How to Improve your Mood through Food
This time of year, we all feel like eating warm comfort foods that are not necessarily healthy; to improve mood, your brain needs nutrients! Foods lacking in nutrition (sugar, processed grains, caffeine, etc) tax the body and create a need for even MORE nutrients for their assimilation.
Here are some basic tips for a good mood, despite the chilly weather!
1) Focus on nutrient dense whole foods! Fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein, whole gluten free grains, healthy fats! Avoid “bad mood” foods like sugar, processed wheat, fried/hydrogenated fats, caffeine, artificial sweeteners.
2) Quality proteins are incredibly important for the production of those happy brain chemicals, neurotransmitters, like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Be sure to get protein with every meal and snack to be sure you’re getting all the amino acids you need.
3) Keep your blood sugar balanced! I’m sure we’ve all experiences that “hangry” feeling. Eat small, regular meals throughout the day including good fats and protein to keep your blood sugar stable, and avoid the crash that causes unwanted cravings.
4) Gut health is so important! Did you know that more neurotransmitters are produced in your gut than in your brain?? Feed your gut healthy bacteria through fermented foods or supplements, eat loads of fiber-rich foods, and drink enough water throughout the day to keep your gut healthy and “happy”.
5) Don’t let those Winter blues get you down! Stay positive, and get outside for some fresh air and exercise! Get a dose of the happy vitamin (vitamin D) and get your endorphins flowing!
Here are the recipes we shared on Rogers Daytime today!
Brain Boosting Blueberry Avocado Smoothie
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
1 cup fresh baby kale
1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk or water
½ ripe avocado, skinned and pitted
1 tbsp chia seeds
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
- Place all ingredients in blender and puree.
- Serve in glass.
- Add a few fresh blueberries (optional)
Killer Curry Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp sea salt
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
½ red pepper, finely diced
½ cup mango, finely diced
1 can black beans
2 lemons, zest and juice
¼ cup organic olive oil
Dash of pepper
1. Bring water to a boil. Add quinoa, sea salt and the four spices to the water (mmm curry spices are my favourite!). Stir and cook for 10-15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, spread on a large baking sheet and let cool in the fridge completely.
2. In the meantime, chop the cilantro, green onion, red pepper, and mango; set aside.
3. Start getting excited, because this is going to be yummy!
4. In a bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Place cooled quinoa in a large salad bowl, add all ingredients together. Toss to combine and season with additional sea salt and pepper. This dish is even better when it has marinated overnight! Mmm enjoy!!
Super Seed Goji Bliss Bites
1/4 cup goji berries
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs (or mini dark chocolate chips)
- Add dates into processor and process until a chunky paste forms.
- Add in the hemp, chia, sesame, cocoa, goji berries, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Process until thoroughly combined. Pulse in the cacao nibs. The dough should be sticky when pressed between your fingers. If it’s not sticky enough to shape into balls, add a small amount of water (a teaspoon at a time) and process until it comes together.
- Shape dough into small balls (about 16) and freeze for 20 minutes or so until firm. Store leftovers in the freezer until your next snack attack hits.