**WINNER: Silver Award in the Cookbooks: Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian category of the 2018 Living Now Book Award**
**One of the Atlanta Journal-Consitution's self-help books to help you live your best life in 2018**
Cosmopolitan: "Take a bite of [Smith's] tasty advice."
Brit + Co: "Offers intriguing insight into why we reach for certain (junk) foods when we’re sad, stressed, tired, hangry, and bored, and which nutrient-rich foods we should aim to eat instead."
Lindsey Smith, The Food Mood Girl, shows how you can transform your lifestyle by learning from your cravings and using mood-boosting ingredients every day
Blending together Lindsey Smith’s passion for health and wellness, food and humor, Eat Your Feelings is a humorous, lighthearted take on your typical diet book.
Busy young professionals wrestle with long hours, an exhausting dating culture, and the stress of the modern world. As days whiz by, it’s normal to gravitate toward food—a quick slice of pizza, a chocolate bar, or a bag of chips—that fulfills a craving of the moment or gives a quick energy boost. And this impulse makes sense. Food gives us a sense of pleasure and joy. It can provide us with satisfaction and comfort. Food can awaken each of our senses to something new each time we eat. It gives us energy, and quite literally sustains life as we know it. It should be emotional.
If you are feeling sad, stressed, exhausted, hangry, or bored, it’s comforting to eat dishes you love and crave. But Lindsey Smith shows how simple it is to make those same meals and snacks with mood-boosting ingredients that will physically nourish instead of processed foods. In Eat Your Feelings, Lindsey Smith, the Food Mood Girl, will look at ways to eat healthy food based on what people tend to crave the most during heightened emotional states, introducing recipes with crunchy, cheesy, creamy, sweet, and salty themes and drink alternatives for those who tend to chug soda or coffee when all worked up.
It’s crucial to listen to your cravings: they are the gatekeepers that unlock the secrets to our unique bodies. But a major element of the Food Mood lifestyle is love, and revolutionizing the way you treat your body and your cravings will not only rid yourself of hanger pains but will also teach you how to listen and respond to your body with healthy ingredients and recipes.
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About the Author
Lindsey Smith, aka: The Food Mood Girl, is a Pittsburgh-based author, health coach, and speaker nationally recognized for her work. Best known for her books Junk Foods&Junk Moods and Food Guilt No More, Lindsey has reached thousands of people looking to enhance their mood, decrease their anxiety and learn to love themselves just a little more.
As a TEDx speaker, Lindsey has been featured both on-stage and in the media nationwide. She’s been featured on the Zagat documentary Hangry, the Lisa Oz Show, MindBodyGreen, CBS News, and in Girl’s Life Magazine, and is a regular media fixture for Today Show Food and Huffington Post.
Lindsey's passion sparked after she was diagnosed with anxiety as a kid. Through navigating her diagnosis, Lindsey learned the role foods play in impacting our moods and how self-love was a major missing ingredient. By ninth grade, Lindsey was teaching stress management classes to her peers. As a health coach and culinary expert, Lindsey believes a well-balanced life involves eating your veggies and occasionally indulging in that double chocolate brownie.
When not helping others, Lindsey is typically spending time in her hometown with her husband and dog, Winnie Cooper. If she isn’t spotted at a local coffee shop or Pilates studio, then chances are she’s listening to or writing a rap, or cooking up a new recipe.
Read an Excerpt
THE FOOD MOOD FEMIFESTO
If you are reading this, you are a miracle. That puts you right up there with the Pyramids of Giza, Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, and cheese. (Seriously, have you had a creamy hunk of smoked Gouda before? That is what I call miraculous.)
Your body is like a magical machine that is constantly working for you and through you. It breathes without reminders to do so. Its heart beats to keep you alive. Yes, it even digests that half-chewed candy bar you scarfed down while you were hangry. And it did it all with love, hoping for nothing but the best results in keeping you happy, healthy, and alive.
When it comes to food and your body, the Food Mood Lifestyle is one that honors your unique body. Every shape, size, and style is to be celebrated, not shamed. It's one where your mental health has more value than a carefully orchestrated Instagram photo ever will. It's about eating good and healthy food because you love your body, not because you don't.
The Food Mood Lifestyle believes that your food choices impact your mood as much as your mood impacts your food choices. More important, the Food Mood Lifestyle recognizes that food provides physical nutrients as well as emotional and spiritual nutrients. Some days, a kale juice gives your body the nutrients it needs. Other days, no food can substitute for a friend, loved one, or coworker giving you a hug or telling you that you are valued. And sometimes, you just want a damn piece of chocolate cake, without guilt and with all the love.
