Friday 31 August 2018

Good Mood Food: A 24-Hour Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression

Good Mood Food: A Daily Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression

Hey, are you depressed all the time? Then welcome to 2018, asshole! Get in line, lol!

So I started to think about antidepressants recently. I don't take them or anything, I was just thinking about them. And what I thought was, like, these medications are just introducing new chemicals into your brain to balance out old chemicals which keep your neurotransmitters in check while reducing any inflammation, right? Which, if you think about it, isn't exactly a mental issue per se. It's your brain as an organ not doing its job properly. It's physical stuff. So why would that happen? Why would such a thing persist? When we injure any other part of our body, it usually heals itself up. Why don't our brains do that? And even in those severe cases when certain body parts refuse to heal, it doesn't explain the prevalency. If everybody who suffers from depression also suffered from a busted ankle, the world would be walking very differently.

It sounds like something else is up here. It sounds like a deficiency to me. And when it comes to humans, the word "deficiency" usually means of a dietary nature. Or maybe I'm completely wrong. But even then, perhaps there was still a way to consume similar happy pill chemicals simply through the food we eat? Surely that's available. They do say God loves us, after all. I had to find out. Hello, I'd like to speak to God please.

I started to click on some articles. Then I started to click on even more articles. And the more articles I clicked, the more I clicked, you know? Until, eventually, I had hundreds of Chrome tabs open at once, all saying some variation of the exact same thing. "Yes, depression is often a result of inadequate dietary decisions, and yes, those happy chemicals can be found in your food". My Gosh, you can literally eat happiness!? I became obsessed with the idea and spent hours upon hours exploring what those mood-boosting essential happy juice chemicals were. Once I had that list, I scoured the internets for which foods had the highest content of each said chemical, and then I analysed which of those foods best fit into which meals of the day, splitting them out accordingly.

And then there it was.
And then here it is!
A meal plan which covers every single good mood food you need to pile upon your depression until it suffocates.
What an amazing thing I've done here.
I'm so proud of me.
And that's why I'm sharing it with you now.

Now I know what you're thinking. Your issues go way deeper than just some food-related shortage. Your brain is super special and you need your medication otherwise there is big trouble for everyone on the premises. Hey, man, maybe that's true. Maybe food won't solve all of your problems.

I also doubt that this will help those people who take loads of drugs or drink tons of alcohol or haven't gone for a jog in five years. Some problems need to be addressed elsewhere. And I understand.

But in every single case, no matter what the circumstances, your body will adore you for feeding it these powerful little gifts.
There is literally no downside to doing any of this.
Quite the opposite in fact.
So just do what I say.

Good Mood Food: A Daily Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression: Breakfast


Important notice: never skip breakfast! This is the initial fuel for your entire day, providing the supportive energy you require to hit the ground running, punching at your demons, swearing with big words. If you have spent countless mornings feeling unequipped to face the day, then this may have something to do with it.

Start by boiling a batch of oatmeal. I know it's not exciting, but this (cheap!) breakfast foundation is loaded with fiber, meaning that you will poop super nice, cleaning out your sludgy guts and removing that dead weight from your colon. Keep this up and you'll be floating away in no time.

Of course, oatmeal tastes like shit, so let's fix that problem.

Stir in a spoon of honey. This will not only sweeten up your cheeks but is also full of antioxidants, which are compounds proven to be "useful in stress-induced psychiatric disorders".

IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT YOU MUST NEVER ADD SUGAR TO ANYTHING YOU EAT EVER AGAIN. Sugar is the literal worst and has been heavily linked to depression. What's more, sugar spikes you glucose, which shoots you high up into the clouds and then drops down, crashing face-first into the ground with even less energy than you had before. Furthermore, it's addictive, it can lead to obesity, it can lead to diabetes, and it might rot your teeth right out of your skull. ALWAYS REPLACE SUGAR WITH HONEY AT ALL TIMES.

