Did you know that research has proven that certain plants contain natural chemicals known as phytonutrients that quickly improve your mood?

Eating well and consuming the right portion size (consider the palm of your hand to be an ideal gauge of the amount) will help self-regulation and keep your brain functioning at the highest level necessary for optimum focus and performance.

Fill your plate with more organic vegetables and less meat and fish. Eat organic to reduce toxins in your diet.


Foods high in sugar, fat, gluten and dairy will be a literal “wet blanket” to your energy and sense of well being.

We all know what a sugar high is! As the saying goes, what goes up, must come down. That means within an hour or more of  consuming sugar (ice cream cone, coke, sugary cereal)  you have reduced energy and fatigue.

Sure, processed foods offer low cost convenience!  But processed foods are filled with sugar and additives, chemicals and “fillers” of unknown origins that essentially pollute your body. You may not feel it immediately, but these chemicals  gradually wear down your immune system and make you vulnerable to illness and depression.


Mood Elevating Nutritional ABCs

Almonds contain zinc, an antioxidant that combats the free radicals that damage brain cells. Almonds are also loaded with healthy nutrients like vitamin B6 which promote brain health and vitamin E that slows down the ageing of brain cells that impact memory. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in almonds help increase intellectual levels and the magnesium  strengthens the nerves in your brain. Carry almonds with you to nibble all day. For a quick healthy breakfast, spread a tablespoon of almond butter on a banana.

 Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health. As a monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure,  eating half an avocado every day will boost healthy brain function.  Add avocado to your salads and sandwiches. Enjoy Guacamole!

Apples are  loaded with quercetin, a powerful mind-boosting antioxidant and provide you with a good dose of Vitamin C, which reduces anxiety.

Asparagus is a powerhouse mood-booster of Vitamins B6 & B9  and potassium.

Hall of Shame: Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that’s sold under the brand names NutraSweet and Equal. It’s  found in almost all “sugar free” and “diet” foods. By 2010, 1/5 of all Americans drank a diet soda each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Aspartame Risks

Does aspartame increase risk of mood disorders like depression? In one study, scientists compared those with and without a history of mood disorders. They found that aspartame did increase symptoms in patients with a history of depression. A 2014 study of healthy adults found similar results. When participants consumed a high-aspartame diet, they suffered from more irritability and depression.

The most serious concern is that any product containing aspartame is required to warn consumers that it contains phenylalanine. People with a rare genetic condition can’t properly metabolize phenylalanine. When they ingest it, it builds up in the body. Without treatment, it can cause brain damage or uncontrolled muscle movements.

How to Avoid Aspartame:

  • Add less sweetener in your coffee, tea, or breakfast cereal and/or replace it with a few drops of organic honey (liquid or granulated), maple syrup or agave.
  • Swap  “sugar free” soda and fruit juices for a flavored carbonated water that has no artificial sweeteners. Another option is to infuse your water with apple, cucumber or lemon slices.
  • Switch to unflavored Greek yogurt and flavor it with with fresh berries or bananas or no sugar added applesauce.
Mood Elevating Nutritional ABCs

A large Banana gives you 12 milligrams each of tryptophan and tyrosine, amino acids your body uses to make neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which help regulate your mood. Getting an adequate amount of these amino acids may help you stay calm and focused, while lessening feelings of anxiety and stress.

Blueberries are a super brain food that will improve your sense of well-being.  The anti-oxidant power of blueberries has been shown to be particularly useful in stabilizing brain function , protecting the neural tissue from oxidative stress, while reducing symptoms of depression.Blueberries also contain other major phytonutrients including pterostilbene, resveratrol, flavonols and tannins. Throw a cup of blueberries in your morning yogurt to put a smile on your face.

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts are good sources of Vitamin C that naturally overcome depression. Since they are rich in fiber and special phytonutrients, they rid of your body of toxins. Enjoy coleslaw made of broccoli and brussels sprouts on your sandwich or tacos.

Hall of Shame: Red Bull

Hall of Shame: Red Bull

Diets high in carbohydrates (things like cereal, popcorn, bread, pizza, hummus, cookies, — anything that quickly turns into sugar in the blood stream) are a psychological “wet blanket” to our creative focus.

Red Bull’s advertising promises to give you wings.Energy drink-related emergency department visits have skyrocketed, nearly doubling between 2007 and 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Dawn Report, which tracks the nation’s drug-related emergency department visits.   Did you know that caffeinated energy drinks label themselves as “dietary supplements” rather than food and aren’t regulated for safety by the FDA? Energy drink companies don’t even have to reveal how much caffeine each can contains.

High levels of caffeine, say 500 milligrams, are the equivalent of 5 cups of coffee – so  you run the risk of suffering  “caffeine toxicity”. Symptoms include severe headaches, heart palpitations and nausea. At higher levels —caffeine can cause seizures, mania, hallucinations, and even strokes. Also beware of the diuretic effect of caffeinated energy drinks that cause your body to lose water, dehydrating you.

Mood Elevating Nutritional ABCs

Cashews: Cashews are incredible sources of healthy fats, iron, protein, and Vitamin B6.

Chickpeas: Chickpeas combat low energy and anxiety, and protein helps fuel neurotransmitter function in the brain that helps produce serotonin and dopamine, 2 natural hormones that make you feel happy. Enjoy Hummus as your GO TO snack!

Chocolate: Chocolate (cacao)  is 1 of the richest sources of magnesium! That bar of dark chocolate will calm anxiety and improve mood.

Coconut: Coconut’s fats are possibly the best you can give your brain. Why? They’re linked to happiness, clarity, and lower anxiety. Replace dairy in your diet with coconut milk.

Hall of Shame: Red Bull

Hall of Shame: Simple Carbs

Diets high in carbohydrates (things like cereal, popcorn, bread, pizza, hummus, cookies, — anything that quickly turns into sugar in the blood stream) are a psychological “wet blanket” to our creative focus.

Think about it, no such addiction response occurs after eating a salad or a slice of pineapple!

We all know that carbs are addictive, because when you eat things like pizza or a brownie, your blood sugar rapidly rises. You get a temporary “high” when your blood sugar is high.

Three ounces of sugar in any form (for example a can of Coke or bowl of sugary cereal) suppress the activity of white blood cells for up to 5 hours.

This is followed by a blast of insulin from your pancreas causing a rapid drop in blood sugar. You feel fatigue and anxiety . In order to feel good again, you want to “self medicate” by eating another hit of carbs.

Carbs also cause nutrient deficiencies. Carbs require B complex vitamins for their utilization in the body. Unfortunately, it is the B vitamins that are removed during the processing of grains. Because refined grains are low in B vitamins and yet require high B vitamins for their utilization, they lead to B complex vitamin deficiencies. Problems associated with B vitamin deficiencies include depression, insomnia, fatigue, and GI symptoms to name just a few. None of these are benefits to your creative endeavors!