Awakening with Amy Robeson- episode28

Episode 28: Using Food to Improve Your Mental Health

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Our bodies are temples and what we put into them affects more than our physical health, it affects our spiritual well-being, as well. We can use foods to nourish all aspects of ourselves, body, mind, and soul.

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USING FOOD TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

FOOD AND MOOD CONNECTION

Your body is the temple of God, Creator, and the Divine. What you put in that temple creates ease, grace, flow, or creates dis-ease. It's really important to look at food as nourishment for your soul, your body, and your cells. You are constantly nourishing your body through your words, deeds, thoughts, and actions. If you have happy thoughts, you're going to create joy, ease, and flow within the cells. If you are constantly angry, upset, or dissatisfied, you are going to create dis-ease within the body.

There are so many things that, as humans, we have to process. When we have dis-ease within the body, pain can come from that dis-ease because we are not processing our emotions in a particular way. I'm a big believer that we can use food to support our mental health. We can also use food to nourish our souls to start feeling physically better as well. Incorporating foods that make you feel better, food that makes you feel good, truly is a spiritual practice.

EAT THE RAINBOW

When it comes to eating foods that make you feel better, I love working with the rainbow. We have energy centers in our bodies. Those energy centers help bring balance to our body using color frequency. So when we work with whole foods, you can use the colors to help with bringing balance into the chakras, these powerful energy centers. You have red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, purple/white. I love looking at these colors because these colors will help us reorganize our energy and our thoughts.

Every single chakra in your body vibrates at a particular level and all of those chakras absorb the different colors. The color that it does not absorb fully is the color that is represented by that energy center. For example, your root chakra is red and how we balance that chakra is bringing more red in. You can wear red underwear, you can eat red apples, you can eat anything that has red. You can help balance that particular chakra by eating that particular color or bringing that color into your life.

The same thing applies if you're working on your power center and wanting to bring more power into your life. You can work with this by eating the color yellow: yellow squash, bananas, and pineapple, for example. By eating the colors your chakras are pointing you to, you are bringing balance and wellness through food to your body and spirit.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

At any given moment, in our society, there is at least one eating style, or diet, that claims to be the cure-all for everything or an eating style that makes you a “better person.” It can be super confusing to navigate all the information out there, but it’s critically important to eat the foods that are right for YOUR body, the foods that make you feel better. We know how the food you eat affects your brain, your mood, your biochemistry and the proper nutrition for you is personal.

I'm a big believer in eating intuitively, not eating based on what's going on in society and what societal norms are happening at that moment in time. Not every diet is in alignment with what our bodies need. For a long time, I was a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian did not work for my physical body and genes. I literally thought my bones were going to break. But from my ethical standpoint, not wanting to eat animal meat was literally killing me. My body could not handle it. I had to face the fact that if I wanted to feel good, I needed to bring animal protein back into my diet. The second I did that and got really honest with myself, I started feeling much different and much better.

Just because things are popular in our current culture, like Keto or Paleo, does not mean that it is a good fit for you. It's really important to have a really good, positive relationship with food, because that is the very act of eating the food that makes you feel good, putting something that's nourishing your body, nourishing your soul, and allowing you to live, breathe and be healthy. Some things might make complete sense and some things intuitively, you might get that they don't work for you, they don't work for your body, they don't work for your genes. And I really want you to trust that.

MEAT-FREE DIETS

When it comes to eating healthy and promoting wellness through food, there’s always an elephant in the room: vegetarianism and veganism. Some people are very spiritual but know that it's important for their bodies to eat meat. I love animals and if I could be a vegan vegetarian, I would, but my body doesn't allow me to do that. So what I do to allow myself to feel better about the choices that I'm making in terms of eating food that promotes wellness is to understand where my food is being sourced from and how those animals are being treated.

I'm a big believer in knowing that I'm eating local, as local as I possibly can. Sometimes that's not 100% possible, but I try to buy everything from local farmers, especially our meat, that is grass-fed and that is allowed to walk in the pasture. And not just free-range, because free-range does not necessarily mean they're out in the pasture; that just means the door is open.

Purchasing from farmers that are treating animals ethically so that I have an animal food source of protein feels good to me. It feels in alignment with my values and works for my physical body. For some people, this does not work. And so you have to really understand where your values are at and what works for your body physically because it's really important that you are physically healthy.

Food allows your cells to function and rejuvenates them.

BLESS YOUR FOOD

Many of us source our food as locally as we can and often spend our weekends at the local farmer’s markets, searching out healthy foods that make you feel better. However, not all options labeled local are the healthiest options. Many local farmers still use conventional methods, including wide use of chemicals being sprayed on those foods.

