Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Archive for January, 2012

Create a ‘tickler file’ this year!

Create a ‘tickler file’ this year!

I don’t know if you have ever heard of a ‘tickler file’ or not, but it is one of the most important concepts that I have ever learned.  Years ago when I was a school principal, I was introduced to this concept by a colleague.  I cannot tell you how many times this ‘tickler file’ saved my neck!  I have come to see its value and practical use in many areas of my life and business.

Before I even get into this, let me say that I realize that we live in the day and age of computers, cell phones, and many other devices that can remind us of upcoming activities.  Although I use modern technology, I still find that files, folders, pen, and paper are marvelous tools to help me in my life and business.

A ‘tickler file’ is actually twelve manila folders – one for each month of the year.  I prefer to use the ones that are third-cut so that the names of the months can be easily read.  The left cut one would be January; the middle cut, February; and the right cut March, and so on.  In each of these twelve folders would be a sheet of paper upon which upcoming events or obligations are written to “tickle” your memory to remind you of your responsibilities.  Here are a few examples:  in my January folder I have a reminder of the date my personal house taxes are due. It just so happens they are due in January. As you know, this varies from state to state, county to county. That is why it is important to write it down, so you can remember it rather than be surprised by it. There would also be a reminder to renew the name of my business with the Secretary of State by April 1st.  (The reason I include this in the January folder is to remind me that it can be paid any time between January and the first of April.)  My March folder includes a reminder that my corporate taxes are due March 15th and another reminder to renew my business name with the Secretary of State, due by April 1, if I have not already done so.  Then in my April folder would be written that personal taxes are due by April 15th and that a new emissions certificate on my vehicle is needed because my car tag renewal is due.  The November folder might include a reminder to have a Christmas card picture taken.  You get the idea.

I think you can see how reminders in the tickler file can be very, very important.  This kind of system eliminates having to remember everything because I have my notes in my folders.  It becomes a handy way to keep everything in one place.  Not only does this work for personal information, it works especially well when running a business or any organization. It eliminates “guess work” and frees your brain to focus on the task at hand rather than constantly trying to remember tons of details. Any good idea or thought can be captured and simply put in the tickler file the minute you have it while you move on in your daily activity. You will be reminded of that idea when you look at that month’s folder later down the road.

When I was a school principal, I found myself with literally hundreds of things that needed to be done each week.  There was no way I could remember all of those items.  One year, I actually forgot to order the text books until August.  Can you imagine the panic I felt when I realized that school was starting at the end of that month and I did not have any of the necessary books on hand?!  That was the year I put “Re-order books” in my June tickler file!

When I eventually left that position, I passed on all of my folders to Mr. McWilliams, the gentleman who took my place as the new school principal.  He later told me that those were the twelve most valuable folders that he possessed and that all he had to do was basically follow the outline in my tickler files I had left him for running the school.

Again, I want to reiterate that I am aware there are many other methodologies that a person could use to succeed in this endeavor, but I don’t think there is anything more valuable than having a folder that you can quickly open and jot down your ideas and thoughts so that you do not lose the information.  I still am a little nervous about cell phones and computers that can quit or die, go on the “blink”, break, crash, or get lost or stolen.  I suppose that one day I will be buried with a pen in one hand and a piece of paper in the other!  I am just big on the importance of writing things down in an orderly fashion so that you can follow a system and not have to constantly be re-doing things over and over again.

We are at the beginning of a brand new year, so I hope you will get your twelve folders and start filling them up with good ideas.  This time next year, you will have a plethora of information in all of your folders that you can use to make your life more successful, your business run smoother, and your brain less full of unnecessary clutter.  It will all be written in your tickler file.  By the way – make a note in December’s file to thank me for this great idea. It will have changed your life for the better – forever.

Tip:  Create a ‘tickler file’ this year!

Have a great week!  God bless you!

Dr. Robert A. Rohm

Reprinted with permission from the “Tip of the Week”. To subscribe for the free “Tip of the Week” please go to  http://www.personalityinsights.com and receive Dr. Rohm’s weekly Tip every Monday morning.

