I say ‘slightly’ because it wasn’t even cooked.
What I did is I poured some boiled water over ground amaranth grain. I also added a little teff flour in there. Then a teaspoon of coconut oil, and pieces of dates. And then I ate it in the next half an hour or so.
In a few hours, I noticed that for some reason I feel kind of sad, down, and got this feeling of low energy that is similar to the one you get after a hot bath. I remember I’d sometimes have a somewhat similar feeling after lunch when I did middle and high school (I wasn’t vegan then).
To refresh and re-energize myself I did some jogging outside with my dog. When I came back I felt better but I still had this feeling. I knew I needed to eat something to send it away.
Fresh ginger due its countless number of phytonutrients would have worked the best in this case, but I didn’t have it on hand. There were no Cayenne pepper either. So, I went with whole black pepper.
I mixed 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns with diced tomatoes, greens, basil, a few olives (including olive brine), a bit of curry, lemon juice. I ate it. When I felt like pepper is starting to do its job I put another 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns. Now I felt like I’m going back to my usual self: the lively, heightened state.
Out of curiosity, I looked into the properties of black pepper (to see what’s new). Piperine, an active compound in black pepper, in addition to being an antioxidant and helping absorb some nutrients (which I mentioned in some of my earlier posts), also inhibits an enzyme that breaks down serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone of awesome mood! So, that might have contributed to the restoration of my mood as well! (1)
The interesting thing is, when on rare occasions I do have several bites of something cooked (usually tubers) in the afternoon or evening, it’s okay, doesn’t change my mood. I guess in my case, it’s the time of the day that matters more. And this is not the first time that I noticed the above phenomena.
The lesson I learned? Even slightly cooked food in the morning makes me feel a bit down. Correspondingly, vise versa is also true: raw plant foods in the morning keep me lively, my mood stable, and my senses heightened for the remainder of the day.