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Winter Blues: Seasonal affective disorder cycle

Thursday, December 02, 2010

So I'm not crazy, I am not the only one that has winter blues during this time of the year. Just recently I started to read up on this disorder and really seek out some information. I'm sure there are foods that will really help boost my mood - anyone know what it is?

Are you:
Taking more naps
Feeling Depressed
Finding it hard to get to the gym
Feeling Bad About Yourself

All of these symptoms are associated with the lack of sunshine that we endure during the winter months. I'm going to be doing some major research studies on this topic and find out more. If you have this, I would love to know more. Thanks.

Here is some basic information:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VKKESU 12/6/2010 12:56PM

    I agree completely. I started going to a tanning bed in the winter only once a month and it is shocking how much better I feel just going that amount.

I detest the cold and find it very difficult to go outside in winter unless I have to.

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SUGIRL06 12/3/2010 7:41AM

    Exercise helps a ton. I find it helps if I brave the cold and go for walks on my lunch break (cause there's sun out then!!!). I also try to keep busy in the winter because sitting around the house doens't help the winter blues either.

A lot of people had this at my college (Syracuse University) because not only was it darker than normal, but it was aaaaalways cloudy. Always. Even in the summer. Besides most people don't like snow that much. Anyway! So lots of people get it and I'm sure there is plenty you can do to "treat" it! I hope you figure something good out!

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DECEMBERFIRE 12/3/2010 12:05AM

    I get at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day, usually first thing in the morning. Good luck, T

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DJ4HEALTH 12/2/2010 7:30PM

    There are lamps that will treat that for you. Here is one place that you can go to.


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GRANDMA1951 12/2/2010 5:06PM

    I totally understand your feelings. I generally get it so bad between now and April that a co-worker and I just bought a NatureBright Suntouch light. You use it once or twice a day for 1/2 hour at a time. It had good reviews for helping SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is my third day so not sure if it's working or not.

People who have a lot of sun can't begin to understand the depression, tiredness, etc. that really plagues those of us that won't see much of it until spring. Besides the cold and snow, there's just no light.

Good luck. Just keep thinking sun.

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Welcome December And Snow

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Today it finally hit me that I haven't been on Spark in about a month! Actually when I took a look at the last date on my log-in chart, it was over a month ago. This last month has been really hard for me and it has brought my energy level way down. Thankfully my husband and I are still hitting the ground running (and sometimes the never-ending treadmill belt). Unfortunately, as I was sitting in front of my computer, when I should have been writing for work, I realized that I was feeling depressed. I get seriously depressed during the colder months since I am such an outdoors person at heart - just not when it is cold. I think I was deemed to be an Australian instead of German-American. But, lemonade baby, lemonade... *smirk*

Lately I have noticed that I have been eating a lot more than what I should be eating. It is true that we are eating vegan still however the quantity isn't the best for my smaller frame. A person that is 4' 10" just really can't eat as much as someone over 5'. Over-eating is one of my main problems. I'm thinking it also could be contributing to my depressed, lazy mood lately.

So, I'm back and ready to get back into the swing of counting calories and counting the workout minutes. This is a lifestyle change, so I have to make sure I keep it for a lifetime, not just when it seems fit to do it.

Tonight: Out to the gym, a little yoga and then a healthy dinner in the warm house.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 12/2/2010 7:59AM

    HI!!!!! ::hugs:: OMG, I still had your last like 4 blogs in my google reader and I had refused to delete them and promised myself I would read them and then this new one popped up and that made me happy! Ok enough excitement about seeing you back here! It sounds like you are doing well! How many miles are you up to now on your runs? Or are you just maintaining now? I am getting a little depressed that its winter too. It makes me not want to work out since it can't be done outside like you said. I have been slacking the last few months too and just got back into seriously tracking again. Anyway, good to see you here again! Please don't make us wait another month for a second blog ok???

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DJ4HEALTH 12/1/2010 9:58PM


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FITNESSLOVE1 12/1/2010 4:38PM

  good job.

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Ran 2nd 10 Mile Run Today!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm so proud of my accomplishment of completing my second ever 10-mile run! Truth be told, it was on the treadmill so the surface was flat, but it is a 10 mile run nonetheless.

Some interesting things that I found to help me through longer runs (since I'm not a natural runner):

1. Set a plan before you get to the gym. For instance, before I left the house this morning, I planned out that I was going to run ten miles. Then when I got to the gym, I settled in on my treadmill and kept the ten mile goal in my head. It is very easy to get tired in the beginning and then tell yourself that four is good enough for today. But, that doesn't help anyone...

2. Use those "treadmill peepers" as running motivation. This may seem a little competitive however when I run and see others running around me, I tell myself, let's see who will last longer. It is amazing at how much a little competition will keep you going.

3. Remember that a runner doesn't have to be the fastest, rather has to run over the finish line. That is something that I always tell myself when I am running. I actually have to laugh when a very "serious" person gets on the treadmill after throwing off his/her jacket and jumps on the treadmill full speed. I think to myself, slow and steady wins the race. It is shocking to see how many people I outlast on the treadmills. Those that jump on the treadmill and forget to get a good warm-up generally do not last much more than 30 mins. I love that I can be calm and give my body the needed warm-up it needs and then start running when it's ready for the adventure.

