Picture of strawberries, grapes, and other healthy fruit on a green plate

Fighting Winter Blues with FOOD

Hey Friends!

It’s been a while since I journaled a blog. I hope whoever is reading this is doing well and had a great summer. The transition to Fall was abrupt and if you’re anything like me, the switch may have caused some physical/mental health “jitters”. The real term I’m referring to is SAD or ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’, a type of depression triggered by the change in seasons (and is more common in women than men). Symptoms like irritability, low energy, trouble concentrating, and others are all common.

Though the specific cause of SAD or the “winter blues” is unknown, there are tons of methods to create some “instant happy” while roughing out the cold months. I am going to share some food/diet-related things I use 😊

***Disclaimer- I am not a medical professional; please consult your doctor/medical provider if you are thinking of harming yourself/others OR are struggling with depression/depression-like symptoms.***

1) Increase water intake/decrease alcohol intake

Believe it or not, Alcohol makes feelings of anxiety and depression WORSE. If you’re experiencing the effects of season change, drinking at LEAST 8 glasses of water and reducing/cutting out alcohol can make you feel better. And by better, I mean, more clear-headed and less irritable, because let’s face it, wine all the time will make you groggy🤷🏽‍♀️

2) Make “warm belly” meals

Have you ever eaten a meal that felt like a hug?… especially when you needed one? Make more meals like that! My warm belly meals are homemade soups, chicken pot pie, warms beans (lima beans are my fave) and any kind of hot crockpot roast. Warm belly meals make me feel warm and fuzzy AND they often don’t require as much effort to prepare. 

3) Swap out your vitamins

The colder months are a great time to incorporate Vitamin D supplements into your diet. Our bodies make vitamin D from sunlight, but with less sun in the Fall/Winter, supplements can make a world of difference in improving our health and mood.

4) Eat your vitamins with fruit

If I am in a funk, I tend to eat carbs; sweets, specifically🫤. Who says sweet things are all bad, though. I don’t believe in deprivation, because I deserve, lol. But also, what does deprivation solve? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

When I want sweet/carby things, I have them. However, I try to incorporate sweet things that add nutritional value. For example, I like sweets with my breakfast. Because a honey bun every morning, for me, isn’t a nutritional option, I incorporate berries and other fruits to satisfy me. The fruits have vitamins and antioxidants AND sweet flavor that spark foodie’s joy! 

Another new thing I started this Fall was making lemonade. I usually drink water; but my family LOVES juice; so much so, that we were going through several bottles a week (😕). To get my family (mainly hubby and son) out of the habit of downing sugary juice, I started making fresh lemonade (with water, lemon, sugar and agave) to tone the sugar intake down. I add fruit to the lemonade, too! We all win…

5) The 3 F’s- Flax seeds, Folate and Fatty Nuts

Again, I am not a medical doctor or nutritionist, but, Google the benefits of all 3!

I add flax seed to my oatmeal. 

The warm lentil meals contribute to my folate (and keep my B-12 levels stable).

And fatty nuts make a healthy, anti-inflammatory snack.

….and that’s really all that comes to mind for now. Are you interested in warm belly recipes? My poppop’s homemade chicken noodle soup recipe is older than me and tastes like a hug in a bowl.

I’ll post that another day😉

Be well and season on!



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