Next, chop up a banana and throw that shit in there. Bananas contain an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which your body literally uses to produce the happy monoamine neurotransmitter called serotonin. Bananas will also top up your potassium levels (a lack of which has been suggested as a depression ally) while also stocking up your energy shelves. Plus they are very funny to look at! Hahaha!

Follow this fruit with more fruit, namely berries (such as blueberries or strawberries) as they too are loaded with antioxidant weaponry.

Now we're going to talk about nuts. I'm going to talk about nuts throughout this entire article. I'm going to tell you to add nuts to everything, and breakfast is no exception. Pick either almonds, cashews, peanuts, or Brazil nuts, it doesn't matter, because all of these little dudes are full of magnesium, which is a chemical proven without a doubt to fight off the depression monster (even if no one is quite sure why). Sprinkle that shit right in there, go crazy, yum yum!

Your bowl is probably quite full by now, but one of the most important additions to top it all off is Greek yogurt. This is a biggie because studies have shown that our gastrointestinal flora and the central nervous system are good mates, a partnership otherwise known as the gut-brain axis. It is now scientifically accepted that good tummy bacteria is directly related to a good mood, so don't be afraid and load that stuff on. Always opt for full-fat too, as this beast boasts more calcium and protein than it's weakling low-fat cousin. It's fine. It's morning. You'll burn those calories off.

I also enjoy throwing a splash of almond milk in there for a lactose-free low-calorie highly moral source of cold flavour, and then that's it! One order of super good mood food on your table, and it tastes like fucking dessert!

Finally, may I suggest swallowing a multivitamin after this meal? This is just to ensure that you don't miss anything important. I treasure my daily Centrum Advance intake as it includes "25 key nutrients including all 13 essential vitamins". Can't really go wrong with numbers like that, I think.

Good Mood Food: A Daily Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression: Coffee?


There are longstanding debates on whether coffee should be advocated during spurts of mental upset or not. My stance is that it's case dependent, and I'm sure you've already developed your own position on the matter.

If you're drinking more than 3 - 4 cups a day, you've seriously got to pull that reindeer back in. However, if you're somewhere around that ballpark (or preferably a bit less) then coffee could be doing you some actual good. The caffeine kick can send a powerful surge through the center of your soul, helping you to tackle your responsibilities with superhuman strength and speed. Coffee is also famous for prodding your digestive system until it's as excited as a washing machine, spinning all the gunk out of there, one time, gone. And finally, there was even this study which indicated that coffee can reduce suicide in women.

On the complete flip side of all of this, however, is when the caffeine stimulant blasts your anxiety straight out into the stratosphere and sends your panicked face smashing through a brick wall. If this has ever happened to you, then obviously don't drink the coffee.

Anyways, regardless of your coffee allegiance, it is still a good idea to consume a cup of tea every now and again, as they work differently. A more soothing, relaxing effect, some might say. Green tea is a good example of this, especially because it comes with those antioxidants I won't shut up about. Chamomile also comes highly-praised as a sleeping aid, and you know what they say! A happier sleep means a happier life! I say that. Ok, just remember NO ADDED SUGAR, HONEY! Just add honey, sugar!

Good Mood Food: A Daily Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression: Snacking


When a slight hunger pang or the clock of boredom comes knocking, it's easy to fail and reach for the nearest toxic junk you can find. Be better than that. Throw those evil bastards in the trash right now. Instead, fill your immediate surroundings with healthier options, many of which we have already covered.

Eat some nuts! Almonds are the best! They have magensium! Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is another substance that medical professionals have had some depression discussions about. Along with walnuts, pecan nuts are also a decent choice because they have some of those fancy antioxidants too.

Speaking of antioxidants, bring back some of those berries from breakfast and pretend you're in a forest when you eat them.

Speaking of fruits, shove an orange into your mouth (or any citrusy alternative really) for some super cool folic acid. This is important, as a folic acid deficiency has been shown to fuel depression, and that is the opposite of what we want, if you remember.

