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Thread: Food that can benefit people with depression?

  1. #1

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    Default Food that can benefit people with depression?

    I've noticed a few threads on foods that contribute or cause depression, but I haven't seen any that help to improve it?
    I've heard that most health problems can be improved by diet, and I'd be really interested to see if anyone knows any foods or dietry changes that can benefit people with depression, because I have a phobia of meeting people so don't want to go to the doctors, and I know if they prescribed me any thing I wouldn't take it anyway because it would either contain animal products or would have been tested on animals and I know causing harm to another being would definately not help how I feel!
    Any info is appreciated thank you =]

  2. #2
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Very few (if any?) of the people who claim links between medical conditions and food have any form of medical training or know what they're talking about.

    That said, chocolate tends to cheer women up
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I usually am quite cautious with what I read on the internet, I studied herbal medicine for a year and a half though and heard it come up a lot. And I know since turning vegan my eczema - which was really severe- has now completely gone with exception for particularly hot/stressful days. And I've known people's asthma to improve after turning vegan.
    An overweight woman I've worked with before also found out that by just cutting tomatoes out of her diet she was able to drop the three stone she had been trying to loose for years with considerable ease. So I find food quite an important factor to the body's responses.
    Hah living off of chocolate cake may be an idea

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I think there may be some reasonable research about food and mood, as well as the anecdotal stuff. This http://www.mind.org.uk/foodandmood/f...the_mind_guide is quite interesting and looks as if it's evidence-based but unfortunately doesn't actually cite the evidence. It makes the sensible suggestion of keeping a diary of what you eat (and you could also note down how you feel to see if you can detect any relationships). Perhaps you could try doing that if you haven't already?

    From personal experience some there are some things that affect mood - in particularly eating reasonably regularly and watching the glycaemic load seems to be quite important for me as I have noticed blood sugar dips make me feel bad.

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Ooh thank you! looks interesting I'll have a read =]

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    My depression started when I was still eating meat and diary. I went vegan because I heard about how certain food can affect your mood. A year went by and I thought I was done with depression for ever. I was so wrong! Then I've tried everything - therapy, pills, alternative medicine etc. Nothing helped. I was actually satisfied with my life, family, friends, but I just kept having this horrible mood swings. For two months I was living as a maniac, then for next four months I was suicidaly depressed. And then those two months of happiness came back and so on it went.
    But couple months ago I've heard about dr.Hoffer and his niacin therapy. I heard it is safe and effective. I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try. I started taking 3000 mg of Niacinamide per day and I started to feel better. My social skills improved, I could control my phobias, and my monthly mood swings disappeared. I am a much happier person now and much much more stabile.
    Google dr. Hoffer and do your own research. Good luck!

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I read a little about him - but found a lot of things against what you're doing saying it's dangerous and can damage the liver, and that there isn't any proof that it actually helps the condition =/ But I'm really glad it's working for you - I hope it's not doing any damage! Thanks for the input, I'll have to look a lot more in depth before I take it on myself though

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Yeah, I get you! But in my case it was either this- niacinamide- or not being able to live anymore.
    I also read about effects of this therapy. But I found out also lots of pros which convinced me that's the right stuff for me. In my personal belief- I am very sceptic about bad things they say about vitamins. In this case B Vitamin Complex are water-soluble vitamins (at least 8 of them) plus I don't take more than 3 grams per day. And one day when I will feel right again I'll stop taking this vitamin.
    I hope you'll find your way out. Depression is one hell of disease.

    I just remembered something- maybe you should try eating about 50-60 grams of cashews daily. It might help.

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I looked more into it actually after reading what you've said and you know I'm getting so desperate I may just give it a try - because like you say, I'm starting to think in the way of "what's liver damage in comparison to suicide?" which is awful! And just the fact that I've even thought that definately says something has to be done NOW!!! I'll have a go with cashews, and I'll look up some B3 rich foods too to get the ball rolling a bit before opting straight for the high doses.
    I hope I find something to sort myself out, because it's getting unbearable. It actually has run through my family for generations and generations, I'm determined to overcome it! My Grandma has tried everything in the book, to the point where she's pretty much immune to every pill offered by western medicine. She doesn't believe in anything herbal though - Has anyone ever heard any feedback from personal use with St. John's Wart?
    I've tried flower remedies in the past for my anxiety, but I literally had to drink an entire bottle in one sitting to even feel an effect!

