Bright Bits and Pieces


Have you noticed the Full Strawberry Moon? It has been huge in the night

sky as it rises. I had someone tell me it has a light pink tint or ‘cast’ to it. Hope

it weaves some magic for you. I saw it in the morning sky as it dropped out

from behind a cloud. It was straight ahead on my way to work.

There is a Spanish proverb in English which applies to June and the

growing season:

“More grows in the garden

then the gardener sows.”


A woman named, Maud Hart Lovelace was an American writer. Her life span

went from 1892 until she passed away in 1980. This woman wrote her first

book called, “The Black Angels” (1926) and then, “Early Candlelight” (1929).

She is best known and beloved for her series of books based on her sisters,

called the Betsy- Tacy series. All of these books were set in Minnesota.

Here is Maud Hart Lovelace’s June quotation

which includes the month’s “flower,” the rose:

“It was June and the world smelled like roses.

The sunshine was like powdered gold over

the grassy hillside.”


I looked through the book, “The Happiness Diet,” by Dr. Drew Ramsey.

The parts that I gained from the book jacket and inside pages, were

valuable to pass on to you. First of all, Dr. Ramsey’s specialty in his

teaching at Columbia University is in the area of clinical professor of


I like this great quote to ponder upon:

“Food choice is the biggest puzzle piece patients have under

their control.” (Dr. Drew Ramsey)

His book emphasizes healthy diet making a healthier inner self, too.

The less ingredients in the foods you choose = the less additives

which can do crazy things with your body and also, your mind.

Fresh from the farm, or a farmer’s market or a co-operative is best,

Dr. Ramsey advises.


Another source on this subject had another piece of information which

was meaningful to me, so hope it will help or make someone else aware

of the impact of food on your state of mind:

“Altering the gut’s microbial population, whether from chronic stress,

antibiotic overuse or nutritional deficiencies, can change brain

chemistry and thereby, influence mood, mental clarity and sleep.”

(Quote by Registered Dietitian Kathie Swift. She is an integratve

clinical nutritionist and author of “The Swift Diet.” She is from Lennox,


Here is a list of foods from Kathy’s healthy diet, which make you feel

‘good’ inside and out:

1.  Wild caught salmon (Source of Omega 3’s.)

2.  Swiss Chard (Source of fiber and folate, helps mood.)

3.  Lentils and Chickpeas (High in Fiber and Vitamin B.)

4.  Hummus (Onions in this, also garlic belong to the family called

‘alliums’ that promote healthy vascular functioning and blood flow

to the brain. It has a high concentration of chromium, also.)

5.  Asparagas (High in fiber and Vitamin B.)

6.  Broccoli (In a study at Cornell University, it has an excellent

source of chromium, a mineral found to lower blood sugar and

reduce symptoms of depression in some people.)

7.  Watermelon (And tomatoes have high concentration of lycopene,

which help resolve free radical damage, inflammation and hormone


8.  Sweet Potatoes (Same qualities as # 10.)

9.  Yogurt (Source of tryptophan which is a mood enhancer.)

10. Kale (Source of fiber, folate and vitamin A which promotes the

enzymes that create pleasure in the neurotransmitter, dopamine.)

11.  Fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

12.  Grass-fed beef

(A British Journal of Nutrition study showed that beef raised on

chlorophyll rich grass provides more omega-3’s that grain-fed


13.  Bananas (Source of tryptophan, an amino acid involved in

serotonin production.)

14.  Avocados (Source of folate and oleic acid, a model unsaturated

Omega 9 fat needed for healthy brains.)

15.  Apple Cider Vinegar (in pickled beets or on a salad, promotes

good healthy gut flora.)

16.  Walnuts add Omega 3’s.

17.  Eggs from Free Range chickens:

(They hold all kinds of power packed ingredients. They are full of

Vitamin B, tyrosine and tryptophan amino acids, selenium, zinc

and iodide, micro-nutrients vital for proper functioning of the energy

and metabolism regulating thyroid.)

18.  Natural cheese has tryptophan in it.

19. Spinach and papayas have folate and fiber. I would enjoy a salad

with both of these.

Thanks to “Natural Awakenings” for introducing Dr. Drew Ramsey and

Kathie Swift’s books to me.

Hope this motivates you to find the ‘right combination’ of foods that help

your mood to stay positive. This is not to say, please understand, that this

would replace your medications. Also, check for any counter effects which

may not coincide with anti-depressant medications.


