I just started reading Eat Your Way to Happiness by Elizabeth Somer. She promises readers “10 secrets to improve your mood, curb your cravings, and keep the pounds off.” I was mainly interested in the connection between the foods you eat and how you feel. It’s a good book and honestly a pretty quick read since most of it seems common sense. (I skimmed it for about an hour and felt like I covered it all.)
However, I would recommend this book simply because she makes the ideas easily accessible. It reminds me of all the knowledge of Marion Nestle coupled with Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating tips. Her suggestions may seem simple and common sense, but they are things that we often forget or chose to ignore: eat lots of fruits and veggies, watch your portion sizes, don’t eat processed foods (and check the labels if you do), get 8 hours of sleep, and exercise daily.
I love her self-assessment “Do you eat like a happy, fit person?” Ashley laughed at me reading this and told me the only self-assessment I needed to do was to look in our fridge, hence, the picture above. I believe, just as Somer points out, that we are what we eat. The healthier we eat and better care we take of ourselves, the better our minds and bodies will feel.
Generally speaking, women raised in our culture tend to grow up with disordered thinking about themselves and their bodies. This is clearly reflected in the growing number of eating disorders and disordered patterns of eating we see around us every day. I appreciate that Somer makes the connection between self-esteem and eating patterns. I agree that if we are happier with ourselves and our lives, we tend to take better care of our bodies and therefore eat better, exercise, and get enough sleep. When we are unhappy and our lives feel out of control, we are more likely to travel the opposite road and take it out on ourselves by eating foods high in fat and sugars that only makes us feel worse.
In planning ahead for my very busy (and final!) quarter of grad school, I’ve been debating where I can free up some time. I’ve been considering cutting back on cooking since I usually cook all my meals and only eat out about once a week. However, after reading Somer’s book, I rekindled my strong feelings about preparing my own meals. I guess you’ll just be seeing a lot more quick meals on here in the next few months.