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winter



Your Seasonal Depression is Real and it’s Easier to Deal with SAD Than You Think

I’m not afraid to admit I get a little bummed out as summer transitions to autumn, and then to winter. The perfectly named Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is an affliction of which I’ve always suffered, but for the longest time I thought I was being an overly sensitive wimp. After a mild and jovial summer, the cool air that gusts melancholy over the Midwest in early September had me wondering if I was about to get SAD again, if it was a legitimate condition, and if so, what I could do fight it.

SAD

I shot our resident mental health expert, Brooke Randolph, LMHC an email asking her about SAD, and she revealed that after two decades of speculation, SAD had officially been classified as a common disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In 2008—before SAD was an official diagnosis—Brooke wrote, “Our natural response to the seasonal changes only becomes a disorder when the distress is in excess of what would be expected from the stressor (seasonal change) and/or when it interferes with functioning in more than one key life area.” For example, if seasonal change begins to negatively impact your responsibilities as an employee, student, or partner, you probably have SAD.
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Vegan Blue Cornbread is a Sweet Companion to Hearty Winter Meals

At the beginning of fall I got bit by the chili bug and was eating the stuff non-stop for weeks. I was offering it up to friends, feeding it to my husband and packing it as a quick lunch for work almost daily. I didn’t realized I’d hit my max until a friend and I were discussing ideas for an upcoming dinner party and she said “anything but chili.” I agreed with her at the time but secretly I thought, “What are you talking about? I could chili year round!” And I do.

My all-time favorite chili companion is cornbread, which I made plenty of this fall drizzled in a little maple syrup for good measure. Absolutely smitten with the traditional kind, I had never tried the blue which is apparently healthier for you than the yellow stuff. Why? Let me explain.


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5 Strategies for More Comfortable Winter Running

Brrr! Who turned the cold on? I’m not sure what the weather is doing in your part of the world, but our mild mid-west winter just decided to get cold, like really cold. Chilly weather on its own is annoying enough, but it’s brutal for a runner in training. The word loathe doesn’t quite sum it up for me. However, training must go on and the treadmill is not where I want to log my miles. This leaves one option – running in the cold. It can be done, and with a little tweaking it can be done comfortably.

These are my tips for successful winter running, and I know you can use them, too!

Running Buddies

Sometimes the harshest sting of a winter run is simply the first step out the door. Typically, if you can get past the threshold, you’ll get your miles in. One of my most useful tricks for leaving my warm toasty bed is knowing that a friend is out there waiting on me. Making running dates, anytime of the year, but especially in the winter is a great way to silence that inner voice that says, “stay here, go back to bed, it’s so cold outside.”
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Treat Yourself to a Frozen Hot Chocolate This Warm Winter Season

Where I live, it was 71 degrees while I raked the leaves out of my yard yesterday, and last week I comfortably wore flip flops. All of this warm weather is backed up by a new report from the National Climatic Data Center that says 2012 will go down as the hottest year on record. It’s hard to believe Christmas is less than four weeks away when we’ve yet to pull out our winter coats!

While any other winter we’d be stirring up hot chocolate by now to stay warm and cozy, this year we need something to keep us cool. That’s right, we’re making Frozen Hot Chocolate and think you should, too!

It’s still creamy, chocolatey, and topped with marshmallows, but it’s blended with ice and sipped with a straw instead. Our Frozen Hot Chocolate was inspired by the original at New York’s Serendipity. As delightful an experience as that candy shop trip can be, their version has 340 calories. Ours, however, makes 140 calories sound pretty indulgent!
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4 Stay-Warm Strategies for Winter’s Outdoor Workouts

By Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com

I usually prefer outdoor workouts to indoor workouts—you don’t have to worry about fighting for the treadmill at the gym, the scenery can be inspiring and the fresh air is invigorating. But as the temperature drops, you might be tempted to head indoors. Don’t let the weather ruin your workout plans. Use the tips below to stay warm until spring.  

Step One: Select the right shirt.

Layers are an exerciser’s best friend. Your first layer should consist of a long-sleeve undershirt (I love turtleneck and mock turtleneck athleticwear) made of wicking fabric without any buttons or zippers. Then, cover it with a sweatshirt made of a “Polar-guard” type of material. If needed, add a final layer of a wind-resistant shell or jacket. Even though it’s cooler out, you still have to worry about sun protection. I recommend choosing sun-protective clothing, like Coolibar.

Step Two: Go light on your lower half.

Your legs will stay pretty warm once you get going, so you don’t need as many layers on your lower half. Jogging tights are a good option because they don’t move and won’t chafe your skin. When it’s cold, you can add a layer of pants made of a “Polar-guard” type of material.  
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