The final ‘piece’ of this post to place in just the right place in your mind:

“The Greater Gift

A rich man waited at the river front for an ocean liner to depart. An

acquaintance who joined him said, ‘You seem pleased about something.’

‘Yes,’ said the wealthy man, ‘I’m quite proud today. You see that vessel

at anchor? I donated $10,000 worth of hospital equipment and its heading

to a hospital in China. I came to see the ship off.’

‘That’s very generous,’ replied his friend. ‘You know, I also have a gift

on that ship. Aboard is my only daughter who has dedicated her life to

become a missionary in China.’

Stunned, the first man turned to his friend and exclaimed, ‘My dear friend,

when I  think of what her decision and this sacrifice means to you, I feel as

though I’ve given nothing.'”

~John Roach Straton, adapted.

Hope you will add any news about mood-enhancing foods, maybe a joyful

June memory or possibly something recently brightened your day this June.


About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

44 responses »

  1. North India is ultra hot during summers and people love to indulge in liquid form of food. Curd based liquids ( lassi, butter milk),
    chick peas roasted and powdered also known as ‘sattu’ to mix with water with sugar or salt,
    raw mangoes, boiled, pureed and diluted with mint paste, black salt, jaggery- a cool refreshing drink known as ‘Aam ke Panna’ are some of the June favorites which act as a mood enhancing food. These can be consumed as appetizers also. I loved your food list too. Papaya and spinach salad is my pick along with fresh fruits. Watermelon is a staple diet during summers. I prefer it it empty stomach before breakfast, best time to eat it.

    • I am thankful for this fine list of foods to choose to add nutrients and sustenance to our diets, Rashmi. I like the inclusion of curd, chick peas and mangoes. I would like to try this boiled, pureed and diluted with mint paste and seasonings. It does sound so refreshing!
      I am so sad at how very hot it has been in India, my friend. I was astounded to hear the high temperature of 118 degrees! I can imagine appetites are slackened and liquids are needed. I like when you suggest eating watermelon, first thing in the morning. Hugs, Robin

  2. That’s a nifty list. I’m allergic to sweet potatoes, I seldom eat Swiss chard, and I keep meaning to try apple cider vinegar for heartburn…the rest, I’m set 🙂
    I do so love the watermelon time of year, when it’s all ripe and juicy! 😛

    • I have a silly preschool watermelon song or chant I taught my grandies, Joey.
      So sorry you are allergic to sweet potatoes. I would probably choose kale over swiss chard. It is kind of chewy, don’t you think, Joey?
      You use motions, too.
      Holding your arms up, like you are holding a crescent shaped slice of watermelon:
      “Watermelon, watermelon
      How it drips
      (You hold one arm up and the other one makes like a motion of drips down the arm, like you do the Itsy Bitsy spider only melon drips)
      How it drips,
      Up and down your elbows
      Up and down your elbows,
      Spit out the pits.
      (Make a spitting noice pfft!)
      Spit out the pits.
      If they are clever and say, “They aren’t pits they are watermelon seeds, tell them seeds don’t rhyme like pits!

      • Lol! That’s cute!
        Yes, I always sneak a bite of sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving, and then pray I keep them down, lol! One bite a year for a long, long time, that’s all I get.
        I don’t have an opinion about the chard, meh. Sometimes it’s in salad, so I eat it. Kale, I love the chips and I love it in soup — zuppa toscana! 😛

      • I like your Italian soup, Zuppa Toscana. I also like that you will tolerate kale and other things thrown onto a salad. I am like you, can take some of the nutritious stuff much better with a vinaigrette dressing and some nuts thrown on for crunch. Smiles for the kale chips. As long as I watch them and don’t let them burn, Joey!!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing these tidbits. Interesting about the feel good foods. I eat and enjoy many of them but, unfortunately, my husband does not. He is stubbornly dedicated to a fast food diet and also suffers depression. He takes anti-depression pills but they don’t help much. I’ve tried to help him change his diet, if only for physical health reasons (this before I read your piece) but it is very difficult. Still, healthy body, healthy mind…it makes a lot of sense.

    • Marissa, thanks for your sharing a private part of your life with us. I admire how you are leading by example for your children’s sake with healthy foods, you certainly look healthy. I am hoping someday your husband will change his ways. For his longevity and mental health. I also hope for his taste buds to savor fresh foods. Hugs for this honest response and keep up the great diet. I still break down and eat fast food salads and ate a delicious slice of cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory for my girlfriend’s birthday yesterday! It was called, “Dulce de Leche,” with a pralines and cream flavor. Yummy and won’t regret this, either. Smiles!

