As Seen On
I never connected the coffee and the mood swings until I started practicing intuitive eating. I was using the insight journal that I provide with my program UnDieting, and realized that I was getting into fights with my husband, yelling at my kids and just being plain nasty on certain day and not others. I thought it was random PMS or that I was just a moody person with a short fuse.
As I used the journal more, I discovered that the days in which I felt on-edge, stressy and anxious were the same days I was having large amounts of coffee during the day. The more coffee I’d had that day, the worse my fights and negative interactions were with my peeps.
I started to research about coffee and its effects. I looked back to my notes in nutrition school and learned that it can cause some serious issues in some people. I learned that it can make you anxious, increase stress, and send your body into adrenal fatigue.
So guess what?
I eliminated coffee for a week and found that the mood swings disappeared!
That’s huge! Just because of eliminating ONE food, my daily interactions with the people I loved the most were vastly improved.
And the side effect of improved relationships???
Less instances of emotional eating (or No instances in some cases)!!
Now, is the point of this email to influence you to stop drinking coffee?
My husband can drink coffee all day long and be totally fine. For him, coffee is something he can have every day without worry. You might be the same.
The point of this is not to deter your daily Starbucks run. The point, is to help you start thinking about the different foods you eat and how they affect you during your day. How do they fuel or hinder your daily routine?
Start paying attention.
I had a client who started using the insight journal provided with UnDieting and found that she craved salty carby snacks every time she had a diet soda. She eliminated the diet soda and found her snack cravings disappeared. She lost 5 lbs. just by kicking that ONE habit.
I made the decision that the mood swings are enough to keep me away from coffee.
It’s all about choices, what can you live with? What can you live without? This is intuitive eating. This is how you improve the quality of your life and health without dieting.
Do I miss coffee? You bet!
But, I have also discovered that caffeinated teas do not have the same effect as coffee does on me, so I enjoy chai teas and sometimes decaf or half caff coffee when I need a little pick-me-up without suffering the consequences. Most of the time I make the decision to stay away from it.
And, since it’s my decision not to consume it, and not some diet guru telling me not to, it is easy for me to stay away from it!
From this day forward, it is YOUR job to test and experiment which foods feel best in your body, work best for you in the moment, and what jives with your lifestyle and culture the best.
In other words, YOU have ALL the say as far as what goes into your mouth from this day forward.
You are going to be an “Eating Scientist” and hypothesize and “test” as many foods as you can.
I give this assignment to my UnDieting Participants and they receive my signature insight journal which guides them to notice signs and symptoms that might be experiencing from a particular food.
As long as you aren’t allergic to a food, test it out!
This way, you can learn about what makes your body & mind produce positive and negative symptoms.
For instance, you will hypothesize about say, coffee- like I did. You might hypothesize that you will drink a cup of coffee and it will give you energy and wake you up. Then, see if that is actually the result. We all assume this about coffee, I sure did. However, I was always getting these crazy mood swings about 3 hours after consuming a strong cup of coffee…so try to be aware of your assumptions about foods and try to be unbiased in your observations.
Remember to keep judgement out of your eating experiences since that can hinder the process.
If you judge all the things you are eating, or try to apply your old diet rules to the foods you choose, you will be less likely to come to accurate conclusions about what foods work best for your body.
i.e.- by taking out large amounts of coffee in my day, I was picking less fights with my husband and kids which was helping me eliminate emotional eating at night because I was feeling less guilty about my day. However, any diet guru would tell you that coffee is fine- or even beneficial to weight loss, just as long as you drink it black…
(Now do you see how this dieting thing is problematic???)
Okay, now you’ve got an assignment…go out and try all the foods you can and write them down…don’t write them down the way you would in a diet book. Write them down and record any symptoms that pop up during the day. My UnDietingcourse includes a journal that walks you through this process, but you can do it with a hand-written journal too. Start noticing your foods and moods.
Then, when you’ve discovered what foods are working for you and what foods are working against you- come back and reply to this email and let me know what discoveries you’ve made!! I love to hear what people find- it’s fascinating to me how amazing the human body is and how it can tell you so much when you really listen.
Have an amazing rest of your week!
Ps- If you’re ready to find out what foods make you feel great and what foods have negative effects on your daily routine, in a guided, systematic way, then you’re ready to check out my signature course, UnDieting.