Healthy & Happy: 5 Foods For Moms To Support Mental Wellness
Being a mom is a full-time job, and sometimes it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of yourself. But the truth is, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your little ones. One way to do that is by incorporating some delicious and nutritious foods into your diet that can support your mental wellness. Today I’m sharing foods that support mental wellness for Moms so you can stay alert, content and happy throughout your day! So, put down the chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, and let’s talk about some foods that will keep you healthy and happy. These things, along with other tools, have helped me to improve my mental health substantially.
Mind-Boosting Foods For Mothers
One of my favorite topics to think, talk and write about!! F O O D! |TRIGGER WARNING| This post contains stories of being weighed, body shaming, and food. If these are triggers for you, please don`t read. I`m sharing my story of understanding the relationship between food and my mental health. I am a major foodie and enjoy all things food. The more cheese, the better. Unless there is bread. Then both of those combined are even BETTER. And I have a sweet tooth. Oh yum, now I`m thinking donuts, cinnamon buns, and cupcakes with buttercream frosting. My true weakness, though? Chips. I L O V E chips. Well… I love all things. All different kinds of food, sweets, and salty foods. You get the picture? I love food. And I’m definitely on board for mind-boosting foods for mothers! I need all the mind-boosting I can get!
My whole life, I have sort of always thought this to be a bad thing. Like a flaw. If I could fix that one thing about me, then maybe I wouldn`t be broken anymore. I could lose weight because I wouldn`t have such a desire to consume food. I had this thought that food was the issue. That it was all because of food. Everything that I deemed wrong with me. I live with Bipolar 2 Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Neither of these makes it any easier to understand my relationship with food. My anxiety often takes over and runs my mental health into the ground, and before I know it, I am curled up in a ball, sobbing. Food has always been the enemy in my life and in my mind. I have always been at war with food. I read this quote, though, forgive me, because I can`t remember who it`s from, but it said something like if you stopped depriving your body of the foods you actually wanted to eat, you`d notice that you overate less.
I`ve been carrying that with me every day now for 2 weeks because it`s kept me grounded. It`s made me feel safe. See, I`ve had to learn that food isn`t the issue, but rather my mind and how it thinks. I`ve always thought skinny = beautiful. But, just on me. For everyone else, I think everyone is beautiful. I`ve always been intensely critical and mean to myself. I`ve spent my life feeling undeserving and unworthy of everything.
Flashback to grade 5 phys-ed class, and even remembering it brings tears of embarrassment and shame to my eyes. I was weighed, and the weight was announced in front of my entire class. I remember how badly I wished I could leave that school and never return. Along with that, we were tested on how long you could stay up after you did a pull-up (which, let me tell you, I STILL can`t do, and I am strongest now than I`ve ever been in my life), and obviously, I failed that test too. There were push-ups and sit-ups on this test, but I never even knew how to do those, and now I was being tested?! I`m sure it`s easy to see that I didn`t enjoy this class.
Regularly, I felt not good enough to participate and not comfortable enough to even want to try. It`s when I started learning that my body was not okay and I had something to be ashamed of. It was when my mental health deteriorated fast, and I was left feeling like I had nothing to offer just because of my shape, size, and weight. Now, maybe things are different. I sure hope they are, anyways. It was at this point that I knew sports weren`t my thing. Though I never even had gotten to try (and now I love sports, so maybe I would have then).
This is just a small tidbit about my hate relationship with my body. I hated it, and gave up on it, and felt it failed me. Even as a child. When I think about that now, it makes me cringe. For a child to feel so sad and betrayed by their body. For a child to be taught that they are valued solely based on a number and physical performance. This hurts me still to think about, and it directly affected my mental health. When I read that quote above, it just kept sitting with me. I couldn`t get it out of my head. It`s what has helped me to stop weighing myself 4 times a day. . . yes . . . I was at a point of weighing myself 4 times a day and hating myself for it more daily. But I couldn`t stop. Being so completely obsessed with this, I felt completely unworthy of taking time for self-love and self-care.
It`s been 14 days since I weighed myself. I have been enjoying food and paying close attention to what my body is saying. Taking the time to learn what my body is saying to me and taking the time to listen to it. I`ve still been loving food, though. I`m working through an understanding that food isn`t my enemy. Food is fuel, and how I fuel my body is directly related to how my body and mind feel.
Mind-Boosting Foods For Mothers (& everyone really.)
There are some foods that I enjoy a little more simply because I know they have a positive effect on me and my body/mind. Some of these are:
- snap peas
I try not to have too many carbs/grains simply because they leave me feeling full and groggy/tired. When I am tired, I get rather emotional, and when I am emotional, the wheels start turning in my head, and before I know it, I am in full breakdown mode and sobbing. So, not good for my mental health. I enjoy a few fruits, so when I have those on hand, I like them but don`t go wild about them. Yogurt is a staple in my house as well. I find it light but still filling. I think my body and I will always be on a journey together, and while I can pick apart every one of its flaws, it does a lot of good for me and is a safe space to live in. My body is my home, and only now, at 29, am I beginning to understand what that means.
