A friend asked to visit yesterday, saying he felt blue and lonely. As we talked, he said he’d felt depressed this winter. I asked what he’d had to eat. He said because it was winter, he hadn’t felt much like cooking, but he’d been eating a lot of bread. That’s when red flags went up.

People often don’t correlate foods and mood, so I found a teaching moment. Especially here in the North East, we don’t have a lot of winter sunshine, so we are robbed of the Vitamin D3 that we need to create hormones and to activate genes that release dopamine and serotonin. An added burden to our system happens when we eat processed and denatured foods. Chemicals are added in the manufacturing process, as well as hidden sugars. These ingredients cause anxiety. A triple whammy happens when the food contains wheat. Wheat, even ancient varieties, by its nature is not entirely digestible by humans. It can’t just be picked from the ground and eaten, but needs to be worked and ground and processed. The gluten, gliadin, and lectins in wheat act like glue…these components are sticky. In the digestive tract they stick to the vital minerals that your body and brain need for electrical conductivity. They rob your body of those nutrients when they pass out of your body, unabsorbed, in your bowel movements. The result is digestive dis-ease, brain fog, and depression.

To feel your best and to beat back blues and depression, it is critical that you eat live foods with vital energy. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables still have living energy when you eat them. When you digest them, you absorb live energy, vital nutrients and healthy bacteria which all go to help create ‘feel good’ hormones for your brain. It’s important that you always eat vegetables and fruits with a healthy fat…(think olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, or cheese.) The healthy fat aids in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Healthy fats also sooth anxiety…eggs are one of the best ‘calm brain’ foods, along with salmon, sardines, and trout. Whole milk dairy (raw yogurt and raw butter) are also calming foods, if you can tolerate dairy.

Happy mood food…mixed greens and herbs, smoked sockeye salmon, organic blackberries, and raw cashews. With lavender balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

In the picture on the right, you’ll see the ‘no cooking, feel good meal’ that I made for dinner last night. You can do this too! Choose foods that look like they do in nature. Included are organic greens and herbs, organic blackberries, raw cashews, and smoked sockeye salmon. I used lavender balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil for dressing! Get creative, eat fresh, and feel good! Bon-appetit!