May has been observed as Mental Health Month in the U.S. since 1949. The color of Mental Health Month is GREEN! Since the beginning of time it symbolizes hope, health, renewal and good luck. This month, 2020, has it’s hands full. The well meaning people who dreamed up Mental Health Month set aside this time yearly to help us become more comfortable addressing the subject of mental health and the stigma around talking about this intricate subject. But they could have never dreamed up the magnitude of COVID-19 on our mental health. They could have never imagined a time when most of the nation is coping with social isolation, a world turned upside down overnight, with feelings of endless uncertainty.
This years theme is ‘Tools 2 Thrive’. “Practical tools everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency, regardless of the situation they are dealing with”, says the Mental Health Association, as known as MHA. Certainly timely.
WHAT ARE ‘TOOLS 2 THRIVE’?
I’m a nutritional coach and educator, so I want to share with you some ideas I hope will be helpful to you….
Now when clients come to me with mental overwhelm, I begin by first listening intently. In today’s busy world, few people have anyone to just lean in and listen deeply with an open heart.
Then I ask them to embark on an organic detox cleanse, using a combination of live plant-based foods, fermented foods and Super Foods. Not because it will solve every problem in life, but because the foods most of us are eating today are loaded with synthetic hormones, fed to dairy cows to force them to produce more milk or to fatten them up in a short amount of time. These additives can rattle our hormonal system and it’s delicate inner balance. These toxins in all the foods we consume have a tremendous negative impact on our mental health.
CHEMICALS THAT AFFECT FRAGILE BRAIN BALANCE
It is the job of the FDA to approve the thousands of chemicals in our food. Some of these chemicals were approved by the FDA decades ago when we had far less understanding of their impact on human health. Because of flawed laws, weak enforcement and FDA budget cuts, many chemicals are inadequately tested or not tested at all, and others are not even independently reviewed for safety. Many of these chemicals are known to affect the fragile balance of our brain health and all the systems connected to it’s exquisite operation.
LATE NIGHT EATING
Another culprit in the foundation of our mental health is so simple it may be overlooked: Late Night Eating. Overeating at night tends to be refined carb foods, refined sugars and processed foods. The mighty sabotaging foods. Feasting late at night slows the bowel’s eliminative functions, leading to constipation. When we eat late at night, the body is way too tired to fully digest. Incomplete digestion occurs and the process of putrefaction sets in. Not pretty, I know….been there….
Constipation can contribute to bowel toxemia. Two of the main bowel toxins are ammonia and high concentrations of histamines. Histamines can make you edgier than 10 cups of coffee. You may feel like you want to crawl out of your skin. And what tends to calm edgy? Alcohol. Bowel toxins have a serious effect on the mind and nervous system. An increased concentration of ammonia in the blood has been found in people suffering from mental disturbances, tremors, brain wave changes and even schizophrenia. Intestinal toxemia has been found to attribute to mental sluggishness, loss of concentration, irritably, sleeplessness, hypochondrias and phobias.
Our culture has created a mass-conscious diet of synthetic, denatured, fast, frozen, cooked, pesticide ridden foods, high in refined carbohydrates and trans fatty acids, and low in fiber. Many un-organic fruits and vegetables are grown in nutrient depleted soil. This deficient diet I believe is significantly impacting the physical as well as the mental health of our whole society.
For years the medical field did not fully acknowledge the connection between mood and food. The emerging field of nutritional psychiatry is finding that the food you eat directly effects the structure of your digestive tract as well as the structure and function of your brain. Your brain can be damaged if you ingest anything other than premium, clean fuel. Sugars and chemicals promote inflammation, oxidative stress, and can contribute to brain tissue injury.
THE POWER OF CLEANSING
Our mental health is vast and deep. Recovery from past wounding is a no nonsense endeavor and I pray for all of us to find peace. Cleansing is one of the oldest forms of conscious eating. Cleansing allows rejuvenation on every level of the mind, body and spirit. It invites rebirth. I have personally seen people get clean, release toxins from the body, commit to a 100% organic diet and, over time, experience relief from ADHD and bi-polar symptoms that they assumed were a life sentence. I have witnessed people who were too depressed to live a normal life find new meaning when they shed their toxic burden, ate clean foods, consumed fresh pressed juices and added a live food probiotic-rich regimen to their daily diet to address the gut-brain connection. This is the power of the DFL Food As Medicine Healing System in action.
Mental imbalance often needs foods that help us feel rewarded. I recommend making best friends with your blender. Vanilla is one the world’s miracle foods. The exotic aroma alone is enough to change our perspective on life. Bananas and extra virgin coconut butter as well are very grounding.
‘I NEED GROUNDING’ SMOOTHIE!
> 1 cup frozen ripe banana
> 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
> 1 cup frozen berries (wild blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
> 1cup fresh made almond milk
> 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut butter
> 1 tablespoon pure agave
> pinch of sea salt.
Be sure to keep it All Organic! Blend til creamy…
SENDING BLESSINGS TO MY COMMUNITY
DURING THIS FRAGILE TIME.
TOGETHER WERE GOING TO MAKE IT.
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FOOD AS MEDICINE HEALING SYSTEM?
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