4 Meals to Improve Your Mood, Metabolism and Love Life
These delicious and low-calorie meals will improve your mood, boost your libido, and help you burn fat without even trying.
- Feel-Good Salmon Sandwich
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 DHA fatty acids which have mood-boosting properties, while spinach is abundant in magnesium which lowers the blood pressure levels and has a relaxing effect. Walnuts have numerous health benefits and are a rich source of melatonin which can improve your sleep.
The Benefit: boosts mood and has calming effect. It contains 420 calories and 35g of heart-healthy fats.
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
4 toasted whole-grain rolls
4 radicchio leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
Place the spinach, walnuts, garlic clove, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a dash of salt into a food processor; pulse, scraping down sides of bowl, until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl; cover and chill. In a small bowl, combine paprika, dark brown sugar, crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Pat dry salmon fillets; sprinkle tops with spice mixture. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium; cook fish 7 minutes on both sides or until golden and cooked through. Split rolls in half; spread 1 tablespoon pesto on each bottom, and top with 1 fillet and 1 radicchio leaf. Add tops of rolls. Serve with extra pesto.
- Mediterranean Detox Salad
Cukes are rich in vitamin C and caffeic acid and can reduce bloating and swelling. Artichokes and watercress have diuretic properties which are excellent against bloating, and artichokes contain the soluble fiber inulin. Celery is rich in sodium and potassium which are responsible for the fluid balance in the body.
The Benefit: removes toxins and reduces bloating. It contains just 170 calories and 11g of fat.
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup feta cheese
6 cups trimmed watercress
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (8-ounce) English cucumber
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large celery stalks, sliced
Cut cucumber in half, and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Mix 3/4 cup cucumber and lemon juice in a blender. Add olive oil in a thin stream; pulse until combined. Season the dressing with black pepper, to taste; transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup cucumber, watercress, artichoke hearts, celery, red onion, and feta cheese to a bowl. Toss with the dressing, and divide among 4 bowls; serve.
- Libido-Boosting Stir-Fry
Asparagus is abundant in vitamin E which has the ability to stimulate estrogen and testosterone secretion. Zinc also stimulates the testosterone secretion and boosts female libido. Brown rice increases the libido as well and also participates in the process of slow-burning carbohydrates which leads to lasting power in bed. Cashews act as natural aphrodisiac.
The Benefit: significantly boosts your sex drive. Contains 318 calories and 11g of fat.
1/2 pound skirt steak
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cups diagonally cut asparagus
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
3 bell peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped cashews
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Cut steak crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Toss together with garlic, and 2 tablespoons lime juice; marinate the steak for 15 minutes. Heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the steak with the marinade, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until medium-rare; transfer with slotted spoon to a large bowl, and set aside. Add bell peppers and onion to the wok; cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes or until just tender. Transfer the pepper-and-onion mixture to a bowl with the steak. Add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and asparagus to wok; cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes or until tender. Put the pepper-onion-and-steak mixture back into the wok. Add ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon lime juice to wok; cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until heated through. Add cooked brown rice to the wok; heat for 2 minutes. Divide the stir-fry among 4 plates, and distribute chopped cilantro and chopped cashews evenly on top; serve.
- Blackberry-Banana Slim-Down Smoothie
Blackberries are rich in fibers which can keep you full for a longer period. Bananas contain resistant starch (RS), a carb that acts like fiber and also helps you feel full and lose weight. For best results, use unripe bananas. Coconut oil reduces belly fat and yogurt along with the rest dairy products is the main source of conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid which burns the fat.
The Benefit: speeds up the fat-burning process and contains only 250 calories and 5g of fat.
2 cups frozen blackberries
1 small banana, sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
Put blackberries, banana, coconut milk, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, and lemon zest in a blender and mix until you obtain a smooth mixture. Divide the mixture evenly into 2 chilled glasses, and serve.