My last secret weapon here is mushrooms. Seriously, I eat raw fistfuls of these dudes like they're Oreos except without a single shred of guilt. I have a lot of good things to say about my mushroom habit, but in the context of this blog, what needs to be noted is their vitamin D content. This is the same vitamin you get from sunshine, and you know how happy the sun makes you! So much so that there is actually a condition brilliantly known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) used as a diagnosis for how miserable people get without our designated star cooking their faces. So imagine that awesomeness, except without the skin cancer risk, and that's pretty much mushrooms for you.

Finally, it goes without saying that the most essential part of any diet is water. You are made of majority water. Your brain is basically a plant, and if it's not hydrated, you are going to fuck out in every single direction imaginable to man, including depression. You will die so fast without water, so drink it continuously. I can't even explain to you how much water I drink. It's the sole reason why I look so fucking beautiful all the time.

Good Mood Food: A Daily Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression: Lunch


For lunch today we are going to start with a whole wheat wrap for two reasons. The first reason is that it's got that lovely fiber property again, which means that you will shit good. And the second reason is that it's called a wrap by name but also by function. It's going to hold everything else together for us, nice and neat. Thanks, buddy.

What I recommend doing next is to boil an egg, because this will save time while you sort everything else out. The protein in eggs is fucking loaded with that tryptophan we discussed earlier with the bananas (reminder: tryptophan is literally what develops into serotonin), except there is even way more of this in eggs, so yeah. And the yolk? Fucktons of vitamin D in there! Which, as you may remember, is the sunshine vitamin. This is an extra fun fact because egg yolk legit looks like a little sunshine! Awww! Sorry vegans, but eggs rule. It's literally the only reason why I'm not a vegan yet.

Actually, while we're on the moral vegan note, it must be said that happy free-range chickens produce happier (richer vitamin D) eggs, which, in turn, makes you happier, proven text. So don't skimp. Buy the nice ones.

Ok, so while your egg(s) are hardening up, we're going to start introducing some cool stuff into your wrap. Spread a splat of avocado as your base, marveling at its many empowering brain fat qualities (including more of that yummy magnesium). Add some Greek Yogurt again to create a paste with that healthy bacteria army included. Might as well bring back in those mushrooms too for a bonus vitamin D kick, I love mushrooms! This would also be a fantastic moment to lay down some leafy greens (spinach and kale are my jam, although you can never go wrong with anything named rocket, anything at all) as these friendly faces are like a folic acid dream team, just like those citrusy snacky wacks from earlier on.

Now pause. I'd like to sit back here and take some time to fully appreciate the glory and the power of the mighty tomato. Because when I learned what I'm about to tell you, it FUCKING BLEW MY MIND. You see, there is this antioxidant called lycopene and, omfg, it could literally be the source of all your problems. This is because many depression cases have been directly linked to brain inflammation, and as an anti-inflammatory substance, lycopene is a literal godsend. And I do mean "literal", it's pure natural happiness sent by God himself. If you don't believe me, check out this study which proves that a tomato-rich diet alone has been reducing depressive symptoms in people all over the show (by around 52%!). Why doesn't everyone know this? Honestly, we should all be eating tomatoes with every single meal. Go eat a tomato right now.

But what if you hate tomatoes? Well, then you could always snack on some guava or watermelon for a lycopene fix, but nothing compares, nothing compares to you (tomatoes).

Ok, back to your wrap! Those eggs look about done. Cut them up, put them on, and then we're nearly finished this masterpiece. Add some beans for additional fiber. Consider black beans for magnesium. Oh, wait, magnesium? Good point, let's pour some almonds in there again just to be safe.