There is always room for pure comfort. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to re-create Grandma's apple pie, it's not actually Grandma's Apple Pie. So in those moments, indulge in the real thing, without guilt and with all the love. And now when I go for that dark chocolate, it's because I'm listening to my body and truly eating my feelings for the benefit of my body, not for an emotional escape. I instead eat chocolate because it contains ingredients that can help physically nourish my mind and improve my mood. Your body will thank you when you give it what it needs.
The Food Mood Lifestyle does not judge. It believes that everyone is on their own unique journey and path. We need our stories, experiences, ups, and downs to take us along the path, to feel the feelings of life, and to savor the magic that is within us.
The Food Mood Lifestyle trusts. It trusts the wisdom of your unique body, realizing that if you listen carefully, the answers will be given to you. Your gut instinct is almost always right. Trust yourself every day.
And lastly, the Food Mood Lifestyle loves. It believes that self-love is the most nutrient-dense vitamin available. By loving yourself and fueling up on self-love, you can rid yourself of hanger pangs and learn to love others fully. Treat your body with respect. Talk to your body as you would talk to someone you love and appreciate. Love it greatly. Cherish it fully. Your body is the only one you have, so love it up the best you can while you can.
Check out the full femifesto here and here.
Create Your Food Mood Morning Routine
Having a solid morning routine can help you accomplish more, feel more productive, and incorporate your personal health and happiness into your everyday life.
Here are some ways in which you can have a solid healthy morning routine:
Plan the night before. Review your calendar, create a task list, and have an idea of what you are doing the next day. This will help set your morning up for success.
Give yourself time. Allow at least fifteen minutes in the morning dedicated to you. Maybe do some writing, meditate, or just simply have some peace and quiet to yourself. Build this into your routine.
Set an intention. While you are lying in bed, right before you are about to get up, set an intention for the day. Maybe say to yourself, "I want to be filled with joy today" or "I want to bring others joy." Or maybe your intention is focused around an area of your life such as "I want to create amazing opportunities for my business today" or "I want to be healthy today." Whatever your intention is, start your day with one that speaks to you and allow it to carry through the day.
Make your bed. Creating an orderly space before you leave for the day can help you reduce your stress levels later on. When you come home to sleep at night, slipping into a neatly made bed will make you feel relaxed and calm.
Drink warm lemon water. Warm lemon water can help give your body an energizing burst, wake you up faster, and get your digestive tract in tune for the day.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR FOOD MOOD
The Roller-Coaster Emotions of Food
In college, I lived for the weekends when I had no more classes and more freedom to do what I wanted.
I loved having girls' nights, getting dressed up and going out for a night on the town. All week I anticipated the freedom that no work or classes would bring.
By the time Friday came, I had my outfit prepped, shoes ready, and eyebrow game on point. (Just kidding, they probably looked a mess, but that makes me sound cooler.)
However, there was one big thing missing from my day: food.
I was so obsessed with looking good and "feeling skinny" on a night out on the town that I would purposefully starve myself all day so I could go out and feel thin. I would maybe eat a really small breakfast — like a granola bar and some water — but for the rest of the day, food was off limits.
By seven p.m., I was so hangry that it was hard to have a good time.
This type of disordered eating is no way to live. Not only was I depriving my body of the nutrients and minerals it needed to sustain itself, but I actually thought not eating would make me happier about my appearance — which it never did.
Our relationship with food is often so complex. We all have relationships with food that stem from our parents, great-grandparents, peers, teachers, the media, our school cafeteria, and food advertisements.
Many times, we think we are doing right by our body, but often we are just causing our body and our mental health more harm than good.
Here are just some of the reasons we eat (or don't eat):
Unrealistic Dieting: Are you on the all-carb, no-carb, or some-carb diet? Maybe you eat nothing but meat for days on end? Or nothing but vegetables until you start looking like a carrot? Whether you try paleo, vegetarian, Atkins, the sushi diet, the raw food diet, or the "you name it, let's sell it" diet, many times these diets can wreak havoc on your body ... because let's face it: every BODY is different. You read that right. What works for Susie in accounting might not work the same for you. And while it's great to think that cutting those calories and replacing them with five 100-calorie packs a day will do the trick, you may be, in fact, perpetuating the emotional turmoil that unrealistic dieting can cause. Avoid diets like the Green Tea Pill diet, the Nothing But Water diet, the Lean Cuisine diet, or anything that is sold on an infomercial or at Big Lots.
