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Don’t Worry, Eat Happy…

June 12, 2012 by Joanna Drake, Registered Dietitian

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I have started to “eat right for my blood type,” and I love it. You may be surprised to hear this from a dietitian, but it’s true and I don’t deny it.

No, I’m not following the pseudoscience of ‘Eat Right for Your Blood Type’ diets, which are more like nutritional horoscopes than evidence-based guidelines. I’m eating for my blood type by incorporating the concepts of Positive Psychology into my eating. My blood type happens to be B+ (get it, “be positive”?), so I am trying to eat with a positive and happy state of mind. Positive Psychology acknowledges that individual happiness includes “contentment with the past, happiness in the present and hope for the future.” What better way to be happy in the present than to savour a delicious meal among friends?

On the weekend our family went to an Italian-themed dinner party at a friends’ house. Each guest was asked to pick a region of Italy and make a dish from that region. I picked the region of Veneto and decided to make gnocchi. I had every intention of making the gnocchi from scratch, but opted to buy it instead and just make the sauce from scratch so I could spend more time with my kids. (It’s all about balance, right?!) I made a shiitake mushroom sauce with fresh sage, and arugula, topped with grated parmesan and white truffle oil.

We all ate our way through Italy with bagna cauda to dip our vegetables, capicola, insalata caprese, an Italian stew and so on. As I sat on their patio, basking in the sun, enjoying good conversation and savouring the delicious food, I was completely happy in the present.

When fueled by happiness and fulfillment I am more likely to try new recipes (increasing meal variety), to make vegetables more exciting (and my family more likely to eat them) and to feel satisfied with smaller portions (making it easier to maintain a healthy weight). Luckily, regardless of your actual blood type, you too can “be positive” in your eating.

How do you incorporate happiness into your food?

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