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Here at Biomedicanna, we devote our every day to ensure healthier tomorrow for everyone struggling to find themselves, listen to their inner voice, and try hard to maintain the balance in life. We dedicated the entire February to encourage everyone to love themselves and others in every way possible. Today we invite you to rethink your eating habits and allow yourselves to go on a journey finding new tasty experiences. Stay safe and healthy!

It has long been said that the most direct path to a man’s heart is through his stomach; therefore, your cooking must make them fall in love without any doubt. What can be more stereotypical?! Food does have a significant impact on our lives and general well-being, but it’s not all about conquering other people’s heart with eccentric high-end recipes you find online. In reality, we are what we eat, and we depend on food to get the energy our organs need for smooth functioning, but here is the moment when things get tricky. Food is much more than that, and today we will explain how different dishes can change your life and make you fall in love with yourself and home cooking.

Which Comes First – Food or Emotions?

Food is an integral part of any celebration: we eat together with the family around the table both on Christmas and birthdays, we go to restaurants on dates. At the same time, food accompanies us in the sadness, – just think how many people in the movies cry holding a bucket of ice cream? Food is there with us through all of the emotions, but little did you know that certain foods can boost our mood and increase happiness. What surprises the most is that you can find such ‘happy’ foods almost in each food group, so there is no one to judge if you decide to have happiness for breakfast, lunch and dinner! 

We encourage you to start the rainy and gloomy day with a nice bowl of oats and sprinkle some frozen berries on top. The first one is a great iron source, which helps fighting fatigue, and the latter is rich in antioxidants which reduces stress levels. Many of us are already starting their day by drinking coffee! This magical drink helps us ‘wake up,’ and is linked with releasing dopamine, which goes hand in hand with motivation and pleasure. For a quick middle-of-a-day snack we suggest you have a banana, – the yellow fruit ensures stable sugar levels in our blood and are full of vitamin B6, which ‘helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.’ 

There is no better food for healthy and ‘happy’ lunch than fatty fish with yoghurt sauce and fresh vegetables on the side. For example, regular portions of salmon or tuna can help you fight depression, and fermented foods, such as yoghurt, are a great probiotics source, which may increase serotonin levels. Let’s not forget usual 5-a-day, beans and lentils are full of B group vitamins responsible for regulating your mood. At the same time, various nuts and seeds are a great addition to any salad as they support healthy brain and lower risk of depression. 

Finally, dark chocolate is one of the best foods for increasing your mood for various reasons. Sugar found in chocolate fuels our brain, and chocolate releases certain feel-good compounds, one of which – N-acylethanolamine – is similar to cannabinoids. Despite high caloric count, chocolate’s smell, taste, and texture all scream happiness, so in sad situations, calories do not count. *wink*

Tell us how many of these foods are already in your fridge or pantry? We would not be surprised if you have it all, but there are more sides to food than just an emotional value. Eating healthy and cooking healthy means loving yourself not only in psychological terms but in physical terms also. Let’s look more closely at healthy methods to prepare the meals.

Cooking – the Slower the Better the Healthier?

We hear everyday doctors and nutritionist say that fast food is terrible for our health: it contains too much fat, too many additives and sweeteners, so lastly, we did not even know what we put in our stomachs. Nevertheless, fast food is delicious and mouth-watering, but the same rules apply to the healthy food we can prepare ourselves in the home kitchen. 

Slow food. Despite what you are actually cooking in your home tonight or tomorrow, you are already one step ahead of everyone who decides to eat-out (or order-in, considering the current situation) and do not miss specific fast-food deals. Regular fast-food eating is not beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, such meals are ‘high in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol,’ therefore, it directly negatively affects our body and contributes to increasing fatigue and health problems. Secondly, we are subconsciously encouraged to eat more than we should be eating by being exposed to specific colours, smells, and sounds. For example, the red and yellow duo are often seen in fast food logos or interior design as these colours trigger appetite and happiness. 

