The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food

The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food

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If you already believe in the power of words to alter our feelings, then seeing this title should have you racing to the checkout. Written by a young and vibrant looking Rachel Kelly, this book shares her personal experience of harnessing the power of food to stay calm and well.   It is a colourful book, with some clever and appealing photographs, and equally appealing, quick, straightforward  and tasty recipes for every time of day.

Her first book was a memoir of depression called Black Rainbow, which she followed up with Walking on Sunshine: 52 small steps to Happiness.  In between these books she discovered some links between mood and food, thanks to her excellent GP, and made a list of ‘Happy Foods’. With the help of meditation, exercise, poetry and discovering the healing power of food she gradually got better.  She started working with Alice Mackintosh, a nutritional therapist with a similar interest in the connection between mood and food.

Together they have come up with this delightful book of advice and recipes starting with 10 Golden Rules and then divided into 7 chapters.  Six of these contain recipes to address particular symptoms, and each includes an introduction, essential foods and meal planner. You can take your pick between Balanced Energy, Beating the Blues, Nice and Calm, Mental Clarity, Hormonal Peace and Sweet Dreams.   The book ends with Comfort Food, which is full of healthy substitutions for the more traditional ones that most of us crave when we are feeling low. How do you feel about Chicken Pie and dairy free ginger, coconut and Banana Ice /cream? There is an additional Good Mood Food Index, (Fab, Very good, Good, Treats and Low Mood) information about Mindful Eating, Seasonal Eating, Key Ingredients, and a thorough recipe, information, and symptom index, plus a short poem to go with each chapter.

There is a lot of information here, put together in an easily digestible style with dishes for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. There is even a quick recipe at the start of each chapter for those who are feeling fragile and unable to cook much. Whether you are targeting a particular symptom or looking for some bright, healthy and delicious dishes to shake up your eating habits, this book will be a welcome addition to your library. Stick the Good Mood Food Index on your fridge and greet the Spring  with a lighter, more hopeful, heart.

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