Life Hacks to Improve Nutrition for Mental Health


hey there everybody and welcome today’s
presentation on depression and anxiety treatment 101 improving nutrition I’m
your host Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes. nutrition is one of those sort of sneaky
things that we don’t think about a lot but it can play a huge role in improving
your health and mental health and I’m not talking about completely scrapping
the way you eat and eating in a way that you feel deprived or you feel unhappy
I’m talking about making some small simple changes one at a time maybe you
decide you’re gonna start drinking more water okay let’s focus on that for the
rest of the month and then once you’re comfortable doing that and you’re
regularly drinking more water then you can try to do something else make these
small changes because they’re going to be more likely to last another change
you can make is eat colorfully when you have your plate in front of you try to
have at least three colors on your plate at every single meal blues yellows
oranges greens Purple’s blacks there’s lots of colors experiment with new
recipes or foods I am 50 years old and I am still finding new foods that I
haven’t tried before or I haven’t tried in a really really long time like
artichokes or asparagus or mangos and some of those things I tried when I was
younger and I didn’t like them but trying them again as an adult I found
that they’re actually not so bad or maybe I try cooking them a different way
asparagus for example when it comes out of my garden and it’s like hours old
fresh it is really really good and I even like it raw or lightly steamed I
still don’t like asparagus from the supermarket because it tastes too bitter
to me once it’s been picked and for more than 24 hours I find that it has too
strong of a taste and that’s my preference my son does not like
store-bought spinach because it’s too strong however I grow spinach
hydroponically at home and he loves that he is more than happy to eat that
because he says it’s not as strong be willing to experiment you can buy those
tabletop hydroponic setups where you can grow your own salad greens and you know
it sounds a little gimmicky but it really is really produces a much
different tasting food and it gives you the option to try different things you
can try different types of lettuce and different types of greens to increase
your water keep a water bottle with you all the time if you’re carrying it with
you you’re gonna be more likely to sip on it and that can help you stay more
hydrated try to pay attention to the caffeine you drink because caffeine will
typically well caffeine is a diuretic and will cause you to be more dehydrated
so will alcohol so if you’re drinking caffeine or alcohol make sure to also
drink extra water gradually reduce processed foods and I say gradually do
this because so much of the American diet is built on processed foods that if
you decide you’re going to eliminate all processed foods or you know all flour or
whatever it is cold turkey you’re probably going to feel stressed
depressed deprived so gradually reduce it maybe start out by having one meal a
day where you don’t have any processed foods and then two meals a day and then
hey three meals a day it will be easier once you start identifying non-processed
foods that you like like oatmeal that is not highly processed you can get the
steel-cut oats that are easier to use you’re not having to take it from the
oat itself and grind it up but we’re using things that haven’t been over
processed and had all of their brand and good stuff removed a dietitian
friend of mine suggested that unless you have to for medical reasons don’t
eliminate anything completely because when you do that oftentimes it leads you
up to feeling deprived and you end up binging on it later
find ways to allow yourself small portions of it at our house we keep
chocolate in the freezer that way you can get out a piece of chocolate and it
takes longer to eat because it’s frozen and so you’re sucking on it for longer
whatever it is that you like if you like M&Ms for example you can tell I like
chocolate get the snack sized bags and keep them in a place where you can only
access one at a time if you have all of the snack sized bags in your pantry then
and you get a craving at 2:00 in the morning you may be likely to go through
multiple multiple bags of them so I recommend to people if they have hard
time with self-control only buying a snack sized bag at a time or only
allowing themselves access to whatever that preferred food is at a restaurant
if you love pizza for example only have pizza when you go to a restaurant and
then don’t bring more home so you’re not tempted to graze on it for the next
three or four hours and keep prepared vegetables and fruits handy for snacks
baby carrots are great apples are great grapes are awesome these are things that
tend to be comparatively speaking lower calorie than a lot of our processed
foods like chips and and things like that raw broccoli is great if you like
it celery there are a lot of things and
then you find that you’re getting a lot of your multiple colors through your
snacks and you have things available and an eighth thing that is on here or not
on here but I will add a lot of studies have shown that we tend
eat whatever we see the most don’t keep processed foods
ideally don’t keep any food at all on the counter where you’re tempted to grab
it as you walk by but if you must keep something on the counter keep things
like fresh fruits available so if you are tempted to grab something when you
walk by its an apple or a banana instead of something like cookies or cake I hope
that gave you some ideas on some easy ways to start improving your nutrition
as I said at the beginning take one suggestion whatever sounds the easiest
or most exciting I guess to do right now start with that one do it for a month or
more until it becomes habit and you’re not even thinking about it
and then make another small change in order to make sure that your changes are
lasting

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