Is there such a thing as Healthier Gift Baskets? If there is, then Basket Express is the place to find them! Do we really design gift baskets with foods that are healthier than ice cream?  Well, SURE!   We can certainly design a gift basket with 9 Mood-blasting Foods that are healthier than your go-to pint of ice cream!

Can you guess which one is the 10th one?

Experts like YourTango health expert Lisa Petsinis tell us ice cream may sound like a good choice when you’re feeling down or stressed, the truth is: If you really want a mood-boost from food, there are smarter ways to get it.

By eating “happy foods” that involve the right nutrients and neurotransmitters — such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine — you actually can eat your way to happiness.

Here is her list of the 10 Mood-boosing foods:

1. Nuts

Nuts are nutrient-dense, often containing high amounts of magnesium, selenium, and folate. Some nuts contain the amino acid tyrosine, which contributes to the creation of the neurotransmitter dopamine that activates your pleasure system. Bring on life’s challenges!

Eat just a few brazil nuts a day, and you’ll meet your requirements. Alternatively, make up a bag of trail mix of nuts, cherries and dark chocolate with even more good stuff and nibble your way to glee.

Yes, Basket Express can design a gift baskets full of healthy nuts!

We call this our Oh, Nuts Gift Basket

Oh, nuts

and this is our Nut Man Basket! Both are great choices for Nuts!

Nut Basket

 

2. Bananas

Another quick way to boost your mood is to grab a banana. In addition to its yellow cheeriness, a banana is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, B6 and vitamin C.

Bananas are full of tryptophan, too. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try making banana tea and ease your way into a slumber.

Most of the fresh fruit basket from Basket Express

include bananas.

They are a staple in my life, and should be a staple for you, too!

Here’s our Holiday Fresh Fruit Basket

Perfect for Christmas, 2018

This is our Fresh Season Fruit plus Nuts Basket.

Talk about putting great things together in one gift basket!

Fresh fruit and nuts

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal tops the list for power breakfasts because it contains complex carbohydrates that increase the absorption of serotonin, plus iron, B6, magnesium, and chromium.

To start your day off right, trying to have a bowl topped with banana slices and nuts for added benefit. This meal will stabilize your sugar levels and raise dopamine. You’ll be full longer, and your mood will be on an even keel. Oatmeal is especially helpful if you’re prone to mood swings (hint: eat some after you’ve indulged in a pint of ice cream to recover).

I LOVE Oatmeal!!  You can tell it’s winter (well cooler!) when I start eating Oatmeal for breakfast every day! I even like the Steel Oats (when I get it at a restaurant ’cause I haven’t figured out a way to make it at home … hint hint!).

If you’d like Oatmeal added to any of your gift baskets

from Basket Express, just let us know!

Oatmeal

 

4. Fish

Fatty fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins D, B6, and B12. The omegas in particular release dopamine that some say similar to having sex. If you want to feel good tonight, try cooking a salmon steak or be adventurous and try some Portuguese mackerel.

We are happy to add Salmon to any gift basket!

Our preference is this the World Market® Classic Smoked Alaskan Salmon which is prepared with precision to bring out a medley of irresistible flavors. Caught wild in the icy, pristine waters of Alaska, each fillet is selected with care and slowly cured in savory brine before being lightly smoked over native Alaskan Alder wood. The result? A truly remarkable taste experience. And because it can be stored at room temperature or below, it can be enjoyed any time, anywhere!

Here’s our Send ’em Gourmet and More gift Basket. It’s loaded with everything you can think of, including crackers, cheese and salmon!

 

5. Lamb

While the sound of a juicy steak might make your mouth water, you’ll get even more of a mood lift from a leg of lamb. The source of iron is ideal, more easily absorbed by the body than other red meat. Grass-fed lamb is super rich in zinc, B6, B12, and magnesium, too.

It also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which counteracts the effects of the stress hormone cortisol. If you want lamb, I suggest you find it at the grocery store!

6. Greek Yogurt

Mimic the taste and sensation of eating ice cream by enjoying a cup of Greek yogurt. Available in many flavors, this wonder food contains calcium, protein, CLA, and of course, the star, probiotics. Make it a daily treat, and you’ll notice a difference in your gut and your mood.

