(Blueberries at breakfast time this morning)
After picking up Super Foods To Boost Your Mood at the library last week, I'm looking at bringing more good-mood foods into our meal times. By good-mood foods, I mean eating real feel good foods like more wholegrains as well as more superfoods in our vegetarian diet to really boost our moods and avoid that blood sugar crash that I've found can happen when I've eaten too much of a refined ingredient like white flour or sugar. Even though everything is cooked from scratch, there were too many refined ingredients sneaking into our everyday food which I really want to change. I was routinely using white flour and white sugar, mostly in the baking I did, white pasta and we ate mostly white rice. Aside from developing great eating habits for the children, getting the greatest amount of energy from food I eat is key for me. I'm in remission from cancer (Hodgkins Lymphoma) which means, even ten years on, fatigue and tiredness is still a big daily problem. Even though our food is cooked from scratch, I didn't want what we ate as a family to make me even more tired when, with a few simple changes, I could be choosing to cook with good-mood, energy boosting foods. I've started to make a few simple changes.
I make all of our daily bread in our breadmaker which I have done for several years now. Our usual loaf is made from a mix of half and half organic wholemeal/white flour. We love this bread but I might have a try at alternating our usual half and half loaf with a 70% wholemeal loaf simply to incease the wholegrain content. During the weekly shop at Waitrose, I've also found a really nice organic Stoneground Strong Malted Blend Flour made from wheat four and malted wheat flakes which also makes beautiful bread.
I've been cooking with white pasta for years until this week. From now on I'll be choosing the Seeds of Change Organic Semi-Wholewheat Tortiglioni pasta which will be a step in the right, wholegrain, direction! I was pleasantly surprised, it tastes great and the children liked it too. I'm not sure if we're going to switch over to 100% wholewheat pasta or not. I'm taking small steps towards improving our eating habits.
I'm reducing the amount of refined sugar I eat. I've cut it out completely from my breakfast (no more sprinkling a bit of sugar on top of my Waitrose Love life organic muesli) and lunch. The only time I might eat sugar now is if I have baked something for the family. I was eating chocolate most evenings purely out of habit, I want to stop that. I had some last night and I didn't even enjoy it but I ate it anyway because it's a habit. I just don't think chocolate is worth the bad-food fallout anymore, that sugar rush and then that crash afterwards. I need to think about what my evening 'treat' will be to replace the chocolate.
I've made a simple change by swapping our usual Sunpat Peanut butter with the Whole earth crunchy organic which is, again, delicious and has no added sugar or other sweetners. I'm pleased to see I can buy it in smooth, as that will please Little L.
I keep reminding the children, and myself, to drink plenty of water to help ward of grumpiness. It's so easy to mistake thirst for hunger.
I think of food now in terms of good-mood food and bad-mood food. Do you have any mood boosting healthy eating tips that you use for the whole family to increase emotional and physical wellbeing?