January 2020 Hot Flashes

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine” vitamin. It is an essential fat-soluble nutrient that helps keep bones healthy and strong, helps cell growth, and benefits immune function. Studies have shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Researchers have noticed that study participants with depression also had low vitamin D levels. The same analysis also found that, statistically, people with low vitamin D were at a much greater risk of depression.

Your body absorbs vitamin D primarily through sun exposure, although dietary supplements and certain foods are also sources of the nutrient. During these winter months when the days are shorter many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which falls under the diagnosis of depression. Symptoms are not the same for everyone and can include the following:

  • Sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Changes in weight
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy. But nearly half of people with SAD do not respond to light therapy alone. Antidepressant medicines and talk therapy can reduce SAD symptoms, either alone or combined with light therapy. Talk to your doctor if you think you might be battling SAD and get treatment.

Writing the Perfect Thank You Note

The writing of thank you notes seems to be a dying way of showing gratitude. People don’t seem to expect thank-you notes anymore even though they are grateful to receive one. It’s always great to know that their thoughtfulness or generosity was received and appreciated.

When sitting down to write a note, this is a great outline to follow:
  • Show gratitude: Starting with lines like “Thank you for the..” “I am grateful for…” or “I appreciate the..”
  • State the gift or act specially
  • Mention your reason for being thankful: Whether it be a graduation, a house warming, a baby shower, or some other life event.
  • Add a closing statement: This should be specific toward the person you are to whom you are sending the thank you note.
  • Sign the Note
Also, remember the timing of a thank you note is key. Sending it a day or two after receiving a gift is best, but even it has been a week or two, you are still within a suitable time frame to send it out.

Candied Bacon Recipe

Try out this Candied Bacon recipe that is perfect for any occasion. Parties, appetizers, even breakfast!

  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix brown sugar, rice vinegar, maple sugar and black pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Place bacon slices on cooling rack set over a baking sheet
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, turn slices and bake another 5 minutes
  5. Remove bacon and brush both slides with brown sugar mixture. Return bacon to the oven and bake another 5 minutes. Repeat basting every 5 minutes until bacon is browned and crisp, about 35 minutes.