Food & Mood – Not the book’s fault. But, meh.

So great is man’s hunger for forbidden foods! – Ovid, Metamorphoses

Food & Mood by Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD is NOT a bad book. In fact, it’s a high-quality, glossy-covered, jammed-to-the-rafters guidebook that goodreads calls “groundbreaking”.

In it, Somer proves her chops with scientific research on how “stress, diet, mood and immunity are interconnected” (page 169).

There’s a fantastic self-assessment (of your diet) along with other quizzes throughout. There are charts and tables, smart foods and dumb foods, an appendix on food groups, serving sizes and the “Feeling Good Diet” with 40 pages devoted to recipes for things like Curried Squash Soup and (yum!) To-Die-For Low-Fat Brownies, among many other meals and desserts!

I found the beginning of the book to be a tad overwhelming because it’s more-than-a-little scientific as it explains how tryptophan, amino acids and serotonin act like radioactive compounds and cause disease. In fact, I may be all wrong about that because once it was brought up, my eyes crossed and I got lost. Of course, there was much more where that came from… with the same result for moi. Your results may vary. In fact, probably will.

This handy chart might help you. It did, me. Kinda.

And what about the “Mood” that is mentioned in the title? It’s part of the reason I picked the book up in the first place! There is talk of body chemistry and hormones and how we confuse our emotions (like loneliness and the need for love) with hunger. But this is not a book about mental health, per se. Instead, mood is woven thoughout. Since the word *is* in the title, I expected a bit more on mental health. I will err on the side of my expectations vs. Somer’s interpretation of the word. My criticism – if indeed it is one – is using “mood” in the title. It’s catchy but not quite the crux of the book. It’s one among many cruxes. <<< I’ve never used that word in its plural. Looks weird.

Ahem. Anyway.

My copy is 20 years old. If you’re headed out to buy it, I suggest you look for a revised & updated copy to ensure you have the newest science.

The newness of the cover tells you I bought it, skimmed it and shoved it back on the shelf. Oh, shove is such a rough-sounding word, isn’t it? I don’t mean it like that. Or do I?

I’m being unfair. Again, not a bad book. In fact, a really, really GOOD book.

Still… being honest… meh.


Let’s begin at the beginning. Here are all the posts where I’ve talked about diet. These posts include stories that will span my entire lifetime and include how I’ve felt about my body at any given time. They will include books, videos, photos, journal entries and even, if I’m remembering correctly, poetry… about, to and from my body.

See, the thing is… sometimes… like, er… NOW… I simply get sick of it all. Ugh. Double ugh.

I’m exhausted just thinking about what foods to eat. I’m bored as I lament about my body… and I’m sick-to-death of having to rise above to love myself “as is” or fight like hell to lose weight so I’ll also… all together now… love my body. For me, it’s an OR not an AND. <<< I also hate that fact! Why can’t I just love myself no matter what?


Yes, I want to be healthy. Yes, I want to live a long pain-free (as possible) life. Yes, a million times yes.

You don’t know this but my husband and I have been on a revised eating plan for the last six weeks. He’s lost 23 pounds and I have lost 13. <<< I bet I’ve typed something like this at least a handful of times on this blog. I know it’s good… and I’m not stopping (at least not yet).

Up and effing-down, over and over and over. Will this be the time that *sticks*? Who the h-e-double-hockey-sticks knows? Certainly not me, says the adorably (ha!) obese woman behind the curtain (computer).

I think you catch my drift, though.

So, maybe today wasn’t a good day to write about this book… or any books like it. Maybe I’m still too new and ouchie on the grieving scale without my dad. Maybe I should stick to soul-lighting, tender books that feed my soul instead of tell me how to feed my body.

On second thought, don’t listen to a word I say today. Except this: It’s a really good book if you’re in the place to read and work it.


  1. I know that I am very old-fashioned and equally thick-headed, but when it come to food, I only have 2 rules.
    1. What can be better for you than the foods you love to eat.

    2. Everything in moderation…Including moderation.

    Liked by 1 person

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