Wellness Wednesday: Mood Boosting Foods & Nutrition Guide Launch

Today on Wellness Wednesday I'm giving you a sneak peak into one of my new nutrition guides, 20 Days of Joyful Eating, available for purchase in my nutrition shop. Learn about my top five mood boosting foods, scientifically shown to give your brain a boost! 

Top Five Mood Boosting Foods

If you've spent any time exploring my new website, you may have clicked on the new "shop" tab to see a sign that said "coming soon." Well, I'm excited to announce that soon is today. Open for business!

You can now purchase nutrition guides and handouts, filled with the same nutrition advice and strategies I share with my clients. I started out with just a few, focused on areas where I see people struggle the most - building a healthy relationship with food, taming the sweet tooth, and knowing nourishing, whole food snacks. And of course, being designed by a food lover (aka me), all the guides have delicious food at it's core!

Here's a look at the available guides:

TAME YOUR SWEET TOOTH // A 16-page guide designed to help you tame your sweet tooth so you can enjoy the occasional sweet treat, guilt free. Also includes handy guides to help you choose the best types of sweeteners and understand how much sugar is in the foods you eat, as well as a recipe book with 14-delicious low and no added sugar treats!

NOURISHING SNACKS // A list of my favorite whole food snacks, designed to keep you satisfied and energized while nourishing your body.

NOURISHING TREATS // Treat yourself with my favorite nutritious and delicious sweets!

20 DAYS OF JOYFUL EATING // A twenty page workbook filled with proven strategies and techniques designed to help you rebuild a healthy relationship with food, eat more mindfully and rediscover the joy of eating!

Today, I want to share one of the exercises from 20 Days of Joyful Eating, something I'm particularly proud of. Food is central to a well-nourished and fulfilled life. Joyful eating is all about choosing foods you love that make you happy. It incorporates mindfulness, intuitive eating and other strategies from nutritional psych0logy as well as foods that nourish your body and soul.

Mood boosting food is one of the tools I share in the workbook. One of the most effective ways to boost your mood is by eating a well balanced diet centered on whole food. However, there are specific nutrients that target your brain for a feel good effect. Consuming these foods regularly and you'll be amazed by how great you feel. In fact, I use many of these foods as an adjunct therapy for clients with depression and anxiety with tremendous benefit!

Here are my top 5 mood-enhancing foods along with delicious recipes for you to enjoy them in:

FATTY FISH // AKA brain food. The omega 3 fats found in fatty fish have a powerful effect on mood. Study upon study has found people who eat more fatty fish have lower rates of depression, and that omega 3 fats reduce the symptoms of depression . Look for wild fish, which have more omega 3 fats and are better for the environment. Examples of fatty fish include salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, herring, trout and mackerel.

Try it in: Sushi Un-Roll with Smoked Salmon and AvocadoTandoori Salmon with Cucumber-Yogurt SaucePasta Puttanesca

Mood boosting fatty fish

UNPROCESSED CARBOHYDRATES // If you've ever tried a low carbohydrate diet, then you probably learned the hard way how carbohydrates affect mood! Carbohydrates release serotonin, sometimes called the happy hormone. That’s why we tend to reach for ice cream and macaroni and cheese when we’re feeling blue. Unfortunately, these processed carbs provide a quick burst of serotonin, so we reach for more when we’re back to feeling bad. Instead, choose unprocessed carbs, which maintain serotonin levels. Make sure to have a serving with every meal. Examples of unprocessed carbs include intact whole grains (like brown rice, oats and barley), starchy vegetables, fresh fruit, and beans.

Try it in: Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms & Leeks Millet Bowl with Black Beans & Pico de GalloHealthy Fruit and Cream Oatmeal

Mood boosting unprocessed carbohydrates

CHOCOLATE // Yup, that’s right! Chocolate has been shown to improve mood by reducing stress hormones, like cortisol. Stick with dark chocolate, which is much lower in sugar than milk chocolate. Even better, use cocoa powder, which is made from the cocoa bean itself.

Try it in: Raw Caramel Stuffed Chocolate FigsBanana Oat Bites with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mood boosting dark chocolate and cocoa powder

FERMENTED FOODS // Did you know gut bacteria manufactures 95% of our body’s serotonin? There’s a reason our gut is often called “the second brain.” Fermented foods are sources of beneficial probiotics, the healthy bacteria in our gut. Food sources of probiotics trump supplements, because they contain a wide variety of bacteria strains, a greater concentration and the food helps them survive the acidic stomach environment. Examples of fermented food include plain yogurt, miso, fermented soy sauce, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, and tempeh.

Try it in: Buddha Bowl with Spinach, Kimchi and Marinated TofuFig and Hazelnut Yogurt CupRoasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Soy-Miso Dressing

mood boosting fermented foods

TEA // Tea improves mood through many different mechanisms. Drinking tea has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. A substance found in tea, called thianine, has a calming effect. Also, the small amount of caffeine found in tea improves concentration and alertness without making you jittery. Both hot and cold unsweetened tea are great choices, which you may sweeten with a teaspoon of honey. Just be careful of presweetened, bottled teas.

Try it in: Raspberry Rooibos SmoothieGingery Green Tea SmoothieOrange Ginger Digestion Tea

mood boosting tea

Head on over to my nutrition shop to purchase your 20 Days of Joyful Eating or other nutrition guides. Any other guides you'd like to see?