You want another quick secret weapon? Pumpkin seeds. Just like our eggs, pumpkin seeds have tryptophan, except they are fucking exploding with it. I've read articles which refer to pumpkin seeds as "mini-doses of natural Prozac" so load 'em up! Shove them in your cheek pouches for the winter! They're also really fun to eat, I enjoy their role in my life. Other seeds worth including are hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds for their omega 3 content.

And that's it! The wrap is done! Wrap it up and make a shape! Eat it! Love it! Pray to it.

However, for those wild at heart, you could take on the final boss of this tale, otherwise known as the chili pepper. These fruits are a great source of vitamin C, and there have been some convincing studies which link a C deficiency with depression-like symptoms. Of course, there are plenty of other sources of vitamin C out there (including the aforementioned kale and the ever-popular oranges) but chili peppers have one special additional bonus: they burn! Try being depressed when your mouth is on fire, it's impossible. You're too distracted.

Good Mood Food: A Daily Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression: Dinner


For dinner, I like to keep things simple. Life can be so complicated sometimes. If we can minimise the outside world via our dinner avenue, than I say more power to us.

I start by boiling some brown rice because it's good for digestion, keeping Mr Tum Tum and Mr Bum Bum on speaking terms. It's also very filling.

To save washing up time, I place a colander full of frozen vegetables above the boiling rice water to steam them. Now, I know many people who say many things about steaming frozen vegetables, so let me destroy everything right now with the following two facts: frozen vegetables have been proven to match or even surpass the vitamin content of their fresh counterparts, while steaming has been proven to retain the most nutrients above all other cooking methods. So, basically, fuck you. I know what I'm doing.

Speaking of frozen vegetables, I tend to favour broccoli above all the others, as it's both a wicked source of vitamin C and folic acid, of which we've already discussed earlier. Brussels sprouts are also incredible if you're looking to increase your omega 3 intake.

As for the main portion, there are a few options but may I recommend that you stay away from meat and look for more plant-based alternatives. Part of this is the vegetarian in me attempting to coerce you into the cult. But the other part is where meats are shown to severely disrupt the mood, not to mention that all meat (except fish) is worryingly low on magnesium.

Some suggestions for you include bean burgers for fiber and magnesium, mushroom burgers for vitamin D, tofu for magnesium, or just a simple tomato soup for that warm lycopene hug from the inside.

You may also enjoy a side salad with all of this, which can basically be the same as lunch without the wrap. And for the love of God, don't forget the almonds.

Finally, everyone has a vice, and I admit that mine is onion gravy. I don't need to read the label to tell you that this shit is probably loaded with sodium and other such negative influences, but it does make everything uber tasty, so whatever, mom! If nothing else, it's my way of saying "Hey, I love you" to myself. Depressed people need to hear that sometimes.

Good Mood Food: A Daily Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression: Dinner


What? You're still hungry? Well then, could I tempt you in some dark chocolate? The darker the better, as cocoa polyphenols have been shown to lift the mood while it's also a happy little treat for a brain who deserves it. Just don't eat too much or you'll go bouncing off the walls.

You could also go over this list to find other dessert-y type examples from before (espeically during the breakfast section), such as: Greek yogurt (never ice cream!), bananas, strawberries, almonds, guava, watermelon etc. Drink some chamomile tea and eat some pumpkin seeds to let your sleepy meatonin take control, then go to bed. Start again tomorrow. Goodnight, I love you.

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Big Fat Commercial Writing Dump (part ii)

Big Fat Commercial Writing Dump (part ii)

"And he said, 'Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.'" - Luke 4:24

If you hold out the human race in your extended arms and look at it from this distance, it's interesting how many of life's decisions revolve around comfort. Certainly, you can ridicule the lazy man who uses his toe to change the television channel as a negative example of this pursuit, but "comfort" is not necessarily synonymous with "laziness" alone. In fact, those who work hard and strive for a better future are doing so for reasons of comfort, whether they realise it or not. More money, a nice place to call home, a job you excel at, a loving partner who cradles your crumbled body to sleep... all of these goals could easily be argued as pleasures based on comfort. For what is an uncomfortable pleasure anyway? Anal sex? I wouldn't know.

