Lisa Grey, the founder and nutrition chef at Pink Kitchen, is a 4-year survivor of breast cancer. This month, Pink Kitchen will be donating 10% of all proceeds from cookbooks purchased through its website to LBBC’s Yoga on the Steps: Washington: DC fundraising event! Join us and make a small donation to LBBC’s team and the help them reach their fundraising goal of $50,000!
As soon as I started practicing yoga, I truly enjoyed it. But it took me a while to realize that yoga is about much more than taking care of my body on the outside, or grabbing a few minutes of rest at the end of each class. It was not until I began my journey through breast cancer that I truly began to understand that the practice of yoga is not only healthy for our bodies – but also for our hearts and our minds.
Food is like that, too – although many of us do not see it that way. In our desperate attempts to manage family, work, school, bills…and of course, doctor visits…we often eat on autopilot. Even if we eat healthy foods on a regular basis, we are often just going through the motions.
But what if I told you that food – like yoga – also has the capability to help our hearts and minds stay healthy? Below is an introduction to some basic ways that food can really make a difference.
Food can help us feel energized.
Vegetables and fruits are really important providers of energy. Not only do they start the whole energy process flowing through our bodies; they also protect our cells from unbalanced energy production, which would make us sluggish and could lead to bigger problems over time.
Healthy foods can help stabilize our moods.
Legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds contain lots of fiber, so they help us to keep that energy moving at a steady pace. This way, we’re not ‘crashing’ – which often leads to becoming crabby, anxious, or sad – the way we do when we eat sugars and refined flours.
Healthy foods can help sharpen our memories.
Flax seeds promote healthy brain function due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the proper functioning of brain cells. Without omega-3 fatty acids, we are more prone to memory deficiencies – and also depression.
Healthy foods can help improve our concentration.
Adding a few herbs to the diet may increase our ability to concentrate. Studies have shown that rosemary increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn increases concentration. Studies have also shown that lemon balm, a member of the mint family, helps decrease anxiety and increase concentration.
Healthy foods can help us sleep better at night.
Melatonin is a critical component for regulating the sleep cycle. Researchers are beginning to learn that foods containing melatonin help to promote a healthy sleep pattern. Such foods include: walnuts, cherries, and bananas.
NOTE: This does not mean that you should eat a banana split with cherries and walnuts before bed! But good try!
To learn more about healthy eating and cooking, visit me any time!
If you live in the Washington, DC area, we hope to see you at Yoga on the Steps this Sunday, Oct. 16! You can always give a small contribution to Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s team. Funds raised from Yoga on the Steps go directly toward education and support programs for women and families affected by breast cancer.