The Blue Dove Foundation
The Blue Dove Foundation was created to help address the issues of mental illness and substance abuse in the Jewish community and beyond. Based in Atlanta, we work with people and organizations across the United States and around the world.
OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. OneTable is a national nonprofit funded to support people (21-39ish) looking to find and share this powerful experience.
NextGen Atlanta Federation
NextGen is your wayfinder for Jewish Atlanta. We inspire and support journeys to foster meaningful connections and experiences in our community, Israel, and around the globe.
Officially end the workweek and welcome the weekend with the light of two or more candles.
Use candle lighting to welcome Shabbat into your mind. What do you want to welcome into your life over the week to come? What do you want to work on? Use the light of the candles to illuminate your goals.
Wine, grape juice, or another special drink serves as a conduit to sanctify the seventh day of the week, setting apart the time of Shabbat as “other,” different from the daily grind of the other six days.
When thinking about mental health, take time to sanctify Shabbat by leaving behind the past week. As you pick up your glass, imagine what you are putting down in order to welcome the weekend.
A formal practice of washing hands recalls an ancient practice during Temple times when Shabbat was accompanied by special offerings.
Take time to cleanse your mind, your spirit, your soul. Friday night is a clean slate.
Breaking bread makes a meal, and Shabbat is a time to enjoy a special braided bread called challah that just might steal the show.
When thinking about mental health, nourishing your mind, body and soul is key. Take time to nourish you. Without self-care, you won’t be at your best to help others.
Friday night is a time when you can end your meal the same way you started it, with intention.
When thinking about mental health, appreciation and gratitude are incredibly important. Take time to be grateful for who you are, the friends and family in your life, your commitment to helping others and what you bring to the world.
These Shabbat Rituals for Mental Health were created in partnership with OneTable. For more ideas to help navigate Shabbat Ritual, check out the OneTable Shabbat Ritual guide, available at onetable.org/resource-library. Additional mental health Shabbat resources available at MentalHealthShabbat.org.
Healthy food is only one component of healthy eating. Shabbat reminds us that it’s essential to set aside time to focus on ourselves. Shabbat creates the foundation for a mindfulness practice— a practice in which we take for rest, gratitude and to focus on being present.
Wholeness and peacefulness, or Shleimut ( שלימוט ), is one of the many Jewish Middot (values). Shleimut is the act of being mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually in tune with oneself to bring all of these aspects of the self in harmony with the others.
Mindful eating can strengthen our mental wellness and bring us into a healthier relationship with both our bodies and the food we eat. Mindful eating is not a diet, but rather a form of meditation. Mindful eating is about bringing our awareness and attention to our in-the-moment experiences and being present.
In this resource you’ll find:
Download the full resource at thebluedovefoundation.org/mindfuleating.
Consuming healthy mood-boosting foods can deliver important brain nutrients while positively impacting your well-being.
Green veggies: spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
These green veggies are a source of folate, a B vitamin that's essential for the body's production of serotonin.
In one meta-analysis, researchers found that individuals with depression consume less folate and have lower blood levels of the vitamin compared to those without depression.
In addition to increasing the risk for depression, poor intake of folate is also linked to fatigue and poor memory.
Somer recommends consuming at least 400 micrograms of folate per day, an amount found in 1 ½ cups of sautéed spinach. Beans, peas, lentils, avocado and strawberries are other good sources of folate.
Whole grains: oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread
Whole grains are rich in B vitamins that are important for energy and optimal brain health. Thanks to their fiber content, whole grains also help to keep blood sugar from spiking and crashing, which can help you avoid mood swings.
If you're eating bread, reach for the whole wheat over the white, since it also stabilizes blood sugar levels. Refined grains found in white bread can send you on a blood sugar roller coaster, leaving you jittery, grumpy and hungry.
Carbohydrates including whole grains also boost levels of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical. Adding some protein, like chicken, legumes, fish or nut butter with whole grains can help, too, as protein triggers the release of norepinephrine, a brain chemical that provides an energy and mood lift.
Vitamin D: Egg yolks, fatty fish; fortified milks
Research has revealed a connection between vitamin D and mental health. In one recent meta-analysis involving over 30,000 people, those with low vitamin D levels were more likely to be depressed.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with low moods and poor cognitive performance in older adults.
Our bodies synthesize vitamin D from the sun's ultraviolet light, so most of us can meet at least some of our D needs during sunnier months. Certain factors including darker skin and air pollution, however, can reduce the ability of the sun to produce vitamin D in human skin.
So in the wintertime, it's especially important to seek out vitamin D-rich foods, like fatty fish, eggs and fortified foods and beverages, or vitamin D supplements.
Yes, dark chocolate (in moderation)
This sweet treat can definitely give us a mood boost. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, a compound that may affect mood. The popular indulgence may also boost serotonin levels.
What's more, dark chocolate also contains healthful flavanols that have been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve cognition.
To keep weight in check, limit portions to 1 ounce of dark chocolate daily, or about 150 calories.
Coffee and tea are sources of caffeine, which can give us a lift.
When we consume caffeine, it has positive effects on mood and alertness, and people like these beneficial effects.
One meta-analysis revealed that consuming coffee (and tea) may help protect against depression.
Just keep in mind that people vary in their tolerance to caffeine. Many people consume caffeine without negative consequences, but for some individuals, either regularly consuming too much caffeine or consuming too much at once can cause distress.
Green tea has less caffeine than coffee, is a rich source of the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, and also contains the amino acid theanine, which may help reduce stress and promote calm feelings.
Transfer lime juice and lemon juice to a large pitcher.
Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Once the water reaches 170 to 185°F, add 5 green tea bags into the hot water.
