Mood enhancing meal and snack ideas
When you are feeling low your diet and exercise (at the appropriate pacing level for the stage of your illness) and some spiritual practice such as meditation and yoga can all help to uplift you. Cooking is a great time for mindfulness and these recipes are very quick so don't take up much energy. The recipes here have anti inflammatory omega 3 rich fish and hemp oil, as do the nuts and seeds which also have the feel good essential amino acids in them. The evidence for omega 3's enhancing aspects of brain function are becoming quite compelling. Blueberries and black grapes have a positive influence on brain the nervous system. The raw cacao powder in the hot chocolate which is made with almond milk or sometimes cashew milk, has anandamide in it, if you are familiar with Eastern spirituality the term Ananda is defined as 'bliss' and like PEA has a definite impact on the way we feel, it is actually a cannabinoid neurotransmitter that plugs into our 'bliss' receptors within the brain that stimulate a release of feel good endorphins. Theobromine the compound closely related to caffeine helps wake up the senses and gently increase energy and focus which gives us that happy buzzy boost that is similar to coffee but without the caffeine. Tryptophan in cacao beans is metabolised into two of the most important neurotransmitters of all called serotonin and melatonin for mood and sleep regulation. I put my vitamin D3 drops (the sunshine vitamin) in beside my yogurt or in with another fat, as it is a fat soluble vitamin that also helps with the absorption of our calcium.
Prep time - 5 mins
Cook time - 5-7 mins
Cup of broccoli
One red onion
6 portabello muchrooms
Half a large sweet pointy pepper
Half pack of beansprouts
Thumb of fresh ginger
Four garlic cloves
Handful of fresh coriander
A few slices of chopped up green chili
tablespoon of fresh thyme
4 pinches of Himalayan salt
2-4 pinches of black pepper
Organic brown rice, pumpkin and ginger noodles
Drizzle of hemp oil for cooking
Chop up all ingredients and add the onion and broccoli to the wok cook on medium for two mins then add the rest of ingredients except for the fresh herbs. Cook the noodles and in pan of boiling water with a splash of oil and pinch of salt for 5 mins. Add the thyme and most of the coriander a minute before serving and then sprinkle the rest of coriander when the meal is on the plate. Qing Xiangyong!
These give you a great boost mid afternoon!
20g pecan and cashew nuts
2 tbsps coconut oil
3 tbsps honey
1 tbsp flaxseeds
Tiny pinch of Himalayan salt (optional)
Mix together in a bowl then put into a square glass baking dish and cook in oven at 180 for 20-25 mins. Leave to cool for about 10 mins then cut onto squares, serve when cold.
Yogurt with cashew nuts, black grapes, blueberries, flaxseeds.
Hot chocolate made with organic raw cacao powder, almond or cashew milk, tsp of raw honey with cinnamon sprinkled on top (mood enhancing) or lemon verbena tea (good for anxiety and depression).
Check out the recipe for these luscious yummy pecan and maple brownies on my other post!
And if you really don't feel like making anything just have a nibble at Nakd's new sugar free snack...the healthy version of 'Chocolate raisins' which only have nuts, dates, raisins and cacao powder in them, so that means you can have the whole pack to yourself with no guilt whatsoever...Don't say I'm not good to you!
And please don't forget your vitamin D will you, we not only need it with all this lack of sun here in Scotland but especially if we are bed or housebound!
I use organic for all the following ingredients but it’s especially important with the dried fruit and coconut as we REALLY don’t need sulphites.
500g organic gluten free oats
Half cup of Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds
Half cup of almonds, walnuts or pecans
Two tablespoons coconut oil
Tablespoon raw honey
7 tsp ground flaxseeds
3 tsp cinnamon
Half cup of shredded organic coconut (no sulphites)
3-4 tablespoons organic goji berries or dates (no sulphites)
Soak the oats, nuts and seeds overnight in filtered water with 3tbsp cider vinegar for oats and a few pinches of salt for nuts and seeds. This will reduce the phytic acid which inhibits the absorption of minerals. Rinse and drain. Then dehydrate for 12 hours.
Mix all ingredients together except for coconut shreds and goji berries.
Put on baking tray lined with natural grease proof paper and cook in oven at 140 for 12 mins. Take out and shuffle about a bit with a fork then cook for another 12 mins. Take out and sprinkle on goji berries or dates and coconut. Depending on what’s in season I usually add fresh blueberries, apricots, strawberries or raspberries too! 😄