We all know that eating well makes us feel better. Not only do we feel better in small ways when we eat right and exercise, we can also reduce or eliminate so many mental health issues like depression.
About ten years ago I read Sugar Blues by William F. Dufty. It is a classic and a revelation; a book which outlines not only cultural but personal experiences with sugar, particularly white, processed sugar and how it affects our bodies and our minds. Along with having children and becoming busier than I could really handle, my avoidance of sugar and meat fell by the wayside and I am now, ten years later, scarfing chocolate, savoring white bread, butter, jam and the occasional cake or ice cream without flinching.
Yet the affects are astonishing. Even after one day of changing these habits and only eating veggies or cutting out the sweets I feel so much more at peace with things and I am able to let the annoyances and stressors of the day leave me alone. I am more energized, more positive and more ready to love and be happy.
While it may be difficult or impossible to cut out sugar and white flour completely, the next time you are curled up wishing you could just have a good cry and wondering why you just can't get up, or get in the mood to get down, you may want to harken back to the food you ate that day, that week, and see if those pizza slices and peanut butter cups didn't just do you in.
This is not, by any means, to suggest that real moods and real issues aren't at play here. Of course any time you're feeling lousy or just sad there are real reasons why. However, eating cleaner, or even just trading in your white bread for whole wheat, your ice cream for fruit, may keep you a few inches farther away from the edge and allow your brain to process things in a more optimistic light. Get the endorphins going, take a walk and get a whole-grain sandwich on the way. Kiss the sugar blues goodbye and get back in the action.
Aimee Boyle sings the blues and works on being vice-free by 2023 on the shoreline of CT.