Eat Your Way to Happiness, by Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, is a fun read that is packed with good nutrition advice. There is no doubt our lifestyle and food choices can affect our mood. However, with my newfound Health at Every Size approach to health, I’m skeptical that this book will make you “blissfully thin,” a term to which the book constantly alludes. I think that self-acceptance, combined with the habits promoted in the book, will make you blissful at weight that’s healthy for you.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book for it’s terrific nutrition advice and explanation of how food affects our mood. Some of my favorite nutrition “secrets” in this book are:
- Eat Real 75% of the Time: “Eating real” means choosing foods that are as close to their natural form as possible, with minimal processing and refinement.
- Follow the 1-2-3 Rule for Breakfast:
- One to three servings of a quality, high-fiber carbohydrate
- Two servings of fruits or vegetables
- One protein or dairy
- Choose High Quality Carbs: As in whole grains, not refined.
- Adopt the 6% Solution: Aim for only 6% of your total calories to come from added sugar. Not 25%, which is where the average American is at right now. For a 2000-calorie diet, 6% translates to 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) of added sugar. This does not include sugar found naturally in fruit or dairy, so eat plenty of these!
- Sprinkle it with Super Mood Foods: Amp up your already healthy diet by sprinkling in some “super mood foods.” These include:
- Leafy greens
- Nuts and legumes
- Dark orange veggies
- Berries and citrus fruits
- And many more!
- The One Habit Your Must Embrace to Be Happy, Fit and Healthy: Exercise. Period. According to Somer, "Nothing you do will have as big an impact on your weight, as well as your mood and health both today and in the future, as exercise.” Exercise gives you a natural endorphin rush, boosts self-confidence, fights fatigue, soothes stress and enhances sleep, all which lead to improved mood.