Hello, and welcome to my blog, Food for Thought! You can call me Anna. I’m 23 and residing in Bristol, UK. I work in Learning Intervention in a Steiner School and I spend my spare time cooking, reading, drinking lots of coffee and practising hula hoop tricks!
This is my recipe blog, where I provide plant-based healthy, wholesome, nurturing recipes using foods and ingredients that are beneficial for depression and anxiety.
You can read my personal story about my struggles, my connection with food and how I came about creating this blog here.
Before reading anything else on my blog, I really recommend gaining a little more understanding of the link between diet and mental health by clicking here.
If you’re worried about how you can afford eating a plant based diet, read some hints and tips here.
For a printable ‘good for you’ shopping list that will allow you to create plant based staples, breakfast, lunches, desserts and everything in between, click here.
I have written a list of my favorite and most used kitchen tools, which you can find here.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the thought of making time for this on top of everything else on your plate, check out this article I wrote here, which has some hints, tips and tweaks for prioritising healthy eating and cooking from scratch in a busy lifestyle.
I have been brought up by a herbalist who always taught me that the answers to most problems lie in plants and herbs. When I was particularly low through my University degree, I turned to exactly that! I made big changes in the way I ate and within months, I was radiant; I would start each day with a green smoothie, eat huge vegetable and bean salads and colorful dinners of root vegetables and pulses. I began fermenting foods and replacing sugary snacks with herbal tea or vegetable juices. I But the biggest change I noticed came from inside. I felt huge changes in my mood when I didn’t eat so well. My levels of anxiety would be higher, I would become more irritable, I would feel more lethargic. When I was eating well, I felt good inside – refreshed, content, glowing, calmer.
The small lightbulb idea for Food for Thought came about when my family were in the midst of our early days of grief, when we lost my younger brother in September 2014. We had a family that bought us healthy soups twice a week for a month. Each soup was a gorgeous, vibrant mix of leafy greens or root vegetables and spices. I remember feeling as if the soup was like an inner hug, that temporarily filled the aching gap in my chest that such a big loss leaves. It was such a small thing, but it made me feel more whole.
The idea hit me. What if I put together my love for pure, nourishing, healthy, plant based food and my activist grieving? What if I use my ingrained herbalism knowledge, my nutritional therapy self-study, and my personal experience to create a safe place for people struggling with their mental health to visit and access easy recipes that will allow them to look after themselves?
So here it is: Food for Thought, a plant based recipe blog for people suffering with their mental health, or for those simply in need of healthy inspiration. Each recipe you see on this blog contains not only a plethora of good-for-you ingredients, in all kinds of ways, but my heart and soul too.
I want to be able to create a small space for everyone who is struggling, whether a little or a lot, and provide nurturing, nourishing, wholesome plant-based inner hugs for those who are needing them. In my recipe posts, I aim to outline how the food is beneficial for your mind and body. I will list the main ingredients and their usages. I always provide a how to!
To help you along the way, I have made a food shopping list of the ingredients I always have in my kitchen (and that you will need to create these recipes), which you can access here. I have also made a list of my most used kitchen tools, which will allow you to get the best out of your cooking.
The ‘Tweaks and Hacks‘ section will be little life hacks, legs up and everyday lifestyle tweaks that really helped me out of my fog. I want to share these with you, as I really believe that when battling with depression or anxiety, it is very important to take one small step at a time. Here is a section of my blog that is dedicated to those small steps.
The wealth of herbalism knowledge my mother has brought me up with is completely ingrained. As well as this, I have been self – studying herbalism and nutritional therapy for 4 years now, whilst learning about Ayurveda, macrobiotics and aromatherapy along the way. I spend a good 60% of my self study time experimenting and using ingredients and methods that I have read to be beneficial for ailments of all natures. Working at Lush Cosmetics for two and a half years gave me a huge knowledge of the benefits of essential oils, butters, balms, powders and herbs for body and mind. By the end of my time there, I could pick up any product in the shop, list the herbs and essential oils in the product and tell you the benefits that each ingredient will have on you, all off of the top of my head!
Whilst I still have a lot to learn, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with you on how you can feel better from the inside out by nourishing your body and mind with plant based recipes.
Whilst the benefits of medication and therapy are well known and well recommended, diet plays a huge role in your health and well being, and is often looked over. Whilst research into the links between diet and depression and anxiety is ongoing, eating a healthy, plant based, nutritious diet will certainly have a positive effect on your body, nervous system, general health, energy and well being. As with all changes in your life,including diet, listening to how you feel is hugely important for a positive change. You are the only person who can truely understand what is good for you and what isn’t.
Finally, I am no medical professional, and whilst this page will equip you with tweaks, life hacks and recipes, it cannot replace your professional treatment or medication. Please consult your physician or GP if you are currently experiencing mental health issues.
I am really excited about being able to share with all of you my knowledge that has, and will continue to, grow along my journey to good mental health through eating. I hope I am able to inspire you to create something beautiful, healthy, nourishing and grounding for yourself – you deserve it.