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Be Kind To Your Mind

May is a month of celebration but is also a month of activation as we advocate for mental health.   As a daughter, mother and grandmother, I know what it feels like to put everyone else’s needs first, but remember no one can eat for you, move for you, destress for you or rest for you. So it is time to strategize and prioritize to #nourishtoflourish. And the studies are showing a link between the benefits of produce and our mental health so let’s take advantage of the #wealthonourrefrigeratorshelf

I am a big fan of controlling what we can with our eating plan and that means from the brain down. What, when, how much and how we eat can play a big role in how we feel physically as well as mentally. And let’s not forget about the role of body talk. Rather than criticize your body and your food choices, how about some self-care? How can you nourish yourself and take care of your health? How can you fit in some movement to help the blood flow and be strong? How can you take some time to relax, rest and destress? 

I love when science and food collaborate to create a delicious and nutritious plate. The MIND diet can help you take care of your brain. Some of the key players are:

  • Leafy green veggies
  • Berries
  • Beans such as kidney, black, chickpeas or roasted versions or bean spreads
  • Nuts
  • Fish/Poultry
  • Whole grains
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine

In addition, why not be heart smart by including a little dark chocolate such as a dark chocolate peanut butter cup ( yum), dark chocolate coated almonds, or my personal fav- dark chocolate and prunes which are also great for bone health.

As moms, we spend a lot of time making sure everyone else is fed so let’s turn some of that attention inwards. How about a snack box filled with berries, veggies, bean spread, whole grain crackers and roasted chickpeas? Or a snack box with dark chocolate coated almonds, nuts, prunes and dark chocolate and a peanut butter cup. When we have foods around that treat our body right it is easier to be aware and practice self-care.

And as the weather warms, make meals easy. Consider a gorgeous salad of greens, berries and goat cheese that you can embellish with beans and other protein if you please. Eye delight and taste that excites.

I think it is Mother’s Day everyday. Here’s to all the she-roes that I know. Take care of yourself and your physical and mental health!

Leslie Bonci

Leslie Bonci is a Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian, sports dietitian and owner of Active Eating Advice by Leslie Bonci. She works with professional athletes ) surreal people) and real people to help them strategize, optimize and realize their goals. Leslie is an author, blogger and media expert. She and her husband Fred reside in Point Breeze and are the parents of two sons and grandparents to 3 little ones. 

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