I think that some people think that it's all organic if it's at the farmer's market, but it's not. A lot of our farmer's market food is not organic. So you have to ask the farmer if it is because for me, not having my food sprayed with chemicals is really important. Now, that might not be available to you, so it's really important to look at where your food is being sourced from.

If you are not able to get your hands on local organic food, you can pray over your food. You can ask for Creator to diffuse any low vibrating energy within the food. You can bless your food with love and light because these are tools that you have available to you. It's the simple act of prayer over your food, by blessing it will help raise its frequency as well.

Food can support your mental health, nourish your body, and feed your soul in so many different ways.

WHAT’S A SWEET TOOTH TELLING YOU?

Food cravings are actually amazing indicators that something is unbalanced within us, emotionally, spiritually, or mentally. We intuitively reach for foods that make us feel good when it’s merely putting a band-aid on what really needs nourishment. If I'm craving a lot of sweets, that tells me I'm lacking love in some way, shape, or form and so, if I'm lacking love, I go out and try to validate that by bringing sweet treats into my life.

For me, an abundant amount of sugar makes my body feel awful. As a society, we have so much sugar in our diet. Sugar is not necessarily bad, but an abundant amount of sugar is bad for us and can wreak havoc on our bodies. For me, it creates a lot of inflammation in my body. So I have to be very aware of the amount of sugar that I'm taking in.

I want to be very conscious of the foods that I'm eating and not over-indulging in things that make me feel good temporarily because I'm craving extra love in my life. For some people, food is how they feel love. So we want to make sure that we're using food to support our ease within our life, but we also want to make sure that food is not being used as a tool to feel a particular way or emotion that is not supporting your soul's evolution.

Food is supporting you in some way, shape, or form. That support is either supporting you on the spectrum of love and light or supporting you in creating disease within the body.

INFUSE YOUR FOOD WITH LOVE AND LIGHT

When you are eating and when you're blessing your food, I want you to infuse it with as much love and light as you possibly can. You can have affirmations on how the food is supporting your mental health, how the food is supporting your body to heal, and how it's going to assist you in healing as well. So, for example, if I am craving something fresh, maybe I'm craving cucumbers, I'm going to say,

"Thank you. I'm so grateful for this food, this nourishment, the green cucumber is helping me connect to my heart, which is bridging my inner and outer world. It's also giving me a fresh perspective today on XYZ."

I'm bringing that into how it's going to support me throughout the day with that freshness, bringing me a fresh perspective. Let's say I'm craving something super warm and something red. Today I had tomato basil soup for breakfast. It's working on my root chakra, which is allowing me to feel safe. The warmth is creating something cozy within me and it's also very energizing. Red is very energizing. And so for me, what I could say is;

"Thank you for this food. I'm asking for it to be infused with lots of love, and lots of light, and I'm so grateful for the energy that this is providing me. That the safety this food gives me with each breath I take, with each chew I make. Thank you so much."

BACK TO SCHOOL: GROW YOUR FOOD KNOWLEDGE

There is so much to learn about good nutrition: what food makes you feel good, enjoying wellness through food, how the good you eat affects your brain, how proper nutrition improves a person’s mental alertness, energy levels, and even their emotional state. The key is to know how food affects you, personally. Get curious about the connection!

Please know, that I am not a dietitian. I want to encourage you to do your own research to find support systems that work for your body. I want you to understand where your food is coming from and how it's affecting you and how it's affecting your vibration. Lean into your food, and check-in with yourself daily to see what your body is craving, and how it wants to be nourished because this is a great way to mother yourself in a different way.

I'm a big believer in food can be medicine, food can heal you, and food can allow you to feel really good. We just need to be really educated on what it is that we're putting into our bodies and how that affects us.

I know some of you in the community are dealing with chronic pain or dealing with something that is occurring in your body that you are unhappy with or would like to change. And just so you know, I feel you. I love you.

ALL FOOD IS SOUL FOOD

Ultimately, the key with this is you're giving thanks to the food and how it's supporting you as well. Remember, everything in life is supporting you in some way, shape, or form. It's you that recognizes how it's supporting you and breathing life into it. And so food can support your mental health. It can nourish your body, and it can feed your soul in so many different ways. And it's a necessity. It is so necessary for us to have vitamins and minerals in our bodies. We can bring this into our spiritual practices through the power of prayer, through giving thanks, through recognizing and seeing how it supports our energy system, how it supports the ease within our body, and how it can also create dis-ease within the body, too.

Each and every day we can make conscious choices that honor what our bodies are asking us to provide and to eat foods that make us feel good, that nourish all of our bodies, and help us show up as the best versions of ourselves we can possibly be!

