Happy Holidays! There is something so magical about this time of year especially when seen through the eyes of my 18-month-old son.

The holidays are, oftentimes, about FOOD especially food that can put you in a bad mood. Yes, food can affect your mood, but who wants to be in a bad mood during the holidays or ever really? Not me!

Below is a list of bad mood foods. I recommend that you steer clear or at least limit these foods this holiday season and beyond, as many of them can lead to inflammation in your body when eaten in excess.

Bad Mood Foods

Sugar. Sugar is addictive. For many of us, the more we eat, the more we want. When I say sugar, I mean all kinds of refined sugar (white, brown, brown rice syrup, etc.). Now, some people can handle a little bit of raw honey, stevia, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. You need to play around with what works for you. Sugar tastes delicious in the moment, but when your blood sugar drops quickly an hour later you are left feeling pretty crummy and, a lot of times, irritable. Try adding root vegetables and more healthy-fat to your diet to cut down on cravings.

Artificial Sweeteners. I wanted to break this out into its own category. Artificial sweeteners might not come with any calories, but they do come with some serious side effects including headaches, dizziness, and, you guessed it, a bad mood. Artificial sweeteners are made with chemicals that make you crave more of it! Again, try to use more natural sweeteners such as the ones listed above.

Alcohol. If you know me, you know I love a nice glass of red wine (my husband proposed in Napa), but too much alcohol is not a good thing. Alcohol is all around us especially this time of year. In the moment, it might sound good to have another drink or two, but you are doing more harm than good. It actually reduces serotonin which is our “feel good” hormone. I recommend going to parties with a plan of how much (if any) you will drink. Make sure you have a glass of water after each drink, and try to limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per week.

Coffee. A cup of organic coffee can be beneficial for some as it is high in antioxidants and may prevent cognitive issues. If you are a person, though, who drinks multiple cups a day especially for energy, then you could be setting yourself up for not feeling your best. Too much caffeine can make you jittery and/or increase your heartrate which both make us feel bad. After you enjoy your cup in the morning, try switching to either green tea or an herbal tea.

Hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oils are meant to have a long shelf life. We do not want to consume foods (junk) that are created to sit on the shelf. They are high in omega-6 fatty acids which can lead to inflammation in the body. We want more omega-3s in our diet because they actually make us feel good! Opt for healthier oils and spreads like grass-fed butter (if you can tolerate dairy), ghee (we love ghee in my house), or coconut oil.

If you do reach for something that you know will affect your mood, make sure it is worth it, and eat a small amount. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed!

If you feel like working with a health coach would be beneficial in helping you work through your cravings, I would love to work with you! We can create a plan that works for you and your lifestyle. At CentreSpringMD, we want you to feel your best!

Stephanie Watson joined CentreSpring MD at the end of 2016, to develop CentreSpring MD’s Health Coaching program and could not be more excited to join a like-minded team of healthcare providers who believe in treating the whole person.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Stephanie Watson.

Categories: General