Have you ever felt hangry? Do you notice when your moods fluctuate throughout the day? Food might have something to do with it. There is often a connection between food and our moods and this episode of The Balanced Life podcast will help you improve that connection.
Registered dietitian (RD), Micah Siva, joins me today to discuss how food can help you boost your mood. Micah is one of the primary dietitians who works to create the RD approved recipes found in the Lindywell membership. Micah helps us nourish our bodies in realistic, practical, delicious ways.
In this episode we’ll discuss what led her to start her career in nutrition, how foods affect our moods, the best foods for brain health, and which foods can improve inflammation. Make sure to stick around until the end to hear which kitchen tools Micah thinks are the best to have for the at home cook.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- What led Micah to become a registered dietitian and chef [2:42]
- How her experience impacted the way she sees food [10:31]
- Micah’s process for creating nutritious and delicious recipes [15:25]
- The necessities of a healthy meal [21:02]
- Tips to have food support your mood and mental health [24:14]
- Reducing inflammation [36:35]
- Foods for brain health [49:12]
- The top 3 tools that Micah uses in her kitchen [56:10]
How Micah became a registered dietitian
Micah has always had a love for food. She grew up cooking with her family and even relished creating lavish meals for her friends as a teen. Even though she loved cooking, she didn’t decide to become a registered dietitian until she had a negative experience with food.
After a trip abroad, Micah came back with an undiagnosed parasite and suffered for a year before a registered dietitian really listened to her and was able to diagnose and solve her problem. This positive experience taught her that dietitians do much more than create diets. Registered dietitians have a holistic approach to health that involves food and communication.
How Micah creates delicious and nutritious recipes that everyone enjoys
Many of us grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s and experienced the yo-yo diet culture of that time. At Lindywell, we aim to redefine the relationships with our body, image, and with food.
Food is the fuel we use to power our bodies and our minds. Micah helps us do this by providing simple, delicious, and nutritious recipes. She tries to ensure there will be something for everyone in the family to enjoy and that her recipes can be created in under an hour with accessible ingredients.
Micah creates recipes based on the seasons that use fresh ingredients flavored with herbs and spices. To maximize daily nutrition, she incorporates plenty of leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats.
Tips to use food to support mental health
Moods are affected by so many different factors: stress, sleep (or lack thereof), environment, genetics, and food. What and when you choose to fuel your body has a large impact on your mental state.
It is important to eat regularly to maintain a consistent blood sugar level. People often say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but actually, all meals are important. Spacing out your meals and incorporating regular snacks can help you balance your blood sugar which in turn stabilizes your mood. Skipping meals can lead to overeating during the next meal and then a crash as your body tries to process the extra fuel. To prevent this, nourish your body regularly.
Another way to improve your mood is to be mindful of what you are eating. Understand how certain foods impact your body and pay attention to what you eat. If some foods will give you a short burst of energy, make sure that you do some activity afterward.
Listen in to hear how you can use food to reduce inflammation and improve brain health.
Resources & People Mentioned
- Episode 71 – The Hidden Hormone Epidemic: A conversation with Dr. Aviva Romm
- Episode 40 – How I Overcame Paralyzing Anxiety
Connect with Micah Siva, R.D.
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