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A guest blog from nutritionist Lillie Pragnell about how food affects our mood 
We all have those days, the alarm didn’t go off, ahh! We frantically get the kids washed and dressed and shipped out to school. Then we rush off to work realising that no food or drink has passed our lips 2 hours since waking! 
 
Our bodies have fasted all through the night and then expected to run on empty to at least get you to work. At this point you are craving a coffee and something sweet, which is your body saying “give me some energy, please!!”. You kindly oblige with a strong coffee with a sugar or two and it does the trick. You start to feel more human and you have perked up, wow that was easy. This lasts for an hour or two until you start to feel cranky and impatient and everyone seems to become more annoying. So, what can we do? Yep, you’ve got it lets have another coffee. 
 
This seems to be very apparent in most people’s lives, we skip breakfast, run on caffeine and sugar and that will get us through until teatime. However, under the surface your body is trying to keep all your systems running as efficiently even though it is dehydrated from the 8-hour sleep and in desperate need of some water. 
 
The caffeine from the coffee is a stimulant and plays havoc with your hormones increasing the feelings of stress, anxiety and also affects the quality of sleep. 
 
The large dose of sugar is filling your blood stream, giving a spike in blood sugars followed by a huge drop, leading to the depressive, irritable mood. The body is frantically trying to balance the blood sugar levels and is under pressure trying to stabilise them continually throughout the day. 
 
Over time you are causing constant stress on many of the bodies systems, which can lead to a number of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stress, depression, anxiety, poor immunity and vitamin deficiency. 
 
So, what can you do? 
 
• Have a big glass of room temperature water with a squeeze of lemon as soon as you wake up 
• Have breakfast – if time is short in the morning, prepare it the night before 
• Balance blood sugar levels by regularly eating meals and snacks 
• Opt for complex carbohydrates such as oats, brown rice and wholemeal bread 
• Eat good fats such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and coconut oil 
• Try to only have 1-2 caffeinated drinks a day, if you have to have sugar in it, aim to reduce it a little each day 
• Drink at least 2 litres of water day. Buy a fancy water bottle to take with you and challenge yourself to fill it up twice by lunchtime 
• Aim to get your 5 a day – make a fresh fruit salad the night before to take to work with you OR take an apple and banana as quick snacks 
 
For more information about how to improve your diet or a nutritional analysis please contact me Lillie@restartcoaching.co.uk 
 
Website: www.restartcoaching.co.uk 
Twitter: @restartcheshire 
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