About this time of the year, many of us begin feeling S.A.D.—Seasonal
Affective Disorder. This common psychological syndrome is frequently called
“cabin fever” or “the winter blahs”. Most of us suffer mild depressive symptoms
at some time during the winter months. Some folks start to experience symptoms
as early as November while many others peak during the January and February
Winter weather conditions can cause a multitude of troublesome problems—feelings
of boredom, depression and being trapped. These bring out our desire to
eagerly seek any distraction available. Unfortunately, the most convenient
distractions are the edible ones!
Depression or “the blues” can involve many ancillary feelings—loneliness,
insecurity, disappointment, and a sense of loss. People who are depressed
often describe themselves as feeling “empty”. The source of this emptiness
may be emotional, but dieters often seek to relieve this emptiness by filling
up with food.
Eating offers the illusion of fullness along with some pleasure at a
time when life seems to offer little joy. But the rewards of eating are
often short-lived. The inner emptiness remains because food doesn’t really
attack the root of the problem—depression.
So, how can we combat those seasonal feelings of boredom and blues that
drive too many homebound dieters running to the cookie jar?
First, keep in mind that this season will soon be over and, unless you
act now, it won’t be long until you’ll be complaining about how you look
in shorts or your swimsuit.
One road block to beating the blues is feeling you can’t do anything
until you feel better. But, the truth is that you will start feeling better
when you start doing something.
Some studies show that exposure to natural light helps to relieve the
symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. So, when the weather permits, get
outside for a brisk walk. Exercise can increase the production of endorphins—the
body’s “natural” anti-depressants. Keep up the workout!
The list is endless. The cure for cabin fever is simple—make your life
more interesting. Just ask yourself, what would I do if I weren’t feeling
so “blah”? Then do it!
- Look for ways to combat boredom that don’t involve
- Call or write friends
- Read some good books
- Join a club
- Do volunteer work at a hospital
- Begin a new hobby
And remember, you’re always
This Month's Question for the Doctor:
Question: I have to take a blood thinner. Is there anything in
your product that would affect that?
Answer from Dr. Steelman: Active 8 should
not affect the blood thinner. However, if you are taking a type for which
you get periodic blood tests (e.g. Pro-time or PTT) it would be a good idea
to monitor the test a little more closely for a while. It would be advisable
to take a list of ingredients to the Dr. who is prescribing the blood thinner
and get an OK from him/her.
- the holidays can be a big stressor for adding extra pounds! Check
out some of our other products to help get you through the holidays without
all that extra weight!
A Touch o' Humor to Brighten Your Day
"Well, Jonathan, what are you going to
do about the excess weight you're carrying around," the doctor asked.
"I don't understand it, Doc," Jonathan
replied, "I just can't seem to lose weight. I must have an overactive thyroid."
"Jonathan, the tests show that your thyroid
is perfectly normal," replied the doctor. "If anything is overactive, it's
1 cup low-fat chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (from about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon instant espresso, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
12 ounces light cream cheese
24 ounces non-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the inside of a springform pan with aluminum
foil and smooth out as much as possible. Once lined, spray the inside with
cooking spray. In a food processor, combine cookie crumbs, 1 tablespoon
brown sugar, oil, and coffee and blend well. Press into the bottom of the
prepared pan, and set aside.
In a food processor, combine cream cheese, cottage
cheese, cornstarch, egg, and egg whites until very smooth. Add cocoa powder,
brown sugar, sugar substitute, vanilla, and salt and puree until smooth.
Finally, add melted chocolate and puree until smooth. Blend well and then
pour into crust-lined pan. Place pan in a shallow baking dish and place in
oven. Carefully pour enough water into pan to come up halfway up the sides
of the cheesecake pan. Bake until edges are firm, about 1 hour. Turn oven
off and let cake cool in the oven for 1 hour. Refrigerate, uncovered, until
chilled, at least 3 hours.
Some to Remember!
“Boost” your sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, cucumber slices,
bell peppers, and other fresh veggies. Along with the bigger crunch, you’ll
get a bigger sandwich with few additional calories and no extra fat.
No Lying -
No Frying! Trim to Slim!
Bake, roast, or broil your food instead
of frying. Remove all fat from meats and skin from poultry before cooking.
Water it Down
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day.
This will help flush out your body while also suppressing your appetite.
Switch to diet soft drinks. An average
12 Oz can of regular soda contains around 120 calories, while the diet
version usually has one or zero. If you drink 3 cans a day, you'll be saving
360 calories right there. Now multiply that by 7 days a week, 30 days a
month and 365 days a year... You'll be saving a lot of calories!
Allowed! (We Mean Meals)
Never starve yourself, especially before
going out to eat (or you will binge). Never skip meals, you must have some
kind of nourishment regularly or your body's starvation defenses will kick
in, lower your metabolism, and store fat.