How Foods Affect Your Moods

How Foods Affect Your Moods

There's a strong connection between our gut and brain, and what you eat affects your mood!

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You've already heard that "you are what you eat," but did you ever think about how food affects your moods? It does, and there's even an entire new area of research called "nutritional psychiatry" that studies this "gut-brain" relationship.

So, what have we learned?

Well, we've learned that most of our serotonin (happy hormone) is actually in our gut, not our brain. Maybe that's why what we eat is now considered a "modifiable risk factor" for depression and anxiety.

That means a healthy diet is linked with a lower risk of mental health issues, and and vice-versa.

So, what should we eat to improve our mood and overall mental health?

A Healthy Diet Is Good for Your Gut & Brain

Well, that doesn't sound very sexy. Anyway, let's define what a "healthy" diet consists of. Basically, a healthy diet should include nutritious and fiber-dense foods for both gut and mental health.

Components of a healthy diet include: Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, and olive oil (not vegetable oil!)

A number of negative reviews online for commercial diets like Nutrisystem seem to have inspired them to focus more on gut health, resulting in increased fiber content in food and optional probiotics with their plans.

Fast Food Is Bad for Mental Health

Foods associated with poor mental health include: processed, sugary, salty, fried, high-fat foods, and sugary drinks. Wow, that pretty much describes the everything on the menu at Mickey-D's! And you thought that the worst thing fast food does is make you obese? No, fast food encourages anxiety and depression, too.

Ever drive through a bad neighborhood and notice how many fast food restaurants there are? The poor diet of people in these areas is directly responsible for both obesity and mental illness, making it even harder to climb out of poverty.

To Improve Your Mood, Skip the "Happy" Meals!

Oh, how I love irony!

Yes, even though ads for burgers, fries, and cola promise happiness, it's just the opposite. Fast food is bad for your mental health, (and clowns are scary!) so skip fast food altogether for better mental and physical health!

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The 20 Stages Of Instagram-Stalking Your Crush, As Told By 'Mean Girls'

Whether you love the presence of technology in your dating life or not, it's probably there.

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Far too often we wait for that follow request or Snapchat add to know that a boy is interested. We look to those notifications for validation of that mutual interest.

There is nothing quite like the freaking treasure trove that opens when a crush approves your follow request(or maybe you're silently looking if he is public). There is so much to do. This has now turned into an ~event~

All other priorities do. not. exist.

1. When he doesn't follow you back immediately

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Not mad, just disappointed. Actually, very mad. Seething, if you will. Honestly expected way more from Steve from Intro to Biology.

2. If he follows you first

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Hey! It's a little hard to see you down there since I'm ON CLOUD NINE RIGHT NOW!!! You text all your friends. These days, this is practically a marriage proposal. Time to start picking out wedding china? Can Vera Wang do this on such short notice?

3. If one of your friends also has a crush on him

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Sorry, Becky. Guess you'll just have to live with being a bridesmaid at our wedding.

4. If you don't follow him, but have a mutual friend who does: you ask them for screenshots

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He's private and you want to know what he is like without any consequences. You're just not ready to follow him yet, but you need some screenshots in your arsenal. This is case in point of why I should ABSOLUTELY not be considered a real adult for at least another five years.

5. Reading his bio

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The best thing it could be is just his name or school or maybe his frat. Or nothing if that is indicative of being a real live grownup who has a job(and I don't mean working at an IT start up your daddy found you). We don't really need an inspirational quote or something random that only two people understand. Your name is fine, thanks. Gentlemen, take a page out of Avril Lavigne's book and don't make everything so complicated.

6. Seeing how many followers he has

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This is something I don't really care about, but it can tell you a lot about the person. Like if they are a SoundCloud rapper trying to make it big and have clearly followed a ton of random people to try to get a follow back which has resulted in a sketchy follower-to-following ratio. If not, then they're probably normal.

7. Seeing how many photos he has

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There is nothing worse than thinking you are about to feast your eyes on all his photos only to discover that he has two photos and one is a group shot where his face is practically hidden. This will result in an hour of promising your friends that he is normal and good looking, despite what this feed might suggest.

8. Making sure he is not radiating jerk

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Saying "Saturdays are for the boys" is fine sometimes, but not every weekend. If he has more gym mirror selfies than the amount of Cosmopolitans Carrie Bradshaw has drank in her lifetime, it's time to move on. Unless you're working on a street corner, there is no need for you to be "just out here hustling/grinding."

9. Temptation to comment on a recent picture

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His hair looks really good! Or if he posts a picture of a party you saw him at this can be more tempting than buying cookies from Girl Scouts outside the grocery store. Resist, resist, resist.

10. Discovering you have a shared interest

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Oh my gosh, he went on spring break and you did too!! He went with ten friends to Panama City and you went home and ate Chinese food with your mom, but really, I don't see a difference there.

. 11. Stalking the most recent photo

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Is it with a girl? Is she prettier than you? If she commented an emoji it's freaking over. You sprint immediately to your closest grocery store and buy all the Ben and Jerry's.

12. Gathering of all the information

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Now we go into detective mode. Assuming at this stage that the dude actually had a decent amount of pictures, we now dig like Bob the Builder. We look for hobbies. We judge these hobbies. If you really like him, you concoct a plan to see how you can relate to these hobbies.