21 Suggestions for Your Success!

21 Suggestions for Your Success!

 While transacting some business at the bank recently, I saw an article that was written by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Although I don’t know who this gentleman is, I certainly believe that he must be a very wise individual. The bank was making available to its customers a copy of some of his thoughts. Because I constantly want to learn and grow and am always on the lookout for new information, I picked up a copy for my own personal use. Here at the beginning of a brand new year, I thought you might like to read these 21 Suggestions. You may or may not agree with all of them, but I believe there is a lot of profound wisdom found in this list.

  1. Marry the right person.  This decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
  2. Work at something you enjoy and that is worth your time and talent.
  3. Give people more than they expect, and do it cheerfully.
  4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  6. Be generous.
  7. Have a grateful heart.
  8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
  9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
  10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  12. Commit yourself to quality.
  13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
  14. Be loyal.
  15. Be honest.
  16. Be a self-starter.
  17. Be decisive, even if it means you will sometimes be wrong.
  18. Stop blaming others! Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  19. Be bold and courageous.  When you look back on your life, you will regret the things you did not do more than the ones you did.
  20. Take good care of those you love.
  21. Don’t do anything that would not make your mom proud of you!

Isn’t that a great list? I want to really encourage you to make a copy of this and post it somewhere that you will have easy access to in the coming year. You might even want to take the time to jot down several of these thoughts on a 3 x 5 card and keep them with you so that you can study them when you have any down time. I find that having a list of positive quotes with me that I can review when I am flying in a plane or am stuck somewhere for long periods of time is a good way of keeping my mind alert and fresh.

At the beginning of this New Year, I am doing everything in my power to make it the greatest year of my life. I trust you will join me with that same attitude for your own personal life and future!

Have a great week! God bless you!

Dr. Robert A. Rohm

Reprinted with permission from the “Tip of the Week”. To subscribe for the free “Tip of the Week” please go to  http://www.personalityinsights.com and receive Dr. Rohm’s weekly Tip every Monday morning.

Top 12 Detox Superfoods

Top 12 Detox SuperfoodsTop 12 Detox Superfoods

Even if you don’t plan on doing a detox program, your health will benefit from adding more  detox superfoods to your daily diet. There are many great superfoods with  detoxifying properties, but here are my top 12 picks.  And, they’re  delicious too.

Almonds—are high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and useable protein that helps stabilize blood sugar and remove  impurities from the bowels.

Avocados—lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels while  blocking artery-destroying toxicity. Avocados contain a nutrient called  glutathione, which blocks at least 30 different carcinogens while helping the  liver detoxify synthetic chemicals. Researchers at the University of Michigan  found that elderly people who had high levels of glutathione were healthier and  less likely to suffer from arthritis.

Beets—contain a unique mixture of natural plant chemicals  (phytochemicals) and minerals that make them superb fighters of infection, blood  purifiers, and liver cleansers. They also help boost the body’s cellular intake  of oxygen, making beets excellent overall body cleansers. Aphrodite, according  to legend, ate beets to retain her beauty. She was definitely on to a good thing  since beets, in addition to all the benefits listed above, also help stabilize  the blood’s acid-alkaline balance (pH), which in turn supports healthy  detoxification.

Blueberries—contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the  tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, while lessening pain. Blueberries also act as antibiotics by blocking bacteria in  the urinary tract, thereby helping to prevent infections. They have antiviral  properties and are loaded with super-detoxifying phytonutrients called  proanthocyanidins.

Cabbage—contains numerous anti-cancer and antioxidant  compounds and helps the liver break down excess hormones. Cabbage also cleanses  the digestive tract and soothes the stomach, which could in part be due to its  antibacterial and antiviral properties. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage  (kale is another excellent choice—see below) demonstrate powerful detoxification  activity, including neutralizing some of the damaging compounds found in  cigarette smoke (and second-hand smoke). They also contain a compound that helps  the liver produce adequate amounts of enzymes for detoxification.

Cranberries—have powerful antibiotic and antiviral  substances to help the body cleanse harmful bacteria and viruses from the  urinary tract.

Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil— are loaded with essential fatty  acids, particularly the omega-3s. They are essential for many cleansing functions  and maintaining a healthy immune system. They are also critical to maintaining a  healthy brain. The health of every cell in your body is dependent on getting  adequate amounts of essential fatty acids.

