Foods that Fight Seasonal Blues

Foods that Fight Seasonal Blues

Correction:

Ladies, we royally f*%&ed up on the below. Spelt is not gluten-free, and, yes, canola oil is not the best oil to get your vitamins from. Again, we apologize for this. Promise to make it up to you if you haven’t already banned us from your life. xoxoxo

It’s September and you’re hanging onto summer tighter than the last few minutes of Twilight. The weather is starting to cool down a few degrees and just seeing the beach volleyball photos and sunkissed tans on Facebook make you want to hurl with anxiety. That was it? I didn’t even break in my new bikini.

Buck up, honey. Fall brings Halloween, hot boots and seasonal food yummy enough to make you forget about the pool boy. In fact, you can rid seasonal blues by stocking up on the right foods that can help stabilize your mood by keeping your serotonin levels in check – the chemicals in your brain that induce calm. Fend off tempting fast food, processed foods and booze. Pull out the grocery list and stock up on the following foods.

Carbs love you. Carbohydrates play a role in the production of serotonin, and a lack of carbohydrates can lead to noticeable changes in your mood. Hang out with any Atkins person and you’ll see that they aren’t the nicest bitch. But don’t load up on empty carbs. Make sure they are high-quality carbs such as whole grains like quinoa and oats, as well as organic fruits and veggies.
Vitamins D and E. Many sources of vitamin E exist in nuts, seeds and veggie oils. Vitamin D can be soaked in by going outdoors. But don’t forget the sunscreen, just because it’s fall doesn’t mean the sun won’t make you wrinkle faster than a prune.

Tall, dark and green. Dark green vegetables such as spinach, kale and peas are high in folate. It is a substance that has a key role in the production of serotonin. The fresher the veggie, the more it’s packed with nutrients. If you can’t get fresh, go for frozen over canned.

Beans, beans the magical fruit. Chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans, are rich in iron, vitamin E and fiber. All of which are very helpful in fighting off the blues.

We’ve got your happy meal right here….

Chickpea Quinoa Veggie Burgers

1 small sweet potato
1/4 cup dry quinoa, baked
1/4 cup dry oats
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

Peel, dice, and steam the sweet potato until soft. Cook the quinoa and oats in separate pots. In a food processor or blender, combine the garbanzo beans, sweet potato, parsley, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper, flour, and one tablespoon of the oil. In a separate bowl, mix the bean mixture with the quinoa and oats. Using your hands, form into six patties. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Brown both sides of each burger.

Serve on a toasted whole grain bun or focaccia and top with chopped salad greens, dressed with a drizzle of canola oil, lemon, salt and pepper. If you want to nix the bun, serve the patty on a bed of dressed dark leafy greens.

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton

An avid traveler and crusader for health nuts around the world, Carolyn Scott-Hamilton is the executive producer, creator, host and writer of The Healthy Voyager web series & radio show, site, blog, brand and social network. C

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