Beating the Winter Blahs with Nutrition

I like to write while sitting at our kitchen table. From there I can see our neighborhood.

I’ve been in a funk.

Thankfully it doesn’t happen often, but when it does I tend to withdraw from life.  I don’t want to do anything, and I don’t want to see anyone. I just want to be in my own little world and let my subconscious take over.  Given enough space, I find my way back and hopefully no one notices that I took a break from life.

I’ve always considered my little funks as a normal part of a modern, stressful life.  They come, they go.  I don’t make any issues about them and I don’t want any medications for them.   I learned a long time ago that life has little bumps in the road.  Sometimes those bumps bring about a time of reflection or they can send me looking for a quiet room.

My current funk has been building for a few weeks.  I haven’t been able to concentrate at work, sleep hasn’t been restful, and I just want to be left alone to think.  Like in the past, I figured that my current state was just part of the winter blahs.

Yesterday, I finally had my chance to completely withdraw.  Although the sunny day should have turned my attention outside, I wrapped up in a favorite quilt and spent the day on the couch.  Thankfully, my beloved had a stack of papers to grade which would keep him occupied all day.  The teenager was busy with his own agenda.  The only distraction was the dog, who was completely confused as to why he couldn’t charm his way under my quilt.

Time doesn’t allow me the indulgence of watching many movies, so my Netflix queue was filled with blockbusters–which I quickly bypassed.  Instead, I went directly to the documentaries.  I love documentaries.  The more independent the better.  I know they aren’t for most people, but I think indie docs are creative, inspiring, and exploratory.  Just what I needed for my escape.

I was not disappointed.  While watching Food Matters, I learned that my winter funk could be caused by nutrition.  Although we have a great diet filled with veggies, sometimes it’s not enough.   Veggies can’t counteract the daily stresses I place on my already stressed out, overweight body.  Maybe that’s why my funks keep coming back.  They’re linked to chemical imbalance brought on by years of neglect.

I learned that while I’m putting lots of good stuff in now, I’m still exposed to lots of toxins, some by choice and some not by choice.  As the afternoon waned into twilight, a solution became clear.  I must supercharge our diet with foods that are vitamin rich, high in antioxidants, and delicious when uncooked so that we can capture every nutrient.  Every bite has to count.  No more excuses.  Right now, it doesn’t matter if it’s local.  I just need to eat these foods.  And they must be organic.  Non-organic versions will simply add to my toxin problem.  As I wait for these super foods to change my attitude, I’ll eat a couple handfuls of cashews (nature’s little happy pills), sit in the sun, and listen to the Cowboy Junkies.

Want to SuperCharge Your Menu?  Life have you in a funk?  Here some of the top super foods according to WebMD.  Most can be eaten raw or juiced for the most nutritional punch.  Remember that cooking reduces food’s vitamin potential, so find ways you can eat the veggies and fruits raw and the meats gently cooked.

  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Soy
  • Spinach
  • Tea (green or black)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turkey
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt
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