Garlic—helps cleanse harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites,  and viruses from the body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also  helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic has  anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful  substances. It also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous  buildup in the lungs and sinuses. I am referring to fresh garlic, not garlic  powder, which has virtually none of the above properties.

Kale—contains  powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds that help cleanse the body of  harmful substances. It is also high in fiber, which helps cleanse the intestinal  tract. Like cabbage, kale helps neutralize compounds found in cigarette smoke  and contains a substance that jump-starts the liver’s production of cleansing  enzymes.

Legumes—are loaded with fiber that helps lower cholesterol,  cleanse the intestines, and regulate blood sugar levels. Legumes also help  protect the body against cancer.

Lemons— are superb liver detoxifiers. In addition, they contain high amounts of  vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make a substance called glutathione.  Glutathione helps ensure that phase 2 liver detoxification keeps pace with phase  1, thereby reducing the likelihood of negative effects from environmental  chemicals. Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in lemons are integral to ward  off cancer, fight the effects of pollution and cell damage. Fresh lemon juice  contains more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps balance the body’s pH  levels.

Seaweed—could be the most underrated vegetable in the  Western world. Studies at McGill University in Montreal showed that seaweeds  bind to radioactive waste in the body so it can be removed. Radioactive waste  can find its way into the body through some medical tests or through food that  has been grown where water or soil is contaminated. Seaweed also binds to heavy metals to help eliminate them  from the body. In addition, it is a powerhouse of minerals and trace  minerals.  (For those who don’t like the taste of seaweed, Leesa recommends Chews4Health which is a delicious fruit tasting antioxidant that contains Dulse, Kelp, Bladderwack and Nori.  www.chews4health.com/Leesa)

by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD

Adapted with permission from The 4-Week Ultimate Body  Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.  Subscribe to my free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News to get more health tips, news, and  recipes.

12 Inexpensive Ways to Relieve Stress

12 Inexpensive Ways to Relieve Stress

12 Inexpensive Ways to Relieve Stress

 “Stress:  1. a force that strains or deforms  2. mental or  physical tension“  Websters New World Dictionary

Despite our best intentions for creating a lifestyle free of stress, we have  only succeeded in creating more stress than our mind and bodies can really  handle. The good news is there are practical ways to reduce stress in your life  without having to spend a whole lot of money. It is important to note that there  are both environmental and emotional factors that create stress in your home,  workplace and outdoors in a city. You might feel the stress of a difficult job,  or the emotional strain of a negative relationship, but toxic chemicals in your  cleaning supplies or exposure to electro-magnetic frequency’s from your computer  and T.V. may not be so easy to detect. They can, however, cause stress to your  immune system and eventually will need to be removed or reduced.

For now let’s take a look at some ideas for dealing with stress on a daily  basis. By taking one-step-at-a-time you can at least begin to manage the stress  that comes from living in a time that demands our complete attention and much of  our precious energy. The goal here is to open up space in your day to recharge  and reinvigorate your body-mind for the next go-round of activity.

1. Medical research has shown that lack of sleep can stress the body more  than anything else you do. Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night for  best effect.

2. To make sure your body can sleep at night, reduce the amount of  stimulating foods, such as sugar, caffeine and alcohol, that you ingest each  day. For some people even one cup of java can cause insomnia. Stay away from  your computer or smart phone before bedtime as it can interfere with your  ability to sleep.

3. Take time each day to stop and do nothing. You can do this at your desk  with a few stretches and then sitting, lean your head back on the chair and  close your eyes for 2-3 minutes. Or, lay down on the sofa or bed and take a 5-10  minute nap. This is a very easy and effective way to refresh and revive the  whole body system.

4. Step away from what you are doing and make a cup of herbal tea, then sit  and sip it slowly.

5. Take a 15-30 minute walk outside in nature and focus on your breathing.  Stand and take deep breaths of fresh air and long exhales to expel the stale  indoor air from your lungs.

6. Take 10 minutes each day to sit in meditation. This can be done anywhere  you find yourself. Sit with your back upright, hands resting on your thighs,  close your eyes and let your mind quiet and empty. Bring your attention to your  breath and let the thoughts pass like clouds moving across a blue sky. This can  be a powerful moment for your body-mind to relax and rejuvenate.

