Is food and lifestyle affecting your happiness?
Food isn't the final answer but it’s the place to start!
Sleep, Hydration, Diet, Exercise and healthy relationships makes for a much happier life!
Unhappiness can occur when you have nutrient deficiencies. A few nutrients I personally like to make sure I’m in balance with are Magnesium, Vitamin D, Omega 3’s, Folate, probiotics (from fermented foods). You can get all of these in the foods you eat, when you make wise food choices… that is self care…
Self-care isn’t selfish, nor is it indulgent or frivolous. It’s actually a life-saver. You cant expect to keep running efficiently and feeling well if you never take the time to feed your body properly, recharge, relax, and reconnect with what matters. Self care isn’t always fancy or Instagram worthy. Sometimes it may be as simple as putting your phone on silent for the afternoon.
Truly caring for your well being can be unpopular and sometimes uncomfortable. Saying no to invites or certain obligations, going to bed early, or taking some “me” time isn't always easy, but yes, its all worth it!
Let’s talk a little about each of these nutrients and how they help and then lets cook something that fulfills all thats listed!!! This will be fun and yummy!
Magnesium - Magnesium is important for over all general health. Every physiological function involves magnesium in some capacity. One of its primary jobs is to guard the receptors in our nerve cells, but adequate magnesium levels also help prevent the type of low level, chronic inflammation that can lead to depression, anxiety, and other brain based disorders. The best sources of foods for magnesium are dark leery greens, nuts and seeds.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D affects our mood and facilitates the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin. (serotonin is thought to be a contributor to the feeling of happiness). Although most of this we make from our UV exposure, we can fulfill a significant amount from food such as whole eggs and wild salmon.
Omega 3’s - Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory! Yay!!! Comprised of three different acids—ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)—omega-3s are considered to be “essential” fatty acids as the body isn’t capable of producing them on its own; therefore, it’s necessary to consume enough omega-3s through diet. Foods rich in Omega 3 are, fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, egg yolks, spinach, kale. If you decide to supplement, be sure to take fish oil that contains both EPA and DHA. DHA only supplementation doesn't seem to help mental health.
Folate - Folate is a B-vitamin that is naturally present in many foods.Our bodies need folate to make DNA and other genetic material. Folate is also needed for the body’s cells to divide. Without adequate folate, we have trouble producing neurotransmitters. That is crucial for basic mental health, so its a critical player in our happiness. The best way to get folate from foods is to eat liver (especially chicken liver), leafy greens (such as spinach and kale), eggs, and asparagus.
Probiotics - Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of these as germs that cause diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. Probiotics are good bacteria that primarily line your gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption and supporting your immune system. Probiotics are essential for your digestive health, but did you know there are hundreds of other health benefits of consuming probiotic-rich foods that you might not be aware of?
• Stronger immune system
• Improved digestion
• Increased energy from production of vitamin B12
• Better breath because probiotics destroy candida
• Healthier skin, since probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis
• Reduced cold and flu
• Healing from leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease
• Weight loss
You should eat a variety of types of probiotics as each one offers a different type of beneficial bacteria to help the body in a variety of ways.
Two examples are, Apple cider vinegar – Great for controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and even weight loss, apple cider vinegar is a great daily addition that will bring many benefits — including providing probiotics. Drink a 1/2 teaspoon or one teaspoon each day or use it as a salad dressing. Kombucha – Is an effervescent fermentation of black tea that is started by using a SCOBY, also known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha has been around for over 2,000 years, originating around Japan. Many claims have been made about kombucha, but its primary health benefits include digestive support, increased energy and liver detoxification.
Of course listen to your body, seek advice from your doctor and don’t count on one magic supplement to fix you. Instead, focus on food, then fill in the gaps with smart supplementation. Food isn't the final answer, but it’s a place to start…
So lets incorporate what we know and get cooking!!!
Salmon, Sweet Potato and Avocado Baby Kale Salad
2 medium sized sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
1tbsp olive oil
Celtic Grey Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lb wild caught Salmon
1 bag baby kale
1 medium sized granny smith apple cored and sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 medium avocado pitted and sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp raw honey
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the sweet potatoes on one and the salmon on the other. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to desired taste.
Place the pan of sweet potatoes in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Add the Salmon in the oven and roast both pans until the salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork and sweet potatoes are tender. Approximately 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl combine the Kale, Scallions and Apples.
Flake the salmon with a fork and add the salmon and potatoes to the Kale mixture and toss gently until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and pour over salad and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add diced avocado and serve.