The connection between our moods and food

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

Connect with Micah Siva, R.D.

Follow Lindywell

Join Lindywell

Subscribe to The Balanced Life

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8 thoughts on “The connection between our moods and food”

  1. Hi thank you Micah and Robin for your great podcast. I am 52 years old and remained the same weight from 18 years old until the past year. I am now 7 kilos heavier and feeling really unhappy. Listening to you talk about inflammation and the correct foods to eat to help stop sugar cravings has given me some knowledge that I plan to work with and hopefully see and most importantly feel a difference in the weeks/months ahead. I love your work Robin thank you 🙏 xx

  2. My question….is it important to become a label reader to avoid certain ingredients that may contribute to inflammation…or to just eat the foods you suggest? I have hypothyroidism and there is a LOT of mixed messages. I have listened to Wake Up and Read the Labels founder, Jen Smiley, and she is all about reading labels. Personally, that is overwhelming to me. Yes, I avoid certain oils and ingredients but reading all the labels becomes a time consuming task.

    1. We encourage you to start with recipes that use whole foods so you don’t have to read ingredient labels. Being aware of avoiding certain ingredients that are not recommended for you is important too, so we encourage you to use your judgement and find a balance that makes sense for your meal preparation and nutrition.🙂

  3. Great episode. I love my air fryer. I would really like to see more recipes for it. One of my go to favorites is sweet potato fries. So much was packed into your conversation with Mica. I’m going to have to listen to it again when I’m not taking a walk so I can write things down.

  4. Yes to air fryer recipes! Also in a season of 3 small kids and family friendly foods. Thank you both for sharing. We definitely find blood sugar regulation necessary in our household and adding protein is key! I also mix my kids cheerios….my mom did it to me! And am now wondering about adding plain collagen powder to milk to up the protein 🤔

    1. Thanks for letting us know, we will share your support of air fryer recipes with the team.🙂 It sounds like you do a great job of caring for your family with good nutrition!👏

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