I want to encourage you to educate yourself on food and how it affects you and what really works for your body, because this is going to affect your mental health no matter what it is that you are doing throughout the day.

If you enjoyed this episode with Amy Robeson, we would love to invite you to check out other inspirational episodes by clicking here. Enjoy!

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Full transcription of the episode:

Your body is the temple of God, Creator, Divinity. And what you put in that temple creates ease, grace, flow, or creates dis-ease. So it's really important to look at food as nourishment for your soul, for your body, for your cells. You are constantly nourishing your body through your words, deeds, thoughts, and actions. And so if you have happy thoughts, you're going to create joy and ease and flow within the cells. If you are constantly angry or upset or dissatisfied, you are going to create this dis-ease within the body.

And I know some of you in the community are dealing with chronic pain or dealing with something that is occurring in your body that you are unhappy with or would like to change. And that could be weight. You could be wanting to gain weight. You could be wanting to lose weight. You could be wanting to feel better because your back hurts. You could be dealing with some sort of chronic pain, like Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Lyme disease. There's all sorts of we can go on the list of all the range of different things that are happening. And just so you know, I feel you. I love you.

There are so many things that, as humans, we have to process. And when we have disease within the body, pain can come from that disease because we are not processing our emotions in a particular way. And so I'm a big believer that we can use food to support our mental health. We can also use food to nourish our souls to start feeling physically better as well. And the way that I love to go about working with food in regards to helping mental health is by working with the rainbow.

We have energy centers in our bodies. Those energy centers help bring balance to our body using color frequency. And so when we work with whole foods, you can use the colors to help with bringing balance into the chakras, these powerful energy centers. And so you have red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, and purple. You also have white because the crown chakra can also be white. I love looking at these colors because these colors will help us reorganize our energy and our thoughts.

I'm also a big believer in eating intuitively, not eating based on what's going on in society and what societal norms are happening at that moment in time. And I'll give you an example of what I mean by that. For a long time, I was a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian did not work for my physical body and genes. I literally thought my bones were going to break. But from my ethical standpoint, I'm not wanting to eat animal meat was literally killing me. My body could not handle it. And I had to face the fact that if I wanted to feel good, I needed to bring animal protein back into my diet. And the second I did that and got really honest with myself, I started feeling much different and much better.

And so just because things are happening in society like Keto or Paleo, does not mean that that is good for you. It's really important to have a really good, positive relationship with food, because that is the very act of putting something that's nourishing your body, nourishing your soul, and allowing you to live, breathe and be healthy in society. And so some things might make complete sense and some things intuitively, you might get that they don't work for you, they don't work for your body, they don't work for your genes. And I really want you to trust that.

And I'm going to speak a little bit more about food and vegetarianism and veganism as well because I want to address the elephant in the room for some people that are very spiritual, but know that it's important for their bodies to eat meat. First off, I love animals. And if I could be a vegan, if I could be a vegetarian, I would. But my body doesn't allow me to do that. And so what I do to allow myself to feel better about the choices that I'm making in terms of food is I understand where my food is being sourced from and how those animals are being treated as well.

I'm a big believer in knowing that I'm eating local, as local as I possibly can. Sometimes that's not 100% possible. But I try to buy everything from local farmers, especially our meat, that is grass-fed and that are allowed to walk in the pasture. And not just free-range, because free-range does not necessarily mean they're out in the pasture. That just means the door is open. And so treating animals ethically so that I have an animal food source of protein feels good to me. It feels in alignment with my values and works for my physical body. For some people, this does not work. And so you have to really understand where your values are at and what works for your body physically because it's really important that you are physically healthy. And remember that food is going to help allow your cells to run, allow them to rejuvenate.

And so the way that the food is treated is really important. Not all food that's at the farmer's market is also organic. I think that some people think that it's all organic if it's at the farmer's market, but it's not. Just letting you know that. A lot of our farmer's market food here is not organic. So you have to ask the farmer if it is because for me, not having my food sprayed with chemicals is really important. Now, that might not be available to you. And so it's really important to look at where your food is being sourced from. And if you are not able to get your hands on local organic food, you can pray over your food. You can ask for Creator to diffuse any low vibrating energy within the food. You can bless your food with love and light because these are tools that you have available to you. And it's the simple act of prayer over your food, food, by blessing it will help raise its frequency as well. And so you can do that too.

So if you don't have these resources available, or let's say you don't have the money, the extra money to have organic because you need to survive and you need to eat, and it makes more sense for you to buy conventional food, pray over your food, it's going to make a huge difference and it's going to raise the vibration of the food as well. I want to take a step back because I want a little tangent there.