This observation seems less than simple when it comes to my own experiences. I've started to recognise personal comfort as somewhat of an enemy. When I'm comfortable in my life, that's when I begin to think, and if history has taught me anything, thought is not a safe environment for me to be in. Hey, remember that time I quit my job at the end of 2017? To become a full-time writer? Which I detailed in Big Fat Commercial Writing Dump (part i)? Totally abandoning my safety net and scrubbing my work history clean? That was a period of pure terror, man! I was barely scraping rent money together and there was no CV boat coming to my rescue and my girlfriend has just left me! And yet, when I look back on these events, there are heart shapes in my pupils. I was in full survival mode. I had to eat bugs and build a shelter out of empty baked bean tins. I was forced to see what I was made of, and as it turns out, I am made of fear. Fear of failure. It's a substance of much buoyancy.

After a while, I found a place to stand, my head was above water, the money began to collect beneath my feet, and following shortly afterward, I was standing in the sun, arms stretched upward, drying out. So nice and warm! But if this was indeed the goal, then why was I so confused? The UV light was cripsing my eyelids and then microwaving my mental health. The Beatles song Here, There and Everywhere became the theme to my general stability. I had manifested a big blob of clay and then modeled it into the perfect shape, one which I had always dreamed I would one day model, but my inside world refused to collaborate. Despite taking complete control of my life (as far as any third-party could see), I was still the same old bleak ghost within, a monotone moan of misery like a warped vinyl with lock groove. There goes that self-help book idea I had FUCK.

And it was around this point when I started to ask questions.
The real questions, such as, "Why am I here?".
And I don't mean, like, in some existential fashion.
I mean more like, "Why am I here?? Why am I in London?".

I don’t have a job which requires anything but wifi.
I don’t have a girlfriend, gross lol.
I don’t have a baby as fas as I know.
I don’t have a mortgage.
I don’t have any debt.
I don’t even have a fucking Oyster card.
And I'm pretty sure all of my friends hate me anyway.

Couple this with the Brexit Monster looming above our dark skies, salivating to take a bite out of my long-earned passport, and the illuminated arrows were clear. I see you.

It's also worth mentioning that 08/08/18 marked my 10th year anniversary in London to the day, and 10 is my lucky number, so... Omen? Omg? Oh, man! Amen.

And with that, I decided it was time. It was time to try and outrun my depression once for all. So let's go. Go where? Nobody’s business. But I assure you it’s not one place. It’s gonna be many, many places. And I will not rest until I find a reason to live, or at least a pretty place to die.

What's important to note above all else is that I love London, you hear me? I LOVE IT. Never has any region in the whole wide world wide web felt so much like a home to me, and I only got here when I was 23 years old, so that's saying a lot. When I picture London as a personified figure, my heart yelps legit physical pain in regards to my decision. It feels like I'm cheating on the love of my life. But then I have to remind myself that London is not a person, it's a city. She'll be here when I need her, and I'll probably need her next summer. In the meantime, I've got to take this chance while I have it, because who knows when I'll get such an opportunity again? All it takes is one pregnancy or a bad Brexit deal to fuck everything up.

That said, maybe I'll come back running after one long month of panic attacks. And if that's the case, I ask you to please forget everything I just said. Thanks!

This lengthy speech is slightly premature, as I will only be leaving in December due to a pesky little lease I signed my name on a while ago. But I wanted to make this announcement now to address the future of Juice Nothing with time to spare. Regrettably, I imagine this blog's content is going to be reduced substantially over the course of 2019. I imagine this because I've never tried writing on the road before, and if anything is going to get throttled, it would be the shit that doesn't pay me. Furthermore, I am currently in the process of authoring three books, and I really need to dedicate some more resources to that. Because I'm not a kid anymore and a blog is not a particularly good use of energy. That said, maybe we could try a new piece every two months instead of one? Or maybe I'll be really bored and lonely, and I'll end up writing much more? Or perhaps I'll compose a world-famous guide called "How I Travelled to 10 Different Countries in Six Months and Saved Money" because that's my actual plan.

