Happy Foods –

Bringing true pleasure and balance back into our foods

by Jim Montrose, Ayurvedic Specialist, March 2020

Ayurvedic Cooking

For most of us we no longer just eat to survive, but instead eat for pleasure.  Yet today with the changes in our food, preparation and diet we often miss the pleasure we are expecting. An apple I used to eat in the past that was hard, crunchy, aromatic and bounding with flavor as the juice exploded from its flesh; is now mushy, mealy, less flavorful, less sweet, and sometimes less juicy.

As a compensation for this lack of nutrient flavor, wellness and health in our food supply we have now created extravagantly flavored sauces, added sugar, salt, and flavor enhancers to our foods. Fast foods and junk foods with these artificial enhancers and empty calories abound but only give a semblance of pleasure that is short lasting.

And the trouble is…

Those foods aren’t satisfying us at a deep level and often leave us unsatisfied and in the famine state which encourages us to eat more empty calories and junk that doesn’t provide the basic nutrients we need and doesn’t satisfy our taste buds long term. They’re just activating the dopamine reward centers in our brains fooling us into a false satiety.

In the long term, poor eating habits exasperate the situation which most of us feel at a deep level of knowing.

Degrading health, obesity, loss of energy, dopamine crashes, physical limitations, depleted nutrient reserves, constant snacking … don’t make us happy. They may even create a level of depression that we learn to survive with in modern life.

There are solutions, Happy Foods, that can help us reclaim our pleasure in eating and increase our health and wellness at the same time. Replacing them with whole, natural, and healthy foods that naturally give true satiety is a first step.

We can choose the happy foods that enhance our well-being, elevate our moods, increase our immune system, have broader nutrient values (replacing processed and nutrient –sterile foods) and add happy foods that replace some of the depleted nutrients that lead to poor health and depression while increasing joy. Coupling this with preparing our happy foods in ways that conserve the nutrients, concentrate the nutrients, and provide them in tasty, exciting ways that meet our unique body’s constitutional needs we can create Happy foods that do us well, satisfy hunger, and increase pleasure in eating.

Happy Foods that open the way for more Joy

There are a number of common foods that have been found to have unique properties that reduce dark feelings and depression (although WebMD says there is no diet found to relieve depression). The following may open the way for more joy. Add these foods to your diet along with real foods to satisfy your hunger, bring more true pleasure, and perhaps increased back to eating.

Property Effect Common sources (* preferred, – more toxins)1
Omega-3’s Regulates and boosts mood (often missing in people experiencing depression and bad moods). *Flaxseed, seaweed, chia seeds, walnuts, edamame, kidney beans, dark green leafy vegetables, etc.

– mackerel, salmon, seabass, oysters, fish oil, sardines, shrimp, trout,

Vitamin B-12 Controls energy, depression sometimes is just low energy. * Raisin bran, fortified non-dairy milk, cheese, eggs, etc. Legumes, nuts, many fruits, and dark green vegetables have folate which increases B-12.

– Livers and kidneys of animals, clams, sardines, beef, tuna, trout, salmon

Vitamin D Sunshine vitamin, lacking in depressed people found to help relieve cabin fever. * Get out in the sun, mushrooms, oranges, cheese, egg yolks

-fatty fishes (tuna, mackerel, salmon), beef liver, etc.

Flavonoids Phytonutrients that reduce oxidative stress which is linked to depression, found to help in depression studies. *citrus fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, berries, etc.

-tea, red wine,

Selenium Mood-boosting and relaxing by reducing inflammation in the brain (a marker of anxiety and other mood disorders). *brazil nuts (1-2 a day), whole grains, eggs, garlic, etc. Beans and legumes, Low-fat dairy products, Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.).

– fish, shellfish, red meat, chicken, liver, ham

Theanine Amino acid that improves cognitive function, sleep, and relaxation which make us all feel better. *mushrooms,

-green tea, coffee, black tea,

Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Trigger anxiety and make it difficult to sleep at night. Cutting back or stop to get a good night’s sleep which will make you feel better.

Note: these will help with mood but are not a complete approach for depression. 1 – Vegetable sources are preferred due to less contamination with pesticides and PCB’s

Happy Food, Immune system enhancers

According to WebMD and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine the following compounds and lifestyle enhancers can increase our immunity and are available in common plant based foods and lifestyle choices.