I want to take a step back to talk about working with the color frequency and how it can help your mental health. And so every single chakra in your body vibrates at a particular level. And all of those chakras absorb the different colors. And the color that it does not absorb fully is the color that is represented by that energy center.

And so, for example, your root chakra is red. And so how we balance that chakra is bringing more red in. You can wear red underwear, you can eat red apples, you can eat anything that has red. And you can help balance that particular chakra by eating that particular color or bringing that color into your life. Same thing if you're working on your power center and you're wanting to bring more power into your life. You can work with eating a bunch of yellow, different foods like zucchini, yellow zucchini, or squash.

I mean yellow squash or bananas or pineapple. A friend once told me that eating pineapple will make you rich. This might not work for you because if you have something that doesn't allow you to eat very acidic foods, doesn't mean that you can't eat or work with the color yellow. But in general, we want to look at whole foods to help us balance our bodies. A lot of processed packaged foods cause us to get out of balance very quickly because the chemicals that they're putting in the food to preserve the food very much affects our body and creates dis-ease within the body.

And so you want to understand where your food is coming from and how it's affecting you and how it's affecting your vibration because everything is vibration. And so if the food is coming from a place of lower vibration or they're using lower vibrational quality ingredients, that's going to affect you in some way, shape, or form. If an animal is mistreated, you're going to take on those emotions as well.

Another thing to always look at too is thinking about what if you are a meat-eater, think about what that animal is eating because you're also eating what the animal eats as well. And we want to think about that cycle. Everything is a cycle of life. Everything gets back to one another. And so we're cycling things through our system. And so what are they also taking in and how is that affecting you as well? I'm a big believer in food can be medicine, food can heal you, and food can allow you to feel really good. We just need to be really educated on what it is that we're putting into our bodies and how that affects us.

I also think that when you are eating and when you're blessing your food, I want you to infuse it with as much love and light as you possibly can. And you can have affirmations on how the food is supporting your mental health, how the food is supporting your body to heal, and how it's going to assist you in healing as well. So, for example, if I am craving something fresh, maybe I'm craving like cucumbers or something like that, that freshness, I'm going to say, "Thank you. I'm so grateful for this food, this nourishment, the green cucumber is helping me connect to my heart, which is bridging my inner and outer world. It's also giving me a fresh perspective today on XYZ." And so I'm bringing that into how it's going to support me in throughout the day with that freshness, bring me a fresh perspective.

So let's say I'm craving something super warm and something red. Like today I had tomato basil soup for some reason, for breakfast. I am totally a, "give me lunch food for breakfast or give me dinner food for breakfast." I am not a breakfast morning food person, but I want lunch and dinner for breakfast. Anyway, so for that particular type of food, it's working on my root chakra, which is allowing me to feel safe. The warmth is creating something cozy within me and it's also very energizing. Red is very energizing. And so for me, what I could say for like, let's say for something like a tomato or tomato basil soup or something like that, that's warm and cozy, let's say stewed tomatoes or something like that. "Thank you for this food. I'm asking for it to be infused with lots of love, and lots of light, and I'm so grateful for the energy that this is providing me. That the safety this food gives me with each breath I take, with each chew I make. Thank you so much."

And the key with this is you're giving thanks to the food and how it's supporting you as well. Remember, everything in life is supporting you in some way, shape, or form. It's you that recognizes how it's supporting you and breathing life into it. And so food can support your mental health. It can nourish your body, and it can feed your soul in so many different ways. And it's a necessity. It is so necessary for us to have vitamins and minerals in our bodies. And we can bring this into our spiritual practices through the power of prayer, through giving thanks, through recognizing and seeing how it supports our energy system, how it supports the ease within our body, and how it can also create dis-ease within the body, too.

Because remember the preservatives and how the food is made. I don't know if you've ever bought something and it just feels really off, and then someone makes something like that particular thing that you bought in a package, but the homemaker and it tastes completely different. It's because it's made with love. It's made with less preservative. It's made with simple ingredients. And we want to recognize that those ingredients support our body in some way, shape, or form.

I also know that if I'm looking at something that's supporting me, I also want to look at how things are not supporting me as well. So if I'm craving a lot of sweets, that tells me I'm lacking love in some way, shape, or form. And so if I'm lacking love in some way, shape or form, I go out and try to validate that by bringing sweet treats into my life. Now, for me, an abundant amount of sugar makes my body feel awful. I know one of our friends had a sugar reaction. It would put them in, like, almost comatose, like, he would pass out if it had a lot of sugar in it.As a society, we have so much sugar in our diet. Now, sugar is not necessarily bad, but an abundant amount of sugar is bad for us. And for me, it creates a lot of inflammation in my body. So I have to be very aware of the amount of sugar that I'm taking in.

