Minimal daylight hours and dismal weather can bring any runner down. Put a little spring in your winter with this mood-boosting menu.
A bowl of nine-grain hot cereal topped with skim milk, a drizzle of honey, some almonds, and fresh pear slices sprinkled with cinnamon
Benefits: This carb-rich meal helps flood your brain with the feel-good chemical serotonin. Carbs enable more of the building blocks of serotonin to get into the brain.
Chew some sugar-free gum
Benefits: Studies show that chewing gum helps boost short-term memory, possibly by revving up the heart rate slightly and improving blood flow to the brain.
A bowl of bean soup with a hefty serving of plain low-fat yogurt topped with berries
Benefits: The soup is loaded with energizing carbs, while the yogurt contains whey protein, which has been shown to improve mood in individuals under stress.
A handful of trail mix (almonds, soy nuts, dried fruit)
Benefits: The protein-carb combination should increase your late-afternoon alertness.
Fish tacos made with grilled or oven-baked salmon and plenty of salsa and shredded cabbage, plus a side of refried beans topped with chopped tomatoes. Finish with a serving of chocolate pudding (or substitute your favorite dessert).
Benefits: Omega-3 fats found in fish have been shown to help fight depression. As for the chocolate pudding (my favorite comfort food): Eating a treat that is associated with positive feelings can help boost your mood.
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