For those of you who have been following my Journey in training to be an Eating Psychology Coach, THANK YOU!
For those of you who are new here, Welcome!
Modules three and four flew by in a whirlwind of information with just barely enough time to get it all in. I’m nearly finished with Module five (of seven!) and I’ll be a Certified Eating Psychology Coach in no time at all!
Module five is all about digestion and I’m making some real connections with my own digestions, which I never thought I had problems with!
I’d like to highlight some concepts that I thought were the most important things I learned in Modules three and four, and I’ll get around to sending out the key points from Module five pretty soon.
Healthy Fats: 101
We hear about healthy fats all the time by various names. I’m sure you’ve heard of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs); Omega-3s or Omega-6s, also referred to as Omega-3 -6 fatty acids; or maybe you know them simply as healthy fats.
But what are healthy fats, EFAs, and Omegas? Are they all the same or are there differences? How do we know which is best or how to get them?
Let me simplify things for you:?
Essential Fats, in a nutshell
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are just what they sound like; essential fats that are, literally, the building blocks of every.single.cell in our body.
(Do you see how the walnut naturally resembles the brain? That’s because it’s essential for brain health)!
EFAs differ from other forms of fat (saturated, trans, monounsaturated, long-chain, short-chain, you get my gist) in that they are essential for all biological processes, not just for energy production in the brain and body.
They are crucial for all aspects of Life, and I mean all. Everything from immunity, to mood, to bone healing. What’s more, skin and hair health are negatively impacted by an EFA deficiency.
Our body cannot naturally produce essential fats on its own.
Therefore, we need to supplement with a synthetic in the form of liquid drops or pills, or get our daily recommended allotment through foods in which these fats are natural.
Essential fats are known by many names and acronyms.
While there are differences between them, those listed below are beneficial to our growth, sustainability, and health.
Here are some common names for EFAs you may have heard of:
- Omega-3 (ALA, DHA, EPA)
- Omega-6 (LA, DGLA, AA)
- Healthy fats
- Essential fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are the ones you want to bulk up on whenever possible. These healthy fats clear up the brain fog and improve memory. They help keep your nervous system in good health (read as: your body responds “better” to stressful events).
If you find yourself or your family catching every cold that comes through town, try including some Omega-3s into your diet, because they beef up your immune system as well!
They naturally reduce blood clots, which means they’re also great at breaking up the formation of plaques in our arteries (read as: prevention of heart attack and stroke, which are also increased in risk in people with high and unmanaged stress).
If high cholesterol is a concern of yours, this is another reason to incorporate Omega-3s into your diet. They reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff).
If you still need convincing, email me and let’s have a conversation about EFAs and how amazingly beneficial they are!
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are essential for
- Brain health and memory
- Healthy nervous system, that which controls stress/fight-or-flight and relaxation
- Heart health in the form of reducing blood clots and lowering cholesterol
Symptoms of a diet low in essential fatty acids
So, how do you know if you need more EFAs in your diet?
In my honest opinion, you can’t get too much of these amazing, versatile fats. When in doubt, pay the extra dollar for the added avocado and enjoy the fact that you’re doing something incredible for your health 💝
But if you really need to know to be sure, here is a short list of some of the most common symptoms of an EFA deficiency:
- Binge eating – categorized as feeling a loss of control or a compulsion to eat, even when you’re not hungry or already full from your last meal.
- Ongoing cravings for sugar, sweets, and carbs
- Difficulty losing legitimate weight (20lbs or more)
- Low energy (read as: fatigue!)
- Moodiness or mental instability
- Brain fog or forgetfulness
- Dry skin
- Consistent immune issues
- Irregular or missing menses (amenorrhea)
How/where do I get my EFAs?
There are a number of breeds of fish that are very high in Omega-3s in particular.
If fish isn’t your thang, I have great news for you! You can get your EFAs elsewhere, too!
- Flaxseeds are probably the richest source of ALA on the face of this earth. You can toss some seeds onto your salad, yogurt, cottage cheese, or morning smoothie; in your granola, cereal, or any baked goods. They’re flavorless and odorless. You can also buy flaxseed oil or flaxmeal, which is ground flaxseed.
- Other organic nuts and seeds
- Dark leafy green vegetables such as Spinach, Kale, Collard greens, and Mustard greens.
- Full fat, organic dairy, including milk products, butter and cottage cheese
- Free-range eggs
- High quality Olive Oil. I love this brand and specific variety, and second this brand when it comes to flavor.
- Coconut oil
Fatigue, lethargy, no energy, feeling drained, tired, exhausted; there are hundreds of words to describe this one state.
Regardless of which word you choose to use to describe it, we all can agree that it’s an undesirable state to live in.
Yet, so many of us are living such fast paced, high stress lives that fatigue is something we push through because we have to. We don’t have time to slow down, can’t afford to get sick (even though living fast paced and high stress is ripe ground for sickness to grow in).
Many people load up on coffee or other caffeinated drinks, while doing more and sleeping less.
Let me challenge you to look at fatigue differently
Let’s consider our energy stores like a bank account. We spend energy and accrue energy, just as we would money.
Just as we monitor our bank accounts to ensure that we don’t run out of funds, we need to closely monitor our energy accounts so we don’t deplete ourselves.
Take a few moments to write two lists; call one Energy Drain, and call the other Energy Gain.
Consider how the following impact your energy, and be sure to add your own ideas:?thoughts, emotions, foods, relationships, lack of nourishment, etc.
Where is there work to be done? What are some energy gaining activities you can stand to include more of in your life? Where are there some energy draining activities or people you can remove from your day-to-day?
How EFAs impact fatigue
When we have an unvaried diet due to restrictive eating habits (i.e. chronic dieting) or low quality foods, it’s easy to become deficient in essential fatty acids.
The result is a build up of stress and toxic energy, which will naturally drain our energy account, leaving us feeling burned out and fatigued.
These negative feelings, in turn, create a negative cycle of poor eating choices and unwanted eating behaviors, such as over eating or emotional eating.
The true cure for your chronic fatigue is to focus on energy gaining activities, people, and forms of nourishment. What gives you life? What makes you glow? What/who are you passionate about? Those are the items you should focus your energy and attention on.
Where attention goes, Energy flows.
If you choose to focus your energy on your diet, weight, and/or eating patterns, please do yourself a favor and consider an EFA supplement. Or, just grab a bag of flaxseeds or flax meal and begin incorporating these superfoods into your daily diet.
If you’d like to learn more about how to nourish yourself with life giving behaviors and foods, let’s have a chat!
This process is different for everyone. With individualized coaching from an expert in human behavior, you’ll get the tools you need to combat your fatigue, heal your relationship with food, and get healthy, all in one go!
Email me at SublimationCoach@gmail.com to schedule your consultation