Mood Food: Eat Well To Feel Well
Mood food. The concept behind it is fairly simple. Eat foods that will elevate your mood, therefore making you feel empowered and energized and happy and all around amazing, allowing you to turn all of your wonderful thoughts into things. For example, whatever is in Beyonce's lemonade (or whatever that woman eats for breakfast), I want some.
Simply put, the foods that we choose to eat directly impact our overall mood and how we feel. If we feed our bodies crap, we'll feel like crap. If we feed our bodies good & well, then we'll feel good & well. Beyonce good. Okay, that's questionable, but it makes sense, right?
While eating crap foods may be the temporary answer to life's current problems, they'll only continue to wreak havoc on our bodies in the long run. But "I'm eating my feelings!" Stop that, right now. We've all heard it, and probably have even said it many, many times before. Screw that and this nonsense body shaming and let's start eating to feel those good feelings. The more that we eat well, the more that we'll begin to feel well. So that we feel better in our own skin and take the shape that we're supposed to take at our natural, healthy state.
Still with me, yes? Now for the good stuff, so that you can start turning those lovely thoughts and ambitions and dreams into real things. Society needs more of that. We all need more people like you.
It all starts when you rise and shine. My advice for the morning is to begin with grounding mood foods that nourish and energize the mind. Things like matcha (antioxidant powerhouse) and avocado (healthy fats) literally feed the brain. Matcha has become my staple alternative to coffee. It leaves you with a zen-like feeling, but I promise, the stuff makes you crazy productive -- sans the jitters that coffee lends itself to. And in case you didn't know it, your mood and your gut are directly related. These two ingredients (among many not covered off on here) are especially nourishing for the digestive system so that your brain is smooth sailing to welcome the day with clear, vibrant thinking. Bonus, both ingredients are so versatile and can be enjoyed by sipping or chewing. Avo in your smoothie, avo on your toast. Matcha as you sip, or matcha as you bite.
So in the spirit of spring, have yourself a bright & citrus-y matcha latte, two ways. From the genius creator:
Citrus + matcha is all the rage these days. Heck, the fact that a latté celebrating both of these items is headlining the Starbuck’s seasonal menu might even mean it’s a bit passé — but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. If you’ve never had the combo, it’s bright and refreshing, soothing and creamy, soul-satisfying and subtly energizing. Interpreted as a hot or cold latté, it’s the perfect companion for cool mornings and breezy, sun-soaked afternoons. And it’s stunningly simple to make at home with no more than an orange, your milk of choice, a drizzle of maple syrup — and, in the case of the iced version: frothy, cool, pineapple and an indulgent cloud of coconut whip.
Hell to the yes. It's like the modern day reinvented glass of lucky charms or fruity pebbles. 5am is the new 5pm (and isn't that probably when Bey starts her day anyways?)
For an edible thing that feels like dessert but is still very much worthy of finding its way into your morning routine, get after these Raw Lemon Matcha Tartlets. Think of them as your daily multivitamin and enjoy appropriately by itself or by crumbling it on top of your morning yogurt and granola with a little drizzle of raw honey. Now we're just getting fancy, but you deserve a fancy breakfast for all of those #thoughtstothings that you'll be tackling throughout the day.
And as for avocado, your pick. And literally, be sure to pick a good one. The possibilities are obviously endless but since the beloved toast formation still isn't out of style, try it sliced on this Sunny Avocado Toast that's been slathered with protein-packed tahini. If toast isn't your thing, then perhaps a deliciously creamy smoothie or smoothie bowl will do the trick. It's all about making your insides happy, whatever that looks like or tastes like for you.
In the afternoon, find sustained energy through macrobiotic-like foods and nourish bowls. Something along the lines of this macro plate contains essential components that help to achieve balance in the body (think yin and yang) and include whole grains, root vegetables, plant-based proteins and so forth. Fill your bowl to the brim with as many of these greens and grains and veggies and proteins as your heart desires. Dress it all up with things like tahini, high quality oils, homemade dressings and garnishes such as sprouted nuts and seeds like walnut, flax, hemp, pumpkin, chia, etc.
Here's my shameless (but honest) plug: I've been experimenting with Sakara Life's plant-based food delivery services and feel so incredibly nourished and satiated after eating their meals. Mood food at its finest and the community behind this genius idea of #thoughtstothings. This macro plate below with creamy avocado dressing is one of my very favorites. If you're interested in learning more about their food delivery services, drop me a note and I'd be glad to share & extend an exclusive discount.
For dinner, keep a good thing going. More greens, veggies and clean sources of plant-based proteins. The more color and variety, the better.
Make it a pizza night, opting out of traditional delivery and instead making your own, like this Veggie Powered Pizza that has a beetroot base. Beets help to cleanse the liver, working with your body to break down food and detox (especially at night as you sleep).
Or, there's always this insanely beautiful creation below that happens to be named Incredible Pizza. Because that's what it is. A butternut squash based crust and a dreamy pesto made with cashews, basil, spinach, a little lemon juice and some olive oil. Who has the mood food hangries now?
And finally, don't (please don't) deprive yourself of that sweet treat at the end of the day if that's what you're feeling. Just be mindful and choose quality over quantity to avoid next-day sugar hangovers, brain fog and feelings of sluggishness. Raw cacao (think dark, bitter chocolate) is an excellent choice since it contains a rich and potent source of magnesium, a crucial mineral that helps to relax our muscles and calm our nerves. That's why us ladies get the cravings for chocolate just before our cycle, because we're deficient in magnesium. Again, it all makes sense right? We crave the nutrients that we need. Our bodies tell us things, and it's up to us to listen and reward it properly. Try keeping these Chocolate Almond Butter Cups in your freezer for a quick fix that's totally free of those junky refined sugars. Just stop after one or two, don't take them to bed with you (after all, raw chocolate is an aphrodisiac. Just saying.)
In the meantime, I'll keep looking for that special lemonade recipe that immediately turns all of us into self proclaimed badass lady bosses/queens. The future is female, and mood food is a part of that future, yeah? May as well start now, if at least with that morning matcha buzz.
Eat well to feel well. Turn those thoughts into things. Mornings inspired by Bey. Matcha, avocado, macro plates, rinse & repeat.
Okay, be(y) well darlings. 🐝
P.S. Sometimes mood boards are overrated. But a mood food mood board? Gimme. For your viewing & drooling pleasure, I invite you to check out my latest creative endeavor (okay, it's a visual board) on Pinterest, a low maintenance platform that I so subtly try to keep alive every now and then.