Are you grumpy and singing the moody blues? Do you feel tired and have a lack of energy?
The recent blast of winter and short days can test the best optimist, but dark moods can be signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression. There’s an uptick between October through April when we have longer nights and avoid winter’s chill by staying indoors.
Consider these to help improve your mood so it’s not as cold and dark as the winter landscape. I’m doing several!
Light is your friend. We’ve know this since the second century when the physician Aretaeus prescribed that “Lethargics are to be laid in the light, and exposed to the rays of the sun for the disease is gloom.” Bring light into your house with open curtains and sitting near a window with natural light. No sun? Get a dose of light therapy with a special light box that stimulates sunlight. This mood booster increases serotonin levels.
Sleep tight, just right. Darkness increases melatonin production. This hormone regulates sleep. More melatonin makes you feel sleepier so you may just want to crawl into bed. Try to keep sleep times normal with 7-8 hours per night.
Get moving. Physical activity increases positive emotions and reduces stress and anxiety. Try a new class, pop in a DVD, dance in your living room or walk outside. Just 30 minutes helps and if the sun is shining, that’s a double dose of good. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, which is another mood lifter. Beau is my walking buddy. He nudges my elbow when it’s time to go.
Connect and socialize. Good people give you energy. Invite friends to do something or call a friend to catch up to feel happier and healthier.
Laugh. 😉 Turn that frown upside down and shake your funny bone. Laughter is a huge energizer and stress reliever. Tune in to the Comedy Channel, watch pet videos, or hang out with a fun friend.
Maximize your plate. Though some people may require medication, I promise you will not find relief in a pint of ice cream or at the bottom of a wine bottle.
There is no single food that treats depression but studies suggest that higher intakes of
- whole grains
may be associated with a reduced depression. Some studies indicate that low levels of Vitamin D may trigger depression, others studies found no effect. Still more research found that people who eat more fish had lower risk of depression than those who ate the least. It could be that the omega-3 fatty acids increase blood blow so help with mood and depression. These healthy fats are found in cold-water fish, flaxseed, flax oil, walnuts and some other foods.
Why I Like Salmon Zucchini Linguini
- Canned salmon provides all the health benefits as fresh fish plus is easy to keep on hand for a last-minute meal.
- You can substitute another vegetable for the zucchini. Tomatoes, perhaps?
- It’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
- It fills you with foods that may keep you out of the doldrums.
Why do you like it? LMK.
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Salmon Zucchini Linguini
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
- 2 8-9-inch zucchini, sliced in ¼-inch discs
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper
- 1 14.5-ounce can salmon, drained and skin removed
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 pound linguini
- Bring a large pot, filled with 6 cups water, to a boil. Stir in pasta. Cook according to package directions, approximately 9 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander, reserving 1/3 cup pasta water.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add walnuts and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove walnuts from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.
- Return pan to stove and add remaining oil. Add zucchini; cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly browned. Add garlic and dried red pepper, cook 1 minute. Add salmon, drained pasta and reserved pasta water. Stir gently to combine and heat through.
- Serve in bowls. Garnish with chopped walnuts, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.
One year ago: Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine
Two years ago: Fromage Fort
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