      • Oh, absolutely, it’s great to indulge yourself once in a while. I, myself, love chocolate, as you probably know. I really don’t consider chocolate junk food but it does have it’s highs and lows so I try to reserve it for weekends only.
        Thank you so much for your concern re my husband’s health. Yes, I don think it’s a lot about getting the taste buds to savor the fresh foods. If you are not brought up that way, it’s difficult to make the transition later in life.

      • Oh, I remember well your post with chocolate and how crazy you went in that post! You all looked like chocolate ‘vampires’ instead of dripping blood it was chocolate. I love chocolate but do it in moderation. I like it intermixed with caramel and nuts in a sundae or covered over peanut butter in a cup… Ice cream with a vanilla base mixed with chocolate cookie dough… oh oh! this was supposed to be a healthy choice post! 🙂

  4. I wanted to be that nurse on the missionary ship until I let my “self” be talked into “needing a man.” Ugh. Oh well, I am so glad to know that post-divorce and at the age of 52, God still works all things for the good of those who love Him.” I know He is making use of me in one way or another! I will tape that list of foods to eat on the inside of my cabinet. I wish I was less lazy when it comes to food, but I am getting better at the “less ingredients” thing. Many of us Baby Boomers (I guess I’m on the edge of that) were inculcated with the “awe” of processed foods and “chains” like Taco Bell. I mean, that was PROGRESS!!! Not now! Oh, my poor intestines. : )

    • I am feeling we somehow bonded in this comment. I am about 8 years older than you but also, used to savor Big Mac’s and Taco Bell. I am also going to tell you that I wanted to join the Peace Corps while in the 70’s and was told be a teacher who had served that I had ‘too tender of a temperament’ to be strong enough to serve. I also married the first guy I met and fell in love with, but we waited from age 18 to 22. Silly me!
      Even my parents, who had waited a bit past that age, my Mom was 26 when she was married, said: “This is the 70’s for Pete’s Sake! You don’t have to get married before you find yourself!’ Ha ha! Wish we knew then what we know now… Thanks for sharing this great reply!

  5. P.S. Been trying to buy more “raw” milk cheese, which they have at stores like Sprouts, and often on sale. : )

    • I like “Whole Foods” store chain and I go to both the Farmer’s Market and Delaware Community Market which is a co-op with farmer’s and home grown products. It is hard now that the kids are out of my nest, for me to get motivated to cook. I often get Wendy’s half size salads or buy things I can make on Sunday and eat all week. 🙂

    • Oh, thank you so much! I just find little things to add to my blog. I try not to get too boring. I can prattle on or babble on too often about my own kids and life. I love that adorable little grandson of yours. This was the hightlight of my recent readings of all of wordpress. I have a grandbaby expecting in August and am hoping for another boy!

  6. i love this post, robin. the summer quotes, the healthy food and especially the last story about the rich man and the ship sailing for china.

    • I am so happy you enjoyed the post, Beth! I have a beach party to go to for Darryl and Samantha’s children and my oldest daughter with her two sons are coming, too. I am wishing for warmer weather. It is a little chilly today! Hope you have an excellent weekend, Beth. I really liked that little girl’s use of a marker and her message, too. On your post today. . .

  7. An excellent post Robin! I would add remembering that you always have a choice about how you will feel about anything. The brain can be ‘trained’ from negative thoughts to positive ones through mindfulness and determination. Proper food, gentle exercise and mindfulness can lift a life from despair to contentment. I know, I did it 🙂

    • Pauline, this is a great addition to this post! I agree that there are many studies to back this up, beginning in the years with making positive affirmations to the current trend of ‘mindfulness’ and definitely endorphins get ‘set off’ while exercising. Natural ways to lift your spirits. Thanks for also sharing this helped you. Nothing better than a ‘personal endorsement.’ 🙂

  8. Well, Swift’s info isn’t new. The ancient Ayurvedic physicians have long said the gut is key to health – both physical as well as mental. In the past few years, scientists have demonstrated the existence of brain cells In the gut! Good things for people to know, Robin – thanks for the post! ❤

    • Of course, Bela, you are so right. What was old will be new again, as they say. . . I agree that it is often our inside self, what our ‘gut’ literally is digesting and utilizing which will influence our minds. I like how you took this back to the ancient Ayurvedic physicians. I am glad to have a historical reference added to this post. I am curious about brain cells in our gut, although I do believe in all parts of our body ‘reporting’ to our brain, which is like a big station running our lives. Smiles and thanks to you, Bela. Aloha!

