These two words were the subject line of an e-mail I received shortly after the release of my new book, Junk Foods & Junk Moods: Stop Craving and Start Living.
Those words came from a mother of two, struggling to figure out WHY her 3-year old son was having severe mood swings and anger issues. After countless struggles and thinking he was on a SUGAR high and then a CRASH, she realized it went much deeper than the occasional cookie.
After reading Junk Foods & Junk Moods, she understood that his mood was in direct correlation with the food he was eating—particularly food dyes such as Red 40 and Yellow 5. She never thought that these food additives could be the cause of such an angry mood, but she eventually came to realize the negative effects these additives had on him.
She thanked me for helping her dive deeper into the food he was eating and how he could be affected emotionally.
But really, I want to thank her.
In the book, I say to treat your body like a test lab. Well, this is a hard concept to explain to a 3 year old, so this mom took over the detective work. She really dove deep into watching her son and looking into what she was feeding him. She saw how he reacted after meals and after eating certain foods. She did her homework when it came to reading labels and pinpointed the exact cause of his outbursts.
I think this is such a HUGE message. Although I am a food and nutrition coach, I don’t have all the answers. Sometimes I am vague with my responses because things really depend on an individual basis. But I can tell you that this mom took a vague piece of advice (treat your body like a test lab) and used it to change her and her son’s life. And you can too!
The answer doesn’t lie within me, but really within YOU. Ultimately you are the one that knows your body best. So learn to trust yourself a little more. Listen to your body. Be a food detective for yourself. Take a deeper look into how the food you eat is affecting you physically and emotionally. The more you listen and ask, the better you are able to understand and know what to give your body so that you no longer have those temper-tantrums, upset stomachs, or mood swings. But you now have energy, clarity, and an appreciation for what you are eating.
So this week, think about what you are eating and ask yourself these questions:
- Do you know where the food on your plate comes from?
- Can you pronounce the ingredients on the label?
- Do you know what the ingredients are?
- How do you feel after eating it?
- Does it energize you and make you feel good?
- Does it deplete your energy?
Keep asking yourself these questions and hone into what is really feeding you. Trust yourself and your body. The answers are usually a lot closer than they appear. Sometimes it just takes a little detective work!