30 days to a happier you – Day 24 – Guest blogger Katie Hedges
Meet guest blogger: The Real Food Coach – Katie Hedges
Katie is a passionate foodie, aspiring recipe developer and healthy eating expert. Known as The Real Food coach and founder of Thrive & Shine, your way to wellness – health coaching. She created The Real Food Revolution to help men and women escape the diet-trap and experience food freedom to live a vibrant life of wellness! When she’s not holding bespoke coaching sessions, she can be found getting creative in the kitchen, nibbling raw chocolate, taking energetic dance-breaks or walking her little dog Tillybean along the beach on the sunny south coast.
Here is Katie’s guest blog about how food contributes to happiness and yummy Happy Hippy Bowl recipe….
6 Super Foods to send your Happiness Levels Soaring!
Woohoo, I’m so excited to be a part of the 30 day happiness fest! I hope you’re enjoying all these juicy tips and tools as much as I am.
As I always say, happiness is an inside job and excellent nutrition and mindful eating are the first steps to a happier, more vibrant you!
Let’s dive straight in to my 6 super foods to send your happiness levels soaring!
1. You are going to love this one – chocolate!
Yes, you read that right. I’m a health coach who fully advocates eating mood-boosting chocolate in abundance. Swap your sugar laden snickers bar or milk chocolate for the rawer, purer variety to really feel the benefit!
Raw cacao (chocolate in its rawest form) contains the highest antioxidant level of any other food. A synergy of polyphenols and epicatechins, it has more antioxidants than acai, goji berries, blueberries and pomegranate combined! These protect us from disease causing free radicals and provide an amazing youth boost to our cells. Cacao is packed full of minerals, including magnesium, zinc and immune boosting vitamin C. Plus naturally occurring feel good chemicals, including PEA the chemical produced when we fall in love, and Tryptophan which produces the happy hormone, Serotonin. You can enjoy raw chocolate in smoothies, stirred into porridge oats or make your own raw chocolate bars and snacks to eat yourself happy.
2. Happy fats!
More studies are emerging about how omega-3 essential fats may offer powerful protection against depression. These essential fats are necessary for proper growth, development and function of brain tissue, and even help to improve cognition! By giving your body high levels of nutritious fats, you are literally feeding your brain, which is made up of about 60% fat.
One of my favorite sources are chia seeds, which you can soak in nut milk to swell into a scrumptious, nourishing pudding and top with your choice of equally brain nourishing nuts and seeds. Chia seeds are also a wonderful protein rich addition to healthy smoothies that I make for my clients. Other good sources of these essential fats are walnuts, flaxseeds and oily fish, such as salmon.
Avocado is just as wonderful for a happy, healthy brain and supports effective nutrient absorption which is key for healthy cells and a happy body from the inside out. I love to eat half an avocado mashed with a little seasoning or cayenne pepper, which offers an additional metabolism boost!
3. Mood enhancing complex carbs
Such as quinoa boost the brain chemical, serotonin. Try my delicious Happy Hippy Bowl recipe with quinoa, crispy kale and walnuts with cumin + caraway spiced beetroot hummus! Don’t be tempted to shun all carbs, just the processed ones – white bread, rice, pasta and potatoes, which only make us sluggish. Stick to healthy grains including wholegrain rice and veggies such as sweet potatoes and squash. Rolled Oats are also a fantastic mood enhancer, rich in energizing B vitamins, fibre and folic acid to lift and maintain your mood!
4. Happiness begins in the gut!
Our gut is our “second brain” or the communication highway between the the GI tract and the brain. In a recent Dutch study people who received a probiotic (friendly bacteria) supplement showed significantly reduced reactivity to sad mood. To increase your intake of mood enhancing friendly bacteria, stock up on gut loving, probiotic rich fermented foods, including sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha or take a probiotic supplement to give you a boost.
5. Fun with fungi!
Mushrooms are an underrated superfood that are rich in selenium and the only natural plant source of vitamin D, a key nutrient many of us aren’t getting enough of. Vitamin D has been linked to healthy bone health, heart health and enhanced mental wellbeing. In a study on people with seasonal affective disorder, those who increased intake of vitamin D experienced enhanced mood. Lightly pan-fried mushrooms are delicious on avocado toast (avocado will help with the absorption of vitamin D.) but you could also add mushrooms to homemade tomato-based pasta sauces, omelettes and frittatas. You can find free recipes that you’ll love on my page ww.facebok.com/thriveshine.
6. Mood boosting Berries!
These super fruits are packed full of anthocyanins (antioxidants that give berries their vibrant hues) which help to reduce aging in the brain that can lead to slower thought processes while boosting overall energy to keep us feeling lifted and fully vital. As each berry has own mix of phytochemicals go for a varied mixture. I recommend buying frozen berries to add to fresh smoothies.
Healthy Lifestyle = Happier Life:
While eating a nutritious diet will certainly benefit your health and wellbeing, no one super food will boost your happiness alone. You’ve got to cultivate healthy habits to sustain your happiness for the long term which is something wellness and wellbeing experts like myself and Honey are here to help you with! Enjoy a rich, varied diet of fresh, natural, vitamin-rich produce (in a variety of colours) while cutting back on stimulants, sugar and processed foods to find your happy, healthy balance! xx
Happy Hippy Bowl Recipe
Happy Hippie Bowl
2 tsp. Coconut oil
1 large clove of Garlic, sliced or minced
150g Quinoa (cooked)
½ a can or jar of Chickpeas drained, rinsed
1 large handful of kale, stalks removed
3 tsp. Paprika
1 small avocado
For the Caraway Cumin Beetroot Hummus
1-2 small cooked beetroot 2 small cloves of garlic
½ a can or tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Pink salt, black pepper.
Small handful walnuts to scatter (optional)
Add all hummus ingredients to a food processor (or a bowl and use a handheld blender) and whizz into a smooth paste. Serve in a dipping bowl and keep in the fridge (keeps well for 2-4 days.) Meanwhile, slice the avocado and set to one side. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the garlic to cook on a medium heat for 1 minute. Add the cooked quinoa to the pan, along with the chickpeas and kale. Sprinkle over the paprika and cook for 10-12 minutes or until chickpeas are heated through and the kale is cooked. Serve the quinoa, chickpea kale mix on a plate, along with a generous serving on the beetroot hummus, walnuts and sliced avocado. Squeeze over some lemon juice and season with pink salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Here’s the plan:
Happy hug 🙂