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Hope that wasn't an overshare, I never know what is acceptable to say and what people will shun me for when talking about mental health :/

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Over 30 years ago, hypnosis worked really well for me in countering feelings of anxiety. I can still use self-hypnosis but don't now feel as though I need it. How the hell it worked, no idea, but for me, it worked. Best 30 I ever spent, apart from taking out Mrs lv on our first date.

    lv

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Quote leedsveg View Post
    Over 30 years ago, hypnosis worked really well for me in countering feelings of anxiety. I can still use self-hypnosis but don't now feel as though I need it.
    That is so interesting, did you have to look around for someone recommended? I wouldn't know where to start! I know absolutely zero about hypnosis or hypnotists. But anything that works is an attractive idea to me!

    Quote leedsveg View Post
    Best 30 I ever spent, apart from taking out Mrs lv on our first date.

    lv
    Oh this is just the sweetest thing <3

  13. #13
    leedsveg
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Quote VeganBride View Post
    That is so interesting, did you have to look around for someone recommended? I wouldn't know where to start! I know absolutely zero about hypnosis or hypnotists. But anything that works is an attractive idea to me!
    The first hypnotherapist I tried, zero result. The second hypnotherapist, I could have jumped over the bus stop when I came out, I had such a buzz. Both hypnotherapists were chosen at random, mind you there were probably a lot less to choose from in 1974. Seven years later, Mrs lv tried the second hypnotherapist, but there was zero result.

    I always feel a little bit apprehensive talking about my experiences of hypnotherapy because I've no idea why it worked for me (the second time). It's entirely possible that I got lucky and the success rate in reducing anxiety may be quite low, I just don't know. During the course of 6 x 30min sessions, I was shown how to use self-hypnosis but I rarely feel the need to use it these days, maybe once a year if I cannot get to sleep.

    With so little to go on, I can't really give much advice but looking back I'm glad that the second hypnotherapist had been practising for over 10 years. My hypnotherapists were both men but I could understand why a woman might prefer seeing a woman hypnotherapist (I'm not going to elaborate).

    lv

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I don't know why but I've always felt a lot more comfortable with men/boys in general, and tend to freeze up and have a panic attack/become very introvert around girls ? :S
    It's a shame it didn't work for your Mrs. after being so successful for you. I guess it's hard to tell because it must depend a lot upon the individual. It's definately another option to consider though thank you I hadn't actually even thought about it.

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I do think that eating healthily contributes to good mental health. But there is also exercise, creativity, being around people who are supportive and interesting, meditation/mindfulness, doing things you believe in (like being a vegan!), medication (I take it even though it is tested on animals but everyone has to make their own mind up on this), and psychotherapy. I've had depression/bipolar since my teens. I think it has many causes and there is no one single solution.

    I am suspicious of specific diets and supplements. I think having a balanced diet, keeping away from simple carbohydrates, is the best way in the long-term.

    In the short term, spicy food and Swedish glace both cheer me up! Chocolate doesn't really do anything once I have finished eating it.

    Depression is serious and I appreciate your concerns about medication and seeing your GP, but do think about getting help and support somehow.

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Quote AnneCE View Post
    In the short term, spicy food and Swedish glace both cheer me up! .
    This made me smile hehe When I'm doing alright I'm such a foodie, but I've also had quite severe eating disorders in the past and I tend to loose all appetite when I get low. I've been having major problems with my OH which has been killing me, and I ended up loosing over a stone in 5 days a few weeks ago because I thought I'd lost him. Since, he's explained that of course he loves me unconditionally and that love will not just dissappear overnight - so luckily I've put about 8 pounds back on since things have gotten a bit better. It's still so hard though, so I have been pretty much forcing myself to eat, because I'm not a very big person to start with - the weight loss makes bones show then my mum worries and she has a lot on her plate at the moment so I don't want to add to her problems.

