What to consume to boost your mood (besides wine!)

what to consumer to boost your mood (besides wine)

By Danielle Colley

It usually happens for me at about 4.30pm.


My log of patience has been whittled away throughout the day, leaving me with no more than a spindly twig and suddenly my defenses are down; the whining seems amplified; the bedtime light at the end of the tunnel seems miles away.


I can feel my blood pressure rising as I’m rushing around trying to finish the 5 million things I started throughout the day and get the dinner/bath/bed thing under wraps. I’m tightly wound and don’t feel in control.


What if I started my day that way?

If I jumped out of bed anxious, tired and cranky-assed?


We are all so busy that our stress levels are all over the place. Couple that with hormones and your fluctuating moods can have you crying at the supermarket checkout before you can say “I’m having a shocker”.


Many of us have some awareness about food and nutrition for our energy levels, but what about for our moods?”


It’s times like these that we dream about bucket-sized glasses of wine, and chocolate bars bigger than our heads. Tragically, these things that we crave are actually no more than sweet, sweet placebos that may give an instant lift but the crash follows hot on its heels.


Thankfully Mother Nature has a few tricks up her sleeve that we can try before we reach for the Valium.



One super quick way to make a difference within half an hour is to eat something low-protein, low fat, high-carb. Low GI carbs help to regulate our blood glucose, and therefore help stabilize our moods. When carbohydrates aren’t coupled with protein or fats they release tryptophan into our brains where it converts to serotonin; think rye toast with avocado, black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

Not as fun as pepperoni pizza, but better for your mood.

The potassium in bananas is also great for producing serotonin. You’d need to eat a few bananas before you felt like dancing all night, but it’s a step in the right direction.


Avoid protein heavy foods like chicken, and cheese, as they can muzzle our happy hormone according to Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Food & Mood. “They suppress serotonin,” she says, “because all the other amino acids in them compete with tryptophan, so it can’t get into your brain.”



Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Get more fish in your dish. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in salmon, tuna and sardines is shown to considerably ease the sads. Studies have been done on people with bi-polar (manic depression) and the results have been nothing short of miraculous. Omega 3 is also packed into nuts and seeds so sunflower and pepita seeds are your friends.





Toot toot. Whatever your bean, pea or lentil of choice, these musical fruits all contain slow burning carbs which will help regulate your happy neurotransmitter serotonin.





Believe it or not seaweed is awesome for your mood. It is very rich in iodine, which is integral to thyroid health, which is the master regulator for your energy and moods. Many women need a little more iodine in their lives and eating brown rice sushi (iodine, low GI carbs and Omega 3) is a great way to eat yourself happy.



Dark chocolate

You were waiting for this one, right? Dark chocolate has benefits that milk chocolate does not have. Dark chocolate improves the blood-flow to the brain, and provides an instant boost in concentration and mood. This will help you to feel more energetic and vibrant. Obviously, this must be used in moderation as the ‘chocolate remorse’ can undo your great mood!




Consuming at least 1000 mg of calcium each day has been found to effectively alleviate depression and anxiety in women. Calcium helps a person’s brain by causing it to release happiness-inducing neurotransmitters. Full fat natural yoghurt is actually one of the most concentrated sources of the mineral at 488 mg calcium per cup. (Non-fat milk has 306 mg per cup.)




This baby has more health benefits than you can poke a spinach leaf at. From your muscle and nerve function to your heartbeat this is a super mineral that is also known to help with anxiety. Whilst present in many of the foods I’ve already discussed one of the highest forms can been found in green leafies like spinach and chard.


Why not bang out a super mood-boosting smoothie and drink your cares away?”


Check out Danielle making her Super Mood-Boosting Smoothie:


mood boosting shake blender

Yield : 3 serves

What you will need :

  • 1 banana
  • 2 large chard or silverbeet leaves
  • 3 pieces dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • a handful of strawberries, stems removed
  • two handfuls of ice

Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend it like there’s no tomorrow. Pour into three glasses and drink yourself happy.

mood boosting shake finished 2



Another thing to remember is a brisk walk in the sunshine is proven to boost your mood. Hold your head high, swing your arms and get a little blood pumping. As little as 10-15 minutes can really kick the shits to the curb.


If you are experiencing prolonged feelings of depression or anxiety, you need to seek advice. Do not be embarrassed or scared. If you had a broken arm, you would see a doctor.

Depression is often treatable.”


Danielle is launching her new book on the 28th November.

The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by Danielle’s often funny and charming story telling.

For your chance to win one of three Cook Once, Feed All eBooks pop over and like the Keeping Up With The Holsbys Facebook page, and leave Danielle a message about your most loved family meal. Don’t forget to mention Fox in Flats sent you!

Winners will be announced on the 28th November.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive Danielle’s new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook, plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.


You can find more of Danielle at Keeping Up With The Holsbys, or her Facebook page.

And for 23 more ways to get back up when you’re feeling down, check out this post full of practical (and fun!) tips and ideas.


What’s your sure-fire way to boost your mood when you’re feeling a little “blah”?

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