Is the cold weather, lack of sunshine and shorter days getting to you? Do you find yourself feeling a little down, a little “blah”?
For many of us this time of year can be a difficult time to muster up a little “pep in our step” The cold temperatures leave many of us seeking the shelter of “the great indoors” causing us to become major couch potatoes. Our inactivity coupled with short days and little sunshine leaves us ready for bed by 8:00pm.
Many of us become inactive and bored. we begin to feel “cooped up”, craving the warmth and activity of Summer… we are ready for Winter to end and we are feeling a little “blah” about all things “Winter”
Good mood foods provide us with the building blocks so that we can produce neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin and melatonin, the happy promoting hormones.
If all you eat are processed foods like pizza, white bread, frozen dinners, etc. you are essentially depriving your body and brain from receiving the nutrients they need to do their job. If your diet consists of mostly processed foods, you are more likely to be depressed, tired, lethargic, etc. because you haven’t given your body the necessary fuel. Just like your car can’t run on red bull, neither can you – at least not optimally or long-term.
Eating the right foods, a variety of whole foods, becomes even more important when we are feeling a little “blah”. They will provide us with the nutrients we need to feel good, have energy and remain motivated.
Add more of the following into your routine to help fight those “WINTER BLAHS” and help to put that little “pep” back into your step:
1) DARK LEAFY GREENS are rich in both Vitamin C and Magnesium, both of which are important to help convert the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine into the neurotransmitters that help make us feel happier (serotonin and dopamine). So add some dark leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, Kale and swiss chard into your salads and side dishes.
2) EAT FOODS RICH IN B VITAMINS: When we aren’t getting an adequate source of B vitamins our mood can be negatively affected. So add some nuts, seeds, brown rice, oats and dark green vegetables into your meal planning to help boost your mood.
3) CASHEWS AND OTHER NUTS AND SEEDS: Cashews are one of the highest natural sources of tryptophan, almonds are a great source of zinc (a nutrient important for maintaining a balanced mood) and flax seed, chia seed, hemp seed, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are all great mood-boosting omega-3 sources. So incorporate some into your daily snack selections or add to your favourite salad to help boost your mood.
4) ENJOY SOME WILD FISH: Adding more wild fish into your routine will help provide more of the much needed mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. We should all be aiming for 3 servings of wild fatty fish per week so add some salmon or rainbow trout into your routine to help boost your mood.
5) DON’T FORGET THE FRESH FRUIT: Blueberries are rich in vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidants to help reduce stress and boost your mood. Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6, tryptophan, iron, potassium, magnesium and fibre and they help to regulate blood sugar. So add more fresh fruits into your routine to help boost your mood; enjoy them whole or sliced atop a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt to help boost your mood.
Sending A Wish Your Way For A Well BALANCED Day And A Happy And Healthy Holiday Season!
Want some more help fighting those Winter Blahs? Head over here and here for some additional tips and strategies or to book a Nutritional Assessment and Consultation.