall apart; both emotionally and physically. I started to get mysterious symptoms, body weakness all over, I could hardly walk or hold a mug of tea. I also couldn’t do the simplest of tasks we take for granted everyday; I could not chew or swallow food. And the worst part was I couldn’t even hold my baby daughter as my arms were not strong enough.
At that time, about six years ago, my doctors were most certain it’s post-partum depression. I was rushed in my doctor’s appointments with yet another prescription of an anti-depressant. I lost track of how many different pills I took, and how big my doses were. But I do have a vague memory of my sad days just a few years ago… at that time my life was not a Life. A single day lasted forever…. I did not see a happy end in sight. I couldn’t function with the simplest tasks and unravel myself from this misery…
Until, I had a little moment of clarity and I told myself I didn’t want to live like this…. I don’t know where these words came from but I told myself that I was going to try to get better. All it took was a single thought of positivity and a belief in myself. This was important… if I was going to see improvement, I had to make some changes and it would be all me! That strength (the little I had) was going to pull me through to have a chance at a normal life. (Because living and breathing misery, being home unable to function with simple tasks and cutting myself from my friends and family was not normal.) At least I realized that!
What was my plan to get out of this…? I realized that with my weak body, being unable to go for a walk outside without support even was really hard to go far anywhere. So, I had a realization, that all I could try to change for now was what I put in my mouth! And since I could barely physically chew food – smoothies became a natural method of getting some nutrition in me.
Facts about Depression and Nutrition:
Let’s look at a perfect diet to ease depression! Shall we? Only guess what? There is no such thing!! There is actually no specific data or diet that is proven that can treat depression. There are no studies that can indicate a particular eating plan that can ease the symptoms and treat clinical depression.
But why would I waste your time right now in showing a smoothie recipe and bringing up nutrition…
You have to realize that medicine and nutrition are two different worlds. My doctor certainly didn’t encourage a healthy diet. None of them even asked what my nutritional intake was. My blood tests came back fine, that is all that was considered.
But there is real nutrition in food! That has been proven – however not linked yet to real research probably because it’s mostly pharmaceutical companies that pay for research in the first place. They wouldn’t make money off you eating natural antioxidants now would they? So while we wait until the bridge between medicine and nutrition gets fixed – why don’t we take our health into our own hands, shall we???
Overall, you want to make sure you’re getting a balance of nutrition from a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, plant-sourced protein is always healthier for you and good oils. And let’s not forget about some great superfoods like we have in this smoothie… Food can be confusing, but you can keep it simple by focusing on clean food that is organic and all-natural.
Also, it’s important to have fun with foods! Go for bright natural colours in foods like we have in these blackberries! A healthy smoothie like this isn’t a cure – but it’s a start at making the right decisions and learning about some great superfoods that you should add to your daily diet.
Bye Bye Blues Super-Smoothie
2 ripe organic bananas
1 1/2 – 2 cups flax milk (or other non-dairy milk)
handful of organic blackberries
t teaspoon of ground chia seeds
1 teaspoon of spirulina powder
1 teaspoon of rice protein powder (optional)
In a blender, mix all ingredients and serve. Makes two smoothies.
Here are a few reasons why these ingredients will help you boost your mood so you could say Bye Bye Blues!
Foods to beat depression:
Blackberries – are loaded with antioxidants – which are found in the blackberries here have the healing power to repair damaged molecules called free radicals in our bodies. These free radicals contribute to aging also. Our brain is particularly at risk for free radical damage – that’s where our depression starts.
Bananas – have serious mood-lifting power, with their combination of vitamins B6, A, and C; fiber; tryptophan; potassium; phosphorous; iron; protein; and healthy carbohydrates. Carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, and vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into mood-lifting serotonin.
Flax milk – organic flax milk has Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.
Chia Seeds – are an incredible superfood! They contain calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats.
Spirulina – if you’re new to this superfood – it’s actually this beautiful powdered algae! A seaweed! It is a source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Eating five grams (a teaspoon) of spirulina provides about 230 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) of vitamin A and beta carotene, 150 percent of the RDAs of vitamin D and vitamin B12, and 125 percent of the RDA of vitamin K. It’s also a rich source of carotenoids, copper, vitamin E, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
This smoothie alone covers lots of nutrition to beat depression! And that’s what you should be doing. Finding clean natural foods that contain lots of vitamins and minerals naturally. Having just a few superfoods on hand such as spirulina and chia seeds, (which both have a long shelf life) will give you the convenience of quickly adding some good nutrition to your daily diet.
You can also have some frozen organic berries and even bananas around too so that it becomes easy and convenient to throw a smoothie like this together.
Aside from this smoothie, there are other factors that should be considered when it comes to proper nutrition. Nutrients in food support the body’s repair, growth, and wellness. Nutrients we all need include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and even good fats. A deficiency in any of these nutrients lead to our bodies not working at full capacity — and can even cause illness and depression.
Also a good reminder to stay healthy is to limit sugary foods, artificial colourings and flavours, preservatives and GMO foods. Investing in clean simple ingredients and getting organic foods is a great way to start healing and nourishing the body.
Other factors outside of your diet, are also your surrounding and physical activity. Be sure to create a positive home atmosphere and include a regular regimen of physical exercise, even a 20 minute walk in the fresh air will be enough to start…
Nourishing your body from the inside will help you create a vibrant life you’ve always dreamed of. Remember, there is no overnight success… but with love and attention to care for yourself and give your body what it needs – which is proper nutrition and self-love will be one step towards pure happiness… You can do it!!! I am here for you ;)
Do share : Have you been struck with depression yourself or know someone close to you who has been? Please share your personal experience and what helped to get through. The comments section is completely private.
* Disclaimer. I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be. I am speaking from personal experience and basing my information and recipe on years of research.