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Need a Boost In Your Mood?

Need a Boost In Your Mood?

Tuesday 25th April 2017

Need a Boost In Your Mood?

It's the last week of feel good month and I must say, I've been feeling good! I'm not sure if it has been the arrival of the Easter bunny and the avalanche of eggs that appeared or just the change in weather and the garden furniture cover removal? I am fully aware of the dopamine boost in the chocolate that may have helped a bit but I know a price comes with excess consumption of the glorious cocoa matter.

No, I have been changing what I eat. Even as someone who knows the good, bad and evil in the shops, I am still quite capable of some bad food choices and the crashes and mood dysfunction associated with that. I had made a conscious effort to keep the nutrition on the lines of the foods high in dopamine production benefits. Need a re-cap?

• Unprocessed beef, chicken and turkey
• Salmon and Mackerel
• Eggs
• Cheese
• Yoghurt and Milk
• Nuts (almonds in particular)
• Fruit and Vegetables (in particular bananas)
• Dark Chocolate

Not sure about you, but I don't think the above list is too bad! I've been eating banana ice-cream and protein granola for breakfast, ginger and orange salmon, mackerel salad for dinners and lunches, snacking on nuts and yoghurts and of course, my Easter Eggs (sadly not all of the dark variety...). Check out the recipes if you fancy giving it a go.

For the last week I thought I would run a 7 Day Strategy to help you BOOST your mood! Many of us are thinking "downsizing" may be necessary when those summer clothes briefly popped out and a lot of the momentum behind making good food choices to help with weight loss comes from a happy mind: positive thoughts, energy and self-belief. So, lets get started!!

1) Day One is all about FOOD

I have put a new breakfast, dinner and snacks recipes on to the Recipe Pages to get you started if you need some inspiration.

Chicken and Almond Curry, Rice and Kale
This is quite a warming spicy dish with all the dopamine boosting requirements from the chicken, almonds and kale. It requires a paste making before you start, which can quite easily be done whilst you're boiling the kettle first thing in the morning. Stick the paste in the fridge until you're ready to make it. I have made this in the slow cooker and on the hob in 30 minutes so take your pick as to when and how you want to cook it. If you are using the slow cooker though, probably use the reduced liquid measurements in the brackets.

Baked Eggs

This breakfast is so quick if you are short of time and you can add anything you like really. Ham, smoked salmon, seeds, cream, milk, yoghurt, cooked mushrooms... I used quark as a really low fat option for this recipe on the pages, and added a generous helping of parmesan and nutritional yeast flakes to give a really savory kick. You could have this baking in the oven whilst you're boiling the kettle and making your curry paste, it you are a woman and capable of multitasking that is, ha!

Baked Apples and Quark Cream

Easy to prepare this and put in the oven at the same time you put the rice on to serve with the curry. By the time you have cooked and eaten the curry, the baked apples will be ready to serve. Use whatever you fancy, I have used cinnamon, almonds, orange zest, dates and seeds as they all will help boost dopamine. You could use oats, hazelnuts, coconut flakes, sultanas, apricots...
I served this with a quark cream, which was just some maple syrup added to quark with a drop of vanilla extract and some orange zest. Apples are great to boost good moods and consumed like this is a real change.

Cottage cheese Chocolate Biscuits

If you son doesn't like cottage cheese, for whatever weird reason he has, you may not mention that ingredient - call them something else! You can't tell it's in there and you never know, it may help give his dopamine a boost, without the usual refined sugar hit (recipe coming).

Lunch Ideas?
Cottage cheese is a great, low fat option when you're eating to feed a happy mind. It is so versatile too with adding a freshness to sandwiches and crackers, a vessel for avocado and tomatoes or a topping on fruit. How about serving it with a fried egg and chorizo?

The Breakfast Bake

With blueberries, milk and cottage cheese, this recipe is a real treat and is one of the best make ahead dishes I have tried I reckon. It's so easy to cook and then store in the fridge. Heat it up, eat it cold, add a dollop of greek yoghurt and a splash of maple syrup, whatever takes your fancy. It's a cut and come again that even your teenage child could serve themselves to!

So, there are other things, not JUST food related, that can help boost that good feeling from within. From what I experience, when clients are happy, the better food choices just happen anyway and weight loss occurs. It's a bit like a rolling circle that you need to climb in to and this may be possible when you tackle other elements that put you in that "happy place".

I will be back tomorrow with the next instalment.