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10 Warning Signs Your Diet Is Making You Cranky As Hell

10 Warning Signs Your Diet Is Making You Cranky As Hell

You wonder what the hell is wrong with you.

Why are you so cranky?

You don’t want to be short-tempered and downright mean.

But sometimes your fuse is short, really short, and you don’t know what to do.

You don’t want to go the Prozac route. And you wonder if murkier problems could be looming.  Your doctor would laugh in your face—since when is crankiness a disease?

You aren’t doomed to a lifetime of grumpiness.

You get to be a detective, and you will learn to read your body’s clues.

And the best part is you can change without taking drugs.

Read the following signs.  They are red flags from your body, highlighting where your diet is messing up your mood.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

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Don’t ignore these clues.

Everyone knows that diets affect waistlines.  There is much more to the story — your mind affects your digestion, which then causes changes in your mood.

This isn’t a new concept.  Alternative medicines like TCM and Ayurveda diagnose diseases by observing your tongue, nails, hair and pulse. A physical sign like peeling fingernails can indicate a nutritional deficiency — which can make you glum.

Because the sources of a bad mood are much harder to pinpoint, we often forget the mind-body connection.

Here are ten ways to recognize and act on the red flags your body throws to get you to pay attention:

1.  Your skin looks like crap.

Blemishes come from inflammation because your immune system fires up against outside attackers.  Often imbalances in hormones, like excess estrogen, cause inflammation.  And this also will make you angry as hell.   And yes, your diet can cause hormonal imbalances.

2.  Your fingernails peel and crack.

What’s up with your crappy nails?  In Ayurveda, dry, cracking nails are a sign of improper absorption of nutrients in the colon.  Your nails need the right nutritional balance to grow strong.  When you lack essential nutrients, you’ll also feel short tempered or glum.

3. When you get hungry, you want to kill someone.

Do you turn into a hangry (hungry + angry) maniac before you eat?  This is a sign that you are eating quick-burning sugars, or you aren’t eating regularly.  If you feel hangry often, take a look at your diet.  Are you scarfing down processed foods like pastries or candy?  Even  so-called “healthy” foods like bagels cause blood sugar slumps and a monster mood.  Nibble on a mix of whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins at regular intervals.

4. You crave sweet or salty foods.  A lot.

If you often crave certain foods, especially concentrated sources of a certain taste, like salty or sweet, you may have a deficiency in your diet.  And you will feel cranky as hell if you don’t get the nutrients you need.

5.  You catch colds easily.

Do you catch colds more often than you should?  Your diet is not fortifying your immune system.  So you are weak and run down.  No wonder you get cranky.  Certain foods, especially mushrooms and cruciferous vegetables, improve our immune system.

6. You enter a food coma after eating.

You feel sleepy, sluggish and achy a lot.  Finishing a meal, you enter a food coma.  Junk food makes you feel like crap — both physically and mentally.   A crappy diet can overwhelm your body and your mind. If junk foods aren’t the culprit, you are overeating, or you have food allergies.

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7. Sh** – you gotta run to the toilet again.

And you have those pesky pains in your tummy.  Did you know that the same neurotransmitter, serotonin, lives both in our GI tracts and in our brains?  Ninety percent live in our tummies.  Imagine you suddenly get tummy troubles like pain and bloating.  At the same time, you feel lethargic and blue.  Your tummy troubles affect your happiness hormone levels and make you feel glum.

If your GI tract is acting crazy, it is probably inflamed.  In ground-breaking recent news, depression and inflammation were linked. Try to decrease inflammation with your diet to boost your mood.  It’s not as hard as you’d think.

8. There’s a bizarre white coating on your tongue.

Open up and say, “Aaaah.”  Is your tongue covered with a fuzzy coating? (Stop and look in a mirror.)   In Eastern medicines, a fuzzy coating is a sign of buildup, aka sludge in your GI tract.  The sludge forms when food isn’t digested or assimilated.  Your GI tract should run like a fine-tuned engine.  And food powers your body. Studies link leaky guts with depression and anxiety.  Changes in your gut bacteria exacerbate depression.

