Anne Macaulay, Ph.D.
ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach
National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach

Light for SAD

Anne Macaulay | First Thoughts

Greetings friends!

Here are my “First Thoughts” on mindset, real food and behavior change. 

Question that I am pondering: “How can you make it simple for yourself?” This is a question I like to ask my clients, but also one that I need to keep front and center!

  • What I’m using now: The Human Charger  I’ve used light boxes for years and before that a shop light hung a careful 11″ inches from my face, but the Human Charger is a much more pleasant way to get light that fools your body into thinking the days are longer. It has two earpieces much like Air Pods that shine bright light into your ear canals.
  • If you are someone who has trouble staying awake past sunset in the winter months, you use it in the evening. If you have trouble getting up in the morning, you use it first thing in the morning. I find two 12 minute cycles is ideal and I start using it now as the days are getting shorter and continue through early March. Combined with taking enough Vitamin D, it makes winter feel almost like summer. Bye-bye Seasonal Affective Disorder!
    What I’m fascinated by: The role of the microbiome in autoimmune disease. It’s becoming clear that a disrupted internal ecosystem is responsible for much chronic disease. Our microbiome is being disrupted by antibiotics, toxins, failure to eat enough vegetables (pre-biotic fiber), living in a sterile environment, etc. Our immune systems are thrown off by these changes. 

    Here are a couple papers that peaked my interest: 
    Bodkhe, Rahul et al. “The role of microbiome in rheumatoid arthritis treatment.” 

    Vogl, Thomas et al. “Systemic antibody responses against human microbiota flagellins are overrepresented in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.”

    These and other studies showing that dysbiosis (a dysregulated gut microbiome) is associated with autoimmune disease provide an explanation for what many patients working through the autoimmune protocol (AIP) find: reducing the bad bacteria with targeted antibiotics or herbal antibiotics such as cinnamon oil or oregano oil and then rebuilding the gut with fermented foods like sauerkraut and keffir along with large servings of vegetables can lead to improved symptoms or remission. 

    What I’m eating for breakfast: Quinoa with Spinach and Eggs Two eggs aren’t quite enough protein for breakfast (7 grams each), but when combined with a cup of quinoa (8 grams for 22 grams total), you get a satisfying breakfast that staves off hunger. 


  • 2 eggs–you’ll notice the extra good flavor of farm fresh eggs in this dish. Look for signs at the side of the road! Cook eggs over easy in a generous amount of either olive oil or ghee. 
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa. It cooks in a rice cooker on the white rice setting. Put it on the night before. You’ll want to taste test different brands of quinoa as some have a pleasant nutty taste and others are bitter. It’s much cheaper in bulk. 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pounds spinach (or swiss chard) sautéed in olive oil with a clove garlic. To save time, buy large bags and sauté all at once. To save even more time, just microwave it. Cooked greens will keep a few days in the fridge or you can divide into serving size portions and freeze. 

Put the cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Stir in the cooked spinach then top with over easy eggs and salt to taste. Yum!

What’s in bloom: Caryopteris × clandonensis  (Blue Mist Shrub)

I love this reliable source of late summer/early autumn blue in the garden. It looks lovely with black eyed susans, golden rods, and here with the golden flowers of Miscanthus ‘Cosmopolitan’. Blue mist shrub is drought tolerant, low maintenance, and a huge hit with honey bees, so site it away from patios and picnic tables. 

That’s all for now.

Love, Anne