A Food for Every Mood: Four Unique Dishes Tailor-Suited to Your Feelings
By Graci Kim
You will spend a full four years of your life eating. That’s long enough to earn a college education or give birth to five children!
With such an enormity of time devoted to feeding your body, it’s reasonable to ask yourself what impact all those different foods have on your wellbeing – how they affect your mind, body and soul.
I’ve spent the last several years experimenting with different recipes, honing in on exactly what culinary concoctions perfectly suited the state I was in. The result is Graci in the Kitchen, my cooking show now airing every week on KoldCast TV!
You are watching Episode 1 of
Graci in the Kitchen: In Love
Each episode of Graci in the Kitchen is devoted to a certain mood, be it vulnerable, adventurous, or even bored. I then match the mood to a meal I’ve designed and walk you through preparing it step-by-step, giving you another tool – in dish form – to achieve that coveted sense of balance we’re all looking for in life.
How does this work? It’s a blend of science and intuition. Let’s take chili peppers, for example. Everyone loves a hot dish now and then to spice up the week, but did you know that spicy foods are also natural painkillers? Chili’s kick will wear down your body’s pain receptors until they’re saturated and your nervous system is unable to register pain. Who needs Advil when you can scarf down a bowl of chili con carne?
Imagine a menu from which you could choose dishes especially designed for the exact mood you’re feeling, rather than simply pick something you’re in the mood for. There would be no more tension or indecisiveness when ordering dinner, unless of course you’re feeling indecisive or tense to begin with, in which case… there’s a dish for that!
Let’s take a look at four meals I’ve prepared to suit four different temperaments.
In Love: Scallops & Tilapia on a Bed of Creamy Red Onions
Tilapia and Scallops are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to maintain a regular heartbeat and lower the risk of heart attacks. When you’re in love and your heart is doing backflips, this kind of support is hugely helpful. What’s more, fish and seafood help keep your teeth and skin healthy due to their high levels of vitamins and minerals. Who doesn’t want to show off nice teeth and skin to the one they love, especially when you can’t wipe that goofy smile of your face?
Stressed: Baileys Sweet & Salty Krispies
Sometimes when a new responsibility drops in your lap, you wonder whether it’s a blessing or a curse. Will that amazing promotion take more time away from your kids? Will your adorable new puppy prevent you from getting any sleep?
Strangely enough, the salty sacrifices and sweet benefits that come with responsibility make good bedfellows. It’s the very pain we endure that makes us appreciate the gain. This yummy treat has the same strange effect. Who would have thought the salty twang of potato chips and the sweet creaminess of chocolate would make such a blissful match?
Of course, too much sugar and salt in our diet is not good for our bodies, but in a small serving (one krispie), sugar can provide a temporary energy burst essential for maintaining a sharp mind. Without enough salt, our body’s water pressure would decline and our digestive system would waste nutrients. That just sounds stressful.
Vulnerable: Kimchi Pancakes & Butterscotch Apples
Society reinforces the advantage of seeming invincible and strong at all times, as if being vulnerable is a sign of weakness. But you know what, in the words of Martin Rubin, “real dishes break, that’s how you know they’re real.” It’s our vulnerabilities that make us genuine human beings. Kimchi Pancakes and Butterscotch Apples give me that sense of security to keep going.
Kimchi, a Korean spicy fermented cabbage dish, has incredible amounts of good bacteria that act as your body’s army of defense against harmful bacteria, and even increases immunity. Butterscotch was originally marketed in England as “The Queen’s Sweetmeat,” said to be “the best emollient for the chest in the winter season.” Whether or not that still holds up, it’s delicious. And as for apples, supposedly one a day will keep the doctor away.
Nervous: Mustard Cream Mushroom Steak & Chocolate Balsamic Salad
Whether you’re about to give a performance or play in a sports game, from time to time the butterflies in your stomach will begin to flutter. When you’re feeling those nerves, this hearty meal will act like an all-natural handful of Xanax.
Red meat, dark chocolate and milk are all rich in an amino acid called tryptophan. Our bodies use tryptophan to produce happy little chemicals that make us feel relaxed, less anxious, and a whole lot more smiley! And if that isn’t enough, pomegranate – apart from being delicious – increases oxygen flow to the heart, helping steady that erratic beating that comes with nervousness.
Whether you’re feeling groggy, ecstatic, terrified or mad, there’s a dish out there to help you level out. Join me as I reveal secret recipes and meal combinations that give “comfort food” an entirely new meaning.
Click to watch Graci get “Egg-cited!”
Graci Kim is a Kowi (“Korean-Kiwi”) that was born in South Korea, and raised in New Zealand. She is currently living in the uber delicious city of Taipei with her Special Assistant Yoda. When she isn’t in the kitchen experimenting with flavour concoctions, Graci is searching for new ingredients, exploring Taipei’s tasty delights, looking for awesome aprons, and trying dutifully to learn Chinese.
Ariel Nishli contributed to this story.