And I also want to be really conscious of disease that has been passed down through generations. So, for example, on my mom's side of the family, diabetes is a very real thing. And since I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant, I'm very aware that that is a possibility that I can create that within my body based on the foods and the stresses that I have. And so I want to be very conscious of the foods that I'm eating and not over-indulging in things that make me feel good temporarily because I'm craving extra love in my life. And for some people, food is how they feel love. And so we want to make sure that we're using food to support our ease within our life, but we also want to make sure that food is not being used as a tool to feel a particular way or emotion that is not supporting your soul's evolution.

And so for me, I've had to really check myself on sweets in the past because they don't make me feel good. They make my skin break out in eczema. And so I have to be very conscious of my sugar intake because of that. And so know that whatever it is that you're doing in regards to food, that food is supporting you in some way, shape, or form. And that support is either on the spectrum of love and light or supporting you in creating disease within the body. You can use your words, your deeds, and your actions regarding food to help it support you with the ease within your body and not the dis-ease.

And I want to encourage you to do that. Lean into your food, check-in with yourself daily to see what your body is craving, and how it wants to be nourished because this is a great way to mother yourself in a different way. And that's with food that your body is physically craving that particular day. Now, with that all being said, your body is on automatic. And what that means is if you eat McDonald's every single day, your body is going to go, "I want McDonald's, I want McDonald's."

And so if you are wanting to break habits of processed foods, of foods that don't support you, you have to remember that the craving is temporary. And that the more good whole foods that you put into your body, they'll make you feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically. But it will take some time to break the habit of the processed junk that's going into the body that feeds the little gut bugs in your gut that says, "give me more, give me more." And so as you're recreating new systems and new energy within your body, and the words that you use, and the prayer that you use, the more that you're going to assist there and change.

And please know, that I am not a dietitian. This is just my perspective on how I believe food can nourish you and help you mentally and emotionally and physically. And know that this is not to substitute for any sort of medical advice. I want to encourage you to do your own research to find support systems that work for your body. Last year I went on this whole education. I will educate myself on food. Our food research and data are constantly being updated. And the cool thing is, we live in a time where information is easily accessible to us. It's crazy the amount of information that is so outdated on food. And I'll give you an example.

Like growing up in the area that I grew up in, low fat, no fat was the thing. You ate margarine. That is not good for you. Eating fat is very good for your brain. Your brain needs fat. Now, good quality fat is really important. When I was pregnant and I was researching food and things like that, I read a book. I can't think of the name off the top of my head, but I read this book where she was saying that the way that they determined pregnant women's diet was based on men's bodies. Let me say that again, and if I remember the book, I will link the comment below in the show notes, but I'm going to say it again.

They were recommending women's pregnancy diets based on men's bodies. That's insane. Women have different anatomy than men. And when you are pregnant, you have different needs. Just when you, like, you are not pregnant, you have different needs. Your body requires different things at different times. And so staying up to date with research and looking at how our research and data is changing based on food is really important. There are going to always be fad diets out there. And this episode is not about dieting. It's totally not.

It's about really looking at how you can utilize food to help you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. And for me, like, after getting pregnant and having to lose the baby weight, I wanted to educate myself on food again. I educated myself while I was pregnant. I wanted to educate myself on food, on how to lose weight as well, which brought me down a whole research rabbit hole of regulating blood sugar, understanding blood sugar, and things like that. And it's fascinating to me. It's really, really fascinating because when you are in a place where you are open to exploring what different things mean to you, you'll have a different approach with your food. And so, for me, even though I eat healthy, I realize that my blood sugar will spike when I am stressed, and it has nothing to do with what I'm actually eating, especially if I'm eating something healthy.

If I'm stressed, my blood sugar will spike. And if I'm stressed, I'm going to double make sure that I'm eating really good quality food that keeps my blood sugar down, because if I go and eat a doughnut because I'm stressed, my blood sugar is going to go up. I'm not going to feel good. I'm going to feel scattered for the day, my mental health is going to be all over the place because I'm scattered and I don't feel good. And I'm already stressed out about whatever it is that I'm stressed out about. And then my blood sugar goes up, which means when I go and crash, it's not going to feel really good for the moment. So I want to encourage you to educate yourself on food and how it affects you and what really works for your body, because this is going to affect your mental health no matter what it is that you are doing throughout the day. And I want to encourage you to use food as nourishment.

All right, guys enjoyed today's episode. Like and subscribe. I look forward to seeing you next episode. Bye.

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