    Depression is serious and I appreciate your concerns about medication and seeing your GP, but do think about getting help and support somehow
    I'll be going back to college soon, and even though it sends my anxiety into over-drive to even think about it, I will be forcing myself to talk to the college psychiatris about what's going on with me and ask for help. I've had councilling in the past when my best friend died, and then again in my early teens when I had a self harming addiction, but I found talking about my problems made me realise them so much more, and made me worse.

    I'm so sorry to sound so messed up, I don't have anorexia/bulimia now and I do not self harm now either. I hope nobody is offended by my posts, and I hope I haven't said too much. I've recently fallen out with two of my best friends, along with the problems with my OH, and the fact a lot of my other friends are either on holiday or not really the kind of friends I can talk to seriously, I feel pretty much alone at the moment .

  17. #17
    leedsveg
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Don't worry VeganBride, I'm sure you've not offended anybody. All us lot are here for you so don't you be feeling all alone.

    leedsveg

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Quote leedsveg View Post
    Don't worry VeganBride, I'm sure you've not offended anybody. All us lot are here for you so don't you be feeling all alone.

    leedsveg
    Awh thank you

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I've had problems with depression in the past. Going vegan helped a bit. When you eat like shit your body feels like shit and doesn't really facilitate well being.

    It took a lot time to get over depression for me, but the things that helped the most were eating better, quitting alcohol and exercising.

    I've been cycling for a while but only recently I've been training to start racing. This summer I've been exercising more than I ever have and eating good clean unprocessed food. My mental health has never been better.

    I think food alone can help but I think being physically active helps a lot with depression. Leading a healthy lifestyle is conductive to good mental-health. Exercise can reduce stress significantly and make you look better promoting a better self-image.

    I find yogas a great help because you don't have to necessarily physically fit to start and it's something you can do at home. The breathing exercises you learn from it are really good for anxiety. I find when I get panicky or anxious it helps to breath like I do when I'm doing yoga.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    VeganBride, I hope you're feeling OK. Seems a good idea to talk to the college psychiatrist, and maybe your local GP if you feel you need some help before you go back to college? Post away here as well, as leedsveg says no one is going to get offended.

    I agree with EYF that things like yoga breathing can be a great help with anxiety - and I think exercise can help with both anxiety and depression, as can just getting outside and seeing some trees etc and a few other people, pesky as other people can sometimes be

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Awh thanks you guys, I used to dance A LOT, at one point i was in classes and rehearsals 7 days a week, and really miss it. I may consider going back - my sister goes to dance classes at her gym, nothing as serious as what i used to do, but more fun for all type classes but I think it'd be good for me to go - and having my sister to go with lessens the intimidation of it all!
    Wanted to let everyone know as well, that I've been feeling a lot better lately, because I have thrown myself into going out with friends every single day. I find if i'm left alone I get more and more down - obviously this is an issue that needs sorting so i'm still planning to talk to someone about my problems and try and sort through them. But surrounding myself with my friends has really helped pull me out of my funk for now. I've applied for a new job I'm hopeful for, which would also really help - not only take some pressure off money troubles but also get me more busy, bit more independant, also get me into seeing more people, and would make me feel more worth something too. I'm not going to pin all my hopes on this one job though because competition is pretty intense! But I think if I don't get it I'm going to ask the new Christian Charity shop if they'll let me volunteer there

  22. #22

    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Hi Veganbride

    Nice to hear that you are getting better and seems like your activities lately are really getting you on the right track. Keeping our mind and body busy is a good way to get out of our dark moments. I would be cautious about meditation though. Although I myself do meditation everyday. There were studies in the U.S. that claimed that meditation can aggravate mental problem.

    For serious depression, professional medical advice is very important. My teenage daughter had slight depression in the past and professional counselling and medicine worked well for her.

