How Does Food Affect Your mood?

We all know that what we eat, affects our mood. Food can make us feel good but unfortunately, we don’talways tap into the potential that we have to make that happen. Even with a wide variety of options at ourfingertips, we often make quick, gluttonous decisions which ironically, have a negative affect on how we feel. We interviewed a few of our nutrition counselors and staff to get a peak into some of their personal encounters with food and how it affected their mood.

Insights from our staff:

In what way do you think food affects how you feel? Please elaborate.

Joe: If I’m eating what I enjoy eating, I come out happier and in a brighter mood. Sometimes when I eat what
I’m supposed to be eating, it will fill me up but won’t put me in the best of moods. For example, I like sweet
foods. Peanut butter is my favorite and I just had a few spoons of it, so I feel super energized now.

Chana: In general, after I eat, I feel really satisfied. But when I eat too much or when I eat heavy foods, I feel
gross.

Jenny: I’m only bad when I get really hungry, but after not eating for many hours,I definitely get irritable much
more quickly. Also, if I exercise and don’t have protein right away, it’s (my mood) so bad.
Jenny: In general, I would say it’s more about portion than what you eat. I can eat sugary sauces and be fine.
It’s more when I have too much of something or eat at the wrong time that I feel the difference.

Fraidy: It absolutely affects me. If you don’t eat, you can’t function. You can’t think normally, and you have
much less energy. Also, my tolerance for people, chores etc. is much lower and I get irritated faster.

 

Can you recall a time recently that you overdid it with food? How did that affect how you felt?

Joe: Yes, just this weekend. I was dead. I just wanted to go knock out afterwards.

Jenny: Yeah, you feel like you’ll never get out of bed again. I couldn’t even sleep on my stomach. But I just
sleep it off.

Fraidy: Yes, it was on Shavuos from all the cheesecakes and stuff. I did not feel very good. I did not have the
same agility and energy, and I felt clumsy and lousy.

 

What would be your go-to food for a focused and energized day?

Joe: My meals generally consist of a lot of protein. That’s what gives me my energy. If I’m not eating protein,
then I’ll try to substitute it with fats to give me the strength. For a quick fix, one spoon of peanut butter gives me
a huge boost

Chana: A good filling salad.

Jenny: Protein. Chicken, meat, fish, yogurt.

Fraidy: Fish and vegetables and maybe quinoa for the carb. For a quick snack, I would say nuts.

 

Was there a point in your life that you decided to start having a healthier lifestyle? If so, how did it
affect how you feel?

Joe: I did start eating healthier recently. I started noticing that I have more energy

Chana: Yes. My head is clearer, less fog and I don’t have crazy stomach pains. It was really hard but really
worth it.

Jenny: In seminary I gained a lot so, 2 weeks afterwards I started and didn’t stop until I was satisfied.

Fraidy: It was probably 3rd or 4th grade when I realized I was one of the largest in my class. So, I came home
and told my mom that I want to be healthier. My mother was great, she really accommodated me. She started
baking instead of frying and really turned it into a whole family project. We would have fruit and vegetable
parties; It was a lot of fun and I never felt deprived. It really helped my confidence and I just felt better about
myself.