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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Are you feeling like you have more than just the winter blues? Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is a form of depression that usually occurs in the fall and winter. SAD affects five percent of adults in the United Sates, and is more common in areas further north or south of the equator. Researchers believe SAD is linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by the decrease in daylight.

Symptoms may include:

  • Feeling depressed.
  • Less pleasure in activities you enjoy.
  • More cravings for carbohydrates.
  • Feeling very tired, even with plenty of sleep.
  • Restlessness.
  • Feeling guilty or worthless.
  • Trouble focusing.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

 

Symptoms can improve on their own as the season changes. However, there are a few ways to manage these symptoms rather than waiting for spring to come. Light therapy, antidepressants, and talk therapy are in the first line of defense. Most benefit from having a few of these treatments.

Light therapy works by addressing what many believe is the cause of SAD, a disruption to the sleep/wake cycle caused by less daylight. Sitting in front of a light therapy box for 20 minutes at the start of your day can help lessen symptoms. The FDA does not test or regulate light boxes. If you are thinking about buying one check out this resource https://cet.org/light-therapy/.

If you think you may have SAD, talk with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that works for you.
 
White Chicken Chili
Servings: 8
 
Ingredients:
 
2 pounds boneless chicken, cubed (or leftover turkey)
2 (15 ounce) cans of navy beans, drained
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 
Preparation:
  
1. Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and stir to combine.
2. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours until mixture is bubbly and sauce has slightly thickened.
3. Serve with a lime wedge and top with sour cream and cheese if desired.
 
Serving Size: 2 cups

Nutrition Information per Serving: 258.6 calories, 3.6 grams total fat, 0.9 grams of saturated fat, 24.6 grams carbohydrate, 9.3 grams fiber, 31.4 grams protein, 324.3 milligrams sodium, 648.1 milligrams potassium, 1.8 grams sugar
 
 
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