Your Letterbox Life Coach - Edition 2
Welcome to the second edition of ‘Your Letterbox Life Coach’ where we share health and wellbeing tips to put the ‘Well’ back into “Cherwell.’
I’ve been approached a number of times over the past few weeks by people with food and wellbeing questions, which is really great! I love helping people to make those first small steps to a place of better health, both physical and emotional.
There is great truth in the saying ‘eat better, feel better’, and I’m here to help Letterbox readers consider what that means for you, not just physically, but emotionally.
Food for Mood is not a new concept, but it is something that we often forget about. Many people these days use the term ‘hangry’- meaning hungry and angry… but I wonder how many of us stop to consider how to avoid that feeling, rather than what to do once we get to that point. The answer does not lie in that Mars Bar!
When your blood sugar drops you might feel tired, irritable and even depressed. Eating regularly and choosing foods that release energy slowly will help to keep your sugar levels steady, and your mood positive.
• Eating breakfast gets the day off to a good start.
• Instead of eating a large lunch and dinner, try eating smaller portions spaced out more regularly throughout the day.
• Avoid foods which make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly, such as sweets, biscuits, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
Other ways to maintain good vibes are by staying hydrated, avoiding processed and refined foods, reducing or cutting out meat and dairy products, managing/ reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, as well as avoiding the fats that are bad for us. We have heard all of this before, but what we might not know is what to do instead in order to keep ourselves in tip top condition.
So, which foods are best for good moods?
Here are some great mood-boosting foods that you should add to your grocery list:
Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all high in vitamin C which reduces the production of excess cortisol, a hormone that is released during times of stress.
Black beans, lentils and lima beans are all rich in magnesium, a mineral that functions to provide relaxation and calm.
3. Dark Chocolate (yay!)
Chocolate is one of the ultimate comfort foods. The very taste of chocolate can produce a near euphoric state in many people. Brain healthy dark chocolate is full of protein and fibre and supports a positive mood and healthy cognition.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important fats that provide many health benefits. The most well-known sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil and fatty fish like salmon, trout and tuna.
This can make it challenging for vegans, vegetarians or even those who simply dislike fish to meet their omega-3 fatty acid needs. Here are 7 of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids:- chia seeds, Brussels sprouts, algal oil, hemp seeds, walnuts, flax seeds and Perilla oil.
5. Herbal Teas
Many herbal teas, such as chamomile, have calming properties. Black, green, white and red (rooibos) teas are also rich in antioxidants. Drinking a cup of warm tea can relieve stress and lift the spirits.
6. Leafy Greens
Kale is loaded with mood-moderating magnesium and raw spinach contains bliss-enhancing nutrients.
7. Whole Fruits
Apples, bananas, and oranges are packed with fiber and vitamin C. The sweet tastes and aromatic smells of these fruits can brighten one’s outlook and promote well-being.
Here is a recipe for mood boosting crackers that contain zero bad stuff and are packed full of feel good ingredients. You can experiment by adding different nuts and seeds, or the pulp from your juicer if you have one. If you don’t, then you can add finely chopped pepper or courgette and whiz up in your food processor.
Feel Good Flax Crackers
• 1/2 cup chia seeds
• 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
• 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
• 1/4 cup of quinoa (uncooked)
• 1/4 cup of sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup of ground flaxseed
• 1/2 cup of whole flaxseed
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 1/4 cup of water
• optional: various spices for flavour eg:- cayenne, black pepper and turmeric, mixed herbs,
Pre-heat oven to about 95 degrees C.
In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together and let sit for 5 minutes.
Line 2 large baking trays with silicone mats or parchment paper.
Spread the mixture out very evenly.
Before baking, score the crackers if you want them to have clean lines.
I simply crack mine into rough pieces after they bake.
Bake for 2- 2 1/2 hours, or dehydrate according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
Once out of the oven, leave to cool completely and ENJOY!! Store in an airtight container to eat later, if they last that long
2018, Your Letterbox