by Eve Colantoni CHC
As crazy as it might sound, your breakfast choices could not only be making you gain weight, but they could also be affecting your behavior on a minute-by-minute basis... making you seems "crazy" with erratic mood swings and behavior.
Don't think breakfast could really make you act differently during the day? Keep reading... you might be in for a surprise when you learn what's actually happening in your body after you eat breakfast.
Before I get into the physical responses your body has to what you eat, I want to tell you a little bit about my own history with breakfast making me "crazy".
When I was a kid, I was one of those kids who was called a "problem child". Even though I wanted to do well in school and receive praise and positive attention from my teachers and parents, most of the time I was in trouble.
This caused me a great deal of embarrassment and pain - I was always being scolded and singled out for my “crazy behavior” in front of the other kids. All I wanted was to receive love and appreciation from the authority figures in my life, and it seemed like I was always doing something to make them angry and unhappy with me!
Unfortunately for me, the typical breakfasts of Pop-Tarts and Lucky Charms cereal that I was eating were not only “unhealthy” in terms of the excess weight it was producing, but it was also creating conditions in my body that were leading me to “go crazy” and act out towards my teachers, parents, and other authority figures.
As quickly as an hour after breakfast, I would already have mood swings showing up... and as the morning wore on, I would be hyperactive one minute, and irritable and unpleasant the next. This chaos in my body and as a result, in the environment, caused feelings of depression and anxiety. I quickly became uncooperative and “challenging” -- not the makings of a happy individual!
This breakfast phenomenon isn't limited to childhood breakfasts of Pop-Tarts and Lucky Charms, though. Many of us as adults see the same things happening in our day to day life... we just don't recognize the symptoms because we aren't in school classrooms anymore.
Food and Mood
Don't believe me? Consider this. When is the last time you started off to work, only to become angry or sad on your way or as you arrived, because you felt like you didn't really want to be there? Yes, this could be a reaction to a job you no longer love, but it could also be coupled with your body reacting to foods that are equally not serving you.
Or, how often do you feel sleepy during the day, and find yourself needing more food or sugar or caffeine to help you wake up? Many people are dismissive of this mounting fatigue and blame it on stress, or yet another night of poor sleep, but again, this could be caused by repeated usage of foods that are inappropriate for your system.
Perhaps you find yourself snapping at the people around you, and then regretting it moments later because you know you were being "cranky"? These mood swings can also be heavily influenced by your food choices.
Maybe you’re finding it more difficult to concentrate and focus long enough to get anything done? This distractibility may not seem to be food related, but you’ll likely be surprised to see how it can be.
As a last example, ask yourself, “Is it possible that the food I’m eating at breakfast could really be causing me to be "mad at the world", sleepy, moody, and unhappy?”
To explore these ideas further, let me give you examples of a few typical breakfasts adults might eat, and what these foods do in your body as they break down:
Is This Your Typical Breakfast?
1) Coffee and toast (or just coffee)-- Surprise! Did you know that caffeine can affect your blood sugar levels? Many of us think if we simply avoid “sugary foods” we don’t need to worry about our blood sugar levels being affected. However, caffeine and nutrient depleted foods like toast can disrupt blood sugar levels leading to a condition called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, marked by low blood sugar levels, can produce symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, even depression.
2) Fast food breakfast sandwich from a restaurant-- Many people who are grabbing breakfast sandwiches on the go hardly give any consideration to the food they’re ingesting in terms of quality and nutrients provided. Conversely, they’re hardly aware of the myriad of chemical agents that may be added to the food to enhance flavor or prolong shelf-life. These chemical agents, as evidenced through the work of Dr. Ben Feingold, can not only effect our weight and physical health, but greatly affect our mental well-being, in terms of moods and feelings.
3) Donuts at the office-- While many people recognize that the extreme amount of sugar present in donuts can affect our moods and mental health, few recognize that unhealthy fats oftentimes used in donut production have also been linked to conditions like depression and other mood disorders.
4) "Freezer breakfast" - frozen waffles, frozen quiche, etc-- Even if you’re carefully reading your labels and opting for whole-grain versions of frozen waffles or low-fat versions of quiche, these culprits could be giving you the breakfast blues without you ever being aware due to “hidden ingredients”. In these two examples, both contain wheat. Wheat contains a protein called gluten. For gluten sensitive individuals or those suffering from a more advanced reactivity to gluten called Celiac Disease, some of the symptoms created by this inability to digest gluten are depression, anxiety or irritability, known as celiac depression.
When I look back on my life as a child, I have a sincere amount of sadness and pity for that little girl, because I now understand that my life didn’t have to be that way. I now understand how the food I was eating DIRECTLY affected the quality of my life. When I look at the big picture, I realize that with a few dietary changes, I could have been a happier, calmer, more focused child. A child at peace, ready to learn and engage with life!
And the reality is- it doesn't have to be that way for any of us. A few SIMPLE changes can impact your entire DAY. And... those same changes can begin to melt the fat in your body, creating a more peaceful mental space for you as your body begins to reflect healthy changes also.
Join me, Eve Colantoni, CHC this Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 8:30 PM (EST)
as we delve into how to safely navigate breakfast...
Free Teleclass: What to Eat For Breakfast That Won’t Make You Fat, Tired or “Crazy”!
In this teleclass you will learn:
• How all the breakfast dishes you’re consuming could be affecting your physical health, your weight and your mental well-being.
• Signs and symptoms to look for to see if you’re being affected.
• Quick “switches” you can make to replace your unhealthy breakfast foods.
• Fast and easy recipes to get you out the door quickly!
To enroll, please call me, Eve, directly for class details and phone-in information:
Eve Colantoni, CHC, chairs the Whole Foods Nutrition at National Integrative Health Associates. She helps women and men who are exhausted and overweight suffering from adrenal fatigue, gut imbalances and brain fog to lose weight, increase their energy and feel good once again!