Relaxation in a Bottle or a Wrapper

This weekend was a lot of fun!  Our fitness staff at Purdue had 2 jam packed days of workouts and workshops to help us develop our teaching skills and exercise knowledge.  Great job group x and learn to play 🙂

However, coming home today, I needed to relax a bit.  I’m a little sore but mostly just plain tired.  Also, I start the first day of my PhD work tomorrow!  EEKS!  I’ll let you  know how the first day goes…

BOTTLE

I have always responded well to scents.  Such as eucalyptus.  I have pretty bad sinus issues, so the refreshing smell of this plant really helps.   After my Mom left in July, she gave me a Bath and Body product for relaxation.  It’s from their Aromatherapy line, and it is a bubble bath and body wash with eucalyptus and spearmint.  Needless to say, after a long soak in this product, I felt less sore and ready for bed!  haha

image courtesy of bath&body works

Wonder why scents work?  Specific smells can trigger cravings, certain memories, and even improve certain aspects of our health.  They can also affect our mood.  Usually our body will first have an emotional response to a scent before you can actually identify what that smell is.  Here’s a quick guide to help you pick your scents:

Citrus – Energizes and Uplifts (ever wonder why cleaning products smell like lemon?)

Lavender and Chamomile – Relaxes and Calms

Jasmine and Sandalwood – Creates a sense of romance  (wink, wink hehe)

Eucalyptus, Ginger and Mint – Refreshes and Uplifts

Here’s the link for all the Bath and Body products that offer aromatherapy.  http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=2484528

WRAPPER

I don’t just rely on aromatherapy to soothe my aches and pains or make me feel energized.  Eating consciously and healthy are instant health and mood boosters.

A lot of science has gone into looking at the mood altering effects of certain foods.  One expert says, however, that most Americans are not eating a healthy enough diet to be able to feel the effects of certain foods.  So start with focusing on fruits, vegetables and whole grains/lentils.  Then fill in the other 35% of your diet with protein packed foods such as seafood, tofu, and beans.  Low fat dairy and healthy fats such as olive oil and nut butters also have their place in this 35%.   A healthy diet and regular exercise can keep endorphins (our “happy hormones”) at a steady level.  After you’ve mastered a healthy diet, try these mood altering foods for a little boost:

courtesy of google images

Salmon: This fish has high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which have been long touted for their heart healing effects.  However, now they are finding that omega-3 FA’s can affect our mood too!  Our body needs Omega-3s to help our body make serotonin, which is low in those who suffer from depression.

Coffee: We knew this one!  The combination of the warmth and the caffeine can

courtesy of google images

help to energize us and make us more alert.  Have too much and you’ll just feel jittery and more stressed.  Watch your levels after Noon.  It may interfere with your sleep patterns (I mix my afternoon cup o’joe with decaf…and I still sleep like a baby!)

Brazil Nuts: hmmmm what are these???  They are the large comma looking nuts you find in a mixed variety from your grocery store.  Brazil nuts have a high amount of selenium, and though scientists have not found

courtesy of google images

the reason why, selenium is needed to keep our moods high.

Whey: Rejoice body builders!  Whey has high amounts of tryptophan (yep the stuff you find in your Thanksgiving turkey) which is needed to make serotonin and keep your mood lifted.  Whether you like the liquid whey or the whey protein, you can still achieve the same benefits.

courtesy of google images

Comfort Foods: These are different for everyone.  And that homemade dish of choice can increase the production of “pleasure” neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) in the brain to give a sense of well-being and even euphoria.   It doesn’t take a lot of your choice comfort food to feel the effects.  You also do not want to over indulge.  High fat and calorie laden foods can lead to weight gain which can lead to depression…eesh!  Let’s

courtesy of google images

stick to the occasional indulgence and keep it at just one serving.  Everything in moderation.

Try adding a few of these foods to your diet if you need a little mood boost.  Don’t go overboard though, excess usually cancels out any benefits.

Hope you had a relaxing and comforting weekend everyone!

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About Melissa @ Eat on the Run

Hi Gang! I'm Melissa and I'm blogging at eatontherun.net. I'm a RD2Be and am pursuing a career in nutrition and fitness. I hope to bring you lots of information and tips to make your life healthier and happier. Please join me on this journey! View all posts by Melissa @ Eat on the Run

One response to “Relaxation in a Bottle or a Wrapper

  • Kim

    I LOVE THIS BLOG! Great recomendations! Different scents most certainly alter your moods. I strongly agree with this one! Thanks for the food recomendations as well. I can’t wait for your next blog. Great work!

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