Steep for 3 minutes or according to package instructions.
Using a large spoon, gently press the tea bags against the pan to extract the tea further. Carefully remove and discard the tea bags from the saucepan.
Add honey, and stir until dissolved. Pour tea and honey mixture into the pitcher.
Add 3 cups of cold water to the pitcher. Stir until well blended. Add more honey if desired.
Serve chilled green tea with ice cubes, a few lime slices, lemon slices and 3 fresh mint leaves in each glass.
1 bag spinach (10 oz)
2 apples, sliced VERY thin
½ red onion, diced
1 cup halved walnuts, toasted
1 cup dates, diced
5 oz goat cheese (or similar crumbly cheese)
⅓ cup olive oil
¼ cup champaign (or apple cider) vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine salad ingredients (except cheese) into a large bowl.
Combine dressing ingredients and whisk well.
Drizzle salad with dressing and top with cheese.
Cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange in a single layer in a large, shallow dish. Measure the oil, vinegar, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine and evenly pour over the tomatoes in the dish. Cover and marinate for 2 to 3 hours on the counter, or 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Bring chilled tomatoes to room temperature before serving. Transfer tomatoes to serving dishes, spoon juices over the tops, and garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs, if desired.
Dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so you only need 1/3 the amount when using dried herbs. You may substitute 1 teaspoon dried parsley and 1 teaspoon dried basil for the fresh herbs in this recipe. You may also switch up the herbs you use.
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 salmon fillets
1/2 red onion
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch salt
Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Coat salmon with mixture and let marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice avocado and onion. Put into a small bowl with lime juice, olive oil, and salt and combine to make salsa.
Grill salmon in a pan over high heat for about 5 minutes on each side.
Serve salmon with avocado salsa on top.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet for dish.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook chicken 2-3 minutes on each side just until browned. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl whisk together chicken broth, lemon juice, honey, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.
Pour sauce over chicken. Bake 20-30 minutes (closer to 20 for smaller chicken breasts, closer to 30 for larger) until chicken is cooked through. Every 5-10 minutes spoon the sauce from the pan over the chicken.
Garnish with fresh rosemary and lemon slices if desired and serve.
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450
Toss broccoli in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper on a baking sheet
Bake for about 20 minutes until crispy
Use your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
Heat the oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute (do not let the garlic brown).
Add the kale a few handfuls at a time, stirring after each addition so that it starts to wilt, until all of the kale is added. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and serve.
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
In a skillet, heat the oil, garlic, thyme, and chili flakes over moderately low heat. Cook until garlic is just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with cooked rice and serve.
1 pound carrots peeled & sliced vertically
1 pound green beans trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil divided
2 tablespoons za'atar divided
1 teaspoon salt divided
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and have two large baking sheets ready to go.
Using two large bowls or resealable plastic bags, fill one with carrots and one with the green beans.
Drizzle each bowl with half of the remaining ingredients: olive oil (two tablespoons for each), za'atar (one tablespoon each), salt (1/2 teaspoon each) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon each.)
Toss both batches to coat and spread on to even layers in two separate baking sheets.
Place carrots and green beans in the oven and roast until nicely browned: 15-20 minutes for the green beans and 20-25 minutes for the carrots.
Remove from the oven and serve separately or in one dish.
Prepare quinoa according to package instructions using chicken or vegetable broth instead of water if you wish. Fluff with a fork when it's done cooking then remove quinoa from pot and place in a medium bowl. Let quinoa cool slightly.
To the bowl with the cooked quinoa, add all remaining ingredients. If the mixture seems wet, sprinkle in a little almond flour to absorb moisture.
Form mixture into patties - any size you wish. If you're serving as the main course, make them slightly larger. If you want them to be bite-sized for an appetizer, make them about the size of two tablespoons.
Preheat griddle or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray or use a little oil. Cook patties for 5-6 minutes per side. Note: if they fall apart slightly simply push them back/re-shape into patties. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line two large baking sheets with foil; set aside.
Place sweet potato wedges in a large Zip-loc bag (or bowl) and add olive oil, rosemary (crushed in palm to release flavor), garlic powder, season salt and pepper.
Shake well to combine and make sure every potato wedge is evenly coated in oil and seasonings.
Spray the foil-lined baking sheets with non-stick spray then lay wedges on both pans in an event layer. It is crucial not to over lap potatoes to avoid steaming and promote crisp fries.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so with a spatula.
8 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup assorted freeze-dried berries (or regular pomegranate seeds)
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Microwave chocolate in 30-second intervals until melted.
Spread chocolate over the baking sheet and sprinkle with berry toppings.
Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until set.
Breaking into smaller pieces for serving.
For the Chocolate Layer
For the Peanut Butter Layer
In a small glass bowl or measuring cup, add peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Microwave for 30 seconds on medium power and stir until smooth. Add vanilla extract and cocoa powder and stir again.
Line a mini muffin pan with mini cupcake liners. Add a small spoonful of the chocolate layer to each liner. Place tin in freezer while making peanut butter layer. (You can also make 10 large, thinner peanut butter cups in a regular size muffin pan with regular liners!)
Peanut Butter Layer
In a small glass bowl or measuring cup, add peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Microwave for 30 seconds on medium power and stir until smooth. Add vanilla extract and salt and stir again.
Add a small spoonful of the peanut butter mixture to each chocolate layer. Freeze for 30 minutes until solid. Peel away liner, and store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
You can use refined or unrefined coconut oil in this recipe. Refined coconut oil has no taste, while refined coconut oil has a slight coconut taste. Both work well, and the finished product doesn't taste like coconut.