Food and mood

I won’t lie, this week has been 100% MEH! Most unlike me, I know.

I’ve been wading through pages and pages of notes; text books that weigh the same as a baby elephant and generally going round and round in circles when it comes to which enzyme metabolises what during digestion.

But here’s the thing, I don’t think it’s been all about the revision. I think it’s been equally about the food I’ve eaten.

I’ve not sat here chowing down on piece after piece of Reese’s (but this isn’t unheard of, unfortunately). I just haven’t really thought carefully about what I’m eating, when I’m eating it and how I’ll ensure the cupboards are nicely stocked to buoy me through my studies. I mean, there’s only so much ‘sensible snacking’ a jar of crunchy peanut butter can provide…

It’s been all a bit grab and go. Food prepared without any love or enjoyment, a means to an end sandwiched between the end of a revision day, a workout and an unnecessarily late bedtime. Inadequate protein portions, low carb fish and greens dinners washed down with a stupidly large glass of (carbohydrate-loaded) Sauvignon Blanc. Oh the irony…

But today is Friday and isn’t everything better on a Friday? My breakfast was one of spinach, onion and smoked ham scramble on top of some toasted rye. My bag’s packed and I’m destined for a day of study at the city library. With me, my Macbook, a tuna-quinoa salad, a little homemade burger to snack on (the peanut butter’s staying at home!) and a big bottle of water.

We absolutely are what we eat. But not just in terms of how we look and perform, very much in terms of how we feel.

Lucky headband

On the way to the London Marathon. Food was essential to mood during my training. This (albeit slightly delirious) face says it all. We should take life as seriously as we do preparing for a major event when it comes to our nutrition

Here’s what I plan to put into action next week to use food, to lift my mood. Hopefully these tips will help you too:

1. Start the day the right way

With protein not porridge. If I’d put aside just 15 more minutes before attacking my revision for the day to make a proper brekkie then I’m certain my concentration would have jumped a gear.

2. Love the food you eat

On Wednesday I was determined to make it to that workout. The session overran, it was gone 9pm by the time I’d got home and thrown together some cod and veggies. It was unfulfilling, I was tired. Some goats cheese and that dreaded glass of wine followed. Given abs are made in the kitchen and our physique is 80% governed by our diet I would have been far better skipping the workout and preparing a sensible dinner that I thoroughly enjoyed instead.

3. Eat earlier

There’s a brilliant read from the guys at HealthUncut re: you are when you eat. I’d got into good habits of eating earlier and less in the evenings. It was paying dividends. My sleep was better, I felt leaner, I woke up with so much more energy first thing, desperate for one of those slap up, proper brekkies.

4. Stock up on the good stuff

Ordinarily there’d be houmous, some prawns, a bit of smoked salmon and Greek yogurt in the fridge all set for snacking on. Again, a small sacrifice of time to stock up on those supplies would have stopped me being hungry and delving ever deeper into that dreaded jar of peanut butter.

And one that’s not so foodie but of equal importance…

5. Wash your hair

Perhaps Nobel Prizes have been won for hair that went 5 days without a wash but it’s definitely not for me. When it comes to personal upkeep I’m definitely a bit rubbish – more Arthur than Martha in winter months, especially.

But today I’ll swoosh my ponytail all the way to the library, in my favourite scarf and perfectly pressed dress.


Do you find what you eat governs how you feel? How do you drag yourself out of those ‘meh’ moments?

8 thoughts on “Food and mood

  1. Know the feeling Ruth. I feel exactly the same. Revision has been stopping me from eating well and even from preparing healthy foods for my kids. I swear I can see a marked increase in their naughty behaviour as a result. Oh roll on the exam next week 🙂

    • It’s all a bit ironic, isn’t it Sheila?! There we are doing a course all about nutrition and health and it’s setting us back in our tracks! Here’s to next week indeed. Good luck with it. Thanks for checking in. Ruth.

    • Thanks Linzi. Appreciate you commenting. I’ve taken a break from the fasting at the moment. My cycle had become really irregular and blood tests revealed extremely low progesterone levels. As the blog shares, I’ve had quite a stressful year. Stress (and the stress hormone cortisol) can be intensified by fasting and the stress hormone cortisol impacts progesterone levels. So whilst I’m not fasting at the moment I am still a huge fan of its benefits. Are you fasting? Thinking of giving it a go?

    • I hear ya Tegan! There’s nothing nicer than not only hunting down some delicious food from your local area but also meeting the fine people that produced it. Where’s your local Farmers Market?

      • I live in Canberra Australia and theres one thats about 5 mins from home so that suits me just fine 🙂

  2. Pingback: Let Her Eat Clean’s year in review « Let Her Eat Clean

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