Q&A: Junk Foods & Junk Moodsby caroline
After overcoming childhood anxiety and weight gain through discovering the connection between foods and moods, Lindsey Smith immersed herself in studying the emotional connections people have with food, becoming a Certified Health Coach in the process.
Smith learned that when people look to food for nutrients like acceptance, comfort, celebration, and love, a disastrous cycle of junk foods and junk moods begins. Smith’s approach is not a quick-fix, quick-fail diet, but rather a journey toward understanding yourself and the food choices you make. Her solutions are designed to help you make small changes that build to big results.
For more information or to order a pre-sell book package that includes a signed copy, a bookmark, and an inspirational magnet, visit www.FoodMoodGirl.com.
Q: Can you tell me what led you to write Junk Food & Junk Moods?
A: I healed myself of anxiety and depression at age 12 through the means of nutrition mainly, as well as a mind and spirit approach. Of course I had off and on battles of anxiety in high school and college and I definitely learned even more about myself and my body during those times. However, I finally reached this healing point and decided to go back to school for nutrition.
Once I became a health and nutrition coach it seemed as if my own journey had been forgotten and I turned into a very judgmental person when it came to what people were eating and how they were acting.
I witnessed a lady in the airport that COMPLETELY washed away my judgements and shifted my heart. I was reminded of my journey and the struggles I went through. I then saw nutrition in a new light. I asked myself, “What drives people to eat junk food or food that we KNOW is bad for our health?” I looked at my own journey and my own story and realized that food was a lot deeper than we think—it’s deeply emotional and I wanted to make the connection for people.
Q: Why do you think people become emotionally attached to food?
A: People become emotionally attached to food for many different reasons. I find we eat when we are happy, sad, depressed, stressed, anxious, and bored. (just to name a few) Many of us seek pleasure, joy, comfort, companionship, and acceptance. What then happens is that we rely on food solely as our fix to feel good. We tend to turn to “junk” which is highly addictive. So it puts us in a continuous cycle of junk foods and junk moods.
Q: When you are just starting to help people out of their junk moods, is there a first step you have them take or one question you have them answer that helps kick that process into gear?
A: Everyone is different and it depends on where the person is at along their own journey. I find that it is a continuous cycle of mind, body, and spirit. You need to start with one area and work your way up. For example, some of my clients start with their food choices. Once they start incorporating healthier choices, they feel better—which lifts their mood and increases their outlook on life. Then we build off those successes and work on mindset. Then, we work on loving yourself once again. The junk food and junk mood cycle eventually gets kicked out of the way, and a healthier cycle begins.
Q: Why are “quick fixes” almost always temporary solutions?
A: Quick fixes don’t address those underlying issues. What are the driving forces that cause you to eat? What happened in your life that aided in your depression? Issues run deeper than food and a lot of people have a hard time talking about those deep rooted issues. But that is ultimately the driving force behind our eating habits and we need to address those issues first and foremost.
Quick fixes also don’t set you up for future successes. Sure you lose 10 pounds in a week, but you aren’t nourishing your body and it is not something that can be sustained over time. So most likely, you will put the weight back on and feel even worse—sending you back into a junk food and junk mood cycle.
Q: What’s your healthy living philosophy?
A: My recipe for health and happiness is to “think good thoughts, eat real food, and love yourself.” Ultimately, we have to be nourished in all the areas of our life, not just food. And, we have to figure out what works for us specifically because we are all so beautifully unique!
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