A recipe for happiness?

We’re sometimes advised to be careful of what we wish for, but there’s always the opposite case of being hopeful, too.

A little over a year ago, I wrote here about my enthusiasm for a non-existent TV series and accompanying book about food that would be good for your mood. It inspired quite a few comments from readers, and even one or two instant recipe suggestions.

Sheena, for example, talked about trying fresh herrings in oatmeal with green veg and brown bread & butter. Anne proposed layering up plain yogurt with grated apple and a tiny amount of honey or molasses sugar in a glass. Christine’s thought was for sardines on toast done under the grill with tomato sauce on top.

However, fast-forward twelve months, and I’m delighted to report that my London friend Rachel Kelly, with nutritionist Alice Mackintosh, has written the very book I’ve been dreaming of. Judging by this video trailer for “The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food,” I’m sure the TV series is a mere blink of a commissioning editor’s eye away.

In the video, Rachel and Alice cook up spinach and spelt pancakes, served with salmon and avocado, which look every bit as good as they sound.

This is a time of year when it’s easy for moods to slip, so I think it makes huge sense to pay attention to eating for mind as well as body.

We had some great suggestions from readers this time last year, but let’s add to them twelve months on. What foods help your mood? Please share your experiences, and even simplified recipes, in the Comments section. My mouth’s already watering in anticipation.

3 thoughts on “A recipe for happiness?

  1. Great topic Jon, I’ll certainly be ordering that book.
    It’s always a hot topic for me, as someone whose moods are linked to what I do and don’t eat. Many years ago I came across a book called Potatoes Not Prozac, written by Kathleen DesMaisons. She describes the fascinating science behind what she terms ‘sugar addiction’, and how this links in to mood and mental (and physical) health. There is a 7 step process to supporting your mood using food, and although I have never managed to go the whole hog with it, I use the principles daily.
    Breakfast being the place to start!
    Bon Appétit!! Sally S

  2. HI Jon

    I thought you would be interested to know that there was an article by Rachel Kelly in The Times (of London) Weekend section last Saturday called
    ‘Food is my medicine. I changed my diet and beat depression’
    It was followed by a list of ‘happy’ foods by nutritionist Ian Marber (dried apricots, salmon, asparagus,sunflower and pumpkin seeds, lentils,broccoli,oats, and shitake mushrooms) what they contain, and how they help the mood.


    I hope you can read it.


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