    • I had a lot of fun, Sherry. Went to a beach party and also played with grandkids. Could not have asked for a better weekend. Hope yours was fun, too.
      Also, I do think your complexion and energy level indicates a great and healthy food regimen, Sherry! xo

  9. What a great post Robin. Thank you. Health, both physical and mindful, are the greatest things we can do for ourselves. Funny, doing for ourselves in this manner, usually means we are doing well by others as well.

    • You are so right, Colleen. We help others around us, by showing our good example. I still would stick to eating ice cream as a reward for bike or walking hikes! xo 🙂

  10. Robin, I didn’t see this, over the weekend. I just saw it on your site this morning as I came to read your post on Father’s Day, so, forgive this late response.

    I agree wholeheartedly that what we eat influences every aspect of our lives.

    This is a great list. You are smart to come up with it!

    I would omit the beef and dairy, as neither is healthy no matter how the animals are fed and they are both inhumane industries. But more than that, it takes 1600 gallons of water to get one pound of “meat” from a cow, and fresh drinking water is so precious now. They do contribute methane gas to the greenhouse effect, so that needs to be considered.

    I love cows and hate to see them mistreated, and none of them are slaughtered painlessly. But, certainly, cows allowed to eat grass are far better off and form a better quality of protein than cows in factory farms. So, whoever supports grass-fed cows is on a better track.

    All the rest, I have eaten for over 30 years and am very happy with the result, health-wise, mentally and weight-wise.

    I wish everyone would read your post and get on board!

    Very important, valuable information.

    Thank you for putting it out here as a reminder to all of us, who care about each other and the planet. 😀

    • I am always changing with the newest ‘finds’ in magazines. Sometimes, they are not ‘right’ as you mention, I have a hard time giving up meat. But, I do only eat it when it is raised well, rarely maybe once or twice a week…. I love eggplant parmesan as a treat when I go to an Italian restaurant, I like other alternatives to meat, like when there is a huge salad, with chick peas, garbanzo beans and other added nutritious yummy foods. I munch on nuts a lot, which does seem to make me go ‘nutty.’ har di har har. I am late at seeing your comment so please don’t ever worry, Beth. I figure that I will circle back to others, when I can and add my two cents.
      *** I appreciate all you do add, Beth to the nutritious choices that abound out there. 🙂

      • Don’t worry about responding Robin, I am pleased to comment here. For meat-eaters, it is hard to know how to construct a meal without it. It isn’t about “side dishes”, as people mistakenly think. I will probably put up a post soon on this topic since I have so much experience eating this way. 😀 We can all do our part by not getting meat from the supermarket. If people saw how it was “made”, they would never buy it again. ❤

  11. I am pleased to see you post encouragement for healthy eating. Florence and I gave vegetarianism a solid effort for several months, and it did improve our overall eating habits. The occasional chicken breast or salmon fillet is mostly what keeps me from being a true vegetarian.

    It is berry and cherry season in the Northwest, so fresh fruit is everywhere now, and I love a fresh fruit smoothie to start my day or to refresh me when it is hot out. (Hot to a Northwesterner is anything over 80° – we are wimps in the summertime.) 🙂 – Mike

    • I am laughing at you and Florence, since I would never consider you ‘wimps.’ Ever. Period. You did something extraordinary by being Ex-pats, Mike! I remember our conversations and they continue on, when I find new foods to add or suggest to what has been said before. I feel the ‘newest’ items may spark an interest and I like to write about diverse subject matters. Thanks for adding that you find fresh fruit as cherries and berries are so delicious and being a dark red also indicate they are good for our heart and have anti-carcinogens. I love dark cherries, are they considered black? I think so. Smiles and hugs for your personal additions, they make me smile, Mike.

  12. Pingback: Bach to nature | Beth Byrnes

    • I appreciate this comment and hope you are not too upset with my concern about protein, Beth. I just don’t want dementia like my Mom had from dieting and eating salads and little meat. This is a big concern and maybe need to know how many cups of legumes will get me to 70 grams of protein. I start my day with a 1/2 cup of oatmeal with raisins, milk and cranberries. I usually have baked beans or quinoa with a peanut butter sandwich for lunch on 100% whole grain or whole wheat bread. Then, for dinner I eat grass fed chicken, fish or beef, sweet potato and a kale or cabbage salad. You are a sweet and caring friend who has been advising me from a distance. 🙂

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