4. Drink lots of water on long runs. This is something that I had to train my body to be able to do. It may sound weird (but then again I am, so it's ok) but my body used to have stomach issues when I ran and had just drunk water. Now though, I tend to cut my runs up in 4.5 mile increments. This partially due to my body needing water in-between and partially due to the fact that our treadmills stop around 60 mins of running. So, I make sure that I run 4.5 miles and then drink water. Sometimes (like today) I throw a Energy Block in my mouth and then keep running. It really helps with the longer runs over 5-6 miles.

Do you have any suggestions to make my runs better? I'm also looking for energy blocks that are vegan if anyone has a suggestion, I would love to hear about it! Thanks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOCCERWOW 10/26/2010 4:55PM

  Congratulations! That's a great accomplishment.

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BREWMASTERBILL 10/26/2010 2:44PM

    Regarding item 1, run outside, then you can't tell yourself that's enough for today. heh.

For a long run, pre nutrition is important. It has to be enough but not too much. In my experience, that varies from person to person pretty dramatically. I go about 2:1 carb/pro ratio and keep it around 500 calories.

My first 1-3 miles are "warm up" miles. Like you said, hitting it hard on the first step is a bad idea in more than one way. I try to keep my first 1-3 miles below my overall pace.

Other than that, don't train too hard. I made this mistake and was out of commission for a few months.

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What the Body does within 1 Hour of Drinking Soda

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
What Your Body does within 1 Hour of Drinking Soda

According to the Nutrition Research Center, this is what happens to your body within 1 hour of drinking a can of soda:

-10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system, which is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake. You’d normally vomit from such an intake, but the phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.

-20 minutes: Your blood sugar skyrockets. Your liver attempts to maximize insulin production in order to turn high levels of sugar into fat.

-40 minutes: As your body finishes absorbing the caffeine, your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your liver pumps more sugar into the bloodstream. Adenosine receptors in your brain are blocked preventing you from feeling how tired you may actually be.

-45 minutes: Your body increases dopamine production, causing you to feel pleasure and adding to the addictiveness of the beverage. This physical neuro response works the same way as it would if we were consuming heroin.

>60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, which boosts your metabolism a bit further. High doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners compound this effect, increasing the urinary excretion of calcium. The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (You have to GO!) Your body will eliminate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was otherwise heading to your bones. And you will also flush out the sodium, electrolytes and water. Your body has eliminated the water that was in the soda. And in the process it was infused with nutrients and minerals your body would have otherwise used to hydrate your system or build body cells, bones, teeth.

-60 minutes: The sugar crash begins. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You start feeling like crap. Time to grab another?

Thanks to for this lovely narration of what happens when you drink soda.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 12/2/2010 8:00AM

    Oh wow that's interesting!

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LITTLEFIREFLY 10/21/2010 9:09AM

  Thank you very much for sharing this! I was raised in a home where for the first 12 years of my life pretty much the only beverages I was given were coca-cola, chocolate milk, occasionally fruit juices or about overloading a kids body with sugar and caffeine! I'm amazed my teeth didn't rot out of my head...but I've only had 1 cavity in 23 years...this article is EXACTLY why I try to steer clear of soda as much as I can (though it is difficult sometimes)

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ALNEAGLE 10/20/2010 9:20AM

    WOW! That is a real eye-opener! YIKES! I have to admit I am a soda addict, but have cut back a LOT since I started dieting. I guess it's time to completely kick it to the curb!


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DDWADE 10/19/2010 5:23PM

    Very informative. Thanks for the post.

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SNIKWAD 10/19/2010 3:30PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LUZDELSOL1 10/19/2010 2:53PM

    Yikes! Thanks for sharing.

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APMAC_D 10/19/2010 1:46PM

    WOW this is amazing information- I knew it was bad but did not know just how bad. It's amazing how popular the stuff is when it has such a negative effect. THank you for posting for all of us too see emoticon

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CHESAKAT41 10/19/2010 1:43PM

    Thank you for posting this informative blog. I have been off Diet Soda for about 60 days. I don't drink a lot, but being a Diabetic I found that I am eating more and more of the artificial sweetened products. How can this be a healthy thing??? Blessings to you...

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10 Mile Run

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My husband and I have been working towards running a 10 mile run for the last month or so. We were on a program from Runners' World, unfortunately we had some setbacks. Thankfully we have not stopped running - just reduced the amount of miles per day that we run.

I'm proud to say though that last Friday I was able to run my first ten miles in a row! It's a great accomplishment! I did it in less than two hours - had to run slower to assure I finished the entire 10 miles. Thankfully I completed the task that I put my mind to and was thrilled with myself. Yay!

Just goes to show that if you really work hard and keep your mind to something, you can finish anything!

emoticon + emoticon= emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LITTLEFIREFLY 10/21/2010 9:11AM

  amazing job!!! I'm still working on being able to consistently finish 3 miles....I think you're 10 mile accomplishment is my new inspiration!

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ZORAHGAIL 10/19/2010 12:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SDKENT79 10/19/2010 11:25AM

    Good job! That is really great, I've only worked up to 7 at this point, but I know with lots of work 10 is possible!

Keep up the good work!!!

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