YouTude Session 3: Food and Mood (11/16/14)

The foods that alter your mood, dig you out of depression, make you happy, increase your sex drive, ease your pain, balance your hormones, and increase your energy. Oh, and the foods responsible for your cravings and fat storage! What more can I say? Watch this one! (And the printed transcript is so useful! Use it as your shopping list!)

The other episodes in the YouTude series can be found here.


BIG Life Mentoring
November 16, 2014
YouTude: Food and Mood

I’ve been keeping a secret.  For the past 30 days I’ve done massive research and used my own body as a guinea pig for tonight’s mentoring session … Food and Mood.

What I have learned and what I have personally experienced has been nothing short of eye opening, exciting, and saddening all at the same time.  Many of us are depressed, exhausted and in pain because of what we’re eating!

But asking us to change what we eat seems to be cross a line.  We’ll go to the doctor, we’ll pop a pill, we mix potions and shakes, but darn it, don’t ask us to change what’s for dinner!  Don’t ask me to give up my carbs!  Don’t you touch my soda!  And you better believe no one is touching my coffee!

Before we dive into tonight, I want to be honest and tell you, this is not my area of expertise.  In fact, this is pretty darn far out of my comfort zone.  That’s why I committed to using my own body for research over the past 30 days.  I’m simply sharing what I’ve learned and experienced.

For those watching live tonight, we have our Big Mamas on.  Big Mama Anela and Big Mama Becka are both professionals on this topic, and much of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned from them.  Their expertise and knowledge is much deeper than mine, but I hope by sharing what I know in a very simple manner, it will help others who are a few steps behind me on the journey … or those who have fallen off the wagon.

Food is fuel.  Our body responds to what we put into it, the same way our car responds to the fuel we put in the tank.

Our car’s engine requires the high octane gas.  Sometimes I get cheap and I sneak in the cheap stuff and sure enough, the engine will miss, spit and sputter and cut out.  Why?  Because I didn’t give it the quality fuel it requires.

And our bodies are the same.  We aren’t a tractor. We aren’t an old work truck.  Ladies, we are a shiny little sports car with a supped up engine that requires the quality stuff.  And when we deny it the fuel it was created for, it WILL NOT PERFORM WELL.  It will fart, it will hurt, it will get tired, it will get grouchy!

Every time you eat, you make a choice for health or disease.  Think about your dinner tonight.  Was it a choice for health or disease?

This weekend I had the honor of speaking at a women’s event and afterwards a woman in her 50’s came up to me walking with a cane.  She sat in the audience and heard how I was a stroke survivor and went from not being able to walk to running marathons.  She wanted to know how.

Tears immediately filled my eyes as I ached for her.  She wanted to be healed as I have been.  What words could I possibly give her?  I began praying, asking for God to give me the right words.

And just then, I smelled it … cigarette smoke.  Fresh on her breath was cigarette smoke.  Before coming up to speak to me, she had stepped outside and filled her body with poison.  And there was her answer.  If she wanted God to heal her body, she needed to do everything she could FIRST to take care of it.  She needed to FEED HER BODY HEALTH INSTEAD OF DISEASE.  (You know, sometimes God is waiting for us to do everything we can do before He does all we can’t do.)

Specifically tonight, I want you to remember every time you eat, you’re making a choice for a happy mood or a sad mood.  And I’m going to teach you the difference.

Sometimes all we need is to KNOW BETTER so we can DO BETTER.  This is a topic many of us just don’t know any different on, so we eat what we’ve always eaten and we wonder why our hormones are out of whack, why we’re grouchy, why we’re gaining weight, and why we’re totally stressed out.  Well, get ready to know better sister.

I often share about the amazing family I grew up in.  It’s real easy for me to be naturally happy because my mama and my daddy taught me how to be happy from the moment you wake up.  That’s one of my greatest blessings.  However, what my mama taught some very unhealthy eating habits and I have struggled most of my life because of it.

I was raised believing a missed meal was always the best.  Hey, that means less calories!

