Nutritional Psychology to support your mind, body and brain.
How can Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching benefit me?
The mind and body are not two separate entities, although in mainstream medicine and mental health they are often treated that way. Thanks to research done in the last decade, we now know what many have believed intuitively for years, that physical and emotional health are intimately intertwined. Our chemistry and our biology impact our thoughts and behaviors as well as our mood and emotions. If you have ever experienced tightness in your chest when you are afraid or a knot in your stomach when you are anxious, you have experienced the mind-body connection.
In terms of overall mood, scientific studies from around the globe show us that eating healthy, high nutrient foods can improve overall mental wellness whereas eating processed, sugary, low nutrient foods can worsen our mental state. There is scientific evidence to support that diet is a risk factor for depression and that good quality diets appear protective. There is also evidence to support that level of physical exercise plays a role in the risk for depression.
One of the most important and often overlooked factors in mental health treatment is the link between nutrition, lifestyle choices and psychological wellness. Nutritional Psychology is the science of how our dietary patterns and nutrient intake affect mood and behavior. Most mental health professionals address the mind or the psychological and cognitive sides of mental health, but our current system fails to address that which fuels the mind, our food! A truly holistic approach to mental health must treat the whole person.
According to the biopsychosocial paradigm, there is no real division between mind and body because of networks of communication that exist between the brain and neurological, endocrine and immune systems.
— Oakley Ray, PhD
In Order to Treat Your Whole Mind, Body and Brain, we might explore:
- Symptoms – Are diet and lifestyle playing a role in your anxious or depressive symptoms?
- Diet – are there foods that we should consider removing from your diet and others that we should consider introducing into your diet on a regular basis in order to improve overall mental wellness and performance?
- Sleep hygiene – what kind of sleep are you getting and what can we introduce into your sleep routine in order to improve sleep quality?
- Body Awareness – are there ways that we can calm your nervous system so that the mind can feel more at ease?
- Exercise – what kind and quality of exercise are you getting?
- Mindfulness – are you taking a pause from the internal chatter and external distractions to feel more grounded and present?
- Energy – do you feel tired after meals and is your lack of energy affecting your mental state?
- Meal routines – when and how are you consuming food?