Friday, August 5, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

I’ve been in a bad mood all week. Maybe it’s because I was on vacation the week before and the re-launch into the real world was a bit bumpy. Maybe it’s because I’m entering the busy season at work and there aren’t enough hours in the day. Maybe it’s because there wasn’t enough chocolate in the house.

Whatever the reason, I noticed that the crankier I got, the crankier I got. Even when really good things happened, I didn’t feel as happy as I normally would. I was still semi-on-edge, and for no good reason.

This self-imposed stress caused me to lose sleep… literally. I would lie awake in bed at night, thinking of all the things that happened that day to make me cranky. I just kept thinking about them. Even when I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking about them.

Guess what happened?

I got even crankier.

So I started to wonder…

What was it about my attitude that was attracting all that crankiness? My negative thoughts seemed to bring more negative thoughts which then created my negative attitude. Although there was no real reason for me to be so grumpy, I was simply grumpy because I’d gotten used to it.

It was time for an attitude adjustment.

Instead of thinking about all the things that I perceived as going “wrong” this week, I decided to think about all the things that went “right.”

And then something amazing happened.

I realized that there was only one or two things that went wrong. Since I was so focused on those couple of things, it felt like so much more. It seemed almost ridiculous that I’d let those small issues taint my entire week.

After I realized that, it was much easier to focus on the positive aspects of my week. I thought about them one at a time… I worked on a huge media event at work, I spent lots of time with my kids, I took walks. One of my favorite food authors posted my blog on her Facebook page. I went to Whole Foods (yes, this is one of the highlights of my week. What can I say? I have bizarre hobbies).

Also on the bright side… it was under 100 degrees. I ate kale. I made my husband laugh (it doesn’t matter that he was laughing at me… he was still laughing).

Thinking these thoughts instantly improved my mood. I felt lighter, enthusiastic… empowered. More positive thoughts flooded my mind, which caused more waves of happiness. Before I knew it, I forgot what it was that even bothered me in the first place.

One of the best ways to master your mojo is to adjust your attitude. It’s not always easy, but it’s well worth the effort. The next time you’re in a funk, start thinking about all the people you love. Think about the wonderful things that surround you. For more tips, re-read the Groove and Gratitude post.

Never underestimate the power of your thoughts. Your thoughts are the seeds for everything that happens in your life. Your thoughts grow into your actions. Your actions grow into your essence. Treat your thoughts with care. Nurture them so they can grow you into the person you want to be.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Real Food = Groovy Mood

I’m really excited, because Food Day is less than three months away. Obviously, I am a food geek, as these sorts of things really blow my skirt up.

What is “Food Day?” I’m glad you asked. Held on October 24 this year, Food Day encourages people to eat real foods, like veggies, fruits and whole grains produced by farmers with sustainable farming practices.

“But I eat real food every day,” you may say. Perhaps, but you’re groovy. What about the typical, less groovy, American diet? Let’s take a look at an American staple… breakfast cereal. A typical breakfast cereal may have the following ingredients… and this is one without the intoxicatingly colored marshmallows:

- rice
- sugar
- hydrogenated vegetable oil
- salt
- red 40
- yellow 6
- blue 1
- yellow 5
- blue 2
- BHA (preservative)

“HEY!” You might be thinking, “Isn’t rice real food?” There may be a couple of “real” ingredients in there, but I can guarantee that even those real ingredients look nothing like they look in nature. The rice and sugar are stripped of their fiber and most of their nutritional value so they hardly even resemble their former selves. Who knew neither sugar or rice are actually white in nature? And when was the last time you went to the farm to go red 40-picking?

And just in case eating things with numbers don't bother you, ponder this: certain chemicals used in processed foods cause cancer. Processed foods increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Junk food can even lead to lower IQ in children. And those are only the things that affect your body. We won't even get into how the processed food industry affects the environment... that's for another post.

If you’re like me, you’re incredibly busy, and preparing real food for you, your spouse and/or your very hungry growing children seems more daunting than climbing Mt. Everest. After all, you only have to climb Mt. Everest ONCE… you have to prepare three meals a day every day for the rest of your life, for crying out loud. No worries, my dazzling diners. It’s not as hard as you think.

It’s easier than ever to follow a whole-foods diet. There are a ton of websites, books, and recipes out there to make eating real food realistic. Those of you who know me well know that I am a kitchen klutz… yes, it’s true… I once almost burned the house down trying to boil water. Okay, more than once.

But if I can cook whole foods, so can you! One of my favorite recipes is Chef AJ’s “Hail to the Kale” salad. I promise you… once you try this incredibly easy-to-make recipe, kale will be your new BFF (Belly’s Favorite Food). And speaking of Chef AJ, be sure to check out her book, Unprocessed, for more mouth-watering recipes and some straight-forward info on why unprocessed foods improve your groove. You can also find some fantastic whole foods recipes on the Whole Foods website. How appropriate!

In order to make more mojo in your life, it’s imperative that you eat real food. A whole foods diet not only strengthens your body, mind, and soul, it may literally save your life… and the life of the planet you live on.