Food is not my enemy, nor even is my mind. Once I began understanding that food is fuel. Sometimes you`re gonna cheap out and get the crap, but it goes faster, maybe fuel (bad analogy, maybe?), and sometimes you`re going to invest a little more and make yourself beautiful, substantial meals. And either way, as long as you are okay, healthy, happy, and at peace, then what else matters?
If you struggle with an eating problem, I hope you know it is certainly not your fault or a weakness. You are worthy and deserving of all the love and affection in the world. I know you are hurting. I know that feeling and want to tell you it`s okay. It`s okay to hurt and feel or even be confused by what is happening. Remember, please, your body is where you live. It`s your home. But it doesn`t define you. Your beautiful spirit and soul… the way you sparkle.. that`s what defines you. I spent so much of my life simply wanting to be normal, and now I wonder, what even is normal? I`m sure we all have our struggles. We all have a story.
So, whether or not your story/struggle surrounds food, it`s okay to have it. It`s okay to say you`re not okay. It`s also okay to be gentle with yourself, and let yourself have triggers and cues, and really lean into them. Listen to what your body is telling you. Hear/feel what your mind is saying. If I could go back to that girl in grade 5, the first thing I think I`d give her a hug. She was humiliated. Then, I think the teacher could also use some education, for this is not how we teach children to love, respect, and care for their bodies.
Foods that Promote Relaxation in Mothers
Moms have a lot on their plates, from juggling schedules to caring for little ones. Stress and anxiety can build up, leaving moms feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Fortunately, there are foods that can help promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. One of the best options is magnesium-rich foods like dark chocolate, almonds, and avocados. Magnesium helps regulate the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, and can promote relaxation in the body. Another great option is chamomile tea, which calms the nervous system and can help with sleep. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and walnuts, have also been shown to reduce stress and improve mood. Additionally, incorporating complex carbohydrates like whole grains and sweet potatoes into meals can help increase serotonin levels in the brain, promoting feelings of calm and contentment. By incorporating these relaxing foods into their diets, moms can feel more at ease and ready to take on whatever comes their way.
What are some of your go-to foods? Do you find any foods have a direct impact on your mental health?
Love always, natasha
It’s horrifying that schools weigh kids and announce everyone’s to the class. Im so relieved my school didn’t do that, but even then I still hated my body and the fact that I wasnt athletic. Well done for putting a stop to weighting yourself. Food isnt the enemy but it takes time to start believing that
Yes it does. I’m so sorry you hated your body too. Sending love your way?
Our relationship with food is often so difficult. I binge eat. It’s so difficult to build a positive relationship with food. Like you, I have learnt to be more positive about healthy foods as I have matured. Great post xxx
Thank you for sharing this!
Food is soooo important I think a lot of people look past it but I’ve seen such a positive change in my body and mind since moving to a ‘healthier’ diet 🙂 Thanks for sharing, loved this post!
Thank you for such a beautiful comment!!?
This was such a great post, I enjoyed reading it. It’s amazing how much better we feel when we fuel our bodies with the right kind of food it needs!
Definitely! Thank you for reading and commenting ?
Wonderful post! First and foremost – I want to say that I am SO SORRY for what happened to you as a girl in the 5th grade. I, too, would love nothing more than to swoop her up and let her know that some people are ignorant and aren’t doing the right thing – your teacher being a classic example of this. My goodness, what were they thinking (or not!)? Kids at that age are already susceptible to unloving tendencies. For some kids who were already on the edge of a really bad decision – this could have altered them for life. (sigh) My heart extends to you for having had to endure that.
You are absolutely right. Women have been programmed for so long that the lies have been adopted as truth. It is nothing shy of tragic in my opinion. I love the initiative called, “Beauty Redefined at http://www.beautyredefined.org because they are reminding each of us that our bodies are an instrument – not an ornament! We were never made to be scrutinized for our sizes or shapes. That’s why it feels so terribly damaging. It is! We were made to live with purpose, to have value that has nothing to do with our bodies.
I am eternally grateful that you are beginning to love and accept your body. Food in and of itself doesn’t have power. We however do have the power and food is simply here for our enjoyment – not our punishment. While it’s true that some choices are healthier than others – enjoying the not so healthy stuff from time to time is okay too! Understanding *why* we eat is critically important too. Loving ourselves can only lead to better health in our minds, bodies and spirits. We’re worth it. You’re worth it. And I’m praying that every day increases your self love to see how beautifully and wonderfully made you are! ? ~ Holly
Thank you so much for these kind words! I will definitely be checking out that initiative, thank you so much for sharing. You are a special and lovely soul and I appreciate you spending your time and energy on my blog today?
