Good Morning Sunshine!
Battling the Winter Blues
It’s January and in the northern hemisphere there is a lot less sunlight, which can lead to low serotonin levels and “winter fatigue,” (aka. “winter blues”) that lack of energy and fatigue, something many of us feel during the cold, dark months. There are many things you can do to boost your energy–even in the dead of winter. Exercising several times a week is one way to boost your energy and fight fatigue as several studies have shown. Going outside to get that exercise might help even more in boosting energy and in boosting immunity.
Energy to Kick-start Your Day
Your diet at this time of year can also diminish your energy levels or enhance it. I probably don’t need to tell readers of this website that sugary or “junk” foods will actually decrease your energy levels. Eat breakfast! This is absolutely the #1 “eating for energy” strategy as it gets your metabolism off to a strong start. Coffee is not breakfast. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast such as a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of orange juice. Oranges and other vitamin-C laden citrus fruits are appropriately in season now and will help fight fatigue.
A recent clinical study found that people who drink at least 400 mg of vitamin C feel the least amount of fatigue. Orange juice, and citrus fruist are one of the planet’s best and most delectable sources of vitamin C. (A cup of orange juice will give you about 125 mg. of orange juice.) For women with iron deficiency anemia, vitamin C increases the absorption of iron from the digestive tract. It has been recommended that women with chronic fatigue should replenish their vitamin C supply daily through a healthy diet and the use of supplements.
A smart combination of fruit juice and milk (or low-fat yogurt) is always a great source of energy. A mix of orange juice and protein will slow down the digestion of simple carbohydrates to prolong your surge of energy. The combination of vitamins and calcium increases the body’s energetic potential and it is also a very refreshing helping hand when you get extra tired during the day. Have another piece of fruit at lunch such as a satsuma and throw some grapefruit or orange sections into your green salad at dinner to add to your vitamin C levels (and energy) throughout the day.
This recipe is inspired by the almost-vintage Orange Julius!
Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
- 1 (12 oz.) can of frozen orange juice concentrate, mostly thawed
- 3/4 cup water
- About 1 1/2 cups ice
- 2 1/4 cups low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (opt.)
In a blender combine the orange juice concentrate, with the water and ice. Cover and blend until smooth. Then add the milk and vanilla. Continue to blend the ingredients until smooth and frothy. Transfer to a 2 quart pitcher and chill until serving time. This can be made the night before and kept in the refrigerator. This makes about 5 servings with nearly 300% of your vitamin C (RDA) along with some protein and calcium in just less than 200 calories.