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      “Food for Thought

      As we continue to be profoundly in a pandemic now entering into our 5th month, experiencing life as never imagined, there have been many things to contemplate. Too many of life’s pleasures that have been temporarily altered. But one that I continue to make a notable effort to stay on is connected to my nutrition mantras, “ Eat to nourish and energize”, “Food is fuel” and so on. I recognize and advocate the importance of nutritious food and remain true to eating healthy. Yet there are times I find myself slipping into the abyss of comfort food or junk food vs. my better judgment and inner voice telling me to eat well especially as a promoter of wellness, which includes nutrition (in a big way)!   Now that being home-bound has become the norm, there are moments when, why not dive into those chips or that chocolate covered peanut butter ice cream mochi while watching a rerun of Seinfeld?  It’s on those days when catching a break from work or feeling stressed or just the need to check out and grab something on that “no-no” list of foods. Although meditation or 20 minutes of yoga would and should be my first choice, the impulse can be quite strong to reach for that “no-no” something that soothes us, even though we know better. This is not uncommon. But most imperative, it is vital to snap back to making that conscious effort and commit to memory that good health is so much more important, especially at a time when we depend on our immune system to work for us. Now is the time we need to be vigilant about planning meals and snacks to include nutrient-dense foods that we put into our bodies and put food for thought into what we eat.

      Stress is known to affect food preferences. Many studies have shown that physical or emotional distress increases the intake of food high in fat, sugar, or both. High cortisol levels, in combination with high insulin levels, are most likely the cause.   Eating lots of processed meat, fried food, refined cereals, sugar and high-fat dairy products are known to contribute to anxiety and depression.   A diet full of whole fiber-rich grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish can help keep us on a more even keel.

      The novel coronavirus has put a spotlight on the important role nutrition has in supporting the immune system relative to viruses such as this. Good nutrition is such an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. It means your body gets all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to work its best.   Proper nutrition and hydration are vital and people who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with stronger immune systems and lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases, which is especially critical during a pandemic.

      The idiom “food for thought” means something worth seriously thinking about, something that should be pondered in order to obtain the full understanding of the idea. In this content it literally considers the need to value what we put into our body on a daily basis, try to avoid junk food as much as possible and to enjoy the variety of nutritious food that is available to keep our health in check. Let “food for thought” be a focus on your health…..your body will love you for it.