So many people come to me looking to improve their sleep that I decided to devote the blog post coming later this month to the significance of slumber. Just as there are foods and beverages that disrupt sleep (hello spicy and fatty food, caffeine and alcohol!), there are foods that promote a restful night. To whet your appetite, I have dished up a duo of dreamland dinners (à deux) serving several foods that may help you drift off to sleep. Sign up to receive the recipes.
I hope this leaves you hungry for my upcoming blog post, Don’t Snooze, You Lose, where I will discuss why quality sleep is so vital to our health and well-being. I will also offer nutrition and lifestyle tips for a better night’s sleep. In the meantime, enjoy the recipes (just not with wine or coffee if you want some satisfying shut-eye) and I invite you to share them with family and friends!
- Slow Cooker Lamb & White Bean Stew (because this is made in a slow cooker, the recipe serves 4 – enough to serve up a second time). Before serving, I like to chop up some chard or other leafy greens and stir them in to the stew just until they wilt. This adds colour and amps up the magnesium content and magnesium is great for relaxation!
- Warm Apples with Cinnamon
- Roasted Butternut Squash Harvest Bowl (vegan main course option)
- Sunbutter Oat Cookies
Join The Nutritional Reset community here to receive this month’s menu today (as well as each month to come)! And read on for some nutritional tidbits about a few featured foods from the recipes…
A few featured foods
And I don’t mean counting sheep…
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which promotes relaxation and is a precursor of melatonin, both needed for deep sleep. It is made from tryptophan, an amino acid found in most protein foods. Turkey often comes to mind but lamb contains a little more. Tryptophan is only half the story; carbs are key in getting tryptophan into the brain (which is why carbs are our comfort foods).
Apples are carbs and carbs are key in getting tryptophan into the brain. Amino acids compete to cross the blood-brain barrier. As tryptophan is not as abundant as the other amino acids, little makes it to the brain. But when you eat carb-rich foods (e.g. apples, beans, oats), insulin rises and binds many amino acids for use in muscle maintenance and repair. But insulin doesn’t bind tryptophan. Carbs at night means more tryptophan gets to the brain for higher levels of serotonin and melatonin and better sleep!
Cooking your own food is the single most impactful step you can take to improve your health and energy!
I hope you enjoy this Duo of Dreamland Dinners (sign up here to receive the download link). And if you want to cook more of your own food but don’t know what to make or have the time to organize your own menus and shopping lists, The Nutritional Reset offers a meal planning service so you can prepare tasty, nutritious meals in a snap. Click here to find out more.