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Foods to Improve Your Mood

Foods to Improve Your Mood

Interview by Elizabeth Schainbaum

For Nancy Hoffman, PsyD, the old adage “you are what you eat” doesn’t just relate to physical health. It’s also mental.

The simple neuroscience behind eating begins with how nutrients influence the brain’s chemical composition. Foods that boost neurotransmitters, such as serotonin or dopamine, can also boost our mood, alertness, and ability to cope with stress.

A licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in neuropsychology, Dr. Hoffman is based at Kaiser Permanente Union City Medical Offices. Dr. Hoffman is also the guest of the Health Talks Online webinar “Food and Mood” on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 12:30 p.m.

Briefly explain the neuroscience behind what we eat.

2013 Weekly Challenge #48: Pick Your Day!

2013 Weekly Challenge #48: Pick Your Day!
2013 Weekly Challenge #48: Pick Your Day! Tis the season for parties, celebrations, get togethers...food is everywhere all the time this time of year, and it isn't always the healthy stuff.

The bad news: the average person expects to gain weight during the holidays, and does so.

2013 Weekly Challenge #43: Close the Kitchen

2013 Weekly Challenge #43:  Close the Kitchen

Late night snacking can sneak up on you when you don't even see it coming. That last bite of something left on the kitchen counter, a few cookies during the evening news, a cup of hot chocolate... Because you are slowing down for the day, late night calories don't get burned off. Instead, they go to bed with you, stowed away as fat.

To avoid late night munching, try "shutting down your kitchen" right after dinner:


2013 Weekly Challenge #43: An Apple a Day

2013 Weekly Challenge #43:  An Apple a Day

You know that old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away?" Turns out it might be more true than you thought!

Apples are the perfect snack food. They are crunchy, sweet (but not too sweet) and delicious and also chock full of nutrition. Apples are low on the glycemic index which helps stabilize your blood sugar. They are also high in fiber which is not only good for your digestive system, but also helps you feel satisfied. As an extra bonus, apples don't need to be refrigerated and come in their own "wrapping" making them the epitome of a "grab and go" snack.

2013 Weekly Challenge #42: Express Workout

2013 Weekly Challenge #42:  Express Workout

Think you don't have time to exercise? Guess again! In just 10 to 20 minutes, you can get an excellent full body workout. Its called the Express Workout, and you can do it wherever you are, whenever you want!

For a quick workout at home, on vacation, or even in the office, try this circuit (repetitions in parenthesis are for beginner, intermediate and advanced, respectively:

2013 Weekly Challenge #40: Where's Your Mojo?

2013 Weekly Challenge #40:  Where's Your Mojo?

This week is all about excuses.

We all have them. The reasons we give ourselves, and others, for not doing what we know is best, or what we promised ourselves or others we'd do. But this time we're not just talking about being a couple minutes late to work, or not getting all the laundry done...we're talking about health, fitness, and overall MOJO.

Have you found your MOJO? If not...why not?

Are you in a job you don't like or that doesn't challenge you? Do you throw yourself under the bus first, giving up your fitness appointment for the benefit of someone else? Do you have a hard time setting boundaries with others (boss, spouse, etc.) making it impossible to take care of you?



Weekly Challenge #39: Go Sugar FREE   I can hardly beleive it is already almost October. Its time for crisp fall apples, winter squash, veggie soup and...Halloween Candy. Ugg.

Even the healthiest eaters sometimes struggle at this time of year.