Top 10 Mood Boosting Foods to Try on a Budget

Try these budget friendly top 10 mood boosting foods to relieve stress and promote happiness in your life.

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There is a strong link between what you eat and how you feel.  Nutrition and stress relief are linked in more ways than you may think. Eating healthy does a lot more than just improve your health.  It can improve your mood and your emotional well-being as well.

Isn’t it good to know that happiness and stress relief is only a few forks and spoons away? The saying “you are what you eat” comes to mind, so every thing you put in your mouth can either help you or hurt you.  Which one will it be?

Your diet can affect your moods, and specific foods can be used to improve how you feel, every day. Just knowing that you can control naturally by what you eat is empowering.  No need for anti-depressant pills.  No need for drugs. No negative side effects. who could ask for anything more?

Eating the right foods is a win-win scenario. Making the switch to eating mood boosting foods starts when you go grocery shopping.

These top 10 mood boosting foods are easy to add to a budget-conscious grocery list.  

 

Put these items in your shopping cart and enjoy:

  1. Turmeric is an inexpensive spice available in grocery stores. This nutritional powerful is one of the mist undervalued foods I know. I recently discovered the wide variety of health benefits if turmeric myself. It influences the brain by increasing neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of happiness. It’s a MUST-ADD for your grocery list if improving your emotional and physical wellbeing is high on your list.
  2. Tomatoes. The lycopene in tomatoes is linked to the reduction of inflammatory compounds. These compounds affect the mood and lead to depression, so eating tomatoes is one way to stay happy. Cherry tomatoes are recommended over regular tomatoes because they have more lycopene. However, all tomatoes have this important nutrient. Add a slice of tomato to all your meals throughout the day, including your sandwiches, for a power boost in your emotional and physical health.
  3.  Beets is a vegetable that belongs on the mood boosting grocery list because of betaine. It’s a special compound capable of making antidepressant molecules in the brain and protecting cells from stress.  And we need ALL the protection from stress that we can get!!!  Beets also have betalains that are responsible for reducing inflammation in the body. Studies show that inflammation contributes to depression. Beets improve your mood by slowly releasing sugar as they’re digested.  Great stuff!    I used beets in my juicing often.  Combined with carrots and apples it makes a delicious juice.  Try it and watch you mood improve.
  4. Celery is a popular diet food, but it’s also a great mood enhancer. Celery has 3-n-butylphthalide, the chemical responsible for reducing stress hormones, in large quantities. Celery is another main staple in my juicing recipes and soup recipes.  It’s very affordable and easily available.  Add it to your mood-boosting grocery shopping list.
  5. Asparagus. Its tryptophan levels make it a vegetarian alternative to turkey. Asparagus’ tryptophan contributes to the creation of positive neurotransmitters in the brain.Asparagus’ folate levels also play a role in boosting your mood. Folate is also needed to make positive neurotransmitters. The study, “Is low folate a risk factor for depression? A meta-analysis and exploration of heterogeneity,” showed that people with low amounts of folate in their body are more likely to suffer from depression.
  6. Swiss chard. Do you want to increase your energy while lifting your mood? Swiss chard helps both of these areas with its magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral linked to a happier state of mind.
  7. Lentils are a common budget grocery staple, and they can improve your mood. Lentils are a good source of folate, which helps the brain avoid depression. Lentils also have L-tyrosine. It’s an important amino acid used by the brain to make happy neurotransmitters. My mom makes delicious lentil patties that I love to snack on during the afternoon or anytime of the day. Lentils are a healthy, simple, and inexpensive way to stay positive.
  8. Steel cut  oatmeal is another way to boost your mood. Oatmeal has high levels of magnesium necessary to stay positive. It also has fiber that reduces blood sugar spikes and prevents mood swings. I usually have an oatmeal smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal with one table spoon of ground flaxeed and some raisins every day.
  9. Honey can calm your nerves and decrease anxiety. Multiple nutrients are responsible for this effect. Honey is great for health and for beauty too!  Search the internet and you’ll find many diy facial, skin and  hair treatments that require honey.
  10. Dark Chocolate. Bulk and generic versions of dark chocolate are less expensive, so they can fit a budget grocery list.  Dark chocolate lowers the amount of stress hormones in the body. Additionally, its cocoa flavanols make you feel calmer. A study from the Swinburne University of Technology found that eating dark chocolate was linked to better moods.  