Fermented foods such as kimchi and kefir are natural probiotics, too. Add a spoonful of sauerkraut to your meals and see how you feel!

Seems to me, if you’re going to add Yogurt to a gift basket, then you want to add cheese and crackers! Maybe some nuts, fresh fruit and other healthy goodies! How about some veggies!

Here is our Top of the Line Veggie Basket!

We could add Greek Yogurt to these for you!

Top of the line Veggie basket

7. Spinach

This leafy green is high in zinc, magnesium, folate and other B vitamins, which makes it your ideal go-to in the fridge. Saute it, add it to an omelet or soup, or give it the starring role in a salad. Toss in some mushrooms to give yourself a vitamin D boost at the same time.

I see Spinach in our Veggie Baskets!

Vegies Basket

 

8. Fresh Cherries

Life is a bowl of cherries! And you will feel that way after you devour a dish of these delicious treats. Containing a variety of vitamins and minerals, cherries are also said to improve headaches and boost your libido.

Red tart cherries are well known for their melatonin content. Have a few or sip some pure juice an hour before bed and you’ll be whisked off to dreamland. That is one definite way to wake up happy.

During the season, we love adding red cherries to our

gift baskets. They’re a very special treat!

9. Espresso

If your head is spinning over whether coffee is good for you, you’re not alone. Anything in excess is probably bad for you. That said, an occasional or even daily dose of espresso might just do the trick.

A  Harvard study found that drinking coffee was related to 50 percent fewer suicides. The proposed reason is that coffee aids in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Coffee is packed with antioxidants that prevent cell damage and essential nutrients such as B2, B3, B5, manganese, and potassium. Some say the smell of coffee alone can reduce your stress!

Too much caffeine might make you jumpy, though — not the effect you are going for when you want to ease your anxiety. And take heed of this warning: drinking coffee on an empty stomach can spike your cortisol and keep you spinning throughout the day.

To counter all of that, what you need is a smaller dose of caffeine. Despite popular belief, a shot of espresso has less caffeine than a cup of brewed coffee

If you’re new to espresso (and I don’t mean the Starbucks variety), learn how to drink espresso like a true Italian. Imagine yourself in a bar in Venice, drink it back, and you’ll be sure to smile.

Each of our healthy gift baskets can include espresso.

We can substitute Coffee with espresso!

That’s why we’re unique and your gift baskets are, too!

Here is our Fresh Fruit Coffee Gift Basket!

Fresh Fruit Coffee gift Basket

And adding lots of healthy things together,

here is our Coffee and Nuts gift basket.

Coffee and Nuts

 

10. Dark Chocolate

Be prepared: always keep a dark chocolate bar on hand. Though you might want to indulge in the entire bar, only one or two squares will do. Eat the square mindfully, savoring each bite. It will taste so fantastic that you won’t even realize what you’re eating contains antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, copper, iron, selenium, and zinc.

For maximum happiness, go for organic fair-trade chocolate. And why not combine number 8 and 10 and dip your cherries into melted chocolate? Divine!

While a pint of cookie dough ice cream may be very tempting when you’re down in the dumps, trying these mood-enhancing foods will be better for you in the long run. Lift your spirits and build healthy habits at the same time.

I have a great story to share with you.  My mother, my sister-in-law and I were walking in a mall in Denver a few years ago. One of the chocolate stores had samples (how wonderful!) on their counter, and we each took a piece.Lucy took milk chocolate and my mother and I took DARK chocolate. We didn’t even notice that our favorite was dark until Lucy called it to our attention! I don’t think it was the healthy alternative for us, but I do think it was the tasty alternative for us!

It’s a Chocolate Christmas can be all dark chocolate if you prefer!

 

Chocolate Basket

Mix it all together for a custom designed gift basket from Basket Express!  Santa’s Bringing Christmas is a great option that can be “healthied” up for you!

Santa's bringing gooodies

Gift Baskets

From One Chocoholic to Another: Merry Christmas!

May your holiday be bright and your tummy be healthy!

Tina and Pamela

Basket Express & Roadrunner Florist

2007 W Bethany Home, Phoenix, AZ 85015

602-246-1271