7. Plan 1-2 days a week when you will not turn on the computer or watch  television. Use the time to hike in nature, read a good book, volunteer to help  a friend, clean out your kitchen cabinets and cook yourself a healthy meal.

8. Go on a spending diet and stay away from shopping malls and other crowded  venues. Instead, take time to be silent and alone with yourself. This is a  wonderful time to think about your life, to set goals, to plan and notice what  is and what is not working. This awareness allows you to make changes before  situations can get out of hand.

9. Put aside 10-15 dollars a week and indulge your senses with a monthly body  massage. This can go a long way towards releasing stress, worry and anxiety in a  short period of time.

10. Take a restorative yoga class at your local yoga studio. This special  form of yoga utilizes nurturing physical postures to relax, rejuvenate and  alleviate the effects of chronic stress in your daily life. Once you know the  routine you can practice at home in your personal space.

11. Light some candles in your bathroom, put on some soft music and take a  warm bath. Add some muscle relaxing bath salts and a few drops of Lavender oil  to calm and relax your mind.

12. As all your worries and fears rise up to engulf you, just remember what  is happening in the given moment. Anxiety comes from creating a negative future  in your mind, one that has not happened and will probably not happen. It is all  a product of your imagination and if you can stay focused on what is happening  in the present you can reduce the stress this way of thinking can cause.

By Delia Quigley

6 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Sustainable Living

6 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Sustainable Living

6 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Sustainable Living

Once you have a baby, your life changes. Not only in the small ways –  you  have less time for yourself, you drive slower, and maybe you even  buy life  insurance – but you start to take a look around and see ways to  improve the  world. One of the ways that many people choose to do so is  choosing a more sustainable life.

What is that, you  might ask? A sustainable lifestyle uses resources  minimally, with  minimal negative impact on the earth and with maximum potential  and  benefit for others. The standard, traditional industrial model utilizes   genetically modified ingredients, non-organic methods and cares very  little for  the impact on the environment. In short, it’s a selfish way  to live.

I’ve been trying, for several years now, to teach my  children what it means  to live in a sustainable manner. To teach them  why it matters how the animals  were raised, what chemicals were poured  into the soil, and how things just  don’t disappear when you toss them  into the trashcan. The can that we have for  recycling is a good start,  but it’s just a small step and I want my children to  take gigantic leaps  toward making the planet a better place for their  children.

We  vote at every single meal. We vote to eat the right  things for our body,  but that voting should begin with the purchase and  preparation of the  foods we ingest. Local, organic, sustainable. One great way  to help your  children see this is by growing your own food. It doesn’t have to  be a  large garden at first – maybe just tomatoes and herbs in a pot on your   porch. Once you do this, you’ll see how easy it can be to grow your own  foods,  and as a bonus, those foods are healthier for you, especially if  you chose to  grow them organically.

Start a rainwater collection  area, and use that water for  your garden. This is a simple, albeit messy, way for your kids to be actively  involved in the process that doesn’t need too much supervision.

Start composting. Creating a compost pile reduces food waste while providing  organic fertilizer for your garden. If you use worms, your  children are sure to  be interested in helping – I’ve yet to meet one  child who can stay away from  worms. If all of this sounds like too much  work, or you just don’t have the  time or space to garden, see if your  community offers a garden plot. One year I  put in a garden at my father-in-law’s house. Think outside the box and your  taste buds will  appreciate the effort.

Turn to your local farmer’s markets. They  can be fantastic  sources of fresh, organic produce, and usually offer dairy, butcher or baker  products too. It’s a perfect family outing for a Saturday morning or weeknight  evening. Everyone can walk, hand-pick their produce choices, smell the herbs for  themselves, and maybe even hear live music.

Eat  as close to nature as possible, with more fruits and  vegetables, seeds  and whole grains. We try to eat as many colors as we can at a  meal, but not day-glow orange or sickly green. Institute “Meatless Monday”, and try to eat vegetarian for every meal  on  Mondays. Reducing your family’s intake of meat helps the world. The  United  Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat  industry  generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas  emissions, more than  the transportation industry! One  fantastic way to do this is by making  your own pizza, which children love to help prepare.