I was raised believing if it said “diet” then it was good for you.

I didn’t know any better.  Now I do know better, so I can do better, and I AM DOING BETTER.

In the past 30 days as I experimented with all I have learned in my research, I have totally ENDED my life long cravings.  I have NO cravings.  Zero.  They simply aren’t there.  I can sit and watch someone eat my favorite cake and not flinch.  Tonight I sat and watched my entire family eat cheeseburgers and french fries and it didn’t bother me a bit.

In the past 30 days I’ve changed my view of food.

I’ve changed my eating habits.

Oh, and I’ve changed my weight … by 10 pounds.  And I have never felt better, stronger, happier, more alive, more focused, more sexy, or more energized.  Wanna know what I’ve been doing?

In simple, I’ve been eating for health instead of disease.  I’ve been eating for a good mood instead of a bad mood.

Tonight we will divide our session into 5 topics

  • MOOD (depression, anxiety, energy, stress)
  • Sex Drive
  • Pain
  • Cravings & Weight Gain
  • Hormone Balance

I’m encouraging you to listen, and take notes on the areas that may be applicable to you.

I’m asking you to be OPEN to change.

Be open to new ideas.

Be open to believing what you eat can be as powerful as any pill you take.

Be open to believing that the same amazing Creator who made your body also made everything you need to take care of it.

And I’m asking you to TRY it.  I’m not saying quit taking your medications, that’s something for your doctor to decide, but I’m asking you to do everything you can to fuel your body well.

In the past 15 years, there has been a 400% increase in adults and teens on anti-depressant medications.  Also in those years, the average American diet on a daily basis has increased to 70% from processed foods.

Could our depression and dropping moods be related to our ever increasing consumption of all the foods the Good Lord DIDN’T MAKE?!!!


There are two key things affecting your mood (again we’re talking about depression, anxiety, energy levels & stress here)


Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control your brains reward & pleasure centers.

Serotonin is a hormone also known as the “feel good, happy hormone” which is manufactured in your gut.

I will give you two very simple foods to increase your dopamine (again, affecting the way you feel)

  • Bananas
  • Almonds/Cashews

Now, Serotonin, I want to go deeper on this one, because there are so many amazing things about this feel good, happy hormone.

First, because Serotonin is manufactured in your gut, sometimes your body is not getting adequate amounts of serotonin because your gut is clogged with sugars and toxins.  How do you UNCLOG it?  CLEANSE!

This is how I began my 30 day experiment.  The Dr. Oz 3 day smoothie cleanse.  I unclogged my gut!  (…)  Once your gut is unclogged, it’s ready to start bringing in and using all that feel good, happy happy happy hormone (serotonin).

Serotonin is made from good fats and complex carbs.  Yes, carbs are necessary for your body to create serotonin.

  • Complex Carbs
  • Refined Carbs
    Processed  (hamburger buns)
    Man-Made (macaroni & cheese)

Dealing with mood swings, irritability & anxiety?  Try Vitamin B6 (100 mg/day)  Vitamin B6 increases serotonin & dopamine.
Found in these foods:

  • Pistachios
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Prunes

Studies show that 200 mg 3x/day of magnesium was as affective as anti-depressants in treating depression.  Magnesium is found in these foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Bananas
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Let’s talk a little more about Chocolate
I’m not saying eat you a Hershey bar.  No, chocolate chip cookies are not going to make you feel better.  They will not increase your serotonin!

  • Chocolate should be raw, dark, organic.  Increases serotonin and energy.
  • 1.4 oz/day of raw, dark, organic chocolate for 2 weeks has been clinically proven to lower stress.

STRESS BATH – Drop a chamomile tea bag into your hot water and soak.  Sip on a cup of chamomile tea while soaking.

Foods linked to mood swings and mood disorders (Take them out of your life, otherwise they might me taking the life out of you.)

