Have you ever had one of the weeks (or months...or years) where you've been extra busy or are feeling a bit depressed and the only thing you feel like putting in your face is junk food?

Oh yeah, been there.

It's ironic, of course, because whenever we are feeling stressed, lethargic, or down in the dumps, the LAST thing we ought to do is eat nutritionally inadequate food, however tasty it may be. But, we do eat it when we already feel bad and what happens? Doesn't take too much brain power to guess...we feel even WORSE. ...And the downward spiral continues.

The good news is we can change the trajectory we're on at our very next meal. Ya know, even if we KNOW changing our eating habits will make us feel better, when we think about all that it would take to do a major food overhaul that, too, can feel exhausting. Don't do that to yourself when you're already at a low point. Just take it one. meal. at. a. time. Then, do it again at the next meal. Consistency wins, however small the steps.

Personal note: Just today I was a bit overwrought and caught up trying to do too many things at once. I felt overwhelmed and honestly, I just wanted to dig into the leftover carrot cake sitting on the counter from Easter. I confess, I did eat a bit of icing. Then, by some miraculous turn of events I opted to make a quick dish I eat on a regular basis that I know always makes me feel physically better--which makes me then feel better mentally and emotionally, as well. It's like it's all connected or something? ;) Hmmmm.

For me, it's just a simple bean and rice dish that I load up with all kinds of greens, veggies, and salsa. Delicious but quite healthful. For you it could be a salad, smoothie, or whatever. Just make it something fresh, life-filled, with lots of veggies and/or fruit. And drink a lot of water--that helps practically everything, too.

Next time you're feeling one of the aforementioned emotions or are just flat out exhausted, don't beat yourself up if you've been eating junk or engaging in things that you know will ultimately make you feel worse. Just do the next meal better.

Oh, and in case you're interested in one of my favorite go-to's, here ya go:

Tara's Super Simple Beans And Rice (I know, sounds boring, but it's yummy.)

Ingredients:

Lundberg Short Grain Organic Brown Rice (make as much as you'd like, you can always have leftovers.)

Two cans of beans: black, pinto, garbanzo, etc.

Purple onion, tomato (I like Roma best), avocado, greens, and cilantro 

Salsa, low sugar, preferably (I recommend Royito's!! YUM)

A touch of corn starch if you want a thicker bean "sauce"

Just cook the rice according to the directions. I recommend getting a rice cooker or an instapot, although it's not necessary.

Whatever beans you're using, open and empty into a colander and rinse well. Then put them in a sauce pan with enough filtered water to give them a bit of liquid to absorb onions and spices. Speaking of which, add 1/3 to 1/2 chopped onion for flavor. For seasoning, I just use a mixture of sea salt (not too too much,) cumin, chili powder, garlic powder or whatever else I'm feelin' that day. FLEX! Just cook around medium or so. If you want the liquid to be a tad thicker, a bit of corn starch is a-ok.

Chop up tomato, avocado, and whatever greens and/or cilantro you're using. Go CRAZY on the greens! They'll wilt and mix into the bowl nicely and more greens is the goal.

When all is ready, spoon the rice into bowls and top with beans. Top with as much greens, tomatoes, and avocado as you'd like. Add salsa generously. Enjoy.