Wellness Scout

SAD? Combat the cloudy days with these tips!

For those of us who live in those northern climates and states, the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) are felt in various degrees. Can it happen to you? Sure! Be aware and accept when you have those feelings; learn how to identify, cope, and move forward.

FALL and WINTER SAD
Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
Sound familiar? Below are some tips from Your Wellness Scout, guest blogger “Dhali Mama,” and WebMD. Great tips for anyone trying to avoid the winter blues.

Your Wellness Scout:
  • Eat a wide variety of vegetables, lean protein, fruit and lots of fish. Choose dark chocolate over milk for an afternoon treat. Both fish (salmon especially and dark chocolate increase serotonin, the mood boosting hormone.
  • Although cold and cloudy weather increases the desire to choose happy hour over exercise, try to not always choose happy hour. Even if the gym doesn’t inspire you, take a walk with friends or enjoy a fun outdoor activity.
  •  Maintain or increase your social activity to increase feelings of connection and social community. Relationships and social connection increases pleasure and positive thought.

Dhali Mama:
  •  Keep curtains or blinds open in the bedroom so you rouse and waken with the dawn and natural light. 
  •  Go to bed with complete darkness at the same time each evening.
  •  Refrain from watching TV in bed.

WebMD
What can you do on your own to feel better?
  •  Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Getting more sunlight may help too, so try to get outside to exercise when the sun is shining. Being active during the daytime, especially early in the day, may help you have more energy and feel less depressed.
  •  Moderate exercise such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or swimming is a great way to get started. But any activities that raise your heart rate-including daily chores-can help, especially if you can do them outdoors or near a sunny window.
  •  Try to do muscle-building exercises at least 2 times each week, such as weight training or stair climbing.
  •  Moderate exercise is safe for most people. But it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program.
  •  Some people try complementary treatments to help with SAD. If you want to use them, be sure to check with your doctor first. They may interact with other medicines or treatments. 

Wellness Scout

SAD? Combat the cloudy days with these tips!

For those of us who live in those northern climates and states, the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) are felt in various degrees. Can it happen to you? Sure! Be aware and accept when you have those feelings; learn how to identify, cope, and move forward.

FALL and WINTER SAD
Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
Sound familiar? Below are some tips from Your Wellness Scout, guest blogger “Dhali Mama,” and WebMD. Great tips for anyone trying to avoid the winter blues.

Your Wellness Scout:
  • Eat a wide variety of vegetables, lean protein, fruit and lots of fish. Choose dark chocolate over milk for an afternoon treat. Both fish (salmon especially and dark chocolate increase serotonin, the mood boosting hormone.
  • Although cold and cloudy weather increases the desire to choose happy hour over exercise, try to not always choose happy hour. Even if the gym doesn’t inspire you, take a walk with friends or enjoy a fun outdoor activity.
  •  Maintain or increase your social activity to increase feelings of connection and social community. Relationships and social connection increases pleasure and positive thought.

Dhali Mama:
  •  Keep curtains or blinds open in the bedroom so you rouse and waken with the dawn and natural light. 
  •  Go to bed with complete darkness at the same time each evening.
  •  Refrain from watching TV in bed.

WebMD
What can you do on your own to feel better?
  •  Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Getting more sunlight may help too, so try to get outside to exercise when the sun is shining. Being active during the daytime, especially early in the day, may help you have more energy and feel less depressed.
  •  Moderate exercise such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or swimming is a great way to get started. But any activities that raise your heart rate-including daily chores-can help, especially if you can do them outdoors or near a sunny window.
  •  Try to do muscle-building exercises at least 2 times each week, such as weight training or stair climbing.
  •  Moderate exercise is safe for most people. But it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program.
  •  Some people try complementary treatments to help with SAD. If you want to use them, be sure to check with your doctor first. They may interact with other medicines or treatments. 

yourwellnessscout@gmail.com

Learn three simple steps to remind yourself daily to mitigate the “damage” from the holidays, lessen the pain from the recovery, and keep your body functioning more regularly.

Wellness Scout

Tips for Maintaining your Health during the Holiday Party Season

The holidays are here! Do you have a holiday party or two to attend? Maybe a few work gatherings? Lots of food, drink, and fun to fill your day and bring some added variety to the week! However, does your stomach start to constrict with a slight increase of anxiety wondering how you will be able to indulge but not wreak havoc to your waistline, sleep, skin, and more? Do holiday party invites inspire you to cook that new, healthy dish on Pinterest, but you wont have time to actually make it? Dont know what to cook, bring, or eat? I can provide quick easy solutions to many of these questions and more to help you maintain your health and culinary adventures, without adding hours to your weekend in the kitchen.

Whether hosting or attending a party, below are some tips to ensure your health needs are met without sacrificing your guests' needs:

                  Hosting:
o   Include a variety of healthy menu items to please all palates. Focus on vegetable sides, but also include one or two hearty, creamy dishes and some meat appetizers. Dips, fruit based desserts and one chocolate or more savory dessert can round out the menu.
o   Consider serving bean-based dips like hummus and spicy black bean dip or olive and/or pepper-based dips like tapenade.
o   Offer non-alcoholic options such as sparkling water with cucumber and mint, low sugar sparkling fruit juice or tea infusion juices. Kombucha is a fun alternative as well.
o   Prepare what you can days in advance to avoid relying on processed foods. Chop your vegetables along with dinner prep one night and store them in the refrigerator. Make your dips a day or two in advance. Even cook one weekend prior to the party and freeze the dish. Make sure you choose one that stands up well in the freezer.
o   Look to ethnic foods for fun alternatives such as roasted chickpeas, mini-sushi rolls, beans and olive oil based sides, and smoked fish.
o   Incorporate chia seeds into desserts. Chia seed and almond milk with cinnamon make a tasty and unique textured alternative to traditional puddings.

Attending:
o   The tips for hosting can also be applied to attending. Your host might even appreciate the unique item you bring versus the typical potato chips and ranch dip.
o   Need recipe ideas? Try one of these
o   Don't cook? But dreading what to bring? Don't rely on the conventional. Use the opportunity to share the health alternatives you may be trying.
o   Below are substitution suggestions for typical holiday potluck items.
§  Pita chips vs. Ruffles
§  Hummus, pestos, bean or veggie dips vs. Ranch dip and processed cheese dips
§  Gourmet cheeses and tapenades vs. cheese logs
§  Prosciutto and asparagus spears vs. pigs in a blanket
§  Spicy baked chicken or mini meatballs vs. fried chicken tenders
§  Artesian bread vs. packaged yeast rolls
§  Chocolate dipped fruit vs. packaged cookies.

You have arrived at the party! How can you navigate the party in order to focus on socializing versus what you will eat?
  • Move, move, move! Change your position at the party. Don't just sit in one spot. Mingle. Dance!
  • Always have a glass of water in your hand. Take sips in between bites. Drink some water before you sip that eggnog, sugary beverage, or wine.
  • Accept that you will have one or two full plates, a dessert and two drinks. Determine what your limit will be. Allow yourself to enjoy and indulge just in moderation. Going into a partying denying yourself all the fun sets you up for sabotage and it often leads to overeating later on once you have had a few drinks.
  • Eat before you go. Having a light, fiber rich snack will help you choose more wisely at the buffet table. An hour before the party, enjoy an apple with peanut butter or a cup of lentil or minestrone soup. Try washing that down with a glass of milk for added satisfaction.

Remember, the party is about unwinding with friends, making new friends, and sharing good food without producing a lot of guilt. You can enjoy your traditional comfort foods and enjoy some new ones by incorporating a variety on your holiday plate. After all, you may have another party just around the corner!