Eat for the sun!


Do I have your attention?

I hope you’re wondering, what the bleep does “eat for the sun” mean?!

I was trying to think of a catchy title to talk about seasonal affective disorder, aka SAD, and other things!

If you’ve been reading my blog you’ve heard me talk about SAD before, as well as healthy ways of eating.  I usually suffer each fall from SAD.  It’s my favorite season, but the decreasing sunlight wreaks havoc with my mood.  I get depressed, and I want to eat and sleep, basically going into hibernation.  I struggle to enjoy getting ready for the holidays and to not break down and cry for no reason while driving by myself.  It’s insanity!

Most folks benefit from using a light box that helps them experience more light each day, and some people report relief from taking vitamin D supplements (since we get D from sunlight.)

Just as I was bracing for my annual wave of depression, and hearing my friends acknowledge that it has begun to hit them…well…nothing happened!  I stopped and thought about it.  Yes, I can say I’m a bit tired and crave a cat nap in the afternoon, but that’s it.  No crying, no wondering why I feel like crap for no reason, no mad rush to buy myself a light box.  I’m just carrying on as usual and being surprised for the first time about how pumpkin carving can be fun!

I have never liked Halloween – the candy, the scary stuff, the effort required to buy those costumes on Amazon and carve those damn pumpkins!  I’m not kidding, I can’t stand it, well, usually.  This year wasn’t so bad and I even bought non-dollar store candy for the first time.  What the bleep is going on?!

We’ve had a Indian Summer kind of fall – more sunlight (A)?  I’m back in graduate school with it’s challenging brain food and sense of purpose (B).  And, I’m on a strict no-gluten diet (C).

It’s probably a little bit from column A, B and C, but I am feeling much better than I have in a long time!

I’d like to make the case that it’s mostly column C.  Not everyone is, but I am sensitive to gluten, and I’ve know it pretty much forever.  Too much pasta = fever blisters and a bad mood.  Since I put new effort into avoiding it as much as I can, I have noticed a few things.  I immediately lost the belly bloat.  You know, when some mothers look first trimester pregnant even though their kids are out of diapers?  That was me.  Now my stomach looks pretty normal again!

So that’s nice, but the really amazing part is that my PMS, which was really bad, has subsided so much that sometimes I forget when that time of the month is coming.  (Unheard of for me- usually I’m trying not to spit fire at anyone in range,!)  I’ve also noticed my usual depression and anxiety is less.  I still take medication every day, but I’m no longer experiencing symptoms!  WHAT?!

And, to test this theory, I ate pasta and a slice of pizza last week at a party.  Wanna guess what happened?  The next morning I woke up feeling like hell and wanting to yell at everyone.  Yup, it was like flipping a switch.

I don’t know if it will work for everyone, but giving up gluten has done wonders for me: better moods, less PMS, and weight loss.  And with better moods comes clearer thinking and more calm in general.  I think it’s worth a try if you have any of these same problems.  Supposedly researchers are starting to link depression to inflammation, which begs the question – what should you not be eating?!

Send me your questions, comments, and share what has worked for you in the SAD season in the Northern Hemisphere!





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