In today’s fast-paced, high-pressure world, it is easy to let your emotions get the best of you. Once in a bad mood, it can be downright difficult to snap out of it. Everyone has his or her go-to default for stress management. For some, it involves exercise, for others it can as simple as picking up the phone and calling a friend. We are emotional beings, and experiencing our feelings to the fullest is part of what defines our humanity. Food is a powerful and under-utilized tool when addressing mental and physical imbalances in the body, which can help balance your overall moods.
I invite you to handle your mood through your nutrition, instead of other more conventional (and sometimes detrimental) means of blowing off steam. There are a myriad of foods that can stimulate your central nervous system while satisfying your palate. These foods are nutritiously dense foods that can provide a variety of benefits to your body, including stabilizing your blood sugar and making you feel happier in the process. Here are a few of the most effective mood-enhancing foods that top my list:
1. Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: More studies are amounting that show a link between consuming omega-3 essential fats and fighting depression. One of my favorite sources, pictured above, are chia seeds, which you can throw into the Rainforest Acai shake, the way I do. I often make it for my clients as well. Other good sources of these essential fats are walnuts and flaxseeds.
2. Pistachios: Nuts have a high level of polyunsaturated fats, vitamins, and antioxidants that make them an ideal mood-enhancing snack. Pistachios, aside from being extremely versatile and absolutely delectable, naturally lower your blood pressure immediately calming you down. Plating a cup of pistachios should be plenty to curb your mood and keep you positive.
3. Avocado: Along with increasing nutrient absorption, avocado contains a remarkably high amount of healthy saturated fat. Individuals with a low amount of healthy fat in his or her diet will experience fatigue, anxiety and depression. The reason being that your brain and connective tissues are made mostly from fats. By giving your body a high level of nutritious fats, you are literally feeding your brain (which is about 60% fat) and stimulating healthy functioning. I recommend eating a half avocado at a time either plain or dressing it up with some cayenne and eating it with some sliced tomatoes.
4. Quinoa: Eating healthy complex carbs, such as quinoa, and boosting mood are linked through the brain chemical, serotonin. Try my Curry-Turmeric Quinoa recipe, as well as my millet recipes in The Beauty Detox Solution. I just made the Greek-Inspired Millet Salad recipe for the first time in a while, and it was sooo good! So don’t shun all carbs — just stick to the good Beauty Detox grains, and cut out refined carbs. One of my favorite dishes to make is quinoa stuffed peppers, the perfect meal at any time.
5. Wine: Having one occasional glass of red wine will promote relaxation by inhibiting the formation of minor blood clots through a process called vasodilation (the process of increasing the blood flow through the body). Improved circulation will automatically raise your energy level in the short term while allowing you to mentally unwind.
6. Rolled Oats: Folic Acid and B vitamins are the two superstar ingredients in oats that will restore and maintain your mood. My Raw Rolled Oat cereal is a fantastic mood enhancer because it is easy to make, incorporates avocado, and is packed with fiber.
Lastly, remember the expression “you are what you eat.” It’s no coincidence that when you eat a greasy, sugary meal low in nutritional value, you feel sluggish and tired. Responsible eating and healthy nutrition are the first steps to a happier, more vibrant you!
So is it okay to mix seeds and berries but not seeds/nuts w/ fruit? In Finland we do not have frozen acai berries available but we have wonderful local berries like blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries so maybe I coulde replace acai with local fruit.
During last week you have posted incredible posts which have been so vital, thanks! <3
I want to give a suggestion: please, write about eating disorders and nutrition. How to make a healt relationship to food? Not to become "food nazi" or anything like that.
Ok Sanna, that is a good idea. I hope that through the posts and Beauty Detox info you and others are already learning to foster a healthier relationship to food, and see it as something associated with health and wellness, rather than deprivation and restriction.
The Acai Rainforest smoothie works with the chia seeds b/c acai is a fatty fruit, so doesn’t digest as quickly. Coconut would work with it too. Otherwise, you can keep it plain with just almond milk. xx
hi! Curious, I used to eat toast with Almond butter, but have now switched to Avocado on toast instead since I know we don’t want to mix starches with Protein. But…if avocado is considered a fruit, does that mean I can’t put it on toast? thank you!
Love your blog! Thanks for all your help!
I am addicted to nuts. I can’t focus or stay energized without them. The problem is, I eat too many and usually can’t stop. I can easily finish off two cups and I know you’re not supposed to eat more than a handful. I don’t want to go cold turkey because I need them to do well in school and to stay focused (I have horrible ADD and have been eating nuts, chia-seeds and L-tyrosine to curb it).