  • White flour
  • Artificial Sugars (inhibits the brain’s ability to use serotonin which leads to depression, OCD, anxiety, panic and anger)
  • Caffeine (causes serotonin deficient & can’t balance mood throughout the day)
  • Preservatives, Food Coloring (red & yellow)
  • Food allergies  Wheat – corn – dairy – eggs (food allergy symptoms of anxiety, ADD, fatigue, gas, headaches, irritability & joint pain)


(5 foods to improve your sex drive)

  • Eggs
  • Chocolate (aphrodisiac)
  • Celery (aphrodisiac – who knew?)
  • Maca Powder (1 tsp/day – found in the jungles of Peru)
  • Almonds (sexual stimulant – scent arouses passion in women)

Sexual Pleasure – It’s all about the BLOOD FLOW

Spinach (blood flow in the girlie parts)
Vitamin C – apples, grapes and watermelon



AVOID refined sugars – (decrease your ability to handle pain – cause headaches and chronic pain to be more intense)

  • Candy
  • Cake
  • Doughnut
  • Cookies
  • Sodas
  • Fruit Drinks
  • Lattes
  • Cereals

(want your headache to be worse – chronic pain to flair up – EAT THOSE!)

Excess weight leads to inflammation all over the body which INCREASES pain.

Reduce swelling with these foods:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
    (specifically peas, asparagus, cucumber and pumpkin)

Cravings/Weight Gain

Sugar Free/Fat Free/ Reduced Fat/Diet = Chemical Shit Storm

Artificial sugars increase appetite and carb cravings, stimulate fat storage and weight gain.

White Flour – increases hunger pains

As I mentioned, after the past 30 days, I have zero cravings.  Even my favorite Diet Coke and chips have no effect on me.  Now, breaking those cravings is comparable to a drug.  You have withdrawals!

Carbs and sugars, just like cocaine—give you a rush. This rush can lead to cravings in your brain and intrusive thoughts when you go too long without a fix. But unlike cocaine, this stuff does more than rewire your neurological system. It will short-circuit your body. Your metabolism normally stockpiles energy so you can use it as fuel later. A diet flush with carbohydrates will reprogram your metabolism, locking your food away as unburnable fat. When you get hungry again you won’t crave anything but more of the same food that started you down the path to dependency. Think of this stuff as more than a drug—it’s like a metabolic parasite, taking over your body and feeding itself.

But if you don’t cave, and you break your body’s addiction you will no longer be hostage to it.  And you can eat for HEALTH and GOOD MOOD!

Your diet coke, your reduced calorie diet white bread, your “light” potato chips, your 100 calorie snack pack of brownie delights … they are increasing your appetite and your cravings, and they’re making you grouchy, stressed out because they’re blocking that “feel good happy hormone” serotonin.

STOP THAT CRAP!!!!!  Please, will you give your body a chance to break the habit?


Hormonal balance starts in the brain.  If you strengthen the pituitary gland (the master gland that directs the other hormonal glands), you will help create balance in your hormones.

These foods help balance your hormones:

  • Maca Powder (targets the pituitary gland)
  • Whole Grains (quiona)
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Organic chicken & turkey
  • Beans

Sugar & Simple Carbs (ice cream, chips & cookies)


Many of us simply don’t feel good because we are dehydrated.  We’re simply not giving our bodies that FREE, absolutely crucial fuel it needs most.  Water.

Symptoms of dehydration:

  • Hungry (yes really!)
  • Snacky
  • Grouchy
  • Dizzy
  • Tired
  • Lethargic 

2 Tips to help with Energy & Fatigue

  • Blend 1 cup warm water with 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar & 1 tsp of honey and sip slowly.
  • Squeeze juice of ½ grapefruit into glass of warm water.  Drink slowly then eat the fruit.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with staying in a funk, as long as you understand it’s your choice.  If you want out of the funk, join me in fueling your body with the good stuff.  Give yourself a chance to break the addiction, get through the withdrawals, and experience food the way God intended.  It’s simply amazing!


Big Mama Anela Flores:
Alexandra Jamieson:
Joyous Health:
Mind Body Green: