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An Unusual Cure for Winter Blues by Frederic Patenaude
When November comes, I start feeling the “winter blues.”
Because I live in a Northern climate, I experience the short days in October, November and December.
By November, things get pretty dire rather quickly, with sunset before 5 p.m and days getting shorter every day.
November is also a rather rainy and gray month for the most part.
A slight bout of winter blues means that you’ll feel less energetic, have trouble getting up or staying asleep, and feel not as zesty as usual.
For many, this can turn into a full-blown depression — seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as it’s called.
The most commonly discussed way to prevent this is light therapy.
It works, as long as you start it pretty early (in September or even late August), and keep it up every single day for the entire winter.
You have to get a light designed for this — 10,000 Lux.
You have to be fairly close to the light, without looking at it. And you have to do it for 30 minutes, every single morning. Many do it while eating breakfast or reading.
This works… but it’s also a big commitment.
There are two lesser-known ways to beat the winter blues.
You’ll never hear them discussed in the media. But they work faster and the results are more permanent!
Fasting (on water) stimulates the production of natural endorphins. At the end of a day of fasting, you naturally feel more alive, energetic, and more importantly: mood significantly improves.
In the winter, I fast one day per week for 24 to 36 hours. I find that this really works to avoid feeling the “winter blues.”
Also, I think our bodies are naturally designed to get fewer calories in the winter, because this has been a time of semi-starvation, in our long evolution as a species.
Our bodies go through several physiological changes before the winter: we gain weight, we feel less energy. This is good from an evolutionary perspective, because it helped us in the past conserve energy and last the winter.
But the problem in our modern world is that “winter never comes.” We experience the cold, but not the starvation. So we pack on the pounds and feel depressed.
One way to overcome is to fast one day per week. That way, your body will think that “winter is coming” and will react appropriately. Your mood will significantly improve and you’ll avoid the fat gain that most experience during the winter.
(Note that some people shouldn’t fast, due to health concerns).
2) A High-Raw Diet
A raw diet is an amazing tool to improve mood and energy levels. Most people think of doing this during the summer, but the winter is actually a great time to eat more raw!
Again, this comes down to this “winter hypothesis” I just talked about.
A raw diet is naturally less caloric dense, but contains more nutrients.
Your body will react react by burning fat and producing endorphins — feel-good hormones. This would technically encourage you to go out there and seek some rich food!
When you combine both fasting and a raw diet, you have a powerful combo to ward off winter blues or even depression.
You don’t even have to eat 100% raw to experience the results. Just 50 to 80% raw will do it!
And fasting isn’t necessary if you get closer to 100% raw.
The program ”One Year of Raw Foods” features complete menu planners for every day of the year, and more resources to make this diet work.
This program features exactly what to eat, day by day, based on seasonal ingredients (no mangoes in January!), and a complete shopping list to help with your errands.
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