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Serotonin: Food to Feel Good About

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on November 25, 2015

To most, the word “serotonin” is scientific. Basically, it is a chemical that is transported around the body and brain that makes you feel happy. But to Emily Arundel this word means so much more – it was something she once needed, and now has a lot of in her life. After being prescribed with anti-depressants by her doctor, she went home and researched other ways to lead a happier life, during which this “serotonin” word kept popping up.

“It turned out all I need to start doing was simple things like more exercise and to eat more fruits and vegetables,” she explains.

“I found this one research in particular saying that for optimal happiness you should have a minimum of ten servings of fruit and vegetables a day, rather than the five that you are always advised. Every meal should be full of fruit and vegetables.”

So, Emily, who was had never worked in an eatery before wanted to teach her findings to the world, and decided to open up her own café, called, yep you guessed it, Serotonin.

“I literally drew a circle on a map where I wanted to locate my eatery and drove the streets until I found the perfect location,” she tells me.

Ironically, she had done a project at university on that exact location when it was a milk bar, and suddenly it came up for lease.

Serotonin’s menu is plant based, with strict guidelines not to add sugar, salt or anything artificial.

When creating each menu item, Emily works closely with food scientist Sherie Liang, who advises her of what she needs to add so that each bowl is filled with certain nutrients.

“I always say I want all the meals to be high in iron so Sherie will ensure that there are all the essential vitamins and minerals so that its really nourishing,” she says.

“Especially something like the nutrition bomb, it needs to be really big so everything must be included like complex carbs, such as sweet potato, good fats, fruit and vegetables”.

But Serotonin has a secret. All the meals are strictly plant based and include an array of vegetables and very little animal products. In fact, most of the protein comes from the vegetables themselves or poached eggs. And guess what, nobody even notices!

“We don’t use the “v” words like vegan and vegetarian because it really scares people,” Emily tells me.

“But then people come here, including big gym types about 5 times before they realise we do not serve bacon. But they have loved it anyway and I suppose that’s why they keep coming back.”

Emily wants to change the world by turning all the McDonalds restaurants that have been shutting down into Serotonin Eateries.

“They already have car parks and they’re on all the freeways,” she exclaims.

“The most McDonalds have shut down this year since it opened up 60 years ago, and I want to use the infrastructure for Serotonin, so that I can change the way people eat on a global scale.”

You can find Serotonin at 52 Madden Grove, Burnley VIC 3121

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