A consistent diet than regularly includes these top 10 mood boosting foods can boost your mood naturally. Plus, you can purchase most of these mood enhancing foods on a budget without breaking the bank!  Click here to discover 12 more super foods to add to your diet to beat stress.

So what are you waiting for.  Print out this article and use it as your mood-boosting grocery list the next time you go shopping.  You have nothing to loose, and everything to gain!  This is how to ensure happiness on a budget! :-)

Want to find out how to get nutrition, exercise and stress relief in your backyard?  Click here!

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Have you found any other foods with mood boosting properties? If so, which ones?
2. Which food from my list above have  you tried and found that it really does work to boost your mood?

 

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

Use These 6 Food Safety Tips In The Kitchen to Stay Healthy

Do you know the importance of food safety? Use these 6 food safety tips in the kitchen to stay healthy.

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Do you clean out the fridge and cabinets in your kitchen regularly? Food safety in the kitchen is vitally important for keeping yourself and your family healthy.

Use the food safety tips in the kitchen to create a safer, healthier, stress-free kitchen environment:

  1.  Make it a priority to clean out the kitchen regularly, at least every week. I know how tempting it can be to simply throw the latest food purchases on the shelf and walk away because you have to rush off to your next pressing appointment or duty, but it’s really important to come back and clean out the cabinets. If you can’t do it because of time, then get someone else to do it. Cleaning the shelves can help you discover expired items. It can also help you find spoiled foods that need to be thrown our so that you won’t inadvertently use them when hastily putting a meal together.
  1. Always make sure you are using the right temperature to store.  Using the right temperature can affect how long items last in your fridge. It’s important to set the refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit works for most households. The freezer needs a different setting, and 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less usually works best.
  1. Always Store foods separately.  To avoid cross-contamination, you need to store foods separately.  So don’t store the raw chicken with the kale leaves.  They need to be stored separately!
  •  It’s important to store raw foods like meat in a separate location from other frozen items like prepackaged lasagna.  Since frozen lasagna only needs to be heated , it can be stored apart from the meat in the freezer.
  • Use freezer bags and other storage bags to separate and store food items.  They are perfect for separate food items for storage and organizing your fridge, freezer, and cabinets for optimal food safety. You could also invest in this food saver vacuum sealing system to keep your food items safe during storage
  •  Separating raw meat or seafood from other ingredients is also essential when you are preparing and cooking food. Cross-contamination is a real threat and can easily occur on kitchen counters, so it’s best to keep food items in their own locations.
  1. Invest in several cutting boards.  This is one of he food safety tips in the kitchen that I learned recently.  Until recently, I had one cutting board, but after learning about the potential for cross-contamination I realized that I need several cutting boards, one cutting board for raw meat, one for other raw items, and a separate one for other foods.  I even learned that I should get separate cutting boards for raw meat and raw fish to avoid contamination in the kitchen.
  • When you clean your cutting boards try washing them in warm water and soap.  That’s the best way to kill of any bacteria that may be lurking on the cutting boards.
  1. Don’t forget to pay attention to food safety while using a grill. Grilling can be a fun activity for the entire family, but food safety is still important, so don’t slacken off when it comes to cooking on the grill. Especially during summer time when grilling is popular, it’s important to make sure that all precautions are taken when it comes to food safety.
  •  The grill must be clean.  That’s the first step to staying safe. It’s vitally important to completely remove crusted food and other debris from it before cooking. A strong wire brush can help you clean the slots on a grill. Don’t skip this or you will be exposing your family, friends and loved ones to health risks.
  • Use different plates when grilling to separate food that is cooked from food that is not (yet) cooked. This may seem unimportant but it really is an essential point.  Keep cooked foods separated from uncooked food when grilling.  The best way to do that is by using separate plates for the cooked and uncooked food.
  • Pay attention to the utensils you use at the grill as well. Use two sets to be extra safe and to avoid contamination. One set for the cooked food and one set for the uncooked food will make it easier to stay safe.
  • Pay attention to how you marinate. The marinade that is used on the raw items needs to be disposed of properly.
  1. Invest in a good food thermometer. A good food thermometer will help you pinpoint the exact temperature of your cooking. Guessing if a turkey ( or other food) is done just by looking at it can be tricky. A thermometer makes it easier to stay healthy and safe and is well worth the investment.
  • If you are cooking ground meat, make sure that it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  It must reach that temperature to be safe.
  • Poultry is a stable dish in just about every home. It needs to reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe. Pork requires a lower temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Another good use for a thermometer is to test the food throughout the cooking process.  This is a good way to make sure that its not overcooked.
  • To get accurate readings, you need to insert the thermometer into a thick part of the food.

