Winter Blues are gone

Beat the Winter Blues

Beating the Winter Blues

‘Tis the season for holidays and cheer. For some, it’s the time for sadness due to the winter blues, seasonal depression, or (the medical term) seasonal affective disorder or SAD. This problem isn’t just brought on by the holidays; it’s primarily linked to the weather and how we react to it.

Have adequate levels of vitamin D.

Having adequate supplies of vitamin D in the body helps with brain function, bone health, a healthy immune system, muscle function, and so much more. Having low levels of vitamin D has been linked to depression. This vitamin, which we naturally get from the sun and some foods, tends to become deficient during the winter months when we stay warm indoors and rarely see the sun. Some great ways to increase vitamin D levels is to eat more fish, go outside when the sun is shining, or take supplements. I would recommend getting your vitamin D levels checked through a blood test. The “sweet spot” for vitamin D is serum levels between 40-60 ng/ml according to Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

Enjoy the sun when you can or supplement with a blue light.
Getting plenty of sunlight also helps with the production of serotonin not only because of the increase in vitamin D, but also because the light, practically the blue light, helps the brain build stronger connections. Stronger connections help the brain stay healthy. An unhealthy brain typically leads to depression. Blue light is also what helps wake us up in the morning and assists in producing melatonin at night to help give us a full night’s sleep. The winter blues can be banished by the getting enough blue light, a little ironic.

So get outside more, buy a full spectrum light for the office, or purchase a therapeutic blue light.

Get outside and be active during the day.
Just because it isn’t 80 degrees outside doesn’t mean you have to become sedentary and just stay inside. Try to keep doing the outdoor activities that you enjoy in the nice weather, or hit the slopes. If being active outdoors isn’t your thing and you’d rather stay warm inside, then working out is a great option. Physical activity has been very affective for treating depression and keeping your brain healthy.

Eat a lot of big hearty meals to fill you up.
Eat bigger heartier meals, such as stews or pot roasts. Bigger meals will help insulate us more for the cold. Also, the brain releases more serotonin throughout the day when we’re full and properly fueled. Although I typically advocate eating fewer carbohydrates, increasing them during the cold months is very beneficial to the mood.

At night, become nice and cozy.
Some of my favorite things about winter for me is being inside, having a fire roaring, a big mug of warm apple cider, being wrapped up in a blanket, and enjoying some time with friends. This creates a nice piece of mind and time to relax. The Norwegians call this koselig, meaning a sense of coziness. They practice koselig all the time and are consider experts on dealing with winter. So get tucked in with a big blanket and enjoy your time without the winter blues.

Stay Evolved




One of the most important things for trainers to work on with anyone is proper breathing. Your breathing pattern can help change your mood, can stabilize your spine, regulate digestion, clear your mind, fight off illness, slow your heart rate, improve blood flow, and improve flexibility.

Everyone involuntarily breathes, but are you breathing correctly? In my experience, most people do not use one of the most important muscles in their bodies properly… the DIAPHRAGM. Although not as sexy as the biceps, pecs, or the 6-pack muscles, the not-so-sexy diaphragm is necessary for breathing and yet no one really uses it. In order to use your diaphragm, breathe deeply, and use your lungs to their fullest capacity. (Pun intended) By breathing properly, you will strengthen your diaphragm, and will be able to take in more oxygen everyday.

Use these tips to breathe a little better.

  1. Always breathe through your nose.

The nose is for breathing and the mouth is for eating. Even a lot of top-level athletes train themselves to breathe nasally during tough workouts that leave everyone huffing and puffing.

  1. Breathe from the bottom up

Imagine filling your lungs as if you are pouring water into a glass. Breathe the air into the bottom of your lungs and let it fill up to the top. Your belly should push out first followed by your chest. Don’t force it out; let yourself naturally push it out. This technique uses your diaphragm and your lungs to the fullest.

  1. Don’t let your shoulders raise up

When taking a deep breath most people, lift their shoulders up to their ears as if I asked them a really tough question, “I don’t know”? This almost forces the air to stay in the top half of the lungs so that you can’t fully take that deep breath.

  1. Breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold.

I personally breath in for a slow three seconds, hold for a second, then exhale through my nose for five or more seconds, and then finally pause for about a second. This is a great way to relax, change your mood, and clear your mind. If you focus on counting while breathing, it helps to be present.

  1. Practice deep breathing

Breathing deeply for a minute daily will help your overall breathing while you are not even thinking about it. It trains your subconscious to breathe nasally, deeper, and to use your diaphragm more. It also helps to use the diaphragm so it doesn’t stay stagnant and unused.

If you are having trouble with deep breathing, I recommend trying Crocodile Breathing. To practice crocodile breathing, lie down on your stomach with the back of your hands on your forehead, breathe in through your nose, and try to have your belly push into the floor through breathing deeply. Try this for three to five minutes to help you train your diaphragm more.

Hopefully this gives you a little more understanding of breathing and the importance of using it to your benefit. Proper breathing will help you to perform longer in activities, such as walking, going up the stairs, tough workouts, and help you feel better all-around.

Next week I will teach you how to walk better 😉

Stay Evolved

Tasty chicken salad

A great recipe from the healthy food obsessed, Juli Bauer the writer of several cookbooks and the blog,

Ever since I have switched to a paleo way of eating, I have most missed the convenience of meals. One of my favorite meals is a nice, filling, and delicious chicken salad. My mom knows that this is one of my favorite meals and still makes it for whenever I visit.

I’m not a cook by any stretch of the imagination– I prefer to find quick and simple meals from amazing cooks and this recipe delivers just that. It is quick, tasty and you don’t need to be a whiz in the kitchen. So try it for yourself, tell me what you think about it in the comments below, and enjoy a healthy and satisfying meal.


Chipotle Chicken Salad

 Serves: 2-3
  • 1 pound chicken, cooked and diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ white onion, finely chopped
For the mayo
  • ⅔ cup avocado oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle adobo sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Mix together chopped chicken, celery, and white onion.
  2. Place all mayo ingredients in a tall container, put immersion blender to the bottom of the container and turn on. Keep immersion blender on until the oil turns to a white color and into mayo. Should take just a little over 30 seconds, if that!
  3. Mix mayo with chicken, celery and onion.
  4. Eat up, however you’d like. In lettuce, with a fork. Or a spoon. Anything goes with chicken salad and 30 second mayo.