Sunday, January 30, 2011


Naïve [adj] (nah eev)
  1. Lacking sophistication or experience

I have never been one to be naive about weather, particularly the variety we receive in Vermont.  The Green Mountain State entices many with its lush greenery during the spring, serene lakes during the summer, confetti farmlands during the fall, and white-capped mountains during the winter.  These sites are iconic for a reason- if my opinion means anything, I highly recommend visiting our state to witness each season in action.


As a native, the weather that each season brings uncovers something a little different for me.  Spring means boots for Mud Season, summer means sunblock for every excursion, and fall means having a handkerchief handy for when the wind picks up woodsmoke.  And winter?  Winter means sunlight, or  a lack thereof.  The colder months - which can range from November to April - bring a series of cloudy days that can span for weeks on end.  After a few days without sunshine, the lack of vitamin D starts to wear on the system and make the winter feel much, much longer.   May it be winter blues, cabin fever, or the more formal Seasonal Affective Disorder, there's no reason to accept that winter has to be this way.  Say it with me, "Winter can be fun!" The colder months can be just as buoyant as any other - just with the right tools in place, such as:
  • Water: Drink more of it.  The majority of the human body is made up of water. When we're dehydrated we feel like less than our normal selves, relatively inept.  By drinking more water, you're replenishing your body and allowing it to work as it should.
  • Vitamins: Get them.  Like water, our bodies need certain vitamins and minerals to function properly.  Whether you take supplements or have a nutritious diet, giving your body the fuel it needs is important when certain vitamins (like Vitamin D from the sun) are in demand.
  • Exercise: Yeah, yeah, yeah: We've all heard this one before.  I myself have spent many a winter curled up by the fireplace, munching on baked goods, and waiting for the winter (and my blues) to end.  But moving around, even if it's just a little, will get your system going again - endorphins, adrenaline, basic blood flow - and, as a result, make you feel better.
  • Light: Embrace it.  Sunlight is your friend during the winter.  When it's sunny, get ready to be active.  No cave dwelling allowed - well, maybe on certain days, if you're near a window.
With these things in mind, winter weather may move from being a chore to being a gift - even without a lot of sunlight.


  1. We had a nutrition scientist from UVM on a show at VCAM last year talking at length about vitamin supplements, which he normally eschews (as opposed to "normally chews"). He said nobody who lives above latitude 40 north or so gets enough vitamin D from the sun, so he advocates taking vitamin D supplements despite otherwise not being a fan of supplements. FWIW.

  2. That's rather astonishing. I "normally chew" (not eschew) a few supplements, but tend to rely on diet and simply being outside to get my Vitamin D. May have to do some more researching...