–Dr. Blackwood—
Question from Weight Loss Patient:
I am always motivated to ring in the New Year with weight loss goals and a healthier lifestyle. I seem to stay motivated for about a week or two, and then I fall into a winter depression. How can I stay on track with my weight loss goals and avoid the winter depression?

There are several things that can help us stay on tracks during the harshness of winter. The simple answer would be to advise about the importance of taking our vitamin D supplement in the winter. Most of our culture has very little direct sun to skin exposure in the cold months and to me this is a big problem. The sun has many seemingly magical powers when it comes to our health. Imagine that with just the contact of a warming sun ray to our skin, our body initiates an amazing cascade of events that culminates with our blood vitamin D levels increasing and often our mood as well! Yes, vitamin D has been proven to be linked with things like depression and other health problems, but I believe some of the other (more interesting) healing interactions that our body conducts with its partner the sun, occur in the eye as well as at a cellular level. I can discuss these more at a different time but trust me that even some brief moments in the direct sun are vital. Try to watch (not through a window) some sunrises and sunsets throughout the winter, because there are immeasurable benefits that we sustain through (and only through) spending time in the wonderful sun.

Salmon oil is another important supplement that we utilize to promote mental wellness along with things like Serotonin Support, Adrenal Calm, and my favorite, Herbal Stress Relief (apparently a must to anyone with 4 kids).

Another way to promote mental wellness during the winter is by supporting healthy serotonin production in the digestive tract or more specifically in the gut biome (which I like to refer to as our internal garden). Most people are totally unaware that the majority of our body’s much needed serotonin production occurs in the digestive tract and this process of producing serotonin is very dependent on the health of our gut microbiota which could be likened to a microorganism party in our bellies (consisting of trillions of bacteria). Now the quantity and quality of those bacteria can be the difference of you having good or poor health. Fortunately, we have your back, or in this case… your gut, when it comes to restoring the body’s delicate balance of the internal garden; hence, maintaining healthy serotonin production (a key ingredient when it comes to our mental wellness).

Finally, mental wellness is comprised of many parts of the body, which bodes well for a “holistic” approach. But what is holistic? Some may associate the word with something like mystic or magical, but the only thing you’ll find in common with these words are the “magical” results that we see oft with our patients at ND Life Spa. We help our patients accomplish this by treating the “whole body,” which is not only the true definition of the word holistic, it’s also our magic formula (if you will) to help balance and restore true health, including areas such as mental wellness, hormone balance, and metabolism