Food Fight: Battling mid-November Blues

So it’s mid-November… 

Photo Credit: Natasha Qureshi

…aka time for:

  1. Amusing facial hair a la Movember
  2. Early bird Christmas decorations/ increasing frequency of Christmas music in grocery stores
  3. Pages and pages of research papers, proposals, lab reports etc. Pick your poison.
  4. Information overload as finals loom ahead

It’s a busy, rainy time, so it’s important to maintain balance and good health.  Busy, stressful times may shift priorities away from “healthful” practices. Personally, as my To-Do list gets overwhelmed by research and writing, I’ve usually been tempted to skip the kitchen and opt for quicker food options. That is, until I became aware of how much my mood and ability to focus were being affected by the food I was eating. To my delight, not only was my mood brightened once I started to take control of my food (less refined, sugary foods will do that for you), but I also found the half-hour of food preparation to be a very welcome study break (there’s something oddly calming about chopping veggies…).

Another bonus is that food is a great excuse to get a few people together and spend some time with friends as an opportunity to get away from the school work vortex.

So, here are some delectable recipes by a “Joyous” nutritionist that are not only healthy, nutrient-dense and easy to prepare, but they also use more in-season ingredients (I for one usually have some trouble figuring out what to do with those root veggies and greens such as kale).

Roasted Root Vegetables (sweet & warms you up)

Kale and Mushroom Salad (Vitamin B & C rich for an extra stress-fighting punch)

Not-your-average Key-Lime Pie (Sweet & delicious without the sugar/ butter) 

Depending on the person, stressful periods can also result in binge eating.

Here are some tips to help avoid this:

  1. Are you hungry or thirsty? Staying hydrated is not only a good way to avoid sugar cravings but it also sharpens focus. Your brain and body will thank you!
  2. Snack on a handful of nuts/seeds, particulary raw, unsalted almonds and sunflower/pumpkin seeds.
  3. Eat breakfast! Start off the day with a power breakfast. Opt for unsweetened cereals and granola, and try options  like quinoa flakes (boil like oatmeal, and add cinnamon and natural sweeteners such as stevia or agave nectar). If you’ve got a blender and a bit more time, make a green smoothie
  4. Feed the funny bone

Bon appétit!

D

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