Organize your attitude #49
Yes, what we eat affects our moods. You know it. I know it. We don’t like it, but it’s true.
We’re used to looking at food and it’s effects on our waistlines, but what about how it affects our attitudes? In the end, both are likely to be better off for our attention and diligence.
Eat meals; don’t graze.
Meals, eaten while sitting at the table with the family (or, honestly, a good book), are relationally and intellectually satisfying as well as physically satisfying. When we sit to eat, especially with others, we are enjoying our food, paying attention, and registering a complete experience. It’s holistic; it’s healthy; it’s fulfilling.
Sure, our family table might not be peaceful and our dinner might not be the healthiest, but taken on the whole, eating in community and in fellowship is better for us and our overall wellbeing.
When we eat while standing, while on the go, while cooking, while walking past the cupboard, the food doesn’t satisfy. We aren’t paying attention. We’re getting calories yet not registering them.
When we eat here and there, grabbing something, eating out of compulsion or habit rather than as an intentional meal, we’re more likely to overeat and we’re more likely to feel crummy afterwards – physically, emotionally, or both.
Commit to eating during meals only, and take intentional satisfaction from eating as a whole experience rather than as a momentary indulgence.
Eat nutritiously, not mindlessly.
When we intentionally fill our meal time plate, we’re much more likely to choose a balanced, nutritious diet, too. Meals are more likely to be good-for-us foods, whereas foods grabbed on the go are not.
Our bodies need material to work with. Our moods require stable blood sugar, adequate vitamins and minerals and proteins to form hormones, a strong immune system to ward off infection. These things affect our mood and our ability to handle life.
What we eat is fuel, and the quality will affect our whole being – not only our bodies, but also our minds and spirits.
It is important.
Eat enough, but not too much.
Not only the quality, but also the quantity matters.
After eating too much, we are sluggish. Without eating enough, we are shaky.
Sometimes finding that right balance feels like just one more thing we can’t keep up with, so instead we grab easy food – which quickly turns into too much junk.
When we do so, we’re shooting our productivity and our moods in the foot, crippling ourselves for the rest of the day.
A little planning and good grocery shopping goes a long way, and the dividend of healthy, appropriate eating pays off in both the short and the long run.
Rather than requiring a sugar rush or a caffeine high to keep going or get cheerful, we can control our bodies and pray for true self-control, actual joy and patience, which are fruits the Holy Spirit generously pours out and which we desperately need.