I’ve realised for myself that my relationship with food is simply a reflection of what is happening in my life – “how I do anything is how I do everything”. And so, if I find myself binging (food, Netflix, or even work)… something is out of balance and I have gone into “avoidance”.
So… it’s not about the food – it’s about me.
And I love to hide in the food, rather than face life.
As I practice being courageous, I take the challenge of life, rather than avoidance. Then I get to enjoy food and savour it, rather than being afraid of it.
But it’s taken me years.
This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. I really appreciate the thought of food being a reflection of what is happening in your life. I think that I am the same way. This is very insightful. ?
Love this! I think it is so easy to not think about what we eat and how it positively or negatively affects us.
I agree! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!! Sending love your way!
There’s a lot of weight shaming even with really young kids and sadly I don’t think it’s got better since we were kids. I still remember being tested on sit ups and pull ups. Or the bleep test to see how quickly you could run and if you didn’t make it you were out. The combination of the way we get taught about weight and are shamed about our fitness level is so toxic
Yes it IS. It’s like we are taught right from the beginning what the expectations of what we need to look like and what we need to eat and how our body needs to perform. Thank you for this comment. ?
You have come so far, I couldn’t be prouder. Keep it up! Always remember, you’re beautiful in your own unique way ♡
Thank you so much?
What a beautiful post! I really enjoyed every word!
Thank you so much. I appreciate your kindness.
It’s so horrible that you had to experience that as a child. I have the same problem and always want myself to be skinny but always see others as beautiful exactly as they are! I’m also trying to not deprive myself of foods that I want altogether and just have a tiny bit of something, and then I’ll try and be good the next day. It seems to be working so far! It’s hard to get out of that mindset sometimes but I’m working towards it.
You got this babe? life is tough .. but we are tougher!!
Weight issues and body image was certainly something I suffered with more in my teen years, as I’ve grown I’ve learnt to realise that not everyone will look the same and it is better to eat to suit what your body needs. I work alot so I try to eat a healthier diet with lots of protein to keep me going or I find that I get tired really easily. Thanks for sharing x
Yes, I think that’s an important lesson, that not everyone is going to look the same and to eat what our body needs. Thank you for sharing this! Sending love!
The Newbury Girl
Thank you so much for sharing your story – it always takes so much courage to be honest. I’m glad to read that you have been developing a positive mindset towards food being fuel for your body because that is so true! Also, thinking of your body as a home is a beautiful way to describe the body and something that resonated with me.
Btw I love almonds, too!!
Thank you so much for your beautiful compassion towards my story. ?
I love this post! We often don’t hear the connection between the mind and food – food is always in relation to the body or weight loss. But sometimes eating to promote our mental health and total well-being is more important than the number on the scale. Thank you for this inspiration!
Thank you so much for reading and commenting!! I’m so glad you found it inspiring!
What a wonderful post! You are so right food is fuel and it can still be enjoyed just in moderation (I love cake). If I were to eat cake all day I wouldn’t be fueling my body properly and it would start to shut down just like if you are not eating enough. I am glad some foods have a positive impact on your mood and general wellbeing, I also love yoghurt it is so light and filling at the same time, I also love almonds and hazelnuts.
I definitely love cake too! And hazelnuts! Yummm!! Thanks for reading and commenting!
Thank you for sharing your struggles. So many of us wish they could go back and tell our younger selves (and maybe even those around us) that food doesn’t define us. To let us know that normal is an opinionor a view and healthy is our best option.
Yes definitely. Thanks so much for reading and sharing this beautiful comment.
Great blog. Thanks for sharing
Thanks for stopping in!
I love your post. It did resonate with me a lot. I do struggle with weight loss and I often feel guilty for eating something sweet. I will keep in mind your encouraging words next time I eat something I crave?. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for reading my post and sharing this beautiful comment?
This is an absolutely beautiful post. There are so many influences out there that make us feel bad about our bodies and stop us from loving ourselves. And this can all be tied up with the food you eat! I tend to love junk food myself (YES CHIPS!), but you’re right: food is fuel. And no matter what you eat, you have value and are worthy of love. Thanks for the great post.
I appreciate this beautiful comment. Thank you ?
Weight seems to be one of the biggest issue we girls are having. Body imkage and what other people or ourselves think we look like or how we should look like. No matter if it makes us happy or not. Once there’s an understanding of sorts, it makes it easier… I think.
I look at myself sometimes and although I am at my weight for my height and age, I have a small belly and it annoys me. I wish I could get rid of it… get a toner stomach and all but I will never diet for it. I came to be… kinda okay with it. I’m 41, too, so, might as well stop fighting it.
I love food, too. Chocolate, chips,… I fall into that and can’t stop myself.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I agree… Body image is an issue. Adults and children alike. Good for you for accepting your body. I think that’s amazing.