Early morning walk on the beach
Something I find fascinating about this time of year is SAD syndrome, seasonal affective disorder, It is a result of a lack of the things that make us happy. Mainly vitamin D. When I first heard of this I thought it was just a way to describe the misery that comes with the sheer length of the British winter. The novelty of cashmere cardigans, hot chocolates, pub fires and nights in front of a good movie with 3 pairs of socks on wares off after the first 2 months and then the cold and damp just becomes depressing.
I live in Melbourne now where winter visits us quite abruptly and with no warning. She bursts through the door, blows the cobwebs away, makes you dig out your ugg boots, wooly tights and gloves and off she goes again. It doesn’t give you much time to adjust.
So I have decided to embrace Mrs winter and make the most of her chilly visit. I am going to do this by finding ways of avoiding the symptoms of SAD. Which according to http://www.healthywaymagazine.com/issue34/04_.html are as follows.
cravings for sweet foods
and a general feeling of being ‘down in the dumps’
All of which come under the umbrella of depression, this is more of a breakdown of the symptoms of depression in general.
In order to combat these things it is suggested that we excercise outdoors, cut out caffeine, eat more of the foods that increase serotonin. And then there is the herbs like Passiflora and st johns wort that are like a hug in a bottle.
cuddling to keep warm x
My personal plan for happiness this Winter is to simply savour the beautiful moments, Eat what is in season, allow the winter sun to caress my face as much as possible, hug and kiss my family lots and lots!, and buy my self a really cosy, wooly jumper. Oh yeah and drink lots of homemade chai.
My first beautiful moment was regrettably not captured on camera. We were travelling and couldn’t stop. It was very early and we were all in the car and there was a carpet of mist floating elegantly above the paddocks. In the mist were the silhouettes of alpacas and the sunlight was trying to penetrate making a fluffy shiny fairy tale of a scene. I will pull over and take a photo if I am lucky enough to see it again.
My mum went on a bread making course and came home with a simple no knead recipe. She came in the door with a warm loaf from the oven that crackled when we broke the crust and melted in our mouths …….. I am going to learn to make bread.
In season for us are root vegetables, mandarins, fuji apples, passion fruit, avocado….. so much to play with. The foods which increase serotonin are brown rice, wholemeal pasta, oats, chocolate……CHOCOLATE! sorry, protein rich foods and good fats.
I have been working on some serotonin boosting recipes in the kitchen. These are a couple of examples but I will be posting some chocolate experiments soon!
Egg plant, asparagus, root vege and salami pasta bake
Eggplants from a friends garden
Wholemeal mini pizzas made with my son
wholemeal cinnamon pancakes with homemade plum jam