"Oh my gosh, I loveeeee fishing! I love it so much! Oh, you fish, you don't say? Look how much we have in common!"

13. Figuring out how close is he with his family

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Looking for how many times his parents surface on the IG. If you see he has siblings then if you are on a date one day you won't be trying to digest their names and ages, you'll already know. He will be blown away by your impeccable memory and interest in them.

14. Seeing something cool he did and becoming obsessed

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Maybe he studied abroad. All the heart eyes for the picture of him volunteering with Habitat for Humanity last April.

15. Pictures that make the world stop

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This might be him in a tux at a wedding with his grandma. It might be a swoon-worthy pic of him shirtless at the beach. It might be a picture of him and his wait for it… DOG and you die and blush and get so excited because you don't know what's cuter: him or the dog. These are the ones you screenshot for your friends.

16. All of a sudden it's been an hour

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You look at the clock, an hour has passed and you're in 2014. Great, now you know exactly what he wore to a middle school dance. Awesome!

17. When going into the tagged photos leads to being 3 people deep

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In tagged photos, you find previous girlfriends, and naturally, you have to stalk. Luckily, her account is public and you see that her best friend could easily be the next contestant on the Bachelor and probably win the whole thing. So you click on her profile and stalk her too. Then you see her boyfriend and look at his profile and feel genuinely hurt that you won't be getting an invite to their wedding.

18. Not blurting out everything the next time you see him

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You know you can absolutely NOT let on that you stalked him at all. Even though there were ten close calls, you did not accidentally like anything. Consider that a success. They should give out trophies for that. He doesn't need to know that you dropped your phone into the Oreo crumbs that were on your face at 2 a.m. As far as he knows, you simply approved his request and moved on with your life. If it comes up you should say "Oh, I didn't even remember we were friends on Instagram."

19. Crafting your first post with him being a follower

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It has to be hot, but it has to be effortless. You could do a selfie but you want him to know you have friends. But they can't look prettier than you. Should you be mysterious and post an artsy shot? Or post a travel throwback? *Books plane ticket to a cool destination just to take a pic he might like*

20. The first time he likes your post

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You feel like the definition of fabulous. A Snapchat is coming down the pike for sure. Ugh, how can you hate a culture and love it so much at the same time?

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Women: 5 Tips for Starting a Successful Retail Business

Even though a lot of business has shifted to online stores, you can still succeed in retail with an actual store.

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Tips for Starting a Successful Retail Business: A retail business can be any size and can sell just about anything; from cupcakes to prom gowns. If retailers and wholesalers expect to succeed, however, they need products that consumers want, as well as a great location, a strategy for success, loyal customers, and well-trained employees. No matter what type or size of retail business you are running, you need a good plan in place. Below are five tips to help you start your business off on the right foot.

1. Do Your Research (Then, Research Some More!)

I think it was Ben Franklin who said, "failing to plan is planning to fail."

Even if you think your product idea is the best, do your research. Before you launch your retail business, be sure that there is a need or want for your product in the market. See how the local competition is doing. Think of something that will make your shop unique from theirs, and expand on the market instead of just copying what others already have done. Target the right audience by understanding who is interested in your products, and gear your advertisements toward that group.

2. Create a Solid Business Plan

So, you thought of a million dollar idea while you were waiting in line at Starbucks? Now you need to take a deep breath and create a good business plan (how?) before you start. You need to declare goals and describe how you plan to achieve those goals. Your program should be detailed, covering all areas of the business, including employee training techniques, advertising strategies, funding options, and product lines. Knowing what you are going to do and how you are going to do it will put you on the right track and keep you there.

3. Have a Great Advertising Campaign

You may have the best product in town, but if people do not know you exist, your business will fail. You have to create a strong advertising campaign that will build your brand. Use online methods as well as offline techniques to get your brand recognized. Social media networks, websites, and search engine optimization are useful and affordable online techniques. Offline methods should include a good location, a clear and visible sign, and local advertising methods.

Also, don't forget low-tech and free methods of marketing. Even though you might be focusing a lot of your budget on online and print ads, don't forget old standbys like business cards which have survived the test of time! (You can find high-quality inexpensive ones online from companies like Moo.com and Vistaprint. Oh, and don't forget to use a coupon!)

4. Understand the Importance of Repeat Customers

Getting new customers can be expensive, so don't lose them! Keeping a customer is much more affordable than trying to obtain a new one, and repeat customers also tend to spend more money. Make sure you have high standards for customer service standards so that you can retain your current clients. Create incentive programs to keep them coming back to your shop; start a newsletter to stay in touch with them and inform them about new products or specials.

5. Train Your Employees Well

Don't you hate it when you walk into a store and some uninspired college kid is behind the counter texting?

Behind every great business are great employees. Take the time to hire only the most capable individuals, and then take the time to train them to your standards. Employee training is a huge part of your business's success. If you want to stay on track with your business plan, make sure you train your employees properly. Conduct monthly performance reviews and reward those who deserve it. Incentive programs for your employees can not only make them work harder, but also make your business more successful.

Every business needs a plan to succeed, including having the right steps in place and using the correct methods to reach your goals. Do not assume that having a good product will bring in the profits you need; there is much more to running a profitable business. Plan out your business's every move, and carefully carry out the steps you have created for a successful and profitable business.

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