Tag Archives: fall

Tacking Seasonal Affective Disorder

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is when you experience symptoms of depression as the seasons change. Most often, these feelings are tied to the fall and winter. But you can take charge to feel better during these months.

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Winter

 

Symptoms of winter-onset SAD include oversleeping, exhaustion, low energy, gaining weight, and appetite changes, like craving carbs and heavy foods.

Symptoms of Winter-Onset SAD

 

Symptoms of summer-onset SAD include trouble sleeping, agitation, anxiety, losing weight, and poor appetite.

Symptoms of Summer-Onset SAD

 

While doctors aren’t certain of the cause of seasonal affective disorder, some factors that contribute to it include how your biological clock, serotonin levels (which affect mood), and melatonin levels (which affect sleep patterns) are affected by reduced sunlight.

Factors Causing SAD

 

SAD is more common for those with depression, bipolar disorder, a family history of these conditions, and those living far from the equator with short days in the winter.

Risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

Seasonal affective disorder can cause people to withdraw from their social circles, affect their performance in school or work, increase the risk of substance abuse, worsen other mental health issues (like anxiety), and in extreme cases, lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

Issues Caused by SAD

 

Treatment for this disorder can include light therapy, antidepressants, therapy, and relaxation techniques like tai chi, yoga, meditation, or art therapy. Talk to your doctor to find the right fit for you.

Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder

Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month

Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month

It’s Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month. Gluten-free diets are commonly used to treat Celiac disease, sensitivities, and allergies. If you or your loved ones need this kind of diet, these recipes can help this holiday season.

First up is a transformed comfort food, Gluten-Free Zucchini Chicken Parmesan Bundles.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Chicken Parmesan Bundles

Gluten Free Zucchini Chicken Parmesan Bundles

 

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Oatmeal is ideal for family gatherings during the holidays.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Oatmeal
Image and Recipe via The Blissful Balance

 

Whip up a perfect fall dinner with this Gluten-Free Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili.

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili
Image and Recipe via The Conscientious Eater

 

This Gluten-Free Creamy Mushroom Risotto makes an impressive light dinner for guests.

Creamy Mushroom Risotto (Vegan + GF)

 

Lighten up grab-and-go breakfast with these Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins.

Gluten Free Paleo Pumpkin Muffins with Almond Flour

 

Making pasta at home doesn’t have to be a challenge! Try Gluten-Free Ravioli with Spinach and Cheese.

Gluten-Free Ravioli with Spinach and Cheese:

Gluten Free Ravioli with Spinach and Cheese

 

These soft Healthy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies will be a hit this holiday season.

Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies

Apple Month

Apple Month

Apples don’t just have to be for dessert this fall. Make the most of your produce this Apple Month with these healthy, savory apple recipes.

First up, try this Apple Cider Chicken Skillet for a dish that is packed with fall flavors.

Apple Cider Chicken Skillet
Image and Recipe via Well Plated

 

This simple Cauliflower Salad with Fennel & Green Apple is the perfect dish to bring along for holiday meals.

Cauliflower Salad w/ Fennel & Green Apple

 

Try Scallops with Apple Sauce for a light meal that is one of the most unique ways to use an apple.

Scallops with Apple Sauce
Image and Recipe via Bon Appetit

 

Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Apples has all your favorite seasonal flavors in one tasty dish.

Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Apples Image and Recipe via Melanie Makes

 

Savory Apple, Oat, and Herb Scones are best served with a bowl of hot butternut squash soup.

Savory Apple, Oat, and Herb Scones
Image and Recipe via cannelle et vanille

 

This Bacon-Wrapped Fig and Honeycrisp Salad is rich enough for fancy dinners or an afternoon craving.

Bacon-Wrapped Fig and Honeycrisp Salad

Bacon Wrapped Fig and Honeycrisp Apple Salad with Salted Caramel Pecans.

 

This Seared Salmon with Caramelized Apples and Onions is the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

Seared Salmon with Caramelized Apples and Onions
Image and Recipe via Shape

National Pork Month

National Pork Month

It’s National Pork Month, and we can help you make the most of it with fall flavors in healthy pork recipes.

Get a taste of classic autumn flavors with One-Pan Pork Chops with Apples and Onions.

One Pan Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

 

Dinner will be done quickly and easily with these tasty Lemon Basil Grilled Pork Chops.

Lemon Basil Grilled Pork Chops

 

Skip the takeout and make Healthy Crockpot Pulled Pork at home. 

Healthy Crockpot Pulled Pork
Image and Recipe via The Clean Eating Couple

 

Whip up these savory Grilled Pork Chops with Asparagus and Pesto before grilling season’s over.

Grilled Pork Chops with Asparagus and Pesto

 

Quick Thai-Style Pork and Broccolini Stir Fry is the perfect family weeknight dinner.

Quick Thai-Style Pork Broccolini Stir Fry {Paleo}

 

Go big this weekend with this beautiful Honey Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin.

Honey Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin

 

Pork Chops with Roasted Vegetables is a beautiful one-dish meal you can whip up in no time.

Pork Chops with Roasted Vegetables
Image and Recipe via MyFitnessPal

Remember September

Long View: Remember September

Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh-so-mellow.