Any tips on how to lessen my nut intake while still staying focused and energized?
We need to look at your overall diet.
Are you starting with a GGS? That will supply many nutrients your body may need to stay balanced. Do you have other healthy sources of plant fat, like avocados?
Be sure to soak your nuts, so they are more nutritious. That way, I find them more filling and satiating and I don’t need as many (almonds are the best). Try chia seeds, in the Chia Seed Pudding or the Rainforest Acai shake, as that makes you full, gives long-burning energy, and you won’t overeat them like you do your nuts. xx
I drink the GGS at least 3 times a week…on the other days I’ll have fruit. but I find either way that I end up needing something else to fill me up afterwards–which usually ends up being nuts…
I do eat avocados, normally for lunch or dinner. In fact, I think overeat them nearly as often as I do nuts. I usually eat one a day. Maybe there’s something in my body that really craves omegas or fats?
I’ll try the acai shake and Chia seed pudding and let you know how it goes. I definitely think soaking my nuts will help too!
Thanks again!! 🙂
Hi Kim 😀
I just finished reading The Beauty Detox Solution and I feel so enlightened!
I’m definitely doing my best to follow proper Beauty Food Pairing! However, I was sooo sad to find out legumes & beans are one of nature’s “oops!” :-’( I usually eat them daily…
I have a couple of more questions for you 😉
First, I was wondering what you think about making hummus with sprouted chickpeas? I remember you mentioning that unsprouted chickpeas lead to gas and bloat, so would sprouting them eliminate this problem? Also, how would I go about sprouting them?
Also, I’m planning on making Tomato Basil Bread and was wondering if using Shiloh Farms’ Sprouted Spring Wheat Flour is a better alternative than just using whole wheat flour?
Thanks again for being super sweet and answering all my questions <3
You can have your legumes sometimes, but I don’t recommend overdoing them for the reasons I mention in the BDS.
You can use the sprouted chickpeas in the hummus, though I personally like the taste better of using zucchinis, in my recipe. 🙂
Sprouted flours are always better. 🙂
I finished reading your book two weeks ago. The first week following your “rules” was tough. I definitely had some detox symptoms from coffee and dairy, but I’ve the GGS every morning and now I feel amazing! I’m also no longer counting calories and it’s so freeing…thank you!
very interesting post…it is good to see that I’m loving all those food and eating them regulary since I follow BDS! so I guess I will become in a better mood from day to day…! Thank you very much for those tips!!!
But I have a question about rolled oats: I tried your recipe and it’s very very delicious… but I’m following Radiant Beauty, so I’m not suppose to have oats in the morning. When would be the best time of the day to eat rolled oats… Is having it as a snack in the afternoon is a good idea? or as an occasionnal dessert in the evening? what do you think, taking in consideration that I”m trying to loose about 10 pounds…?
thank you very much
Hi Helene, You can have it as a snack in the afternoon, especially if you are active. I wouldn’t have it late at night. xx
What do you think about this product? Sun Warrior Protein
I do quite a lot of weight lifting and since I’ve turned to more and more
vegan/vegetarian/raw food, I feel weaker, not as much muscle strength as before?
I was thinking maybe some additional protein powder would do good?
If you are a weightlifter, you can try adding some protein powder, sure. I would also recommend more chia and hemp!
I also follow thefruitpursuit.com blog and she loves that brand of protein. If you email them, they will send you samples. I just received mine but haven’t tried it yet.
Thank you for an interesting post!
I have a question about tropical “superfoods”. You often mention coconuts in your posts and I absolutely LOVE coco milk, but I read recently that we should adjust our diets to the climate we live in and eating foods that are not seasonal might be harmful to our bodies, e.g. coconut milk, avocado, mangoes and other tropical fruit in the winter might be too cooling to the body and might not digest well…is it true? i understand the mileage non-seasonal fruits and veg cover and that it’s bad for the environment, but can it also be harmful to our health?!