Property Effect Common sources
Beta Carotene Powerful antioxidant, that can reduces inflammation and boosts immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables. apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato
Vitamin C Antioxidants that help to destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response. Red peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, lemons, blue-berries, grapefruit, kiwi, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin E Antioxidants that help to destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response. Nuts, seeds, spinach, vegetable oils, wheat germ, and broccoli.
Vitamin D Reduces the risk for viral infections, including respiratory tract infections, by reducing production of proinflammatory compounds in the body. Increased vitamin D in the blood linked to prevention of chronic diseases including tuberculosis, hepatitis, and cardiovascular disease. Get out in sun, most food source come from Vitamin D fortification in cereals, milk, etc.
Vitamin A Promotes mouth, intestines, and respiratory tract tissue health. Sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, and cantaloupe.
Zinc Mineral that boosts white blood cells, which defend against invaders. Nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, beans, chickpeas, and lentils.
Sleep Rests (of adequate amount 7-9 hrs) and recharges body, lowers risk of serious health problems—like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity. Inadequate sleep linked to suppressed immune function. Sleeping fewer than five hours per night we are more likely to have suffered a recent cold compared with those who sleep more.
Eating a low fat, plant based diet More effective white blood cells due to a high intake of vitamins and low intake of fat. Helps maintain a healthy weight which benefits the immune system. Reduces inflammatory biomarkers. Plant-based diet can lead to better sleep.

Remember that eating the actual fruit or veggie is better than popping single-vitamin supplements since it’s likely that all the components in the food interact to offer protection.

Happy Food can be an important tool to modify your moods and combined with proper foods for your bodily constitution can help you live healthier and with more joy. To make a lasting change we need to use foods that enhance our well-being, have broader nutrient values (replacing processed and nutrient sterile foods) and replace depleted nutrients that lead to poor health, feeling hungry, and other challenges of the modern diet. But the ingredients alone are not sufficient we must prepare our foods in ways that conserve the nutrients, concentrate the nutrients, and provide them in tasty, exciting ways that meet our unique bodies’ constitutional needs. To create Happy foods that do us well, satisfy hunger, and increase true pleasure in eating we must also consider: how we eat, how it is prepared, our emotional state (preparer, eater, and company) and when possible increase our conscious involvement to impact our experience and health.

Learn more about Happy Foods by joining us at our next seminar:

Happy Food – bringing true pleasure and balance back into our foods

Saturday, April 4th from 9 am to about 2 pm at the Ranch

R350 (R300 paid before March 31st), R500 couples (1 set notes)

Includes: snack and lunch, notes and recipes, 5 hours of instruction.

See the announcement, click here. Sign-up now for Happy Foods with Jim at 071-959-0786 or call the office, Lana at 083 290-1283.

Stay Friday or Saturday night as a mini-retreat with delicious Vegetarian meal, accommodation, and quiet time if you’re coming from a long distance. Book now, with Jim, for the Friday or Saturday night and reserve the evening meal at 071 959 0786.

Call for the next seminar time, if you missed this one, we offer it throughout the year, call now 071 959 0786.

In loving service, health, and expanding eating pleasure,

 

Jim Montrose, Ayurvedic Counselor

www.drzaidarivene.co.za/jimmontrose

071 959 0786

P.S. Join us for Happy Foods in April and make food that is satisfying. Sign up for our newsletter and view our blogs at the website www.drzaidarivene.co.za.

P. P.S. Check out the website for other articles and resources on cooking, words, inspired living, health, chakra meditation, ayurveda and other topics. Some of the programs we have planned include:

Balance your Body Type  offering again in the Fall, email for information.

Ayurvedic Cooking offering again in the Fall, email for information.

Copyright March 2020

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© Copyright - Dr Zaida Rivene

From the N2 (Cape Town towards George) Take the first Swellendam exit (left). This is the R60. Proceed (1km+) through the 4 way stop and continue approximately 2-3 km and look for a sign for the Hermitage. Make a hard right (270 degrees). After the turn continue about 200 meters and turn left at first road (dirt). Proceed 300 meters and turn left into Red Roan Ranch and go to bottom of hill (the main house).

(Coming from George to Cape Town) Take the third exit (R60) right. Proceed (1km+) through the 4 way stop and continue approximately 2-3 km and look for a sign for the Hermitage. Make a hard right (270 degrees). After the turn continue about 200 meters and turn left at first road (dirt).  Proceed 300 meters and turn left into Red Roan Ranch and go to bottom of hill (the main house).

GPS:  S34 degrees 01.367 minutes, E020 degrees 25.193 minutes. Note most GPS units (Garmin, etc.) have the wrong coordinates for Red Roan Ranch.

Call if you have trouble 071 959 0786 or 083 290 1283