I’m very passionate about this topic because it is my daily living. I’ve been getting better every time but it is still there, Mr, anxiety and Mr, depression visit me once in a while.
Yes, food has a lot to do with mood, who would have thought? Not me. Being a professional psychologist and going trough therapy myself, I never learned that food had anything to do with our mental health. I’m not saying that the therapy is not necessary, this and other things are also involved in our emotional well being. Still, taking care of how we nourish our bodies, can be also of great help.
I want to make clear anyways, that no diet, not even the most perfect one makes sense if we are not aware of what we are doing. It is good to take some minutes to give thanks before we eat every meal. Its a matter of making every bite an excercise of awareness, like we would do in a meditation.
As I say this, I have to confess that sometimes I forget. But it does make a difference when I take a minute to thank God, the universe.
I realize that something had to happen to be albe to have food in my table. We could all make that conscious and be grateful!
Ok but going back to my eating and being happy thing, I want to show you something, and Ill try to make it very simple. I know you will thank me, you probably don’t want to read the whole book that I did when I went to college to understand brain chemistry.
We have chemicals in our brain called neurotransmitters. This are the ones in charge of making our whole system work, they carry out the information needed to get ALL our bodily functions going. A huge part of their task is to maintain brain balance, an example of these are: dopamine, endorphin and serotonin.
These neurotransmitters survive with our intake of amino acids, omega 3’s, minerals and complex carbohydrates. Sounds like pretty much everything, but if you think about it, we not always take enough of these. So for today’s recipe I chose foods loaded with very important amino acids and omega’s.
I’m excited that I get to use a food that we eat in Colombia; Plantains, one of my favorites. Very rich in tryptophan wich is a fundamental aminoacid for brain health!
Wild tuna and avocado Tartare
- ½ pound fresh wild tuna
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- 2 Tbsp tamari
- ¼ cup lemon or lime juice
- 1 medium avocado
- 1 medium red tomato
It is very important that the wild tuna is fresh since it goes raw in this recipe.
Cut the tuna in a big dice, pour part of the lemon juice and let marinate for about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Cut the avocado and tomato in a similar size as the fish. Chop parsley and mint finely.
In a big bowl, mix the marinated tuna, the tomatoes, avocado and chopped herbs. Add the tamari and the remaining lemon or lime juice. Taste and if it needs more salt add a little tamari, or if it needs more acid add more citrus juice.
Plantain and queso fresco cakes
- 1 ripe plantain
- 40 to 50 grams of queso fresco (depends on what you like)
- 1 small clove of garlic
- ¼ of a jalapeno
- Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp coconut oil
It is very important that the plantain is very ripe, the sweetness of the ripeness will add the good flavor in this recipe.
Mash the plantain until pureed, grate the queso fresco, cut the jalapeno into fine brunoise, mice the garlic and mix all these ingredients very well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use your hands if needed to integrate well all the ingredients; it is ok if it feels very soft and even sticky.
Heat a sautéing pan, add the coconut oil and let it heat. As soon as the coconut oil is warm enough, bring down the temperature. With your hands make patties with the plantain batter (mash) it is going to stick to your hands. Place the patties or cakes in the sautéing pan and let them brown at a low temperature so they become brown and the plantain cooks. The idea is to get crispy cakes but cooked in the inside, Serve topping them with the tuna and avocado salad or simply as a side.