Category Archives: Mindset

Improve Your Mood With Good Nutrition & Exercise

image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at

image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at

Depression is difficult for anyone to deal with and your doctor can prescribe medicines or herbs to help in your battle against this debilitating condition.   Studies have shown that exercise and certain nutrients can help with the effectiveness of these medications.   Below are a few helpful tips to start you on your way to happier, more energetic days!

First be sure to eat at least 3 balanced meals and a couple of snacks throughout the day.  This will help to maintain your energy levels and keep your blood sugar from dipping too low.

Low calorie diets can reek havoc on your mood!   Dropping below 1,000 calories per day will reduce your intake of tryptophan, an amino acid needed to produce serotonin.  Lower serotonin increases depression.

Omega 3’s can also help to reduce depression.   You’ll find this in cold water fish (Salmon), soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed, and eggs fortified with omega 3.

Cut back on caffeine.  This will interfere with sleep and can increase anxiety

Eat GOOD carbohydrates.   We’re not talking about white bread, and sugary snacks here!  Get a good serving or two of brown rice, whole grain bread or cereals, fruits and lots of veggies.  This will increase your serotonin levels; strive for 130g per day.

Exercise Daily!!   Any exercise at all.  It doesn’t have to be lifting weights, or a 45-minute cardio session.   Going for a walk, gardening, a bike ride, any movement at all helps to alleviate stress.   A cardio workout that gets you into your target zone (use your heart rate monitor!) will release endorphins; a peptide occurring in the brain tissue that acts like an opiate and increases the pain threshold.

Eating right and exercise can help in dealing with depression but you do need to see your doctor and get support from family and friends as well as a professional.


The Divine Hour: Rising with the Sun


Treat your body and soul once a week by rising with the sun. Dawn, by nature, is the most peaceful time of the day, charged with possibility and the energy of renewal. The morning is extremely beneficial to your mind and body. Here’s why:

The feeling of accomplishment and success remains all day

The first time you get up early and enjoy the brisk air (maybe go for a stroll) you will feel like you conquered the world! Setting out to commit to something and accomplishing it will instill a feeling of motivation that sticks with you all day! Pairing that with a warm sunrise is just the cherry on top!

Balancing the Body

When rising with or just before the sun, you are actually mimicking the body’s natural circadian rhythm, which aids to restore the balance and peace within the body’s physiology. Creating more of a natural balance in the body and soul leads to a more balanced life!

Creativity is at it’s peak!

This being especially true if you rise before the sun when you have absolute stillness. Ideas are clearer as the mind has not yet been disturbed by the days frivolousness. Fun fact: immediately after waking up, the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain which is in charge of creativity, is the most active! So take advantage of this time to let your best ideas run wild!

Perfect “me-time”

Use this time as a leverage for peaceful serenity under the rising sun! Give yourself this time at least once a week to appreciate you!

Remember go to bed early, set your clock 5 minutes before the sun rises, take a deep breath, and let your body and soul indulge in what can be your new favorite time of the day!

Does Weight Loss = Happiness?

When you begin an exercise program, or start a new diet, the focus typically is on weight loss.  Along with that focus is the belief that reaching your goal is the key to happiness.  OK, maybe it’s not the key to happiness but let’s face it most people believe if they could just lose those extra 20, 30, 40 or 100 pounds, they would be happy.  Life would be easier, confidence would be higher, and you’d feel better about who you are.

The key actually is to work on believing in yourself first: Liking who you are right now. After all, whether you lose the weight or not, you are still you.
I am always amazed at how easily we are all able to beat ourselves up for not sticking to a diet or missing a workout.  We are so quick to call ourselves failures for not following through with our plans.  I am not saying you should not try to follow through or just accept behavior that isn’t helping you.  What I am saying is to be kinder to you.  Think for a moment about what you say to yourself when you’ve “cheated” or have been “bad”.  Is that what you would say to your best friend?

This is a journey you are on not a sprint; it’s not just a few months out of your life.  This is all about lifestyle change and that change begins with liking YOU.  You deserve to treat yourself well, to respect your body and mind.  Here are a few simple exercises you can do to help you on this road to self-love:

Start your day with positive affirmations: This should be personal and meaningful to you.

Celebrate your successes however small. This will help get you in the habit of focusing on accomplishments not failures.

Change your self-talk.  If you tend to put yourself down, think about what you would say to your friend and apply it to you.

Remember that everyone has set backs. When and if you do, accept it and move on! Don’t dwell on the negative.

Don’t think of eating healthy as a punishment.  This is a reward because you deserve the very best!

Be sure your exercise routines are appropriately challenging.  Too hard and you feel like a looser, right?  Too easy and you won’t get anywhere.

Hang in there and remember your trainer is always available to assist you in all your health and fitness goals.