It isn't only produce and plants that change and evolve with the seasons. Temperature, sunlight availability and air moisture also effect our minds and bodies in all kinds of dynamic ways. We are a part of nature and need to help our bodies balance and equilibrate through the seasons. Every winter I make little changes to my diet, beauty and morning/evening rituals to help holistically deal with the cooler weather, dryer air and limited sunlight. Here are just some of the things I do.
Consciously schedule my movement and activity
I find that exercise is a lot more intuitive in the warmer months and when the winter hits the need to hibernate accompanies it. Keeping active helps my mood and boosts my metabolism, equally important for a healthy lifestyle. For every 5-6 days I schedule an hour of medium or high intensity exercise like power walking, jogging, dance class or group fitness in the early evening and wake up and wind down with a gentle yoga routine to keep my muscles stretched and pain free.
The cooler temperatures can take a toll on our systems. In order to have healthy digestion and keep muscle repair going I make sure to get a good 8 hours during the cooler months. This ensures I don't get sick, run down or injured whenever possible.
My skin is very sensitive and easily effected by the elements. Most winters I tend to get both dry skin and acne which is a nightmare to deal with. I try and combat this with gentle skin care, regular exfoliation and lots of light moisturizers. This is accompanied by dry brushing and coffee scrubs to get rid of dry and flaky skin.
Consciously hydrate and stretch
Winter can often come hand in hand with tension headaches and neck ache. I keep this at bay by drinking 2-3 litres of room temperature water every day and taking regular yoga/stretch breaks when at my desk. A great way to deal with tension in your back and neck is by heating a towel in the microwave. I roll it up and tuck it round my neck for 5-10 minutes and then lie down flat with it in between my shoulders for another few minutes. This never fails to help relax any tension and pain I have in my neck, shoulders and back muscles.
When its cold outside and there are short days its tempting to go to comfort foods but an unhealthy gut can compromise immune systems. I target this by drinking lots fortifying broths and soups and keeping healthy cooked foods in my fridge for reheating, such as chili, cooked quinoa, buckwheat and chickpeas. I also start the day with a hearty bowl of porridge topped with berries and pro-biotic coconut kefir yoghurt or A2 dairy yoghurt. See below for the recipe...
Good Morning Winter Oats (Serves 1)
1/3 Cup Oats
1/2-3/4 Cups Water (depending on what thickness you like)
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Mixed Berries or Cherries (I use frozen ones)
1-2 Tablespoons of Coconut Kefir Yoghurt or A2 Yoghurt
1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup (optional)
Place oats, water and chia seeds in a small pot and put it on the stove on medium heat. Once the mixture is boiling reduce it to a simmer until the oats are soft and creamy. Mix in cinnamon and place the porridge in a bowl topping it with berries, yoghurt and syrup. Enjoy!