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Winter Blahs

 

Or Seasonal Affective Disorder

Or Why Isn’t Spring Here Yet? 

If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D, as I do, you may be feeling a bit down right now. For the few who may not know what S.A.D. is according to the Mayo Clinic web site:

“……  is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, seasonal affective disorder causes depression in the spring or early summer. “

According to Family Doctor.org  women tend to suffer from S.A.D. more than men. Between 4% to 6% of Americans suffer from S.A.D. Another 10% to 20% tend to experience a milder form of S.A.D.

I fall in that latter category. My symptoms are mostly mild and require nothing but light. I just use regular or full spectrum lightbulbs. I refuse to pay the outrageous prices for these so called S.A.D. lights. Some people take medications.

For me it is the lack, not just of sun, but of daylight hours. It is the shortenend day. It is the dark. It is dark in the morning whenn I get up. And it is dark by 5:30 p.m. I like light. I abhor dark. I like summer when there is more than 12 hours of daylight. My mood improves one-million percent.

The hardest part of the S.A.D. season for me is right now; the last week of December and the first two weeks of January. Once I can start to see the minutes of daylight increasing I start to feel better. That usually occurs around the middle of January. I am so looking forward to mid-January. I can even accept cold and snow when day light hours are greater than night.

For me these three weeks are the slowest weeks of the year. It is like they will never end. 

Causes

The lack of sunlight, lower melatonin levels, and perhaps serotonin levels as well seem to be the main causes of the condition.

Symptoms

These include: depression, anxiety, loss of energy, social withdrawal, oversleeping, and irritability, a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, loss of interest in activities usually enjoyed, and weight gain, and difficulty concentrating and processing information.

One year I gained 10 pounds over the winter. I am fairly positive it was the number of Radish Sandwiches I ate. I had them for lunch two or three times a week. But those sandwiches got me through S.A.D. Fortunately I lost the weight over the summer.

But ever since I do limit my winter intake of Radish Sandwiches. Last summer I posted a recipe for Radish Sandwiches. These simple little sandwuches are so delicious. I could not stop eating them.

Treatments

Treatments depend upon how severe symptoms are but include light therapy, medications, and some people believe in dietary aids like more omega-3’s, B vitamins, and D vitamins.

As I have said, I have never had to consult a doctor over my S.A.D. I know it will be over soon and it is not that severe.

But I sure do look forward to spring and sunny daffodils bursting through the snow.

 Are any of you S.A.D? What gets you through the dark days of winter? I’d really love to hear from you in the comments section.  

Featured Recipe    Goat Cheese with Pistachios and Cranberries

There is still one more big holiday this month with more parties and get togethers. 

Personally, I do not care for big wild New Year’s parties. 

I have celebrated New Year’s many different ways from glitzy formal affairs to jeans at home with friends. And you know what? I much prefer quieter more intimate get togethers usually at home, or at someone’s home. I like to play games, watch a movie, or sit around and just talk and laugh. I no longer care for TV countdowns either. They have become too commercialized and just plain silly and dumb.

But what ever I do it invariably involves food. I thought this “rerun” would be perfect for New Year’s Eve. Looks glitzy, but is quick & easy to make. Hopefully you will like it too.

I saw this recipe at the Noble Pig. Don’t you just love that name? The recipe meets all of the criteria for recipes here at MTTD. That is, it is easy, delicious, and reasonably inexpensive. 

It is also a great holiday dish. The red and green colors are perfect for all of the fall and winter holidays.

And the pistachios (salt) combined with the cranberries (sweet) combined with the goat cheese (slightly tart) is just a little slice of heaven right here on earth.

So I just had to share it with you.

With written permission form the Nobel Pig ~

This is what you will need:

1 log of goat cheese

Dried cranberries

Shelled salted pistachios

Crackers

NOTES: If you cannot find goat cheese, or if it is too expensive for you during this recession, you could substitute cream cheese. Most stores these days carry goat cheese, so it should not be too hard to find.

The recipe calls for shelled pistachios. I bought unshelled. Unshelled are less expensive. Pistachios are not that difficult to shell. In fact, if you have children, this is a great task for them. Sing holiday somgs while you shell.

I used a small 4 ounce log of cheese.

Here is what you do: 

If you bought shelled pistachios take the shells off.

Then roughly chop the cranberries and pistachios.

Place cranberries and pistachios on a plate.

Roll the goat cheese log in the mixture and using your fingers gently press them into the cheese.

That’s it.

That’s all.

Isn’t that incredibly easy for something so beautiful and delicious?

I knew you would like it!

All that is left is to dig in and enjoy. It would be a great way to start off the new year.

Bon Appetit!!!

Cost

Goat cheese                           $1.87

1/8 lb cranberries                   $0.55

1/8 lb pistachios                     $1.00

1 box crackers                       $1.79

Total cost = $5.21
Cost per person = $0.87*

*I figured this on feeding 6 adults as an appetizer.

You can see and read the Nobel Pig’s post for this recipe by clicking here.

Quote of the Day

Exercise is a dirty word – Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

Peanuts

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