Eat a Happy DietWhile you may be frowning if you're carrying winter weight, I can personally attest that happy foods are important to boost your mood and dump unwanted pounds and body fat. Dietitians believe people with depression often have low levels of serotonin—a neurotransmitter believed to be involved in modulating mood and appetite.
By eating tryptophan-rich foods we can naturally boost levels of serotonin. Low-fat milk and cottage cheese are good but so is the Mediterranean diet, which includes plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and more monounsaturated fats—like olive oil. Olive oil—a healthful monounsaturated fat—is not the cure-all for life's ups and downs, but it can help you become energized again if you team it with a dark, leafy green salad with plenty of fresh vegetables. If you eat lots of veggies teamed with olive oil, which can fill you up, you’ll be less likely to fill out.
Sure, I hate to cook but I like to eat fine food. So, last night I whipped up a mood-boosting spinach salad topped with premium tuna ( solid white albacore) teamed with whole grain bread dipped in warm rosemary olive oil. Later on, a dish of fresh blackberries and a cup of chamomille tea followed. Here, take a peek of a super recipe, straight from my book The Healing Powers of Olive Oil.
Basil and Spinach Pesto with Walnuts
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 bunch basil
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Spectrum Naturals Tuscan
Style Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
In a blender, combine half the greens and all the garlic. Add half of the oil and blend until pureed. Add the rest of the greens, a handful at a time, adding more oil as needed. Add the walnuts and cheese, and continue to puree. Season with salt and pepper. Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.
Source: Chef Gary Jenanyan