HI Jo, Good question. There are philosophies out there, like macrobiotic, which recommend not consuming much fruit at all, and only eating avocados if they are local to you. I think you have to listen to your body and what feels right. Especially when your diet is very clean, and you are not eating any animal products or dairy, I don’t think it is “harmful” for your health to have some tropical fruits. Coconuts and avocados are important sources of plant-based fats that I personally eat year-round. I eat papayas regularly as well, which are never in season in NY but com from the Caribbean/Mexico. So while I encourage the majority of the diet to be seasonal, I don’t think it has to be strictly followed to the degree you speak of. On the other hand, if you feel that certain foods “cool” you in the winter, make adjustments in your own diet! xx
Thank you so much for this post. I don’t know how you do it, but you always seem to post issues that I am currently dealing with! Extremely helpful 🙂
Great!! We’re all connected. 🙂
Do you soak your flaxseeds whole or ask them after grinding for the tablespoon you have each day and recommend? Or don’t you soak them? I have the same questions for chia. My research shows no definite conclusions on the phytic acid in flax and chia and how to ensure they are beneficial rather than contributing to mineral deficiencies because of anti nutrients.
Grateful for your views on this and what preparation methods you use.
that should say “soak” not “ask” sorry!
I soak the flax seeds, rinse them, then grind them. Chia seeds are definitely a daily food for me, and they have greatly improved my health!
thanks Kim! So you don’t soak your chia though then?
Love this post! Thanks! Also, I have a question about the Mag-Ox supplement. I have always had issues with irritable bowel syndrome and not going to the bathroom on a regular basis, sometimes only once a week… it’s no fun. I used to take psyllium husk and senna to help get things going but then i read your book. I’ve found that the magnesium-oxygen supplement works way better, but sometimes, too well. I usually only take 2 or 3 every other day, but when I do, I go to the bathroom 5-10 times all night after I’ve taken it and half-way into my day the next day, and its not solid at all. Is this normal? Sorry for all the poop questions!!
We def. want to avoid chronic diarrhea. Have you tried just taking 1 and seeing how that works, every few days? Keep playing with/reducing the dosage. xx
I stumbled upon your blog not that long ago and can’t get enough of it ! After browsing through pages and pages of great articles I decided to buy your book – fabulous !
I struggle with some stubborn acne, lumpy hair and some extra pounds that won’t come off no matter what I do….. I was wondering if I could schedule a consultation with you ?
HI Magda! Be sure to really read/incorporate the cleansing suggestions I outline in the BDS. Though I’m not currently offering consultations, you’ll get lots of support here, and on FB and Twitter. We have live chats too!! Stay connected, and you will improve. xx
Awww, too bad you’re not offering consultation….but I will definitely be a “regular” on your site 🙂 You are amazing !!!
Hi Kim! Thanks so much for the always helpful tips! I have your book and I know in it you have promoted using the Mag07 (which i love!) for colon cleansing, but I was wondering if there was any supplement you would suggest for liver cleansing? I’m trying to clear up a skin problem and detox, and I know a lot a foods and lemon water will help but as far as supplement for liver cleansing is there any you could recommend? Thanks so much!
I don’t really recommend taking specific supplements like you mention, but I will say that milk thistle and dandelion are known to help cleanse the liver. You should also add a few dandelion leaves to your GGS (just a few, as it is bitter!). xx
I want to tell you how much of an inspiration you are to me. I’m actually in the process of going back to school to focus on nutrition in hopes that I can help others as well. This is largely due to you. I’ve been working with your program since the day the book hit the shelves and honestly I’ve had my fair share of bumps along the way, but I’m determined to stick it out!
I do have a question though. You talk a lot about your love for young coconuts and their health qualities but…when do you eat them? Are they considered a fruit? A nut? A meal in and of theselves? I would like to incoroporate them more but want to make sure I’m doing in the best way.
Gratitude and much love!
HI Angela, check out my posts on young coconuts, there are many. xx
What are your thoughts on peanut butter? There’s so much marketing on it that says it’s healthy for you because it has protein and because its a nut. On the other hand there are so many health articles claiming that it’s truly bad for you. Please help me, I love peanut butter haha.
Peanuts and peanut butter are a no no because they are prone to carry a toxic mold called aflatoxin which is a carcinogen. I was saddened by the news of no peanut butter too for a while because it’s been my go-to comfort food since I was a kid… until I discovered almond butter and began my life-long love affair with it! Try it, you won’t be disappointed (you can even make your own very simply with a nice food processor once you’ve soaked your almonds!) Enjoy!
I never, ever let any of my clients eat peanut butter, even organic varieties. Check out the box in The Beauty Detox Solution called, “Pass on the Peanuts.”
