Pop Quiz: What do excess body fat, heart burn, heart disease, constipation, eczema, insomnia, and depression have in common? Answer: They are all “common” health woes today that were anything but “normal” through most of our evolutionary history. And they are all caused―or at least worsened―by poor food and lifestyle choices. The good news is that our genes are not our fate and we can change our health by changing how we eat and live.
Around this time of year, many people begin to experience some version of “winter blues”, and the clinical form is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Seasonal depression, at its core, comes from light deprivation.
People with winter blues or SAD may experience decreased energy, needing more sleep than usual, cravings for sugar, starchy foods, or alcohol, and feeling blue or hopeless.
Here is a list of practical strategies to boost your mood through fall and winter.
I am really excited to write this post, and I have been wanting to do it for a long time. But before I start, I want to say that I am writing my ‘paleo success story’ not because I want you to be impressed of the before and after pictures, or that you will think highly of me, but because I want people to understand that eating real food works. It is what your body needs. And many so-called ‘incurable’ health issues can be reversed or eliminated completely just through the food that you eat.
I’ve talked before about the fact I don’t particularly care for liver and ways that I have tried to sneak liver into my own food so that I can’t taste it. It would be fantastic if the world’s most nutrient dense food tasted like Reese’s peanut butter cups, but unfortunately it just isn’t so. I really liked the idea of making frozen raw liver “pills”, but in practice I found that they were fiddly and often froze with sharp edges so I couldn’t get them down quickly and I would still taste the liver. I knew that I could buy desiccated liver pills from different supplement companies, but they were expensive, especially the ones that were good quality, i.e. organic and grass fed, and many of them had fillers such as maltodextrin (what), which is derived from corn (yep). I wondered if it would be possible to make my own liver pills from local organic grass fed beef liver and gelatin capsules. I stumbled upon this blog post and was so excited to find that someone else had successfully done it and that it was a possibility! I found some high-quality, grass fed organic beef liver from Neiffer Ranch, which I can highly recommend if you have access to their products here in Eastern Washington State.
I work at a health food store and I often have people ask me about options for natural shampoos. They know they want something less harsh than conventional shampoos, but don’t always know what are the best ‘natural’ options. We do have a range of organic and sulfate-free shampoos at work. Inevitably, they will ask me, ‘Well, which one of these do you use?’ And the answer is… none of them. The cleaning method I use for my hair is something I’ve done for a little over a year, and let me tell you, I will never go back to the way I washed my hair before. It’s that big of a difference.
I’m a little over one week into the sugar detox now and… so far, it’s been a little unsuccessful.
I would love to tell you that I’m ‘over the hump’ of the carb flu and that I’m beginning to feel the glorious effects of sugar-free-ness (yep, that’s a word. Well, it is now.)
The reality is that I’ve been using not-really-sugary treats as a crutch to prop myself up when the cravings hit. At the same time, I’ve been busy training at my new job (yay!) at a health foods store, and I haven’t had as much time to cook for myself as I normally do.