It has been a long winter.Â We are into February and there is no more football. Okay, so we have March Madness but what if youâ€™re just not that into basketball?Â What if you canâ€™t stand the cold and youâ€™re at your limit with the dullness of winter.Â Â The Winter Blues have set in.
Depression is brought on by many things.Â It can also be relieved by good nutrition and exercise.Â Certain foods have healing qualities.Â Not only foods will make that frown go away but a good laugh can work wonders on those chemicals in the brain.Â Exercise will increase endorphins â€“ natures opiates for a sense of well being.Â
Lets focus on foods.Â There is a certain amino acid that works exceptionally well on fighting â€œthe bluesâ€:Â Â From Wikipedia:
â€œâ€¦.. tryptophan has shown some effectiveness for treatment of a variety of other conditions typically associated with low serotonin levels in the brainÂ such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder and seasonal affective disorder.Â In particular, tryptophan has shown considerable promise as an antidepressant alone and as an â€œaugmenterâ€ of antidepressant drugs.â€
For a detailed list and nutritional profile of foods high in tryptophan, see â€œNutritional Data for foodsâ€.
Here is my suggestion for a mentally and physically, tryptophan loaded, chunky yet velvety soup.
Lentil and Tomato Soup
- 1 28 oz can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 onion, chopped small
- 1 15 oz can Organic Lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 fresh clove of garlic â€“ pressed
- 1/4 tspÂ sea salt
- 1/4 tspÂ all spice
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 2 TBS whole wheat flour
- 2 cups reduced fat milk
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp dill
- *fresh herbs would be best (increase to 1 TBS each if using fresh)
In a large pot set to medium low, add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and salt.Â Bring to a slow boil and reduced to simmer for 10 minutes.
In another large pot, add the olive oil over medium heat.Â When hot, add the flour and stir around to cook for 2 minutes.Â Add the milk and keep stirring until smooth.Â When the tomato mixture is done, add it to the pot and bring to a boil -keep stirring.Â As soon as it boils, reduce heat to low and add the lentils, basil and dill.Â Simmer for 10 minutes and stir occasionally.
Top with a TBS of yogurt
or add a swirl of light cream.Â
*Spinach is a super source for a happy brain.Â If you want to toss some in your soup, go right ahead.