Nutrition and Seasonal Affective Disorder

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War on Weather – using diet and exercise to fight the February Blues.

-By: Kate Grise

The days are gray and the nights are still long.  A disruption in circadian rhythms, serotonin levels drop but levels of melatonin increase with the lack of sunlight.  You might be feeling tired, you might be feeling unmotivated...maybe even a bit grumpy.  One day of missing CF and eating junk suddenly turned into a week, uh oh it’s an attack of those seasonal blues and it can affect anyone.  What’s an athlete to do?!  For me, I love the simple answers that don’t involve me buying a negative air ionization system:

  • Check what you’re eating! 

    • After my trip to Iceland I realized one main key for fighting the cold: FISH and FISH OIL!  Fish contains amazing Vitamin D, which in warmer months we easily get from sunlight and Omega-3 oils which have shown major promise in fighting depression.  Shellfish, salt or fresh water fish all contain both of these weather fighters.  For February in particular, try to increase your fish intake or try either of these: SFH liquid fish oil, or Lysi USA Cod Liver oil to increase your vitamin D!

    • Hydration.  It’s easy to stick to warm coffee and tea over cold water.  Try switching to room temperature water to keep your water intake at or above 2 liters a day. 

    • Dark, leafy greens.  I feel like the key to life is hidden in dark, leafy greens.  Add broccoli, kale and spinach to your meals to increase your serotonin levels. 

    • Avoid those baked goods – I know it sounds amazing on a cold day but that bagel isn’t fighting the same fight that eggs and spinach are in the war on weather.  Stick with whole grains, quinoa and rice to get in your healthy carbs.  

  • Exercise

    • Change up your workout time! 

      • Can’t drag yourself out of bed in the morning?  Hit up a lunch time Zone class or evening CrossFit.  Work with the season, not against it. 

    • Sign up for the CrossFit Open!

      • Best way to combat rain and snow?  Get in the Open.  The feeling in the gym is positively electric during the next 5 weeks.  Get yourself an emotional and physical boost and sign up!

If you’ve tried all of these quick, simple tricks and still find yourself struggling, a quick MyChart message to your doctor might give you other options, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Intramural Scoreboard

  • Top Male Scores: Matt Cole/Jack Howard @323 reps, Nathan Wassler @320 reps

  • Top Female Scores: Meredith Schoborg @290 reps, Kristen Bell @283 reps, Stephanie Stark @278 reps

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