We all get a little down in the dumps sometimes. And in today’s fast-paced, instant-fix world, we might be overlooking some simple solutions and healthy healing strategies. If you are like me, the dwindling days of fall can weigh particularly heavy on your soul, causing you to wonder if you could use a little help staying positive, grateful and motivated.

My holistic physician has a mantra: Food is medicine. A lot of scientific research supports this statement, and nutritionists have long been recommending a diet of healthy whole foods, low sugar and abundant nutrients and antioxidants to keep us smiling. Jenny Ivy, one of the great writers on staff at Delicious Living Magazine, offers us nine superstar ingredients to help lift our mood and keep us healthy. There is no need to reach for the afternoon shot of caffeine or a sugary energy drink to keep us going. Both of these are—at best–quick fixes that will ultimately leave us low.

So what will put that smile back on our faces? For one thing lentils—these fiber-rich, protein-packed legumes are at the top of Ivy’s list, and, just by coincidence, lentils are a featured ingredient in this month’s Lemongrass Lentil Curry on the Green Gal blog. Check it out!

Ivy also touts the health benefits of cabbage, berries, beets, bone broth, mushrooms, salmon and millet, all of which help lift our mood and keep us feeling more positive. So be sure to follow the link to the entire list, which gives nutritional information and more recipes using each of these nine superfoods.

Cup of prepared golden milk with Elmhurst Milked Cashews and Gaia Herbs Golden Milk PowderTo Ivy’s list I would add a couple new personal favorites from the New Hope Network Blogger Box: Gaia Golden Milk made with Elmhurst Milked Cashews. This made-for-each-other combo creates a warm sunny cup of comfort, filled with luscious flavor and multiple nutrients. Elmhurst is an old New York dairy that has changed with the times and kept up with sustainability. A couple of years ago, the owner Henry Schwartz, switched from a cow-based dairy (that had been in his family for generations) to a plant-based one. Elmurst really leads the way now in simple, clean nut milks, and I am a huge fan of the cashew variety, with non-GMO ingredients, only 2 grams of sugar and a rich, creamy taste comparable to cream. Their packaging, by the way, is completely recyclable down to the cap. Nice.

Gaia Herbs’ Golden Milk, a healthy blend of organic turmeric and ashwagandha and is “based on the traditional Ayurvedic recipe that is used to support the mind and body in a number of ways.” Gaia’s Golden Milk is both nourishing and delicious. A quick check on their website reveals the company’s commitment to sustainability, human rights and transparency in production. The golden milk, like their lengthy list of supplements, is packaged in glass. Truly golden.

So put the two together and you have a gluten-free, clean and safe, scrumptious cup of comfort that is sure to see you through the fall evenings with a smile on your face. For my version of golden milk, I heated the Gaia Golden Milk powder in two tablespoons of organic coconut oil until fragrant. I then added a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger and a pinch of cinnamon and whisked in a cup of Elmhurst Milked Cashew Milk with a tablespoon of local honey. In less than 10 minutes, I had all I needed to calm my mind and satisfy my taste buds. All from simple and wholesome natural foods. And, for the most part, isn’t that the best medicine for uplifting our mood?

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