Unprocessed food. Big food-making companies offer us a great variety of pre-cooked, frozen, canned, and ready-to-eat food to meet our busy lifestyles. It is convenient, but in reality, we get to eat lower nutritional value food. Despite eating such meals, we do not get the nutrients we need, and our organisms send us ‘messages’ to eat more to fit their energy requirements. We then fall into a rabbit hole as we continue to eat the same dishes without actually looking at what is written on the back of the packaging and filling up our bodies with unhealthy nutrients, such as saturated fats, sugars, and simple carbohydrates. We agree that labels and nutritional tables seem quite confusing but always look for fibre, essential fats, and complex carbohydrates. Besides, shop in a local farmers’ market, where you know you’ll find ecological vegetables, fruits, and meats which you will later turn into healthy meals.

Balanced diet. Cheat days are our greatest enemies, which quickly throw us all off the right track. One of the most common reasons cheat days are so exciting, and worth the sin (or not), is healthy food’s taste, which is often considered too bland to love and eat every day. However, the actual problem lies in a handful of our everyday habits, making us have a rocky relationship with healthy eating. Firstly, impulsive shopping and eating; it means we do not plan what we will be eating throughout a week or at least a couple of days—impulsivity results in frequent journeys to a shopping centre and more unhealthy items in our bags. Next, we have portion sizes, which makes our brain think we need to eat more even though we are full. We advise you to buy a kitchen scale during your next visit to the shop and get rid of unrealistically big food plates and other dishes. The last piece of advice will make the brains think we eat more as you will put less food on a plate to make it look full. The previous advice will allow you to measure exact portions of food and count its nutritional value to fight food waste and provide the body with the necessary nutrients. Smarter eating and shopping habits will make you fall in love with healthy foods and meals.

To summarise everything, it is necessary to eat healthy as food is a massive part of our lives. Achieving wellness and inner harmony, we should shop locally, eat ecologically, read what label says, measure portion sizes, and have some dedication by cooking it all ourselves. However, we all sometimes want a delicious and healthy meal, but we do not want to spend much time preparing it. Here creativity becomes your best friend stating that the combination of deliciousness, healthiness, and quick preparing time is possible – just try pancakes! 

Biomedicanna’s friends and fans were kind enough to share their favourite pancake recipes with all of us. As today is Shrove Tuesday, pancakes are kind of necessary, so why not try new quick, healthy and delicious pancake recipes to show love for yourself and others around!

Migle’s Banana Pancake Recipe

I love this recipe as it helps me use overripe bananas without throwing away food. Also, it’s super simple to make! You can be lying in your bed one minute and eat the pancakes straight from the pan another. This recipe does not require you to go to five or more different shops to gather all the ingredients you may need – after returning, your hunger for pancakes is over, and your hand is already reaching for a phone to order something rather than cook it. 

Every time I have overripe bananas on hand, I go for these pancakes. If I have more patience that day, I use the same recipe to make a loaf of banana bread – everything is the same, the difference is in a longer baking time.

Ingredients:

• 2 ripe bananas, preferably overripe ones with brown dots on the skin

• 5 tablespoons of flour (sometimes I use only wheat flour, but feel free to mix in a tablespoon of almond or rice flour just for fun)

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla

• 1 teaspoon of baking soda

• 1 tablespoon of oil (0,5 tablespoon if you use coconut oil which is quite hard)

• a pinch of cinnamon

• a pinch of salt

Cooking instructions:

• mash the bananas with a blender (you can achieve the same result with just a fork);

• mix in everything else – if the pancake mix is too thick, pour a little bit of vegetable milk; if the mixture is too runny, put a little bit of flour;

• cook as you would typically cook any other pancakes – the recipe is also suitable for making very fluffy waffles;

• eat – without limiting the imagination, throw in some dried or fresh blueberries, chocolate chips or chia seeds, apples.

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