Many of you may remember this Andy Williams song from years ago. For me, it rekindled some fond memories of a younger time. Did you read the lyrics, or sing them (as I did)?

September is a time when we welcome autumn and say so long to summer. Living in the Midwest for most of my life, I love the change of seasons, especially this one! The shades of nature are a mixture of both summer and fall.

It’s a fun time in fashion when colors start to pop as wardrobes transition. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear plum opaque tights with a pastel-colored summer frock, a cozy navy sweatshirt with those favorite khaki shorts, or even a pair of gray light wool pants with some snazzy, strappy sandals! (Is white OK after Labor Day these days?)

One of the most prominent colors of the season that you will see displayed this month is purple. Did you know that purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement?

September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and here at Health Alliance, we participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in many of our communities throughout Illinois. These wonderful walks are intended to raise awareness of the disease and to raise funds for care, support, and research. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disease that progressively and slowly destroys a person’s memory and mental skills to the point of not being able to carry out the simplest task.

Finding a cure for this disease is the focus of Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and developing prevention along with treatment is part of the process. Check out the dates and towns for the 2018 walks near you. It’s a nationwide annual event, with more than 600 communities across the United States participating.

There are many way to help, even if you don’t want to walk. Take your first step and go the official website at Act.ALZ.org/Walk.

Here are some of the 2018 local walks where you may spot Health Alliance:

  • Champaign – September 22
  • Decatur – October 6
  • Mattoon – September 29
  • Bloomington/Normal – September 15
  • Peoria – October 13
  • Rockford – September 15
  • Springfield – September 22

Come up with your own transitional outfit to wear (maybe add a splash of purple,) and hope to see you at a walk!

Mervet Adams is a community liaison with Health Alliance. She loves her grandson, family, nature, and fashion.

Enjoying the Present

Covered Bridge: Waiting for Fall and Enjoying the Present

It’s finally September, which means kids are officially back to school and a return to the routines of a new school year. I often find myself mildly enjoying September. The weather starts to cool, and winter time is right around the corner. But I often want to rush through September to get to October, which is the month I really love.

I love the fall, and the entire month of October is one of my favorite times of year. I love the crispness in the air. I love the changing colors in nature. I love going to the orchards with my family, getting a fresh, hot pumpkin donut, and maybe even taking a hay ride. I love carving pumpkins with my kids. I also love the flavors of fall.

I pretty much love anything and everything fall.

But as I was reflecting to write this piece, a thought came to my mind: enjoy where you’re at. This caused me to pause for a few minutes and to really reflect on what that means. I want to rush to the fall, but maybe I need to enjoy the end of summer.

Maybe I need to take my kids to the local fruit stand and get the end-of-summer harvest of peaches, apples, or watermelon before fall starts and we don’t have that option. Maybe I need to plan a summer picnic or outdoor activity before it gets too cold outside to really be comfortable in the evening. Maybe we need to take one last camping trip or go fishing. Maybe I need to actually enjoy the season or time that I’m in instead of wanting it to be another one.

I think so often we are rushing or waiting for the next event or milestone (or season, for me), that we don’t enjoy where we’re at right now. We are just rushing, trying to get through, and I don’t know if that’s really the best thing to do.

For me, I need to slow down and enjoy the month at hand, and not wish I were in another month, time, or place. Now, I’m actually excited that September is here, that summer is still here, and that I can still take in all the goodness of the summer’s ending with the ones that I love.

And I can still be excited for the coming of fall.

Morgan Gunder is a community and broker liaison for Reid Health Alliance. Born in the South and raised in the Midwest, she is a wife and mother with a passion for traveling, learning, and technology.

Healthy Mushroom Recipes

Healthy Mushroom Recipes

This week, we’re helping you get ready for Thanksgiving with some healthy mushroom recipes that make the most of the fall-favorite ingredient.

First up is the perfect appetizer bite, Avocado Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms.

Avocado Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms
Image and Recipe via The Paleo Paparazzi

 

Looking for an easy and light dish to bring? Enter Slow Cooker Mushroom Soup.

Slow Cooker Mushroom Soup

 

Lighten up the classic or make a dish especially for the vegans in your life with Vegan Creamy Mashed Potatoes & Savory Mushroom Gravy.

Vegan Creamy Mashed Potatoes & Savory Mushroom GravyImage and Recipe via Vegan Huggs

 

If you’ve ever had a holiday meal disaster and had to resort to takeout, whip up tasty Shiitake & Oyster Mushroom Dumplings and be thankful for smoother sailing.

Shitake & Oyster Mushroom Dumplings
Image and Recipe via Blissful Basil

 

Still entertaining family? This Crustless Slow Cooker Spinach Quiche with mushrooms makes breakfast easy.

Crustless Slow Cooker Spinach Quiche
Image and Recipe via Everyday Wholehearted

 

Mix up your leftover go-to with this Turkey in Creamy Mushroom Sauce.

Leftover Turkey in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

 

Get the whole family eating leftovers with this Leftover Turkey Mushroom and Pancetta Risotto.

Leftover Turkey Mushroom and Pancetta Risotto