Some people looooove the fall and winter months. I am not among them. As a “solar-powered lizard,” I much prefer the bright warm days of summer. I have long struggled with seasonal affective disorder (which has the most apt acronym of all time: SAD). While others are rejoicing that pumpkin spice lattes are back on the menu, I find myself dreading the coming months of darkness, cold, and depression. Fortunately, I happened to read a book called Winter Blues: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD last year that changed everything for me. The book—coupled with heaps more research and experimentation I did last fall and winter—helped make fall and winter far more bearable. It’s still not my favorite time of year, but at least I now know how to make the best of it. Here now are some of the strategies that have proven most useful. If you struggle with SAD, too, I hope a few of these natural solutions can help you 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.
I’m going to come right out and say it: doing a sugar detox is one of the hardest things I’ve done.
And because sugar is by far my biggest trip-up in my clean-eating journey, I’ve had to do a sugar detox multiple times.
That said, it’s taught me a trick or two about surviving a sugar detox and how to deal with carb cravings when they hit.
The idea of doing another sugar detox has been brewing for some time. I’ve sort of been strategically avoiding it, despite the fact that ‘tis the season for such things. But, there’s no denying it anymore; it’s definitely needed. So, today is day one of my 21 day sugar detox, and I have decided to do a few sugar-detox related posts in order to help other people that are going through the same thing. Today’s post is about how to know if you should do a sugar detox!