My food plan and digital meal planner
Good food is the cornerstone to feeling well.
For you, this means improving neurotransmitter function through the use of therapeutic foods.
Your unique plan focuses on foods that are low-glycemic, gluten-free, high in Vitamin B, and balanced in quality fats. Put that all together, and you have an anti-inflammatory, “healthy gut” approach to nutrition (and feeling better).
My food plan
Dig into a comprehensive guide that details what to eat and how to eat it.
My foods at a glance
See all of your recommended foods in an easy-to-read, printable table.
My digital meal planner
Get weekly meals suggestions, build grocery lists, and more. This planner is personalized for you based on your unique focus area and food plan.
Your main focus area is improving neurotransmitter function.
And when it comes to nutrition, that means focusing on foods that are good for the gut since 95% of total serotonin and about 50% of total dopamine - two major neurotransmitters involved in promoting a feeling of calm, are produced in the gut.
Neurotransmitters are pretty important: as the body’s chemical messengers, they’re involved in nearly every bodily function.
How does that play out in your body?
It’s all about achieving balance. The body needs the right levels of production of glutamate (involved in cognition, learning, and memory); GABA, which calms the fight-or-flight response; and serotonin (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter), which is largely produced in the gut.
What are some symptoms you might already notice?
Symptoms of neurotransmitter imbalance are the symptoms of anxiety. You may be experiencing memory and cognitive issues, trouble concentrating, mood swings, or feeling down or low.
What’s the bigger, long-term picture?
Anxiety depresses your immune system, putting you at higher risk for cardiac disease, weight problems, and conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease.
Your supplements are specifically crafted to further support the nutrition in your food plan. Here’s an easy guide of what to take and when. Click on any supplement for more information.
My lifestyle guide
It’s simple, really. The key to achieving your health goals is introducing (and then maintaining) small changes to your daily lifestyle. As you achieve success with one change, build upon it with a bigger change. Before you know it, you’ll have used positive momentum to transform your health—and life overall.
Your Mechanism Wellness Food Plan walks you through the right nutrition, and your Digital Recipe Planner helps you make it happen through meal plans and grocery lists. Meanwhile, this Lifestyle Guide (what you’re reading right now!) will give you other tips and tricks to stay disciplined in introducing change to your diet (along with tons of details and resources on all the ideas below).Learn more
Ample sleep and relaxation.
This helps your body fully process the great things you’re doing—and it keeps your mind clear, alert, and able to keep supporting those changes.Learn more
Consistent exercise and movement.
This really counts! Exercise might be the single most effective component in managing fatigue and pain syndromes. Staying physically active prevents muscle wasting, boosts your mood and ability to cope, and can reduce both fatigue and pain.Learn more
Surround yourself with positive people and regular reinforcement so you can get the encouragement you need to keep making positive changes for yourself. (This can be the hardest thing to approach, but it makes all the difference in the long term.)Learn more
The what, the why, and the how
With your Mechanism Wellness Food Plan you know what foods to eat, how often, and the scientific reason why they address your symptoms. Your Digital Recipe Planner equips you with personalized meal ideas and shopping lists, so you can stock your kitchen in the right way, with zero guesswork or research.
But there’s more to eating good food than just knowing what you should do. Sticking to your new food plan will likely require some important mental and emotional shifts, and they likely won’t happen overnight. After all, food is personal and habitual. Making changes is tough.
Luckily, you can pick up some behavioral tips and tricks by getting to know the idea of mindful eating. And clean eating (which goes along with it), can help give you a purpose behind what you’re doing: one bigger than you.
This one can be difficult to do, but can be described really simply: you want to eat foods in their closest-to-natural state as possible (with minimal processing).
To stay as close as possible to natural, you want to avoid preservatives, added sugars, or unhealthy fats. Here are some common offenders:
- Prepackaged nuts (roasted in oils)
- Prepackaged salads (especially those pre-washed, or with dressings included)
- Prepackaged meats
- Prepackaged anything, really!
Cut way down on added sugar and alcohol consumption.
They both play key roles in disease (though very moderate wine consumption can be quite healthy).
Go fruit- and veggie-heavy.
This will help you avoid other sugary or otherwise unhealthy substitutes. When eating your fruits and veggies, think about:
- Buying organic, to avoid pesticides
- Eating the rainbow (in other words, eating a vast variety of fruits and veggies, versus the same things over and over again)
Ample sleep and relaxation
Winding down can be so hard-won.
In our increasingly connected age—between smartphones and streamed TV binging—it can be pretty difficult to set ourselves up for success on this front. Just keep in mind that sleep success starts hours before you actually hit the hay. You want to equip both your home and bedroom environment to support your goals here.
What you drink matters.
It can be tempting to indulge in a wine, beer, or cocktail to wind down—or continue drinking coffee to stay alert well into the afternoon or early evening. But instead you want to minimize caffeine intake—and avoid alcohol intake—4-5 hour before bedtime.
Exercise can key you up.
You also want to avoid this 4-5 hours before bedtime. So think of a morning or mid-day routine versus a post-work one.
Avoid any excess in general,
including large meals and large quantities of (any) liquid before bedtime. You want your body in a calm, moderate place.
In the bedroom:
Light, sound, and temperature:
Minimize the first two (by avoiding electronic devices and using a white noise machine if necessary) and make the third hospitable (through a moderate thermostat reading and great ventilation). Set yourself up with the key atmospheric conditions for relaxation.
If your mind won’t turn off:
- Switch rooms for a while, then come back to the bedroom.
- Try a calming Epsom salt bath. Reset your body and try again.
Consistent exercise and movement
The hardest part about exercise is getting started.
That’s true both in the sense of starting any single exercise session (whether that’s a simple walk around the block or something more intense) and in the bigger sense building a habit over time.
The good news? So many of our barriers around exercise are mental, not physical. Once you achieve some positive momentum, it will become easier and easier to get started and keep going.
Set yourself up for success:
Take care of yourself.
Make sure you’re consistently taking care of yourself: getting up, bathing or showering, and getting fully dressed each and every day. This puts you in a positive frame of mind to do more for yourself.
Keep your movement goal simple: think “daily.”
Frequency is the most important part of any exercise regimen. Once you have that down, you can increase both duration and intensity. Be careful not to start off too aggressively and exceed your daily energy limit. You want to use exercise to enhance how you feel: including your immune system and your mood.
Pick activities that are fun and achievable:
If you haven’t exercised much lately, you might want to start with a simple walking program.
Bicycling & Swimming
Bicycling and swimming are low-impact intermediate options that can be layered on.
You can improve your muscle tone and endurance with resistance exercises using light weights. (Don’t have weights? You can even use leftover canned goods from your pantry—since you’re trying to eat fresh now!)
Yoga increases flexibility and helps with relaxation—and learning how to get started is more accessible than ever now, with helpful instructional videos and free classes.
You need—and deserve—to surround yourself with positivity.
It’s a common trap to think that an individual can make significant changes to their life and health on their own, just through personal determination and willpower. You need a social environment that lifts you up and encourages you along the way.
Here’s how you can find it:
Spend more time with the people who truly help you.
Ideally, this is your family and certain close friends. Avoid abusive, negative, or unsupportive people in your life. If you’re struggling to get the support you need from those who should best provide it (like family or a partner), consider counseling.
Be sure to actually ask people for the help, support, and encouragement you find yourself needing. That support could be verbal or it could be something more specific (like arranging the household or schedules to help you eat well, exercise, and relax).
Find even more like-minded people to add to your life.
Support groups (whether in-person or online) can connect you with not only positive energy and new friends, but ongoing resources and tips that keep your health journey fresh and exciting.