9. You frequently morph from the energizer bunny to a lazy dwarf.

When you eat processed carbs or sugar, the high you experience results from a “sugar” in your bloodstream rush.   Your pancreas secretes insulin in massive quantities to regulate your blood sugar.   The low comes when your blood sugar drops a couple hours later.  High levels of insulin can cause depression and moodiness.

And there’s more….

People with diabetes have double the risk of depression.  Insulin resistance develops after insulin has been high for a prolonged period.  Insulin resistance is associated with depression.

10.  You poop like an old man.

Most people think constipation is for the elderly.  But did you know that constipation often coexists with depression?  Do you have at least one bowel movement per day?  High stress, anxiety, and depression are all linked to constipation.  Why?  The “fight or flight” response diverts blood away from the GI tract to the periphery.  Our bodies think they may need to run from a lion or a falling tree.  Digestion and elimination slow down.  Chronic stress affects both your bowels and your mood.

Do you recognize more than two of these ten signs?

What now?  You need to make changes.

It’s remarkably easy.  And you won’t have to become a sprout-eating hippie.

How To Tweak Your Diet To Improve Your Mood

Eat More Of The Following To Banish Inflammation

Have you heard the hype about Omega-3 Fatty Acids?  Omega-3s combat inflammation and lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress.  You can find Omega 3s in walnuts, flax, chia and oily fish like salmon.

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Choose grass-fed milk and meat because they are high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Turmeric is one of nature’s powerful anti-inflammatories.  It combats inflammation better than many drugs.  Take 1/2 teaspoon of the powder two times per day.

Try this anti-inflammatory ginger tea:  Boil 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with three cups of water, turn off heat, filter and drink throughout the day.

Eat To Boost Your Energy (Even If You Are Lazy)

Simplify your meals to include vegetables, whole grains and high-quality protein. Examples are sautéed vegetables, brown rice with wild salmon, or tempeh.

Add variety to your diet by eating grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat.

Choose fruits, especially berries, to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Stop wasting your money on fast foods.  And watch your medical bills decrease.

Listen to your body.   When you get diarrhea or stomach aches after eating, eliminate the culprits.  Raw carrots, eggplants, peppers, dairy or wheat are common culprits.

Eat More Veggies and Spices To Boost Your Happiness

Choose plant-based proteins.  When you have the choice, go for the hummus and veggies over a steak. Eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables is even proven to improve moods.   This recent study found that vegans have lower levels of stress and anxiety than omnivores and vegetarians.

Eat veggies at least three times per week. This study found that eating vegetables three times per week cut the odds of developing depression by 60%. You can definitely eat vegetables three times per week.

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Spice up your diet to spice up your mood. Cloves, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg increase levels of serotonin, the happiness and well-being neurotransmitter. Those mood-boosting compounds are also found in apples, berries, grapes, kale, onions, and green tea.

Cut out hormonal disruptors.  Environmental chemicals such as BPA in the food supply mimic your hormones. BPA is used in the linings of many food products, including canned goods.

Don’t take my word for it.

You aren’t doomed to a lifetime of gloominess.  You can become happier, healthier and even fitter.  Start with a simple step like eating a salad with your lunch every day.  You don’t have to become a vegan to feel happier.

All this information is worthless if you stare at your navel and wish you were different.  So don’t be lazy.

Long-term changes that boost your health will make you happier.

Start to observe yourself, and be your own detective and health advocate.

We all deserve to be happy and healthy. But you must take an active role in your happiness.

You know it’s true.

When you are happier and healthier, you make the world a better place.

Start with one simple change.  How about oatmeal for breakfast?

Again, make the world a happier place, just one bite at a time.

Featured photo credit: http://picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

His motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • He riles up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

Becoming the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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