Deprivation: Have you ever gone to a party and feared the dessert table? After all, desserts are pretty much the devil and go straight to your thighs, butt, stomach, hips — you name it. And while you are hanging out by the water and carrot sticks, it seems as if all your friends are eating what they want, drinking, and being merry. You feel like old Scrooge. That's because deprivation (yes, even of those sweet or salty treats) can trigger food binges later on. When you deprive yourself throughout the day, you naturally want to overcompensate later. Physically, your body is depleted of essential nutrients when you deprive yourself, which then leads to emotional chaos. Your body is attempting to seek justice because it doesn't feel it was properly served at the party, hence the food binges later. Constantly returning to deprivation is like the definition of insanity often attributed to Einstein: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Deprivation never made anyone happy, just hangry.
Indecisive Food Choices: Do you ever have those days when you don't really crave anything in particular? You start asking yourself questions like "Wait, do I want a salad or soup? A chicken salad or a beet salad? Or should I just get a veggie sandwich?" Maybe you decide not to eat anything. Being indecisive about food choices can actually increase your chances of not eating anything at all. And not eating anything at all is the most surefire way to end up bingeing later on.
Undereating: Coffee for breakfast? Check! Small salad for lunch? Check! An apple for a snack? Check! Some broccoli and a small piece of lean chicken for dinner? Check! Nine p.m.: Hangry? Double check! Even when we think we are eating enough throughout the day, chances are we are not. Even though the "calories in, calories out" myth has been debunked, we are still a calorie-obsessed culture. Just because you are eating food (even healthy food) doesn't necessarily mean you are eating enough of it. And when you don't eat enough, your body starts slowly going into starvation mode, so by the time nine p.m. comes around, you become a raging, hangry beast who just wants a snack! Instead, you eat one container of hummus, two slices of pizza, and some fro-yo. Whoops.
Overworking/Skipped Meals: Do you ever get wrapped up in a project only to find yourself way past the lunch hour? You think to yourself, "I'm not that hungry, I can wait a couple more hours until dinner." Or maybe you intentionally skip a meal because you want to look good in your dress for tonight's date. Then another hour or so goes by and you find yourself full of rage, trying to hold back the tears? That's because skipping meals can cause major ugly-crying episodes later. Even if you don't feel that hungry, hunger can creep up on you and creep up fast in between meals, especially if you skip them. You can only trick your mind into being busy for so long before the hunger pangs and coffee shakes start to creep in.
Stress: Nearly 77 percent of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Stress can affect everything from sleep and energy to digestion and brain function. It's safe to say that stress is a major underlying cause for many diseases. When you are feeling stressed or emotionally and physically drained, normally the last thing you want to do is prepare something to eat or go grocery shopping. So instead you opt for Netflix and forget that food doesn't make itself. This decision takes your stressed-out, grumpy attitude and puts it on blast as your fooditude starts to unleash.
Lack of Preparation: Do you usually have good intentions to start off the week? Like "Okay, on Sunday, I am going to prepare all my meals for the week." Sunday rolls around and you find yourself too lazy or hungover (or both), and suddenly those lofty preparation goals fall by the wayside as "Netflix and chill" seems like a way better use of your time. (Oh, wait, we mean the actual "Netflix and chill," as in you binge-watch copious amounts of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in sweatpants on the couch.) Hanger can happen when we just simply aren't prepared. We forget that food is a priority and not an option.
We Were Born This Way (Why We Emotionally Eat)
Let's think about the evolution of food and eating.
Our cavemen and -women ancestors did whatever it took to get their next meal because, quite frankly, they didn't know if or when it would come. They hunted wild animals and gathered what they could scavenge. They were truly hunting and eating to survive. This made food something extremely emotional. I don't know about you, but chasing a wild animal in hopes it doesn't kill me first would tend to keep me a bit ... stressed. By "stressed" I really mean I would be a crumbling emotional mess.
Now think about newborn babies. If they are hungry, they cry. Need a drink? They cry. Want a snack? They whine and throw a hanger tantrum. From day one, children use their emotions to let those around them know when they are hungry or thirsty.
As babies evolve into toddlers and grade-schoolers, food not only sustains them and keeps them full, but they also start experimenting with the emotions foods bring them. It's not uncommon for children to cry for a certain snack when they get older or to become almostdependent on certain foods that give them comfort. Suddenly, chicken soup becomes a sick day staple and Grandma's cookies are a must-have upon entering her house.
