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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

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You Really Are What You Eat


Food can bring people together making them feel either welcome or alienated. If you want to know what someone is really like, share a meal together. Many are able to hide behind carefully chosen words or rehearsed facial gestures, but the proverb, you are what you eat, expresses a basic truth about human nature. First, food choices contain the ingredients of core values – soul food. Second, food and mood correlate highly. Third, changing what you eat, can transform habits in other activities of daily living.

For example, if one drinks coffee throughout the day, this person is jolting energy levels beyond normal capacity as circuits are overloaded with an ever-increasing to-do list – a state of “chronic fatigue” to over-ride. Also, caffeine elevates one’s mood fueling these accomplishments. Reducing caffeine intake would align energy levels to reality. This person would have to shed a task or two from the to-do list to stabilize work/life balance. One would become habituated to the good energy of rest and fun and might start accomplishing for the self – no longer last on the list.

Balanced people tend to eat balanced meals, organizing their day around good health. Currently, medical research points to the superior qualities of a Mediterranean diet for those eager to go the distance in life physically (heart smart and brain smart) and emotionally with a sunny disposition.

Here are some, “getting to really know you questions” to help you observe the link between food and core values. Also, you might look at these questions to help you introspect about your own life - discover clues in your food – from yearning to dislike:
  • Craving carbs to boost mood quickly? Feeling stressed? What is the root cause? Note the pattern of the big picture: Time, frequency, and triggers.
  • Delighting in a rainbow array of fruits and vegetables? One might be colorful and natural, likely to reveal the authentic self.
  • Preference: Fish (brain food) or red meat (strength)?
  • Rigid about healthy eating? One might have Orthorexia nervosa – an obsession with healthy food choices. Inflexibility in one area transfers to other issues.
  • Spicy or bland foods? Open to exotic foods or intensely loyal to family/national origins?
  • Likely to share a yummy dessert with a friend, or guard it? Generous or stingy with feelings?
  • Eat the same foods daily or get bored and need frequent change? Constantly reinventing or in the same job or lifestyle?
  • Coffee or tea? Type A or actively calm?
  • Alternating between binges and strict diets – all or nothing? Impulsive and seeking immediate gratification/fast results, whether it is self-soothing or weight loss?
  • Eating less on a date, eager to feed off the conversation? Or eating more than usual to give the impression of a fast metabolism?
  • Eating fast foods - the drive-thru life? Or dining and savoring food even when eating alone?
  • Favorite meal – breakfast or dinner? Lark or owl concerning energy levels?
  • Discriminating at restaurants? Sending food back or making do with what is served? People pleaser or angry critic?

    For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show


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Content copyright © 2014 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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