    A food that I know that can contribute to feeling of well being is banana. It has a substance that gets converted to serotonin , a neurotransmitter which contributes to feeling of well being. Sort of "uppers" I think. Just last night I was watching TV and there was a feature about herbal products which are said to be good anti depressants, like St John's wort, although St John's can inhibit the effect of medicine one is taking. So medical advice is recommended before taking anything and when situation does not improve.
    Respect for all living entities

  23. #23
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Glad it's going well VeganBride. There is research suggesting that having good social networks (the traditional sort - think the jury's out re the online sort) is a contributor to feelings of wellbeing so hanging out with your friends is probably a good move. (Here's one study - mind you I can see an obvious flaw it in it as described in the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11894851)

    Maybe once you get used to feeling better generally, being alone will be easier too but as you say you can get help with it.

    Good luck with the job application though volunteering could also be good.

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Thanks a lot guys! Yeah I see what you mean about that report- still has elements of definate truth to it though it's hard to get out with people when you feel so low, but I've found once I did get out the house, I felt better, and feeling better made me want to get out the house more - so the only way is up!
    Ooh that's interesting Jivattatva, I'll get on the bananas !

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I agree with the banana thing. They grow in abundance here and my husband and I eat at least a dozen a day... They really help me feel good and strong minded in my opinion.
    I want my very own garden of vegan...

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Eating a "bland" diet really, reallllly helps in terms of diet. Eat whole foods and cut out as many stimulating substances (caffeine, sugar, salt) as you can. You get into a cycle, sort of like the one the guy on fast food nation was on. I consider these substances drugs...maybe or maybe not salt (it is very dehydrating on the body, though)...but sugar absolutely and same with caffeine. Going for a long time without them, it is very obvious when you do consume those things again how they REALLY affect you. We've been drugged our whole lives and are unaware because the dips and highs (they aren't really even highs anymore) have become part of daily life. Just because something is commonplace to be consumed does NOT mean it is not a drug. We teach kids not to abuse drugs while 99.99999% of America is dependent on some type unnatural, unhealthy substance that we pay no attention to or even ENCOURAGE people to consume.

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Quote rachaelgerk View Post
    I agree with the banana thing. They grow in abundance here and my husband and I eat at least a dozen a day... They really help me feel good and strong minded in my opinion.
    Wow that's a lot of bananas! I don't really like eating them by themselves, but I am a fan of things like bananas on toast, or banana bread, or bananas on riveta... oooh

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Quote mariogirl View Post
    Eating a "bland" diet really, reallllly helps in terms of diet. Eat whole foods and cut out as many stimulating substances (caffeine, sugar, salt) as you can. You get into a cycle, sort of like the one the guy on fast food nation was on. I consider these substances drugs...maybe or maybe not salt (it is very dehydrating on the body, though)...but sugar absolutely and same with caffeine. Going for a long time without them, it is very obvious when you do consume those things again how they REALLY affect you. We've been drugged our whole lives and are unaware because the dips and highs (they aren't really even highs anymore) have become part of daily life. Just because something is commonplace to be consumed does NOT mean it is not a drug. We teach kids not to abuse drugs while 99.99999% of America is dependent on some type unnatural, unhealthy substance that we pay no attention to or even ENCOURAGE people to consume.
    Oh no! I'm addicted to coffee and cake! :O
    I think I'll have to cut them down gradually and then out completely, that'd probably do quite a lot to how I feel.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I'm sure I saw a study somewhere that suggested moderate amounts of coffee might actually be good for depression, though I'm equally sure there are others that show the opposite

    If you drink a lot of it it probably is worth cutting down, gradually, as you say, to see if it makes you feel better

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Quote harpy View Post
    I'm sure I saw a study somewhere that suggested moderate amounts of coffee might actually be good for depression, though I'm equally sure there are others that show the opposite

    If you drink a lot of it it probably is worth cutting down, gradually, as you say, to see if it makes you feel better
    Yeah I worked at Holland and Barrett for a year and a half and so had to do all the numerous piles of paperwork/training and with coffee there was always such a long list of benefits, as well as such a long list of drawbacks! I probably should definately drink less of it though..
    We'll see how I go =]

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Hi, oldish thread I know, so I hope you're feeling a lot better VB.