No one wants to expose family and friends to getting seriously ill from old food or cross-contamination, so using these food safety tips in the kitchen is a must!  Make it a priority to invest in the tools and kitchen gadgets needed to help keep your family safe and healthy. And make it a TOP priority to follow and implement these food safety tips in the kitchen.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. What do you do to stay safe with food preparation?
2. What is your go-to kitchen accessory for easy food prep and safety?

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

 

10 Easy Ways To Save Money AND Eat Healthy All Year Long!

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Healthy eating can be done on a budget, if you use these smart strategies.  There are easy ways to save money and eat healthy.

With the economic situation in the world being what it is, it’s important to find ways of eating healthy on a budget. It’s possible to purchase foods that are good for you and your budget; you merely have to plan ahead to get the best food you can for the money you have available.

Having a plan and sticking to it can help you get more food at less cost and allow you to prepare better, more healthy meals.

Here are some tips to help you succeed in eating healthy on a budget:

Grocery Shopping

  1. Set aside time to make your food plan. Find the sales ads for each of the grocery stores in your area and decide on your meals for the coming week ahead of time.
  1. Make a list. After you’ve planned your meals, write down everything you need for each meal. Check your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see if you already have some of the items. Make your grocery list and determine to stick with it!
  • Include what you’ll need for drinks, snacks and desserts.
  • Remember your ingredients for preparation, such as butter, flour, sugar, and spices.
  • Replenish cleaning supplies.
  1. Clip coupons for items you know you’ll use. Leave the remainder of the coupons at home so you’re not tempted to “save” money on items you don’t need.
  1. Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach because you’re more likely to buy items that look good rather than those on your list.

If you can’t go to the store right after a meal, take along a light snack to help you resist temptation while in the store.

  1. Buy items on the perimeter of the store first because these items are the healthiest choices. This will include fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy items. The center items are processed or convenience foods. Not only are they more expensive, but they aren’t healthy.
  1. Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season as these will often be cheaper than non-seasonal choices. While you’re looking at the fruits and vegetables, see if there are any sales on these healthy, nutrient rich foods.

Choose large bags rather than individual pieces of fruit. The larger bags are often cheaper by the pound.

  1. Buy store or generic brands. There usually isn’t much difference in the way the foods taste but you can definitely see a difference in the price.

Other Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

  1. Make your own snacks for your family’s time away from home rather than allowing them to purchase food from vending machines. Fresh fruit and vegetable sticks with dip are much healthier than the bags of chips or crackers that come from the machines.
  1. Eat at home. Whenever possible, make your food from scratch and eat it at home. Not only will this give you more control over what your family eats, but it can also save you a considerable amount of money.

Eating out also encourages overeating because portion sizes are massive.

  1. Drink healthy. Finally, when eating healthy on a budget, don’t forget to think about what you’re drinking. Expensive, sugar-laden drinks are the bane of your budget and counter-productive to healthy eating.
  • Look for 100% pure juices.
  • Drink low fat milk.
  • Drink more water.
  • Cut out soft drinks.

If you follow these tips, you’ll soon discover the joys of healthy eating and you’ll save money in the process. You may have to spend some extra time preparing food, but the benefits are astounding!

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. What are your tips for saving money on healthy food?
2. What is the go-to healthy food staple in your kitchen?

