Omega-3: A Seasonal Savior
Figuring, if the Eskimo people could make it through long, frigid winter months of darkness without soul-weakening bouts of the blues, it was time to channel my inner Inuit and adopt a fat-enriched, omega-3 diet in hopes that my own seasonally sad spirit would benefit. Luckily, I like full-flavored fish, so it was easy to fill my cupboards, refrigerator and belly with omega-3 dense meal additions. Tins of sardines, mackerel, smoked oysters, anchovies and tuna went into the cupboard - simple lunches at the ready with just a pop of the tab and some grainy mustard, crackers and fresh vegetables. In the refrigerator were jars of pickled herring ready to enjoy as-is, or to enhance creamed style with a dollop of yogurt or creme fraîche and sliced onion, as well as a piece of bottarga (dried and cured roe of grey mullet) to grate on salads or pasta to give the salty umami punch I crave. And taramasalata. I was going through a jar of the creamy Greek-style carp roe delicacy at an alarming rate. On the run, I generously slather home made crisps with the pale pink stuff several times a day. Though tasting good and satisfying, I didn't want to be eating so much soy oil (a major ingredient in the jarred product), and began easily making my own healthier version with a higher quality of oil and whole grain sourdough bread.
A couple of weeks ago I started noticing some true physical differences: my hair which is generally dry and frizzy during Cleveland's arid winter was thick, shiny, healthy and growing full corkscrew curls. My skin appeared clear, lips moist and crack-free. In fact, a woman much younger than myself stopped me and asked what product I used on my face - how's that for a seasonal lift! The exterior routine hadn't varied, but the extra interior nutrition was giving me an entire body glow from the inside out. Most importantly, my mood has been mostly elevated and outlook positive, energy high and steady, and coping with unexpected stress - not a such an enormous deal. The couple of days I succumbed completely to collapse was justifiable exhaustion derived from a Herculean holiday work schedule. I fully and completely believe the daily additions of concentrated omega- 3 foods to my diet are what made the difference. February has been fabulous for the first time in years - you'll get no carping from me.