SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder And Recipes To Fight It

Hi friends~

Hope you’ve been having a good winter. The daffodils and crocuses are poking up out of the ground, so it’s starting to feel springy around my city.

If you’re like so many women, and me, you might have been feeling symptoms of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’ve felt it every year, a sense of gloom, like the world is kind of closing in, and I have to work to stay positive and engaged in life.

“It’s like being in a long-distance relationship with someone you really love and rely on for six months out of the year. Except that someone is yourself.”

I really like cross country skiing, but there was no snow to speak of around here, so the ways I fight SAD are making sure to sure to stay active, like taking a brisk walk every day, strength training, and eating well.

Get ready. All the reasons to EAT. Recipes below.

Are you fearful of gaining weight during the winter? You might even have put on a few pounds. I did! Please let’s not get down on ourselves. And please avoid dieting.

Diets and weight loss protocols can be counter productive, unhealthy, and negatively impact performance, disrupt hormones, and affect mood. There are a gazillion diets, programs, and regimens for weight loss, drugs too, and more and more keep coming.

You ARE an athlete if you use your body for a purpose, and you need to eat to fuel your activities.

Dr. Stacy Sims says Yes! You are an athlete. No! You shouldn’t practice Intermittent Fasting.

The National Institute Of Health offers Recommendations and Nutritional Considerations for Female Athletes: Health and Performance.


“If you’re a woman who is adding athletics on top of intermittent fasting, it can be harmful to both your performance and your health.”

“For years there’s been a dearth of scientific research on what female bodies need for optimal performance.One of the most consequential biases in exercise science has been the historical use of male athletes for studies and the application of those research findings to the body of female athletes. “

“Women make up more than half the population, and are considered “an anomaly” (meaning difficult to study) so research on health, performance, and weight loss are done with men.”

By the way, women should not cut carbs. Restricting carbs will ultimately backfire. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. Eat enough for performance, for your brain, and for your body.

Worth repeating:

“The limiting factor for performance during training and competition in high-intensity sports of long duration is energy intake. A substantial percentage of energy intake is provided through consumption of carbohydrates and, to a lesser extent, proteins and fats.”

Let’s clarify – we know that restricting calories leads to weight loss. And burning more fuel than you consume will result in the number of the scale going down. If it’s not used it as fuel right away, the food we eat is stored as energy in the muscles, and also stored as fat to be used as fuel later.  So to lose weight, you need to use that fuel right away or be in a calorie deficit, meaning eating fewer calories.

BUT you must fuel your body enough (and quality) to provide the energy you need! In other words, EAT.

Train strength.

You don’t just lose fat when you lose weight. You also lose muscle. So while it’s important to get enough protein for your volume of training, and even more proptein as you age, the best way to preserve muscle is resistance/strength training. So there it is again. Get the fuel you need to train strength, to keep doing everything you love.


Enjoy what you eat, and don’t vilify food, even if it might seem “unhealthy”. Here are some unhealthy foods that can help athletic performance. If your workout is long or hard, consuming some carbs and sugar can help you perform well and go the distance.

Get the fuel you need, when you need it.

Make your meals yummy so you look forward to getting the protein, carbs, and fat you need to fuel the ATHLETE you are!

And fight SAD!

My newest recipe resources on Instagram!

Ruhama Shitrit: ruhamasfood 

Lemony Za’atar Chicken Breast


lemon zaatar chicken
Lemony Chicken Breast

2 pounds of chicken breast, cut to chunks
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon of za’atar
4 minced garlic cloves
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons of olive oil

3 Roma tomatoes, cut to quarters
4 slices of lime
Drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of flaky salt

Tahini Dressing Recipe:
1/4 cup of tahini paste
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup of cold water

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it to a dressing texture.
Tip- if the dressing is too thick, add water, if it’s too liquid, add tahini paste.

Tahini dressing, pinch of za’atar and sumac

1. In a bowl put the chicken breasts and all the spices and mix them well.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
3. On medium heat, on a warm nonstick pan, sear the chicken breasts for 4 minutes from each side until they get a nice golden color.
4. Remove from the stove and add the Roma tomatoes and the lime slices around the chicken pieces.
5. Season with flaky salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
6. Transfer to a preheated convection broil on 450F for 7-8 minutes until the chicken breasts get a nice brown color and the tomatoes are soft.
7. Garnish with tahini dressing, fresh chopped parsley and a touch of za’atar and sumac.

You can serve in on top of fresh chopped salad, in a pita bread, or with mashed potatoes.

Roasted Cauliflower with Fried Caper Gremolata

Jamie Vespa MS, RD: Dishingouthealth

Coriander-roasted cauliflower florets served over garlicky yogurt with a punchy, herb-y gremolata and roasted pistachios.

Roasted Cauliflower with Fried Caper Gremolata

cauliflower ig
Roasted Cauliflower


1 large head cauliflower, cut into medium-large florets (about 8 heaping cups)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground coriander
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. capers in brine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup roasted pistachios, finely chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of chili flakes
1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt or labne
1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Arrange cauliflower on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (or avocado oil), coriander, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing once midway through, until crisp and caramelized.
Meanwhile, dry the capers very well by wrapping them in paper towels and pressing to absorb moisture. (If there is too much moisture, the oil will sputter aggressively.)
Heat 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add capers and fry until the capers start to bloom and turn golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer capers and oil to a bowl and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. (They will crisp up further as they cool.)
To the bowl with capers, add parsley, dill, pistachios, lemon zest and juice, chili flakes, and 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil. Stir, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
In a separate bowl, combine yogurt and grated garlic; mix well.
Spread garlic yogurt on a serving platter or bowl. Add roasted cauliflower, and spoon caper gremolata on top.

3-Ingredient, High Protein Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Lanie Kates lainiecooks_

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

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20 grams of protein!


1 container of @good_culture whole milk cottage cheese
1/4 cup or more sweetener of your choice (I like to use raw honey or date syrup)
1-2 tbsp of natural peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions: Using a high powered blender, food processor, or immersion blender, add cottage cheese and sweetener and blend until it’s silky smooth. Add in peanut butter and chocolate chips. Make swirls using a spoon and place it back into container. Top with more peanut butter and chocolate chips. Freeze for a few hours and enjoy! PRO TIP: to make sure it does not turn icy, stir every hour or so while in freezer and don’t freeze longer than 4-5 hours.

Eat good food, and get strong to do everything you love!


Let me know if you try these!









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