It’s difficult to remain a positive thinker when you’re stuck indoors in the middle of winter and, with me being a home worker, it’s doubly so as I don’t go out into the fresh air and walk around as much as I should, relying instead on a bit of exercise via my Wii and fresh air through an occasional trip down the garden to feed the birds or put rubbish in the bin.
The Happy Violinist with a Glass of Wine!
I was interested to read a recent article in an online magazine that has given me some food for thought, so to speak. The journalist who produced the article has been to the British Dietetic Association and they have given her some tips on what to eat to lift spirits and keep us healthy.
The first suggestion is that we shouldn’t skip meals as that lowers our blood sugar levels which, in turn, makes us feel grumpy and causes us to crave sugar so we instantly reach for the biscuit/cookie barrel or bar of chocolate! In order to avoid this “grumpy, sugary food, even grumpier” cycle they recommend having porridge, muesli, wholegrain cereals or even a slice of wholegrain toast for breakfast. Assuming that most of my readers are either workers or, like me, stay at home and have a light lunch, it’s best to steer away from pies and pasties, crisps/chips, etc but, instead opt for whole grain bread sandwiches, yoghurt or even a pasta salad. And when it comes to an evening meal, add lentils, pearl barley or some other variety of pulses to casseroles and eat loads of pasta, fresh vegetables or salads.
The Dietetic Association also recommend a good intake of Vitamin B and iron. These vitamins/minerals improve energy levels and your mood should ultimtely improve. So, as well as eating more wholegrain products we should be adding green vegetables, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, almonds, strawberries, tomatoes and peppers.
It’s long been drummed into us Brits that those people who are born and bred in the Mediterranean live far longer than we do and are far more hale and hearty, so we should, therefore, take on board a few tips from their eating habits. Their basic diet contains masses of fruit and vegetables as well as nuts, fish, olive oil, cereals, pasta and a SMALL AMOUNT of red wine. A good mix of these foods is associated with better mental health. The British do tend to like their “traditional” veg and fruit which have been grown on our sceptred isle for centuries – such as carrots, parsnips, swedes, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, radishes, green beans, runner beans and peas; apples, pears, cherries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries … but if we add to that list a few grapes, oranges, olives, sweet peppers and nuts then we’re well on the way to a healthier diet and hence a far happier life. Add to that a small glass of red wine with your evening meal and you’ve got it made.