Avoid  single use products. This has been a huge teaching  moment in our  family, more so due to the larger number of people we have. Paper  towels, disposable diapers, scratch paper, triple-wrapped convenience  foods  and female products all contribute heavily to a large trash load, and those  things don’t disappear when the trash truck leaves. Visit the  recycling plant  and help your children learn how to recycle the  “right” way. Buy reusable water  bottles for each member of your family  and get in to the habit of taking them  with you whenever you leave the  house.

Often, I feel overwhelmed at the reality that one person,  or one family,  really won’t make a difference in the world. Much of what  needs to change can  only be accomplished on the government level. Vote  with these thoughts in mind,  and inform your congressmen and senators of  the reasons behind your votes.

Sustainable living sounds like a  very overwhelming concept, but it’s not  when you make small changes that slowly added up to make a big difference. Each  change you make offers a learning experience for your kids that they’ll probably  enjoy being a part of.

By Carmen Staicer for DietsInReview.com

Super Snacks! Your 5 Best Snacks for Mood

Super Snacks: 5 Best Snacks for Mood

Super Snacks: 5 Best Snacks for Mood

Change your diet, change your mood? Science says the answer is yes. Food  isn’t just fuel for the body; it feeds the mind and changes our moods. Food  scientists are still exploring the big picture regarding food and mood, but it’s  clear that certain foods have a feel-good factor. Try these five mood-boosting  snacks.

Bananas

Bananas offer serious mood-lifting power, with their combination of vitamins  B6, A, and C; fiber; tryptophan; potassium; phosphorous; iron; protein; and  healthy carbohydrates.

When you eat a banana, you’ll get a quick boost from the fructose as well as  sustaining energy from the fiber, which helps prevent a blood sugar spike and  ensuing drop in energy and mood. Carbohydrates aid in the absorption of  tryptophan in the brain, and vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into  mood-lifting serotonin. Bananas are also a great source of potassium. Although  potassium isn’t directly related to mood, it’s needed to regulate fluid levels  and keep muscles working properly, which is important for feeling energized, a  key factor for a sunny outlook. And finally, bananas also offer iron, which is  crucial to producing energy and fighting fatigue.

Best of all, bananas are available year-round and are easy to tote — just  make sure to pack them on top!

Get even happier: Bananas are among the  best when it comes to mixing and matching mood-boosting snacks. For a sunny  smoothie, blend a banana with one handful of spinach, a tablespoon of ground  flaxseed, and half a cup of apple juice. Spinach is one of the richest food  sources of folate (vitamin B9) you can find, and flaxseed is full of omega-3s.  When combined, these nutrients help maintain stable levels of brain serotonin  and may help reduce your risk of depression.

For a sweet treat, try a frozen dark chocolate-covered banana, which you’ll  find in the freezer section of many natural foods stores. Or melt your own dark  chocolate at home to dip banana slices in for a satisfying, mood-lifting  fondue.

Walnuts

Walnuts contain a handful of components that contribute to  a good mood, including omega-3s, vitamin B6, tryptophan, protein, and  folate.

Higher blood levels of omega-3s have been linked with better mood and lower  rates of depression, while lower blood levels of omega-3s have been associated  with higher rates of depression and negative feelings. An animal study authored  by Harvard Medical School Professor William Carlezon found that omega-3s and  uridine (another substance found in walnuts, which plays an important role in  helping metabolize carbohydrates) worked in the same way as standard  antidepressant medications.

The standard dosage of omega-3 oils recommended by many experts is one gram  (1,000 mg) per day. You’ll get about the same amount, as well as a healthy dose  of fiber and protein, in just half an ounce of walnuts. About two teaspoons of  walnut oil will also do the trick, but you won’t get the all the nutrition you  would from the whole nut.

Get even happier:   Crumble walnuts on top of a serving of organic yogurt for a  crunchy and creamy treat with a double-dose of tryptophan.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a super source of folate and magnesium,  two substances that play a significant role in regulating and boosting mood.  Just a handful of sunflower seeds delivers half the daily recommended amount of  magnesium.

Magnesium, in addition to regulating mood, plays an essential role in  hundreds of bodily functions. Magnesium deficiency is often responsible for  feelings of fatigue, nervousness, and anxiety (since it triggers an increase in  adrenaline), and it’s been linked to various mood disorders. Sufficient, stable  magnesium levels, on the other hand, help us achieve a calm and relaxed state,  the perfect precursor to a good mood. It’s so effective, in fact, that  scientific studies have shown magnesium supplementation to be beneficial in  treating major depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, irritability, and  insomnia.

