Thanksgiving day is finally over! For some of us. Those fortunate/unfortunate enough to have family close by usually mean that there are multiple T-days…we have three. We’re to the point of boycotting next year for a smaller day at our house. It really is a blessing having family close by, as the kids know all their grandparents pretty well and we do have the built in babysitting unit. But the flip side is I come back from a super fucking stressful day(s) of work, to find my MIL in my kitchen chattering on about some tchotchke she just picked up at the thrift store, or how she hates her coworkers, and I am like a monk… because if I said anything it would be “Get out of my house! I need to decompress!” Thankfully, she usually doesn’t stay long, and I can get my bearings, usually after I hear her muttering to my wife about how grumpy I am. Whatever…anyway, I digress.
Don’t make the holidays a free-for-all to indulge in all things alcohol, junk food and chocolate. That’s an order. And keep working out!
I am sore right now. Holly and I worked out together this morning in our home gym. While we are both doing our own thing (me a scaled down version of Outlaw, she’s in the first month of so of Sarah Fragosa‘s workout program (sorry don’t have a link right now), which for her is what I see as a more manageable real life version of a Frankenstein crossbreed of crossfit and Starting Strength and the fitness components of Mark’s Daily Apple). We both want to look good for each other, and after some workout mornings even have sex in the bathroom or shower or occasionally the bed (before or after the bus comes depending on our timing)… but again, I digress.
Don’t fall in the trap of looking at the black mornings on the early commute, black evenings on the back-end commute and needing to drink or eat your way through December until New Years. Eating one or three Thanksgiving meals won’t blow up your body and make you fat, but eating 10 or 30 extra servings because “it’s the holidays”, is a recipe for disaster. Stay strong, continue not eating bread (and carbs if need be), lift and do what you need to and come out in January ready to get in beach-body shape. Seriously, this is the time of year you need to be strong.
Recognize that winter is a really, really hard time of year. My wife really struggles with this, and ends up on wellbutrin to deal with what is generally described as seasonal depression or as they typically say “seasonal affective disorder” (SAD). Wellbutrin is a relatively mild antidepressant and has, in some studies, been shown to increase libido. While meeting with the PA, they wanted to check her blood work, and depending on her results (and dealing with her anxiety from working WAY too much at her new job, which has been a major source of stress for her and us over the last few months) the PA was considering prescribing Prozac – A SSRI. I was obviously concerned about that and its side effects (extensive – check out the SSRI link above, but includes insomnia, headaches, drowsiness, nausea, and a very, very common one is decreased libido). Holly knew that beforehand, and basically said “HELL No!” – unless there was no other choice. Instead, she’s taking a multi-vitamin, Fish Oil, using the Light Box (that link is the one we own, $68 and 4.5 stars on over 800 reviews at Amazon) I got her for Christmas a few years back (in the mornings before work), the wellbutrin and working out. We are hoping that things settle down at work, and with good diet, some good health and good sex, [parenthesis below..
One surprising recent study actually suggests that exposure to semen may help fight depression. Beyond sperm, the research found that semen may provide mood-boosting hormones and chemical compounds for women.
things for Holly will improve until warmer weather arrives.
One final story of poor eating and its health impacts from our Family Sample Size N=1. We’re seeing a very strong correlation between eating flour/bread and LoudBoy going absolutely ballistic. Multiple times now, after eating some sore of flour product, he’s been super aggressive, grumpy and totally unreasonable. Tonight, for example, after eating multiple T-day buns (we haven’t brought bread in our house for years, and only very occasionally have any sort of flour product, mostly from grandparents), he melted down at about 4:30 pm and was completely unreasonable at the grandparents’ home. For over an hour he was throwing a tantrum about “going home” and needing to watch Netflix. We felt bad for his predicament, but all the grownups (and sister Birdsnest) were laughing at him (because he was acting so unreasonable and crazy, we could not help laughing), which only spiraled his predicament. Oh, and he’s SIX YEARS OLD!! Not two or three or four. He’s in first grade and while he’s more difficult at his sister, this behavior is very far from normal. We don’t think it’s any coincidence that our switching to mostly paleo eating has been a contributor to our general well being, and that flour is a detriment to that, likely due to some sort of gluten intolerance. Apparently we aren’t alone:
…my husband and I have noticed that eating grains really changes our daughter’s behavior. Eating grains makes her:
- Less even-tempered – She is more likely to meltdown.
- More disobedient – She is more likely to blatantly disobey, and to argue about doing what she is told (even simple things like changing into her pajamas).
- More grouchy and rude – She is much more likely to be downright rude and to be in a bad mood.
- Have less focus and concentration – She has a very hard time focusing on the task at hand. She gets easily distracted and forgets what she is supposed to do.
This makes me really wonder how much of children’s poor behavior is linked to eating grains. Granted, properly-prepared grains can be a healthy part of the diet for healthy people with uncompromised guts, but it seems like the vast majority of kids in our country could have a compromised gut due to widespread antibiotic use. I am really shocked that after 17 months on GAPS [AMD Note: GAPS stands for Gut and Pschology Syndrome, and the diet is very similar to the one we use: namely cut out flour and processed food, eat whole foods like veggies and meat and eggs; including fermented dairy. But we don’t prescribe to their supplement ideal of GAPS nor know anything about it really. This was actually the first I heard of this diet. I prefer the The Paleo Diet which I know much more about] our daughter’s behavior could change so dramatically from consuming non-gluten grains (and she did not have any learning deficiencies or psychological problems going into GAPS)
Anyways, I am not lecturing or anything here. Hopefully, you can find some motivation to stay strong and eat well over the long winter, and come out the other side in better shape both mentally and physically. Don’t be afraid to go to a doctor if you feel you may have SAD and need something to get over the long winter, just be aware that if prescribed drugs you may have side affects so research a little before agreeing to something. I usually indulge too much between Thanksgiving and New Years, and for the last several years take January as a “dry month” to make up for that time. I’m hoping that this year is different in my own eating and drinking habits (though I’ll still take a dry month anyways as its a good start to the year), and I can find the motivation to get up and work out in the cold dark garage with my wife instead of hunkering down. Cheers!