In my previous post on mindful habits, I highlighted the changes I made to my daily practice in order to gain clarity, effectiveness, and mindfulness in my day.
What I neglected to mention is that not all change has come from habits alone.
Diet has been an extremely important component to my state of mind, state of health, and wellness of being. In fact, I maintain that it’s the most important part. All life force comes of energy, and (the majority of) ours is obtained through the fluids and foods we consume.
Using this nutritional awareness I obtained a couple of years ago through research and self-experiment, I’ve determined 3 key nutritional components to reduce and (almost) eliminate from my diet that have led to exponential increases in clarity, energy, positivity, and a decrease in depression and anxious tendencies. If you are having problems with focus, stress, anxiety, depression, and energy levels, I encourage you to read further and try my suggestions for yourself.
I’ve found great personal value in reducing the following, I hope you do too.
1. Caffeine from coffee
The world as it stands, revolves around the consumption of coffee.
As I write this post, from the balcony of my hotel in Bali, I watch other guests and the staff all consume coffee. It seems to be a daily ritual for most of the developed world. A way to fight the fatigue of daily life and ‘push through’ mental blocks, increasing productivity.
I’ve found completely the opposite to be true.
Below are two main reasons I advocate ‘kicking coffee’, despite how yummy it is.
Coffee blocks nutritional intake
There is much research that has been published on the topic, and a quick google search will highlight this, so I won’t delve into facts.
I’ve done enough research (and experimented enough) to be of the understanding that caffeine blocks receptors in my intestines and hampers the ability to absorb nutrients during digestion.
During my time of depression and general unhappiness, I was consuming 3 cups of coffee a day. I noted I would regularly be ‘run down’, have mild cases of the flu, and be mentally fatigued very quickly during the morning, even after restful sleep.
I’m confident that my body was starved of nutrient because of the caffeine.
Coffee messed with my head
This I know for sure.
I’m so glad I awoke to the effects of coffee on mental health, as since reducing coffee to once a week, I can feel the effects ever more. For example, I accidentally ordered a large flat white at a cafe, and my brain was a mess for the rest of the day. I couldn’t focus, had trouble with conversation, and was jittery and anxious. It wasn’t a fun feeling.
I’m confident it affects many others in a similar way. You may not realise it however, because you are constantly consuming coffee and have not experienced a ‘cleansed’ state without it in your blood.
When I first cleansed myself of caffeine from coffee, it took 10 days for the completion of the detox. Since then (over 12 months now), I rarely consume moe than 1 coffee a week, and have not looked back. I turn to green teas (high in antioxidants and contain a different strand of caffeine at lower doses) for a pleasant daily drink, and consume plenty of quality filtered water throughout the day. It’s far more refreshing and nutritious for my body.
2. Dairy products
The most widely consumed product in western society – milk (and subsidiary products) – is now beginning to be proven an unhealthy addition to our diets. Research is suggesting that humans are not designed to consume milk products past infancy.
Research aside, when I made the hard decision to remove dairy from my every day diet, I noticed a huge difference in my health.
Yoghurt was my vice. I would consume about 1.5kg of yoghurt per week, and splurge on a milkshake or two for a protein hit after a workout. After the decision to remove it, I noticed that I would no longer feel bloated, my digestion ‘felt’ better, and I was much clearer of mind.
I have not eliminated milk products altogether, as I see important benefits in occasional consumption to ensure I don’t develop an intolerance.
I don’t miss dairy, even the yoghurt (which was my favourite food!). The benefits of going without are definitely worth it.
3. Animal meat
Animal lovers and vegetarian advocates will love me for this one.
It’s true, I feel many time healthier when I don’t eat meat. My diet still contains large amounts of fish, and small portions of meat approximately 2 times a week, but the rest I fill with wholesome, plant based alternatives.
Stomach heaviness, constipation, lethargy, and sleep troubles, are all symptoms I developed when consuming meat daily.
Reducing meat alleviates strain on my body, and I’m doing my bit for the planet too. Animal farming is highly resource intensive, so less consumption means less production, and less burden on our stressed environment.
Am I getting enough nutrients and vitamins? Sure I am. What’s in meat can be found in vegetable products (B12 vitamins, protein, iron) which I ensure are an addition to my diet.
It’s true that there is immense improvement that can be made to your health and wellbeing through the way you think and behave, and I find equal benefit in addressing what you consume as your daily nutritional intake. Since reducing these 3 food types I’ve discussed:
- Dairy; and
I’ve noticed significant improvement to the quality of my health, and the purity of my mindset.
If you’re experiencing a ‘slump’, lethargy, anxiety, or a general lack of wellness, I encourage you to try reducing your daily consumption of one (or all) of the above to see if there’s any benefit for you.
It’s all about making choices that work for you. You’ve got nothing to lose, so why not give it a shot!
Are there any foods you’ve eliminated from your diet that have had a profound impact on your life? Are there any particular food habits you have that work for you? Let me know via the comments below, I’d be very interested to hear from you!
Disclaimer – I am not a medical professional and do not write this piece on the basis of prescribing medical advice. I simply write about my own experiences, which maybe you can relate. Should you be experiencing strong cases of depression, anxiety, or any other, I recommend you seek professional medical advice from a certified practitioner.
Thanks for reading my work.
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Until next time…..
Yours in inspiration,
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