Folate (also known as vitamin B9 and as folic acid) is a B-complex vitamin  that’s intimately linked with nervous system function. Folate deficiency may  result in feelings of irritability, depression, and brain fog, as well as  insomnia. Being well rested and keeping a clear head are two of the primary  factors in fueling a good mood, so snacking on sunflower seeds is a smart move  in more ways than one.

Sunflower seeds are a good source of tryptophan and are often recommended by  nutritional experts as a natural method of boosting serotonin levels. They’re  also rich in fiber, which helps maintain stable hormone levels — one of the keys  to keeping even-keeled.

Get even happier: Try this homemade trail mix to blast the blues: Sift sunflower seeds together  with almonds, Brazil nuts, raisins, and dark chocolate chunks. Brazil nuts  contain selenium, another natural mood  booster.

Dark Chocolate

A number of unscientific studies name  chocolate the number-one craved food in America, so it makes sense that  indulging in chocolate makes for a happy experience. And, as it turns out, there  are some real reasons why that’s so. For one, chocolate contains a number of  substances that elevate mood, including fat, sugar, caffeine, phenylethylamine,  flavonols, theobromine, and tryptophan.

Caffeine and theobromine are two naturally occurring stimulants found in  chocolate. Along with sugar and fat, these substances provide a swift burst of  energy and mood-lifting power. Chocolate also contains the mood-boosting  compounds phenylethylamine, tyramine, tryptophan, and magnesium. While these  substances are found in many other foods, even in higher concentrations,  chocolate has an advantage because of its appeal on several sensory levels: it  has a rich, mouth-pleasing texture; an intense taste; and an appealing aroma.  For many of us, just the idea of indulging in chocolate is enough to elicit a  positive emotional response.

In addition to these natural pick-me-ups, when you eat chocolate, a number of  reactions occur, including the release of serotonin in the brain and  mood-elevating endorphins in the body. This heady combination can result in a  temporarily lifted mood and even a fleeting feeling of euphoria, which may  explain why some people turn to chocolate when they’re feeling blue.

Finally, cocoa is a natural source of antioxidant flavonoids, which increase  blood flow (and thus oxygenation) in the brain, and which may contribute to  better brain function. Not all chocolate is created equal, though. For the best  health and happiness benefits, go for good-quality dark chocolate with a cocoa  level of 70 percent or higher. The more cocoa it contains, the higher the levels  of healthy compounds, so the darker the chocolate, the better it is for you.

Get even  happier:  Chocolate-covered almonds are a decadent  snack full of fiber, vitamin E, potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper,  tryptophan, and vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Almonds help lower the glycemic index  of the chocolate, preventing a spike in blood sugar and its resultant low energy  and mood. In fact, fiber, manganese, copper, and B2 are power players when it  comes to energy production — and steady energy is a must for a happy mood.

Eggs

Eggs might not be the first food that  comes to mind when you think of a snack, but a hard-boiled egg is easy to make  and easy to transport. It’s also a really good-for-you and good-for-your-mood  snack. Full of high-quality protein and omega-3s (from hens eating a diet rich  in omega-3s), eggs are also an excellent source of vitamin B12 (riboflavin) and  a good source of vitamins B2, B5, and D. And one boiled egg contains more than  20 percent of the daily recommended amount of tryptophan.

While carbs are crucial for converting tryptophan into serotonin, protein is  an important part of the process, too. A balanced diet that includes  high-quality lean protein, like you find in eggs, and healthy carbs also helps  stabilize blood sugar and prevent emotional highs and lows. And the Vitamin B12  in eggs plays a significant role in the production of energy and helps alleviate  memory problems and symptoms of depression.

Get even  happier:  Add your egg to whole-grain toast for a  satisfying snack that will give you a boost of long-lasting energy and fuel a  feeling of well-being. Complex carbohydrates are an ideal pairing for  protein-rich eggs, since they temporarily produce a calming effect by delivering  a dose of tryptophan and triggering the production of serotonin. Carbohydrates  also aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain.

By Nikki Jong, Caring.com  contributing editor

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