Better Foods for Better Moods
As much as we do need money to acquire food, it is equally true that feeding ourselves is necessary to incur in the production of thoughts. Food is not simply a bundle of packaged and condimented nutrients. As The Transformers' theme song expressed, there is [much, much] more than meets the eye.
There is an element of food, untangible- undetectable by any of our usually undeveloped 5 senses- that, when ingested, becomes the substance of our thoughts. That is why so much emphasis is made on our diets being cleaner, lighter, healthier. Its sole purpose is not just the prevention of inflated cholesterol levels or cancer, or to maintain a fit looking body. Ayurvedic principles and guidelines go way beyond what our more basic knowledge of food can attempt to highlight.
Not only does food become our cells, it also affects the quality of our mental activity. When people say "we are what we eat", I doubt we understand the full extent of its certainty. A huge part of thoughts is made of food.
Food affects our moods, reactions, comfort/discomfort levels. If a diet is unbalanced and charged with toxins, it can produce fear, anxiety, agression, depression, doubts, and a general tendency towards negativity (this kind of element is known as rajas), or it can produce inertia, sluggishness, a mental heaviness and kind of emotional numbness (called tamas). However, when our diet is balanced with our own nature, and includes foods that are cleaner and life-enhancing, this kind of food contributes to assertiveness, peace, understanding, postivity, and happiness, plus mental clarity and sharpness (produced by the purity of sattva).
Understandably, we should consume more nourishing products on the sattvic side of the scale. One of the many ways to do this includes having our share of fruit and vegetables daily (not at the same time though), and choosing their fresh state instead of their canned alternative. Yes, this might include more trips to the supermarket, but it will also provide us with the extra energy and willingness for that and more. If we need to shop for more days than allow us to consume all fresh groceries, then frozen is a better option than canned. Of course, freshest is bestest. :P And if we can get a hold of organic produce, all the more awesome.
Other general things: Prefer freshly cooked meals over re-heated or pre-cooked frozen foods, butter over margarine, and ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil over butter. If we are cooking ourselves, let's add a little love in the mix. :) And of course there are a million other things.
Granted, our thoughts are affected by much more than food, but eating more sattvic foods only works to our advantage. In The Way of the Peaceful Warrior it says something like a correct posture is the way of blending with gravity, and a rightful attitude is a way of blending with life. Likewise, a proper diet contributes to a proper mindset and more convenient moods. :D