Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mood and Food--A connection?

Melissa's Tip of the Week is designed to help you and your family to live happier, healthier lives.
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Can the foods we eat affect our mood?

Absolutely, according to a new article that can be found on the NPR website.
So, I've included the above link, so that you can read the original article, as well, but here's the lowdown:

What you eat can stress you out, or it can calm you down.  In times of stress, you will tend to make worse choices, and those choices will typically exacerbate the problem, and cause more stress.  Not surprisingly, the list of foods that you tend to grab when stressed are high in sugar, low in fiber, and generally not great for you.  And they can and will backfire, stressing you out more.  The foods that will fight stress are generally foods you might think of as healthier choices.  Below is a list for you viewing pleasure:

Stress-Busting Foods

  • Eggs
  • Dark, leafy greens like kale or Swiss chard
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like sardines, salmon or canned tuna
  • Flaxseed
  • Dark chocolate

Check out the recipe below for a stress busting salad option!

  • Spinach Salad with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup salted pumpkinseed kernels, roasted
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Manchego cheese


1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl until smooth. Add the vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, and olive oil, whisking until well-combined.
2. Combine the spinach, cranberries, and pumpkinseeds in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette, and toss until well-coated. Divide the salad evenly among 4 plates. Arrange the Manchego slices evenly over each salad; serve immediately.
The choice is yours.  Decide what quality of life you want, and then go for it!  If you want to feel good, keep the stress down, then you choose to move your body regularly and eat highly nutritious food dense in nutrients.  Let's keep doing it together!  Have a great week--Melissa


Parmigiano-Reggiano Baked
Eggs with Swiss Chard


  • butter for the ramekins
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 cups packed thinly sliced Swiss
  • chard leaves,
  • or other hearty green leaves (reserve
  • chard stems for another use)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • cheese, divided
  • 1 small tomato, halved, seeds removed,
  • diced and divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F and
butter 4 (6-ounce) ramekins or
small gratin dishes.

In a large skillet, heat oil overmedium heat.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chard;
cover the skillet and cook, stirring frequently,
until chard is tender, 8 to 10minutes; add a
few tablespoons water if the skillet begins to
dry out. Remove from the heat and pour off any
excess liquid. 

Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese and half of the
tomato. Spoon the mixture evenly into the
prepared ramekins. Break an egg into each
ramekin and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Pile remaining tomato around eggs and season
with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet
and bake until egg whites are almost completely
set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes
before serving.
Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving:160 calories (120 from fat),
11g total fat5g saturated fat200mg
390mg sodium3g carbohydrate
 (1g dietary fiber1g sugar)12g protein

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