Green juice by morning, salad by afternoon, Buddha bowl by evening. You’ve got the healthy routine down (mostly), so why are you still feeling sluggish at some point in the day, anxious when trying to get some sleep, or even slightly depressed on the weekends? Or, sometimes, you don't even want to get off the couch at all on Sunday!

Most of us know the correlation between a healthy body and mind. Therefore, we do our best to ensure we maintain healthy eating habits. But is it enough? If you’re still not feeling your best or are struggling to keep your mental and emotional health from up and down swings, then maybe the answer is no. A healthy diet could be just what you need.

Less Is More, at Specific Times


A healthy diet is all about conscious eating. Intermittent fasting is new in the mainstream wellness world. Research and studies show some amazing benefits, such as reducing insulin resistance, increasing the growth of new neurons, and protecting the brain from damage. 


Intermittent fasting also helps reduce inflammation (inflammation is a driver of all sorts of common diseases in both body and mind, such as heart disease). If you struggle with weight gain, intermittent fasting could help. It allows your mind to recognize when you’re eating out of hunger and when it all comes from boredom. 


One of the most common intermittent fasting schedules is 16:8. Simply explained, you eat within an 8-hour window and then don’t (outside of water or unsweetened coffee or tea) for the remaining 16 hours. Many find if they tack 16 hours onto whenever they eat dinner at night, they can achieve the window by simply waiting to eat until around lunchtime. 


For example, if your last meal is at 8 p.m. you would eat at noon the next day. In the beginning, this takes a lot of mental strength, and it isn’t for everyone. But intermittent fasting has been shown to improve mental clarity, boost productivity and even enhance weight loss. You should consult your doctor or nutritionist before trying a fasting approach to eating.


If you find yourself very hungry after a fast, fill your plate with vegetables and make sure you are getting appropriate amounts of protein for your body weight and activity level. You’ll get lots of nutrients and vitamins and feel full quickly. 


Resetting Your System


Trying a reduction diet is the other, even more, mindful approach to connecting what you put into your body and how it directly affects your mood and mental wellness. Start by trying to eat healthy foods for two to four weeks. This goes a long way in building a healthy diet. 


You need to cut out all processed foods and sugars to do this. Many nutritionists also recommend cutting out dairy and even grains during this time. After you reset your system, you slowly reintroduce each eliminated item, one by one, and document how you feel.


Try keeping a journal of your moods and physical feelings throughout your day and night and checking in at least three to five times during reintroduction. Don't judge yourself for sometimes making unhealthy food choices. It happens!

The Whole 30 Diet for Healthier Food Choices


A good resource for this approach is the Whole 30 diet. It puts the focus on healthy and plant-based foods. This can give you ideas for healthy eating habits and foods you can and can’t eat while in the reduction stage. It will also support you while on the journey and provide you with a library of information and tips.


Keep an eye on your sodium levels too. A high sodium intake can be dangerous for your heart and could lead to heart disease or weight gain. When you don’t get enough sodium, you’ll feel tired and sluggish. Like everything else when it comes to building healthy eating habits, there’s a balance to be struck. Understanding where your sodium intake comes from will help you make any necessary changes. 


If leveling up your mental health game is a priority, trying one or both of these approaches might give you insight into your mind’s response to sugar, processed foods, and dairy. Remember to get the go-ahead from your doctor before diving in!

Eat Healthy Regularly


Eating regularly maintains your blood sugar level. Did you know that low blood sugar can make you bad-tempered? Therefore, keeping your blood sugar balanced is essential for a healthy mind. Avoiding spikes in blood sugar helps improve your energy levels too. 


Instead of consuming anything you can lay your hands on, mindfully opt for high protein meals with leafy greens or fresh fruits to increase satiety. Try experimenting with different meal and snacking frequencies throughout the day. Use your food journal to record how you feel and eventually settle on what works best for your body.


Instead of eating processed, unhealthy foods such as white bread and sugary drinks for energy, go for brown rice.


Note that maintaining healthy blood pressure requires you to avoid sugary foods, especially processed ones. And if you must eat take-out food, do more green vegetables. If you’re food shopping and aren’t sure if something is healthy or not, read food labels to get a better idea. 


Healthy eating habits are made when you strive for a balanced diet. You don’t have to cut out foods you love just because they’re high in sugar or fat. Simply make healthier choices and let certain foods be an occasional treat.


If you wonder how many meals to eat in a day, starting by eating small quantities in three-hour intervals works well. Try experimenting with different meal and snacking frequencies throughout the day. 


Use your food journal to record how you feel and eventually settle on what works best for your body. Remember to minimize sugar intake and opt for healthier snacks.

Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet


A balanced diet is crucial for your body and mind, but also make it a healthy diet. Your diet requires you to consume natural, whole food sources so that your body receives the appropriate macro and micronutrients. But keeping healthy becomes difficult if you fail to make the right food choices. 


What Are Your Sources of Protein? 

Protein helps keep you full and increases muscle growth. You can find protein in:

  • Beans
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Red Meat
  • Lentils
  • Nuts


What About Carbs?

Always choose natural and whole food sources like fruit, tubers and rice over bread. If you do choose to eat bread, opt for minimally processed options.


Get Those Fruits and Veggies!

More vegetables, more fresh fruits, and vegetable oils like organic olive oil are incredibly tasty additions to any diet. However, avoid frozen fruits and processed fruit juice if you can access freshly squeezed juices.  


Fiber is important for treating numerous health conditions. Get your fiber from:

  • Green vegetables, like spinach and broccoli
  • Fruit like apples, mangoes, and oranges
  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber

Besides vitamins, a diet rich in leafy vegetables, fresh fruit juice, and plant-based foods enhances digestion while keeping your body immune to common infections.


Frozen vegetables have lower vitamin content. Therefore, eat freshly plucked vegetables. The great thing about vegetables is that you can grow them in your kitchen garden and add them to your home-cooked meals regularly.

Stay Hydrated


Water is life, and every balanced meal must have water. If you are trying to maintain a healthy weight or foster healthy eating habits, increasing the amount of water that you drink should top the list of your daily habits. You can even increase water intake by eating water-rich foods like cucumber.


Water cleans your bowels, relieves fatigue, and improves concentration. It’s the best fluid for clear skin and just feeling great. When it comes to making healthy choices in your diet, water is a great place to start. 

Nutritious Food Is Often Delicious!


Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to foster healthy eating habits. By adding more water, vegetables, and protein, you’ll enjoy a healthier lifestyle and increased mental clarity.


Plus, eating healthy doesn't have to be boring. There are many great recipes online that provide you with the nutrients and vitamins you need.