Ok, so exciting times ahead then! To close things off, I'd like to spit out a list of all the many many writing bits I have sprinkled throughout the web since we last spoke in March. Look, you see? I've been a busy boi. Here is the Jared fix you never asked for. I hope you're well though.

Pencilmation Scripts

Note: Pencilmation itself has surpassed 4.8 million subscribers, and someone I don't know put together an IMDB profile for me! So that's one dream done then.

No Pain, No Game
Button Rouge
Easter Egg-scapade
Couch Surfing
Haunted Mouse
Caught off Cards
One Man's Trash Is Another Man
The Tell Tale Art
Hole in None
Bedtime Blues
Well Off
Nutty by Nature
Lord of the Fries
Panic! At the Window
In a Pickle
Love Burps
Rocks, Paper, Scissors, Oh My!
Climb and Punishment
A Knight to Remember Part 1
A Knight to Remember Part 2
All That Litters Is Not Gold
Alarmed and Dangerous
Mathterpiece Theatre
Heap of Trouble
For Crying out Cloud
Children of the Popcorn
Belly Idol
Lump in the Night
Keep Clam and Carry on Part 1
Keep Clam and Carry on Part 2
Pain in the Mutt
Pasta Point of No Return
Fall by Myself Part 1
Fall by Myself Part 2
All Helium Breaks Loose
Page Fright
Shoe La La
Click Flick
Nib and Tuck
Sir Dance-a-lot
Icing on the Skate
Darkside of the Balloon
What Lurks in the Shadow Puppets

Bolde Articles

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Millions of Miscellaneous Ghostwritten Health Articles

10 Warning Signs That You’re Running Too Much
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The Essential Guide for Seniors Who Live Alone
10 Simple Steps to Get That Summer-Ready Stomach
5 Painful Conditions Caused by Bad Footwear
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10 Tips for a Healthier Sleep When Traveling
10 Warning Signs That Your Diet Has Gone Too Far
10 Winning Tips for Running in the Rain
10 Troubling Ways That Stress Affects the Body
Five Simple Ways to Reduce Stress in Under 5 Minutes
Sports Injuries: Your 10 Most Vulnerable Body Parts
10 Health Warnings Your Mom Was Right About
10 Lesser-Known Causes of Depression
10 Simple Ways to Get Ready Faster in the Morning
The 10 Laziest Ways to Exercise
10 Important Reasons Why You Should Not Exercise Today
10 Ways Your Office Job Is Harming You (and What to Do About It)
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10 Tips for When Your Belly Fat Won't Go Away
How Flat Feet Can Negatively Affect the Body (and What to Do about It)
10 Ways to Help You Overcome Emotional Eating
Running for Beginners: 10 Tricks to Motivate Yourself
5 Essential Ways to Support Your Ankles During Training
10 Ways That Showering Can Be Bad For You
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10 Quick Tricks to Help Seniors with Depression
10 Lesser-Known Reasons Why Running Is Good for You
10 Steps in Coping with the Death of a Loved One
10 Ways to Exercise at Home Without Gym Equipment
10 Best Sports for Seniors to Play
10 Bathroom Safety Ideas for the Elderly
10 Reasons Why Pets Are Good for Seniors
Senior Travel: How to Pack Light
10 Lesser-Known Ways That Water Can Be Good for You
Senior Life: 10 Ways to Feel Young Again
10 Common Reasons Why Your Hands May Be Swollen
The 10 Most Common Boxing Injuries
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10 Health Reasons to Eat Less Meat
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10 Simple Tricks to Improve Your Training
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Mood Food: Eating for Happiness
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5 Simple Habits for Youthful Looking Skin
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