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The Good Mood Diet

The Good Mood Diet

Keep your blood sugar levels (and your mood) under control.

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Most of us are aware of what happens when we eat too much sugar, too much caffeine or simply prolong eating until we are absolutely famished. What we eat, how we eat and when we eat is intimately connected to our moods, our emotions and our ability to react to life stresses - big or small - in an mature or not so mature manner.

Researchers have helped us gain a clinical understanding of why we feel like a cranky toddler if we haven't eaten for a few hours or why we may act like a disgruntled teenager following a meal of glazed donuts and a caramel machiatto. And most of the connection between food and mood has to do with our blood sugar levels.

Preventing a blood sugar crash is a surefire way to prevent wild fluctuations in our moods and it's a much healthier path to sanity.

According to Oprah Magazine, here are five tried and true rules to live by to lead a happier and leaner life.

  1. Eat breakfast.
  2. Don't go too long in between meals.
  3. Eat before exercising
  4. Pay attention to how caffeine affects you.
  5. Stay mindful.

With these five simple rules and a few kernels of nutrition know-how, you can eat and move your way to a more delightful you.

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  • Encourages connection between how our behaviors affect our emotional as well as physical health
  • Offers a holistic and healthy approach to eating, exercising and being
  • Offers a less expensive and less invasive method for taking care of emotional health than relying solely on pharmaceuticals
  • Encourages healthy living behaviors
  • Some people who suffer from a genuine mental illness may not find complete relief simply through food and exercise alone

Expanding further on the Good Mood's Diet plan for happiness and health, you are encouraged to do the following:

  1. Eat a breakfast (everyday) that includes protein and a little fat. Both of these nutrients delay the rapid absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and take longer to digest. Whole-grain toast with almond butter, an omelet made with three egg whites and one whole egg or a meat-free sausage patty placed between a whole-grain English muffin are all healthy and stabilizing starts to your day.

In fact, keep this balanced ratio of healthy carbs, lean protein and a bit of fat as the basic ratio for all of your day's meals and snacks.

  1. Don't wait too long between your meals. Low blood sugar equals a serious crash in mood thanks to the lack of glucose in the brain. Aim to eat every three hours, mixing a good carbohydrate with a lean protein and a smidgen of fat.

  2. Monitor your caffeine intake. Too much caffeine can make you feel completely out of control, whereas, if you need caffeine to function, nixing it entirely may make you feel foggy and sluggish. To prevent either of these scenarios, monitor your caffeine intake and figure out how much you can and should consume for a happy and vibrant you.

  3. Eat something before you workout. A piece of fruit or a granola bar with 150 calories or less is all you need to avoid feeling like you're jogging in slo-mo on the treadmill.

  4. Write it down. In order to draw connections between what you eat and your mood, try at least for one week to write down everything you eat and how you felt afterward. If you can keep up this practice longer, do so as food journaling is a well-recognized tool for maintaining a healthy weight.


Exercise's ability to boost mood has been shown in countless of research studies. But you don't need a clinical report to tell you about the mood enhancing benefits of exercise. Anytime we engage in physical activity, whether it's weekend run, a walk after dinner or game of tag with our kids, we instantly experience how uplifting exercise is to our emotional well being.

On the Good Mood Diet, aim to exercise for 30 minutes every day, even just a walk will do.


How we live our lives affects how we feel. And nowhere is this more true than when it comes to what we eat and whether or not we exericise. The Good Mood Diet is a general program for using basic nutrition principles of clean and balanced eating, mindful strategies and daily exericise as a way to keep us sane and healthy in today's world.

While it may not be the panacea for someone who has a clinical mental disorder, eating right, moving more and living with mindfulness goes a long way in helping us live a happy and more balanced life.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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(Page 1 of 1, 2 total comments)

Dallas Therapist

This is a great article discussing how mental health can be impacted by diet and exercise. As a Dallas Psychotherapist, I work with people who deal with a variety of emotional issues. I agree that some more persistent forms of mental illness cannot be controlled with diet and exercise. And even with diet and exercise, people will still be likely to benefit from counseling or therapy to learn about decision-making, which becoming fitter will not necessarily help with.

posted Dec 31st, 2012 4:12 am


I had been using this program for about 2 years and it has definitely helped afternoon and evening tiredness. eating every three hours is the best advice ever, and cutting back sugar has helped immensely- and I am NOT diabetic! I have a hard boiled almost everyday- I have good cholesterol and low blood pressure. I exercise 2-3times per week. It is not a quick weight loss program, 30 pounds, in two years, but I have not gained it back. Slow and steady wins the race!

posted Mar 18th, 2011 10:30 pm


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