Health Tips | Depression

With the shortest day of the year fast approaching, many of us are feeling down with the darkness. Did you know there are great solutions for beating these winter blues?

Consider light therapy each morning for re-balancing and pepping up energy. Light therapy can help improve your body's own sleep wake cycle that is essential for restful sleep and sustained daytime energy. Light must be of a certain wavelength to be therapeutic and no harmful UV rays are present so exposure is safe for skin and eyes.

Supplementing with Vitamin D does more than protect your bones, it can also help your body adjust to the effects of the shorter daylight hours and help to prevent seasonal blues. Usually a dose of 1,000 IU is an adequate adult dose.

Supplementing with Vitamin D does more than protect your bones, it can also help your body adjust to the effects of the shorter daylight hours and help to prevent seasonal blues. Usually a dose of 1,000 IU is an adequate adult dose.

Savoury Vegetarian Chilli

Here is a great example of a tasty, warming meal that is packed with minerals. Change the spice level by adding in a few jalapeno seeds if you are brave!

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger grated
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 3 medium sized yams, washed and cut into cubes
  • 2-3 medium red potatoes
  • 1 can of organic kidney beans
  • 1 can of organic butter beans
  • 1 small can organic tomato paste
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 medium bell peppers (red, yellow or orange are best) chopped
  • 2 small jalapeno peppers, diced with seeds removed
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 1 cup of diced brown mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of curcumin
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons of chilli powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Chutney to taste
  • 2 sprigs of green onion diced

Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, ginger, garlic until soft (5 minutes). Next add mushrooms and brown the mix for 2 more minutes. Add in tomatoes and tomato paste, spices (curcumin, chilli powder, turmeric) yams, potatoes, carrots, peppers and beans. As you are mixing all of the ingredients, add in the diced jalapeno peppers. Turn down the heat to medium-low until a gentle simmer, let cook for 1-2 hours until yams and potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Add sea salt and chutney to taste at the end, serve in bowls with freshly diced green onion on top. This is a great wheat, dairy and soy free winter warm up dinner. Enjoy! (Makes 4-6 servings)

How can I avoid feeling frazzled and exhausted by the end of the holiday season?

As the holiday season fast approaches, many of us find ourselves operating at a frantic pace trying to get all of the last minute tasks done.

Reserve time for yourself, even 10 minutes per day of quiet time will do the trick to help you recharge.

Exercise: gentle exercise out in the fresh air, even a brisk walk around the park for 20 minutes can work wonders to improve energy and allow time for clearing the mind of daily stressors.

Get to bed early! Restful sleep before midnight can help the body feel much more refreshed the next day.

Skip the sugary treats everywhere! Sugar can drain energy, worsen mood swings and make you feel less focused during the day. Here are a few tips to help prevent the sugar lows:

  • Pack healthy fibre and protein rich snacks for the daytime.
  • Stay well hydrated, sip on filtered water and herbal teas for curbing cravings.
  • Avoid the lunchroom or places where the sweet treats congregate.
  • If you are hosting a holiday party, skip the traditional baking and experiment with some new natural alternative ways to sweeten recipes up without the use of refined sugar. (try maple syrup, brown rice syrup or even molasses for a tasty sweet treat!)


DEPRESSION: RECOGNIZING THE PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS Most of us know about the emotional symptoms of depression. But you may not know that depression can cause physical symptoms, too. In fact, many people with depression feel pain or other physical symptoms

These include: Headaches. These are fairly common in people with depression. If you already had migraine headaches, they may become worse if you're depressed. Back pain. If you already suffer with back pain, it may get worse if you become depressed. Muscle aches and joint pain. Depression can make any kind of chronic pain worse. Chest pain. Obviously, it's very important to get chest pain checked out by an expert right away. It can be a sign of serious heart problems. But chest pain is also associated with depression. Digestive problems. You might feel queasy or nauseous. You might have diarrhea or become chronically constipated.

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