Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Out of the Blues and Into Some BFF Time

You're no Li Na, but you can still present yourself at a nearby tennis court to hit a few balls. Photo from Getty Images.

WHAT do Zumba and Zucchini have in common?

Give up? OK, out of your misery with you!

Both can help a body find his/her way out of the blues, according to a body who knows about such things. “The challenge is to move beyond where you’re stuck," says Diane Tucker, a professor of psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), who is quoted in the UAB News. "Things that can help include writing in a journal, doing activities that give you satisfaction, exercising and being with friends.”

That means getting together with Jean Jeff Tiffany Taylor and having some serious fun or talking through problems if necessary. Further, you can get yourself back on the tennis court. As for you, film buff, how about taking in "The Best Man Holiday" (http://www.ow.ly/qSpfT)?

While you keep threatening to grow your own basil. Did someone say herb garden?! The important thing, DT emphasizes, is that a body should engage in something other than morbid thoughts.

With the holidays upon us, this is sound advice to take to heart (and head), no?

Says DT: “I think depression is a spectrum, and full-on depression is when you experience things like impaired appetite, disrupted sleep, lack of concentration and ruminative thoughts. Feelings of discouragement or the blues are on that continuum, and I think it is important to be attentive to those feelings.”

To that end, by all means, get moving and get cooking. (See video of beginner zumba class above and recipe for Zucchini Feta Pie below).

But if depression seems chronic, a little more help is in order, DT asserts. “People are different in terms of biology and the way our brains work; some people are prone to depression, and others are prone to high blood pressure. If it becomes a chronic problem, most cases can be helped by medication or psychotherapy.”

Goings-on in "The Best Man Holiday," starring Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Eddie Cibrian and others, will make you laugh and cry. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Got it? (Feel) good.

Zucchini Feta Pie
5 small zucchini (about 1 1/4 pounds), divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 (6 ounce) container 365 Everyday Value® Feta Cheese Crumbles, divided
1 frozen (9-inch) regular or whole wheat pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°F. Very thinly slice one zucchini and set aside. Grate remaining zucchini, firmly squeezing it by the handful to remove as much liquid as possible. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and eggs. Reserve 1/2 cup cheese, and then stir grated zucchini and remaining cheese into egg mixture.

A good meal can lift the spirits, and that is Zucchini Feta Pie in the sky. Photo from Whole Foods Market. http://www.bit.ly/13QX3XQ

Transfer to pie crust, top with sliced zucchini (arranging it in circles, if you like) and reserved cheese and bake until firm and golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Set aside to let cool, and then serve warm or cold.

Nutritional Information:
PER SERVING:210 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 80mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 10g protein

HEAD'S UP: You will seek professional help if depressions persists, of course.

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