    I have bipolar disorder, and whilst my meds provide a limiting effect, they're not the one answer to my mood problems.

    Recently I've had much better mental health, greatly helped by the book The Mindful Way Through Depression, Freeing Yourself From Chronic Unhappiness. It teaches a form of non-religious meditation, which has helped me a lot. It pushed me towards veganism, because it taught me to be more compassionate - to myself as well as others.

    There are some mindfulness resources here:
    http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/mindfulness.htm

    and a video of Jon Kabat-Zinn's talk and mindfulness practice at Google:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=3nwwKbM_vJc

    Other things I'd recommend... looking after your body - (vegan) nail varnish in cute colours, a nice hurraw lip balm, short walks (borrow a dog!), I try to go to bellydance class every week, trying out new recipes or ingredients... things that don't cost much that you will appreciate and hopefully enjoy

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    The problem is not coming from your head, it's coming from your gut. Here's a great article that explains it. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...-behavior.aspx Here's an interesting video to watch too, when you have three hours to spare. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...obotomies.aspx I was "diagnosed" with "bipolar", but didn't stay on the meds for long. I mean, who wants to take something that you have to have your liver checked every month? I started taking something more natural. I just recently found out about the guts connection and started taking a vegan probiotic/prebiotic & enzyme packet once a day & I can feel a difference in my mood.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I'm glad the food approach worked for you, Dewski68, and I share some of your reservations about drugs.

    However I think people with mental health problems should be cautious about just stopping taking medication, and probably work with a health professional if they want to make the transition, because I know of other people who have felt pretty bad when they did just stop.

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    I don't recall telling anyone to just stop taking their meds.

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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    No, you didn't

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Personally I've tried the food approach, the supplements approach, the coming off some of my meds and reducing others with help from my doctors approach. What's worked for me is mindfulness and meds. Suggesting I've got it wrong when this is the longest time I've ever in my adult life been stable doesn't wash with me.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Food to fix depression

    Quote lena View Post
    ...
    Recently I've had much better mental health, greatly helped by the book The Mindful Way Through Depression, Freeing Yourself From Chronic Unhappiness. It teaches a form of non-religious meditation, which has helped me a lot. It pushed me towards veganism, because it taught me to be more compassionate - to myself as well as others.
    ...
    I've been wanting to get into meditation and being more compassionate to myself and others is a big goal of mine at the moment so I've ordered this - thanks for the recommendation!
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Food that can benefit people with depression?

    I don't know as much about it as you do, Lena, but mindfulness seems to be a great approach for all sorts of people and situations. I have got a Jon Kabat-Zinn audio book and I should listen to it more often than I do.

    When you think about it, it would be surprising really if there were just one "right" way of dealing with mental health problems etc.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Food that can benefit people with depression?

    Aye, one size fits all only fits a few people very well.

    I love mindfulness because all it is is choosing to focus differently - in the present moment and non judgementally. Being more aware, more compassionate... It doesn't always feel marvelous and peaceful, sometimes I'm facing physical pain, or difficult emotions, but it's never a waste of time for me, and I'll happily meditate every day of my life it helps me so much.

    Which audiobook do you have Harpy?

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Food that can benefit people with depression?

    It's called "Mindfulness for Beginners", lena.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Food that can benefit people with depression?

    Cheers Harpy

    I suppose, to be slightly on topic, the foods that help the most with my depressive episodes are the ones that make me feel good because of their scent - tomatoes that smell like real tomatoes, taste - sweet, fresh tasting steamed broccoli (love the stalky bit), fresh corn, or frozen peas, stimulating effect - habanero chillies which I make into chilli jam, and ginger. My favourite pick me up is steamed broccoli wih brown rice noodles, a bit of chilli jam/a chopped deseeded chilli, lime juice, mirin, tamari and lots of fresh coriander. Or a really good puttanesca sauce and pasta when I'm not up to cooking. Personally, the only way I found the food approach to be helpful was to know that I was putting tasty things that were good for me into my body, and helping animals and the environment (which when I think about it, is no small thing, and worth remembering when I feel like I'm not getting anything right).

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