And then we become adults. And damn it, adulting is hard. And suddenly, the world seems to move faster, we tend to gravitate toward convenient foods, and we emotionally eat everything except the foods that will actually help us with said emotion. Happy? Want to celebrate? Eat! Sad? Need to be consoled? Food! Hangry? Anything will do! Tired? Grab a coffee. Bored? Pizza looks good.
For every emotion, we can pick a food that we think deserves our full attention.
And this impulse makes sense. Food gives us a sense of pleasure and joy. It can provide us with satisfaction and comfort. Food can awaken each of our senses to something new each time we eat. It gives us energy and quite literally sustains life as we know it. It should be emotional.
However, in modern times, emotional eating is no longer a necessity. Sure, we still need food to survive, but we don't carry the same animalistic instincts we did as cave people. Instead, emotional eating has become a luxury and not a mere necessity.
Instead of looking at food as a sustaining and pleasurable experience, we now use our innate emotional eating skills to escape from stress, sadness, or any sort of negative feeling. Often it's not the food that we really want. We're chasing a deep emotional desire that food alone cannot possibly fix.
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY HUNGRY FOR?
It's okay to be an emotional eater. After all, we were born that way. Instead of beating yourself up over the fact that you are attempting to find bliss in a bag of Doritos, instead start to ask yourself this one big question: What are you really hungry for?
When you stop and ask yourself this question, you realize we tend to turn to food in times of emotional crisis — yet the one thing we really need isn't food at all.
And sure, sometimes the answer to "What are you hungry for?" is that ice cream sundae or some chips. But if you allow yourself to dig a little deeper, you will often find that it is emotional sustenance you have really been craving all along.
Own Your Food Cravings
We look at cravings, especially those pesky emotional eating cravings, as a "bad" thing.
"Oh no, I cannot believe I am craving ice cream. WHY! I haven't craved ice cream in years because I've been eating so well. Now all of a sudden I want not just ice cream but a sundae with whipped cream, sprinkles, and hot fudge."
You then convince yourself that you shouldn't have the sundae because you will gain fifty pounds after eating just one. So you settle for some ice cubes in your water instead.
"I mean, it's cold, just like ice cream. And if I pretend hard enough, I can taste the sprinkles."
No. Just no.
Rather than disowning your cravings, you need to OWN them instead. Listen to them. Anytime you get a craving, say, "YES! Now I have a chance to learn more about myself and my body," instead of immediately dismissing it. When you dismiss your cravings, you miss an opportunity to explore what your body needs.
I remember one time I was really craving a chocolate brownie. I told myself, "No, Lindsey, you cannot have a chocolate brownie. That's bad."
So I had a couple of pieces of dark chocolate instead. An hour later, I was still thinking about that brownie. But I kept telling myself I couldn't have it. Well, a bar of dark chocolate, two gluten-free cookies, some cheese bread, and a failed "healthy" hot chocolate later ... I still just wanted that damn brownie.
I then thought to myself, "What if I just allowed myself to eat the one brownie I really wanted?" I not only would have avoided eating a mix of the most random and unfulfilling things, but I would have eaten the brownie, enjoyed it, and then moved on with my day.
When you dismiss your cravings, not only are you robbing yourself of the opportunity to learn and grow, but those feelings are then replaced with guilt, sadness, and dissatisfaction. Cravings are the gatekeepers that unlock the secrets to our unique bodies.
So the next time you crave something, try digging deeper to see why you are craving it.
What Your Cravings REALLY Mean
Once you are open to understanding your cravings, it's important to dig deeper to process what they are really trying to tell you. I don't mean whispering into a jar of peanut butter, "Peanut butter, my friend, why am I craving you right now?" I mean, you CAN ask that question, but try to do it discreetly and with less drama.
Every craving can tell you something specific about your physical or emotional needs — you just need to start listening.
Excerpted from "Eat Your Feelings"
Copyright © 2017 Lindsey Smith.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Food Mood Femifesto
Chapter 2: Understanding Your Food Mood
Chapter 3: Complete Guide to Mood Boosting Foods
Chapter 4: Food Mood Pantry Makeover
Chapter 5: Food Mood Girl Cooking Basics
Chapter 6: Quick&Easy Recipes for Every Emotion *
? Stressed and Anxious
? Exhausted and Tired