Increasing the Happy Hormone for our Brain, January 23, 2022

Today we spent 4 hours at another congregation other than our normal one. We first had an hour meeting with the three leaders, then we spoke in their main meeting about addiction and recovery. Then we attended their ladies and men’s meetings and we ended with another hour meeting with all of a leadership council meeting. We will be starting a mother 12-step addiction recovery meeting on Sunday nights there after we lead the spouse and family group in a near by building. What an incredible opportunity we are having with all the wonderful people we are meeting!

Tonight, we are off to lead the spouse and family group support meeting. We came home and had 2 ½ hours in between our trips to Springfield, but there is energy in serving others.

People in general are more stressed, more depressed, and have more anxiety than a few years ago. Pandemics, and natural disasters, job loss or the work load at jobs are causing this increase in mood disorders. We are so happy we are on our land and have to work to keep it going because we are also feeding our brain to make more happy neurotransmitters.

Nutritional Information

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression are in the mind and the mind has always been a mystery. Ongoing research is finding that we are able to generate new neurons throughout our lives and change the brain for better. When I was in college in 1980, my text books stated that you could not regenerate new neurons, but just saying it does not make it so. Scientists have proven that you can. Sometimes a person needs to take supplements, but the goal is to eat your supplements by eating the correct foods.

Let us just talk about one of the hormones needed, Serotonin. Serotonin is our happy hormone that stabilizes our mood. Its precursor is tryptophan. Stress uses Tryptophan up quickly and then is cannot make the serotonin needed for good moods. Just eating a lot of turkey will not do it either. Tryptophan is a polite amino acid. It will allow other amino acids into the brain before it goes there. One way to change this is to eat many vegetables along with your protein (where the tryptophan is found). Dr Michael Gregor, physician and author of How Not To Die, stated, “The carbs in plain foods are known to cause an insulin release that causes our muscles to take up many of the non-tryptophan amino acids as fuel, potentially leaving our tryptophan first in line for brain access.”

This is why half the plate I promote is filled with vegetables. This takes planning and, in our case, growing our own foods so we get enough vegetables. We do ¼ of the plate in protein, About 1/16th of the plate in a good fat. Less than ¼ of the plate with a complex carbohydrate. Now your plate is filled.

Foods that rich in tryptophan.


Cheese, milk

Pineapple (fresh or canned)

Peanut butter

Salmon, Chicken breasts, Lean pork, canned tuna,

Nuts and Seeds – Sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds.


Legumes – beans, peas, peanuts, lentils.

Eat with healthy carbohydrates like Brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain bread,

Exercise also increases our mood. Kirk Erickson, from the University of Pittsburgh stated, “ Exercise activates neurotransmitters and growth factors that  affect new neurons in the brain. Throughout our lifespan our brain remains plastic, modifiable and the things we do in our life, exercise and what we eat, affect the health and plasticity of the brain. “

Jim Exercising
Jim Exercising