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Some foods can alter brain chemistry to boost your mood. So to stay blissful all day long, in addition to doing our Joy Workout, try these recipes from John La Puma, MD, author of Chef MD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine.
Breakfast: Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa with Blackberries
How-to: Bring 1/4 cup low-fat milk, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup rinsed quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup blackberries, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon; top with 1 teaspoon agave nectar and 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts.
Why it works: Quinoa is rich in hunger-fighting protein. Milk’s vitamin D may increase the “happy hormone” serotonin. And walnuts deliver mood-elevating omega-3s.
Lunch: Lemon Salmon and Navy Bean Salad
How-to: Combine 1/4 (15.5-ounce) can of navy beans, 1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and a dash of crushed red pepper. Top 1 1/2 cups chopped romaine with bean mixture and 1 (3.75-ounce) can of sockeye salmon. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
Why it works: Salmon has omega-3s and serotonin-boosting vitamin B6. Navy beans are rich in magnesium, which helps banish PMS-related blues. Red peppers and lemon juice offer vitamin C, which repairs brain cells.
Dinner: Saffron, Shrimp, and Chickpea Paella
How-to: Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 6 large shrimp (peeled, deveined) and 1 minced garlic clove; cook until shrimp are opaque. Transfer to a bowl. Combine 1/4 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained; 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed; and 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce in skillet. Add 1/4 cup cooked brown rice, 1/4 (15.5-ounce) can of chickpeas; simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp mixture; cook until heated.
Why it works: Saffron may alleviate depression. Chickpeas have folate and mood-lifting tryptophan. Shrimp are a good source of vitamin B6. And brown rice boasts magnesium.