Add These 3 Good Foods For Stress Reduction To Your Diet

A simple way to reduce stress levels is one that is both cost effective and always easily accessible – and that is eating, well, eating good foods for stress reduction that is! To keep stress at bay, it is recommended to integrate at least one stress busting food into your meals every day. This article will delve into some of the best nutritious food that is widely known for warding off stress.

Avocado

Eat Avocados For Less Stress

Avocados

Avocados are a superfood that is known to naturally reduce stress levels and also provide many other health benefits. They are low in sugar and are extremely rich in B vitamins which give your body a mood enhancing boost! Acne can also be the result of high stress levels for a lot of people and now you can rejoice – because with plethora of Vitamin E that is found in avocados, your skin will soon be radiating with a beautiful youthful glow. Add avocadoes to your smoothies for a creamy, healthy, and low in sugar nutrient; your body (and mood) will thank you.

Almonds

Almonds are a wonderfully healthy snack that can provide great stress relief. These nuts are loaded with vitamin E, vitamin E, zinc and magnesium which promote the production of serotonin, which is a brain chemical that is known to help improve mood and by the same token, reduce any stressful tension. You can keep them at your desk and munch on them raw throughout the day; alternatively, if you are feeling a bit more creative, you can spread almond butter on your fruits such as apple slices or even enjoy them on some whole wheat crackers.

Asparagus

Many doctors have connected depression and stress with low levels of folic acid, and asparagus is an excellent source of folate. Asparagus is such a versatile vegetable and can be easily integrated in just about any meal. Sauté asparagus tips and combine them into your morning omelet for breakfast, steam them and add them to your salad for lunch, and you can also grill them as a side to accompany any fish or meat dish!

Keep your kitchen stocked with these 3 nutritious foods and no matter what life throws your way – you will always be prepared to combat stress and set you on the right path for overall great health. Cheers!

Easy Salmon Fillet Recipes–You’ve Never Had Salmon Like This…

SalmonGrilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Yield: 2 servings

 

Salmon is packed with omega 3s that can help keep you calm by managing adrenaline levels. Avocado is loaded with potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Combining these two ingredients into easy salmon fillet recipes is a perfectly healthy and delicious way to help lower stress!

 

Ingredients:

 

2 salmon fillets (frozen is fine, just defrost in your refrigerator the day before)

1 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon each:

-cumin powder

-garlic powder

-onion powder

-chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Avocado SalsaAvocado

 

2 avocados, peeled and diced into bite size pieces

¼ cup red onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Jalapeño pepper, finely diced (to taste, suggested ½ a small pepper)

-Optional add ins: small diced tomato, ½ cup diced mango or pineapple

 

Directions:

 

1. Pre-heat your outdoor or indoor grill to med-high. (If baking, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Bake for approximately 12-15mins.)

 

2. Combine olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning in a shallow baking dish. Add salmon fillets and turn to coat each side evenly. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

 

3. Prepare salsa and mix well. Allow to chill until needed.

 

4. Brush grill with a little oil to prevent sticking. You can also wrap your fillets in foil packets. Grill without flipping 10-12 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

 

4. Serve avocado salsa over salmon fillets.

*Would be great paired with rice, or grilled vegetables! salmon4stressrelief

 

 

 

Blueberry Oats Smoothie Recipe-Powerful Breakfast In Under 3 Minutes!

I am sure I do not have to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you know why that is?

Well, what you eat in the morning goes a long way toward giving your brain a boost as the day begins. In fact, people who skip breakfast in the morning are doing themselves a disservice because they are depriving their brain of the much-needed nutrients that are so important for proper brain function.

If you’re like me, you just do not have a lot of time to spare in the morning on preparing a nutritious breakfast.  The good news is that preparing a nutritious breakfast does NOT have to take more than 5 minutes.  Check out this power breakfast that I prepare during weekdays in under 3 minutes!  My blueberry oats smoothie recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or mixed frozen berries)
1 cup vanilla almond milk 
1/2 cup oats
¼ tsp ground flaxseed
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions:

Pour all ingredients in a powerful blender.   Blend on high for 20-30 seconds.   That’s it!

Enjoy this very healthy breakfast smoothie that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber and that will give you the best possible start to your day.