Try almond butter instead! xx
Pretty cool, I’ve had a lot of the foods listed in recent days. Before even reading this, avo and pistachios were part of my lunch today. 🙂
Unfortunately I have a quick 25 minute lunch. The earliest I can sit down for a nice, long meal is by 4:00. Every day at 11:30, my only free time, I’ve been having a banana followed by some other snack like a granola bar. Later on in the day , I get extremely exhausted and worn out; I go to school btw. Can you recommend me something better to have so that I could be more energetic and feel less weak? My options are limited as I have to take something portable that I can also slip into my tote bag.
Thanks so much!
I will offer a suggestion that works for me . I make up glowing green jiuce with Maca to drink on the way to work or right when I get there. Then I always have in my tote with ice pack a ggs, sometimes I even take two. As I always have at least ten in my freezer for backup. Another thing is to carry your organic cut up veggies of colored peppers, carrots, cukes. then use the raw chickpeas-less hummus and or the beauty guacamole for dipping. I Always add cayenne pepper to Kim’s guac recipe. I always add capsicum/cayenne pepper to hummus mixture and or sometimes a little nutritional yeast. I save the seeds when i make the guac to help maintain the color in it. Also having a small veggie salad, and or some gulten free crackers with almond butter in my tote can carry me thru 10 hrs away from home with lots of nutritional reinforcement. Also the Beauty Guac can also serve as a dressing. Then having a plan on what the appropriate times for eating these during the day for proper combining.
I always soak my chia seeds for 8 hrs before using them in any recipe.
Probiotics are and digestive enzymes, and Mag 7 are an essential step in my health program. I accidently ran out of mag 7 and I could plainly feel I had a missing link. The Probiotics I am currently using are the DDS Plus brand. I have tried numerous brands over the last four yrs. The next brand I want to try out is in powdered form on Mike Adams The Natural store. I find this web site a great resource for high quality products.
Coconut water is good to carry. The brand I like is Nature Factor organic young coconut water. I buy it at Vitamin Cottage natural grociers by the case due to living a great distance from the city.
I take my probiotics when I first get up then mag7, ten min later while drinking my lemon water. I take my digestive enzymes about 5-6am in the morning and my dinner at 7-8am as I work nights. All these have responded as a healing tool in my body and emotions.
I love this program and can flow with it for years to come.
I feel so much better skipping the organic meats per they slow down my digestion. I have learned not to miss beans per no suffering with my digestion.
I am actually looking forward to the holidays with out that over load of foods. I have reached a point if there are foods being eaten around me and I might lose control and mix incorrectly I just get up and leave. As my health has become the most important love in my life. VLL
Hey Melba, check out my post titled “25 Snacks That Will Give You Energy Throughout The Day” for some creative and delicious snack ideas. Hope this helps! xx Kim
I am really happy with the range of articles, theme and look of this website. Top notch, keep the good work going.
Hi Kim!Thanks for all the inspirational bligs!I have been following your book for a month now,love it!However I still struggle with constipation,in fact it is worse now!I had the GGS for two weeks but switched to rolled oats in stead.Otherwise I stick to food pairing,avos plus salad and cooked dinner.Not sire what I am doing wrong,I take probiotocs,dig enzyme,magn oxide and even went for two colinicsI keep telling myself just to stick it out it will get bettet.Have you got any advice,must my body jyst adjust?I try to eat a lot of Greens.I hope you have time to answer,have poste this question on 4 of your blogs but no response so far.I really want to make this a lifestyle but struggling to stay motivated!
Anna, remember how long you have eaten a certain way, and how long things take to change. It sounds like you are doing all the right things, but you still have only been on the program for a month. Over time, try going back to the GGS as your digestion strengthens and things clear out. For some, the high amount of fiber and raw greens can be a lot in the beginning. Take gradual steps, and make sure you drink your hot water with lemon in the morning and wait for a while to let things more on their own. Things can take a while to shift for the long-term, but they will. How many Mag07 pills do you take?
Great! I like to switch up my batches of Probiotic & Enzyme Salad every once in a while to get some variety. Having it plain with salt is delicious as well. Try caraway seeds! The pulp is good for making cookies. You can try blending them with some almond butter, liquid aminos or maple syrup, and making raw cookies. Experiment and let me know how you do! Love, Kimberly
Love your book. I’m on day 5 of the blossoming beauty plan, and I am feeling better every day.
I have a question about lemon with hot water. Your book mentions that lemons have over 200 enzymes. Would hot water diminish the amount of enzymes?
