Welcome to the middle of winter, we are past the solstice and its downhill to summer but the battle isn’t over yet. In fact it’s feeling even more challenging to cope with being stuck inside, fighting off the flu and trying to eat healthy. Here are my tips for surviving and thriving through the next phase of winter.
What is the deeper meaning of winter?
Winter is a time of yin and turning our energy inward. It’s a time for inner reflection and healing. This can be spiritual, emotional and physical healing so its important to pay attention to your body and mind. It’s a great time for journaling and self-reflection. Having more time to yourself it’s the perfect opportunity to address any niggling emotions, feelings or illnesses. Spring brings about rebirth and new life but we can only rebirth once we have healed and let go of the things that are holding us back. You can achieve this in a number of ways. Going to a healer, kinesiologist, chiropractor, naturopath or counsellor depending on the problem you are facing. Kinesiology can address any physical, emotional or spiritual issue; sometimes alongside other practitioners. It is also a perfect time for meditation, drawing, cooking, getting creative, dancing, taking warming magnesium baths and practicing self-care.
Nourishing Winter Foods
Winter is a time where many people start to crave heavy fatty or carbohydrate rich foods. It is important to honour your body and feed it what it needs most. However refined carbohydrates, cakes and fast food is definitely not what your body is crying out for. The fruits and vegetables that are in season in winter is what your body needs. You’ll notice that these are the higher starch vegetables, avocados that contain healthy fats and of course citrus that’s meant to boost your immunity. Shopping at local farmers markets can help you find seasonal fresh produce rather than food that has been in cold storage for long periods of time. This will help you to properly nourish your body and prevent cravings.
Winter fruits: avocados, apples, cumquats, grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, navel oranges, pears, persimmon, quinces, rhubarb, tangelos, tangerines.
Winter vegetables: asian greens like bok choy & choy sum, beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprout, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, fennel, garlic, ginger (grown in tropical weather, not in SA), horseradish, jerusalem artichokes, kale, kohlrabi, okra, olives, onions, parsnip, peas, potato, pumpkin, daikon radish, shallot, silverbeet, spinach, swede, sweet potato, turnip, chicory, zucchini.
Warming Winter Detox
Sometimes in winter we crave a lighter feeling or a detox. While this is highly beneficial for gut healing, immune boosting and energy levels its not a great time for a juice cleanse. Rather opt for a warm soup cleanse. Winter is about consuming warming nourishing foods. If we only drank cold juice for three days we would tax our digestive and immune system. A soup cleanse is very easy to do at this time. It includes broths, seasonal vegetables and lots of fibre, which is very important for removing toxins from the gut.
If you do choose to do a soup cleanse it would also be highly beneficial to receive colonics and kinesiology balances during this time. Balances can include digestive system and liver detoxification balances that can help kick start your healing.
It is also a great idea to add organic detox teas, as well as immune boosting and warming herbal teas. We have an amazing detox and immune boosting drink on our recipes page. It includes turmeric, raw honey, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, lemon and ginger. Keeping your body hydrated and nourished is the best way to revitalize your system.
Around the Home
If you are feeling like you are cooped up inside and the energy is feeling stale this is a good time for house cleansing. Burning sage or palo santo with all the doors and windows open will remove negative old energy and the palo santo will bring in good energy. Also pay attention to your home. Even though it is cold remember it’s important to keep fresh air flowing in, always leave the windows slightly cracked. House plants will also help cleanse the air. My house if filed with house plants such as devils ivy, mother in-laws tongue and of course many succulents.
Diffusing essential oils that are warming and healing can help change the air in the house. If you are sick or feel like something is coming on diffuse immune essential oils or ones for breathing. Citrus essential oils are very positive and uplifting so I diffuse them when my energy is feeling low.
Another great way to create positive energy in the house is by placing salt lamps in each room and leaving them on while you are in the room. Himalayan pink salt lamps absorb water and particles from the air, they also takes positive ions with them. Then, when the heated salt releases cleansed water vapour back into the air, it also expels negative ions, which have the opposite effect on our airways by increasing cilial activity to keep your lungs clear.
General Winter Wellness
- Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day, if drinking cold water is unappealing then switch to warm lemon water instead but make sure you are consuming at least 2 litres a day.
- Although its hard don’t forget to move your body. Yin yoga or yoga flows are perfect for warming and releasing the muscles that can sometimes feel tight and heavy in the cooler months.
- Keep your skin hydrated by giving yourself a loving oil massage daily. This also works as a simple lymph massage that helps your body move and release toxins.
- Take your vitamins! Winter is an especially important time to be taking zinc, vitamin c, magnesium and multi Bs. I also keep an immune supplement around that I take whenever I start to feel a cold coming on. Talk to your naturopath or local health food store for the best supplement for you.
- Don’t let the winter blues get to you. See this as an opportunity to heal and free yourself of anything that feels stale and old. When spring comes around you’ll be ready for a rebirth that’ll charge you with energy and life.