The most important organ in your body is your brain. It is always “on”, acting as your control center, directing all the other organs and their functions, orchestrating your hormones, movements, senses, thoughts and emotions, and your mood. The list goes on and on. It’s working 24/7, even while you sleep.
Every machine requires the proper kind of fuel to function optimally. Your brain is no different. Oxygen, hydration, and nutrients from the foods you consume on a daily basis directly affect the structure and function of your brain, and ultimately, your mood.
Studies have shown that people following traditional diets are at much lesser risk of depression, dementia, and other mental health concerns. These diets are rich in brain foods like healthy fats, a variety of colourful vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, quality proteins like fatty fish and seafood, eggs, and naturally raised meats, and properly prepared unrefined grains and legumes.
They do not contain refined or denatured foods or ingredients, such as refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup, white flour, refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial vitamins, toxic chemicals and colouring.
You can start with some easy upgrades and start paying attention to how eating different foods makes you feel, not just in the moment, but the next day. As you remove the refined foods completely and replace with whole foods – food that you recognize where they came from – you’ll be more satiated and have less cravings as your body is being nourished at a cellular level, your blood sugar is more balanced, inflammation is reduced, and your brain receives the premium fuel it was designed for, so it can keeping working hard for you!
Here is a delicious recipe for you to try as we say goodbye to shorter winter days this weekend (and hopefully the winter blues as well)!
Mediterranean Sheet Pan Salmon with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tbsp for brushing on squash
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ sweet onion, finely minced
- 1 tsp ground sage (triple if using fresh herbs)
- 2 tsp rosemary (triple if using fresh herbs)
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes (about 2 lbs. cubed)
- 1 bunch organic kale, chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 1/2 pound wild salmon filet
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved.
- Preheat oven to 425*F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place cubed butternut squash on baking sheet, brush with 1 tbsp olive oil, and roast for about 20 minutes
- Mix first 9 ingredients for the vinaigrette, and reserve 2 tbsp vinaigrette.
- Remove butternut squash from oven, turn oven down to 375*F
- In a large bowl, gently toss the chopped kale with a portion of vinaigrette, add the roasted squash and then spread the mixture evenly on the same parchment lined baking sheet.
- Lay the salmon pieces over the top of kale/squash layer and brush with reserved vinaigrette.
- Bake in 375*F oven for about 15 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily.
- Divide salmon and veggies into 4 portions sprinkle with fresh parsley and olives.
- Serve with a mixed green salad drizzled with olive oil vinaigrette.
With love from my kitchen to yours,