I usually wait until the water has cooled enough to be sipped and then I squeeze the lemon juice in as to not destroy the enzymes. So happy you are feeling great! xx Kim
I read your book and for the last month have been implementing all of your strategies and feel pretty good! I’m having a little bit of timimg trouble though and it’s a little frustrating and causing me to go off track and overeat! For example, you say to limit snacking but if I have a ggs for breakfast, a giant salad and maybe 2 slices of millet bread at lunch, and then a vegetarian dinner, when can I add in some of these other wonderful foods you talk about like coconut smoothies, chia seeds, almond butter, pistachios, oats, etc? How can I have a nut based or cacao dessert if I’ve had a starch and veggie dinner?
Could you give an example of a few days of your daily diet? That would be so unbelievable helpful 🙂
xoxo many thanks,
Hi Marcy, in the mid-afternoon, you can add the coconut smoothie, chia seeds, almond butter with celery sticks, oats, etc. especially if you have a long stretch between lunch and dinner. It will not interfere.
I would love to stop worrying about carbs, that would make me really happy! I love to have your dharma salad after yoga and feel so great, but my mind always tells me I need to eat more carbs after working out or I’ll overeat…then I worry about it until I end up overeating. YOur book really helped me to get over my protein fear (not getting enough, having to eat it all the time) and that has been so freeing and wonderful, especially as a vegearian! I’d love some help getting over this same type of fear/worry about not getting enough carbs!
love from montreal,
Hi Jeanne, I want you to try to get over the idea of trying to categorize everything into this nutrient or that. Remember that overall we are focusing on a balanced, plant-based diet. Be sure to eat lots of greens and salads first. There are lots of healthy starches and grains part of the Beauty Detox, but be sure you stick to approximately the recommended amounts of serving sizes so that you don’t go overboard. In time it will become easier as you get used to it. Chia seeds are great too, as you can dress them up for sweet cravings and to help you stay full, esp if you have a long stretch between lunch and dinner. xx
Just ordered your book. Can’t wait to get started!
Great, excited for you to start! xx Kim
Hi Kim~ Thansk for the reply! I have now switched to the GGJ and the rolled oats. I still need to add the Probiotic salad, made it once with miso but was awful going to try it with just salt. I take 4 capsules in the morning. Thanks for giving me hope, I love your plan, I still feel better than I used to.
Also, I make a lot of almond milk, I then dry the pulp, grind it and make almond flour. Please if you can will you post some Ideas of what to do with the pulp/flour?
I am getting a food processor for my birthday, cant wait to try your recipes!
Thanks for all the great posts!
Hi Kimberly! I love the ten rules. I am so into your book. Although wouldn’t my blood sugar level spike up if I don’t have some protein in the morning with the smoothie? Fruits have a lot of sugar. I heard that your suppose to always have some protein with a piece of fruit and every meal. Doing your program feels extremely fantastic! I absolutely love it! Although, I seem to have infrequent bowel movements–how am I suppose to change this to have a bowel movement everyday?
Thank you Kimberly,
Maylee, the GGS is packed with high fiber-filled vegetables, which will help stabilize blood sugar- and only a small amount of fruit to cut through the “green” veggie taste. So this is a super nutritious breakfast filled with amino acids for plant protein and fiber. Having a GGS regularly should help to stabilize your bowel movements. Other than that, you can always try a colonic or enemas, to help get things moving! Xx
I am loving your blog so much that I just picked up your book! I started reading it and am trying to get all of the ingredients to make your recipes…I am wondering about the nutritional yeast. I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to use the flakes or the powder. I tried to look it up in the book if you mentioned it but I couldn’t find it.
I am a vegetarian for many years. I have been always tired, feeling cold and stressful. In brief, what do you suggest in a veggie diet?
I have pain over chest after eating avocado every time. Do I need to avoid it? Thanks.
I tend to have a serving of quinoa and half an avocado at some point in the day. Is that food pairing okay?
Thank you for writing BDS. You are my greatest inspiration!:)
I have a quick question: I don’t like avocados.. is there anything you can recommend that I can substitute with?
(Sorry if you’ve answered this question already and I’ve missed it!)
Shall I soak pistachios prior to eating them? Is soaking an effective step when it gets to pistachios?
Hi Kimberly, I have several food allergies. All tree nuts, mushrooms, all shell fish. Pomegranate, some olives. I want to eat healthy. I’m diabetic. Have high blood pressure both are stress related complications. Also, need lower sodium suggestions. Want to lost 70 lbs. Help!!!