with author Jackie Morgan MacDougall
bad mood? it's in the food
Food can set the tone for so many of life’s moments. Romantic date night dinners, cake and ice cream on birthdays... and who doesn’t treat Thanksgiving and other holidays like a food free-for-all? It’s practically required. But while the menu may set the tone for a special event or quiet night on the couch, it can also be the very thing to make or break your state of mind. So next time you reach for the massive bowl of ice cream, instead try one of these mood-lifting picks from our pal, Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien.
Check out the common mood-killers below and what you can do to shake 'em!
Stressed Out Suzi Kids... spouses... jobs... bills... if it’s not one thing, it’s another. And sometimes it can feel like we’re doing all of it poorly. But before you let the madness get to you and hit the drive thru (or the bottle), the answer could be sitting right in your kitchen.
Reach for... foods rich in calcium like milk and almonds can reduce anxiety and calm the nerves. Tip: Keep a bag of almonds in the car (or close by for that next mother-in-law visit).
Cranky Carol Your spouse forgets to take out the trash -- again. Or your daughter springs it on you that you need to make three dozen cupcakes -- by tomorrow. Chances are, there’s at least one time during the week we find ourselves feeling a bit irritable.
Forget the Prozac. Did you know you can get the same bad mood-beating benefits from strawberries and salmon? According to Hungry-Girl.com, they’re packed with folate, which increases serotonin and fights depression.
Sleepy Sara Whether you’re up all night with a sick kid, coming off a rare girls’ night out or found yourself romanced into the wee hours of the morning, sometimes we find ourselves so tired, the thought of carpools, dentist appointments and deadlines is just too much to bear.
Quick fix: There’s a reason they call it the incredible, edible egg. Whether you like them over-easy, scrambled or in an omelet, Hungry Girl says eggs are a great source of zinc, making you feel more awake, energized and engaged. Tip: Hard boil a few to keep handy for a quick and easy snack!
Betty Boredom If you’ve ever stared blankly at a fridge filled with food yet couldn’t find anything to eat, chances are you more bored than actually hungry.
Step away from the refrigerator! This is one of those times that you just need to stop. Go for a walk, pick up the dry cleaning, even call your mother. Tip: If you absolutely must eat something, grab some pre-cut veggies, they’ll pack the crunch without requiring crunches afterward.
Sandy Scatterbrain If you have never walked into a room and forgotten why you were there, then you can skip ahead. But for the rest of us with the occasional (if not endless) case of “why am I in here again?” here’s a little help.
Tap into your inner energy by nibbling on foods rich in protein. Cheese, a veggie burger, or some boneless, skinless chicken breast are not only delicious, but will give your brain a little boost and get you thinking clearly again. Tip: When packing up snacks for the kids, throw in an extra cheese stick for yourself.
Explosive Ellen We all have those things (or people) that make our blood boil.
Skip the boxing gloves and head to the fridge for grapefruit, grapes or carrots. Why? It’s all about the pectin, a soluble fiber that lowers blood cholesterol and can help your system return to normal when your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Tip: If it doesn’t work immediately, head directly to a quiet room and take your frustration out on the nearest pillow.
Moody Mindy Sometimes, we just don’t know whether to laugh or cry, experiencing more ups and downs than a mall escalator.
Curb those mood swings with a cold glass of H20. Dehydration can actually play a major role in our emotional stability -- now that’s crazy! Tip: Get those 8-10 cups a day and it won’t just be your skin that sees the benefits, everyone around you will too!
Debbie Downer We all get the blues at some point. If it weren’t for existence of sad women everywhere, chocolate may have never been invented.
Chocoholics rejoice! Believe it or not, the fat and sugar, as well as phenylethylamine (an endorphin-releasing substance), found in chocolate, raises both serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. Tip: Just don’t eat the whole bag. While it may improve your mood in the short term, not being able to get in your favorite jeans will bring your spirits right back down. Psst: Mushrooms are also packed with vitamin D, which has also been known to elevate your mood.