S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Are you experiencing feelings of low energy or are just a little blue this time of year? Seasonal Affective Disorder, often referred to as “SAD”, is a time of year when we might start to feel a little down. But what exactly is it and what can you EAT about it!?

What Is It?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a type of depression that occurs in the changing of seasons around the same time each year. As we shift into the cold, dark, and short days of fall and winter, it is common that many people begin to feel the effects of S.A.D.

My philosophy is that our body naturally adapts to the seasons. The cool temperatures and shorter days in fall and winter make this a crucial time for rest and restoration. We demand a LOT of energy to rebuild, which is why our body needs rest. Did you know you lose a majority of weight while you sleep? That’s how much energy we’re talking about! For those with symptoms of S.A.D., there just have not been adequate resources to do this heavy work.

Symptoms of S.A.D. might include:

• Feeling sad, grumpy and moody
• Feeling overly anxious
• Feeling low-energy, lethargic
• Discontinuing working out and engaging in regular activities
• Eating and craving more refined carbohydrates
• Sleeping more (but not feeling well rested)
• Having difficulty focusing

Just like music, we all have this natural rhythm that can be beautiful when played at the right volume, but when turned up too high, it can go terribly off key. If we don’t allow our body to play its natural rhythm and adjust to the change of seasons, things start to go wrong. It’s normal to adapt, but when we don’t have the right reserves, it can result in a dysfunctional system.

What To Eat About It?

Here are 5 top things to think about this season:

1. Pre and Probiotics – Adequate pre and probiotics tout our metabolism, strengthen our immunity, and help the gut microbiome determine if we have adequate serotonin absorption and production. The microbiome is especially fragile this time of year, so it’s essential to strengthen the gut with foods like our Cultured Salsa recipe and to supplement with our Metabolism Pro-Biotic.

2. Root Veggies – These vegetables are often underappreciated for their supportive role in restoring our adrenals and healing our body. As they grow down into nutrient-rich soil, they develop a concentration of antioxidants, Vitamin C, Iron, B vitamins, and Magnesium. These restorative nutrients allow our body to put Calcium back in the bones instead of letting it just hang out in the bloodstream. While carrots and sweet potatoes are common, try beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, radish, and jicama to get the full effect. I love a lunchtime Heirloom Tomato and Beet Salad or sipping on a warm Curried Coconut Carrot Soup to support my adrenals, to rest and rebuild, and restore much-needed energy!

To help with detoxification, read more about the Daikon Radish

For a quick and delicious recipe, check out the Ridiculously Easy Radish Hash Browns

3. Nutrients That Feed the Pineal Gland – The pineal gland regulates the pituitary, which I like to think of as our body’s thermostat, which secretes and regulates various thyroid, sex, and stress hormones crucial to our health and metabolism. Superfoods like spirulina, directly feed our pineal gland to regulate hormones and provide restoration reserves. Try adding one tsp of spirulina to your morning Detox Smoothie or with our Fast Metabolism Cleanse, which supports the metabolic pathways to scavenge fat and build your feel-good hormones. Lots of my clients use this spirulina amino acid-based Fast Metabolism Cleanse and have seen more balanced hormones, and improved memory, focus and cognition.

4. Check Your Thyroid – Discomfort, fatigue, and feeling down, can result from an imbalanced thyroid. It is important to have a thorough panel done with your Dr. to ensure everything is working properly. To learn exactly what to ask for, print and take notes from my post on Your Thyroid and Lab Panel.

5. Dry Skin Brushing – Simply stroking a natural-bristle brush over your skin helps to create a healthy chain reaction of cell renewal, increased circulation, and a better functioning lymphatic system. The lymphatic brushing increases serotonin and receptivity to your body to absorb nutrients as well as giving an endorphin response that gives you those happy feel good hormones! Try my Skin Brushing Tips on how to detox your skin and encourage those happy hormones to release.

Remember, to rest and restore naturally and seasonally; you need the resources to rebuild. Use these resources to elevate your mood this time of year!