Hazelwood resident's panic attacks spur 'Eat Your Feelings' and book tour

Hazelwood resident Lindsey Smith is launching the book tour in Pittsburgh for her new book, “Eat Your Feelings.”

Eat your feelings might sound like bad advice. Who doesn’t regret that entire tub of ice cream downed during a fit of the blues?

Book tour stops

Lindsey Smith will stop by at the following places in the Pittsburgh area:

• Whitehall Library: 1 p.m. Jan. 10. Free, but tickets required. For tickets, see www.facebook.com/events/316511025422929/

• House 15143: 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 11. 436 Beaver St., Sewickley. 

• Penguin Bookshop: 6 p.m. Jan. 25. 417 Beaver St., Sewickley. 

But Ms. Smith, known online as “The Food Mood Girl,” means something a little different by that title. Her book explains the science behind eating properly for mood elevation and also incorporates recipes that use healthy ingredients. (Eat the right thing when you’re feeling down, and you might truly feel better rather than just drowning those feelings with ice cream.) And her book tour kicks off just in time to capitalize on the good intentions of people who are trying to start the new year off with new health goals.

Ms. Smith’s focus on health and nutrition began in middle school when she was growing up in Leechburg.

“I suffered from anxiety as a child, and I was hospitalized when I was 12 for panic attacks,” Ms. Smith said. She asked her parents if she could see a therapist, who helped a little but didn’t really solve the problem, she said. So she then asked if she could go to a wellness center where a health coach used such techniques as Chinese medicine and acupuncture. At the health coach’s suggestion, Ms. Smith began eating healthier foods, and at the same time her sixth grade home economics class increased her interest in cooking. Within six months, she was nearly anxiety free, she said.

By ninth grade, she was presenting stress management workshops for her peers and at state student government conferences.

Ms. Smith earned her undergraduate degree in communication and public relations from Duquesne University. Then she went back to school for degrees from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Rouxbe, a plant-based online culinary school.

“Now I’m combining all my worlds,” she said.

Her primary focus is speaking, but she also blogs and has authored or co-authored six books and e-books on nutrition and wellness.

Her most recent book looks at topics such as why we crave, which foods help with which moods, and how to cook healthy foods. She also includes lists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices and whole grains, noting which vitamins or nutritive properties they contain and which moods they help to relieve.

“This is the only cookbook I’ve seen that breaks recipes down by emotion,” Ms. Smith said.

Recipes in the book include PB Chip Banana Ice Cream, Mac and “Cheese” (made with pureed veggies), Tempeh & Cauliflower Tacos and various types of baked goods made with healthy ingredients.

During the book tour, she plans to “create mini experiences” that will leave people laughing and in a good mood.

At House 15143 in Sewickley, she plans a “TABLE Taco Testing” party replicating a spread about her book in Table magazine. At Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, she’ll incorporate local food products sold by Sewickley vendors. Around the country, she’ll feature pop-up pancake, pizza and taco bars that teach people how to make their favorites healthy.

“The second we’re born, we’re crying because we want food,” she said. “That’s emotional eating. But we need to reclaim that and learn to eat [healthy] pizza that will help our mood,” such as the Quinoa Pizza from her book.

Rebecca Sodergren: pgfoodevents@hotmail.com; @pgfoodevents.




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