A Day Of Dopamine Friendly Meals
Sanus Biotech welcomes Guest Blogger Giana Sirota. Giana is a health and fitness expert and a culinary food expert. Tune in for her posts about living a healthy lifestyle, exercise tips and amazing recipes!
Too many times, we look for a pill that can make us happier, keep our anxiety down, help us sleep or help us stay awake. But did you know there are foods that will boost your mood?
When I started on a calorie-counting meal plan, I turned to 100 calorie snack packs—at the time, I didn’t realize they were high in sodium, sugar, and carbs. I did lose the weight and managed to keep it off for the past three years, but I found myself becoming tired and very sluggish as the day progressed.
But counting calories and watching my portions aren’t enough so I decided I needed to start discovering foods I could eat that not only kept me nourished (and were low calorie), but would also help keep me full throughout the day and, most importantly, energized.
Dopamine is that lovely neurotransmitter in our brains that secretes happiness and happens when we do things that make us happy or when we complete a major task or hit a goal. However, it can be produced naturally through foods to give us a simple feeling of bliss. Meditation and exercise can also improve dopamine levels naturally.
Below is a simple One Day Meal Plan comprised of foods that will make you feel full longer, give you more energy throughout the day AND will help increase your dopamine levels, naturally.
Breakfast: Overnight Oats
- 1/2 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 tsp. Chia Seeds
- 1/2 cup blueberries
Add Oats to a container of your choice and pour in Almond milk and Chia seeds. Add a layer of blueberries. Place in fridge overnight, and enjoy in the morning.
Lunch - Superfood Salad
- 1 sweet potato
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1 poached Egg
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- Half avocado
- 1/4 cup of kale sprouts
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Scrub and chop the sweet potato into 1/4 chunks. Place onto a roasting tray with salt and pepper, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then toss well. Spread out into an even layer and place into hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
- To poach the egg, fill the saucepan about 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and let the water simmer. You should see bubbles on the surface. Crack the egg into a small measuring cup, preferably one with a long handle. This will help you ease the egg into the water. Add vinegar to the water. (Adding vinegar to the boiling water will help loosen the whites and cohere itself into a more compact shape. Use the measuring cup to carefully lower the egg into the water and then tip it out into the water. Make sure the water is at a bare simmer.
- Cook for 4 minutes. Simmering in the water will give you a firm white yet a runny yolk.
- Once all ingredients are cooled, add to the bowl: quinoa, sweet potato, kale sprouts, avocado and using a slotted spoon remove the egg from the water add to the mixture.
- Season bowl with sea salt and black peppers, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 medium apple with 2 teaspoons Almond Butter
- Slices of watermelon, lightly seasoned with sea salt
- Non-fat Greek yogurt, topped with blueberries
Dinner: Baked Salmon with Tomatoes & Fennel
- 2 medium fennel bulbs
- 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- zest and juice 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 salmon fillets
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Trim the fronds from the fennel and set aside. Cut the fennel bulbs in half, then cut each half into 3 wedges. Cook in boiling salted water for 10 mins, then drain well.
- Roughly chop fennel fronds and mix with parsley and lemon zest.
- Spread the drained fennel over a shallow ovenproof dish, then add cherry tomatoes.
- Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 mins.
- Nestle the salmon among the fennel and tomatoes, sprinkle with lemon juice,
- Finally, bake for 15 mins more until the fish is just cooked.
- Throw parsley over dish and serve.