As we open the door to winter you may be noticing that you feel more tired lately, that you are looking forward to time off work, school and lessons and you may be enjoying staying home and spending more time with yourself and family. These are all natural tendencies at this time of year. From Spring until the end of Fall, we have been on the go, moving fast, creating, goal setting and achieving, working and playing hard. But Winter pulls out a different energy. It is a time for stillness, quiet, introspection, conserving energy, reflection, deeper sleep, rest, warmth and relaxation. It is also a perfect time to create heat in the kitchen and savor and enjoy comforting nutrition. Soups, chili, roasted root vegetables, crock pot meals, winter squash, brown rice with ghee, oatmeal, nuts and nut butters, warming spices, roasted chicken, oranges, baked and stewed fruit and warming tea, are increasingly desired.
If we listen closely to what we are craving – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and nutritionally – we will notice that our inner wisdom is asking for something different than what it has been receiving prior to now. It may be asking for an overall slow-down, a change in diet, a change in exercise, a change at work, etc. The key is to honor what your body, mind and soul are asking for and give yourself permission to do it.
I believe the following are the most important Winter practices we can cultivate to help us stay balanced and give ourselves what is needed to be well at this time of year:
· Give yourself permission to rest, relax and recharge
· Sleep deeper and longer
· Eat warming and oilier winter foods to combat the cold and dry weather
· Reflect on all of your accomplishments this year – big and small
· Think and dream about what you would like to achieve in 2016
· Create heat in the kitchen by cooking delicious and nutritious meals
· Celebrate and enjoy food during all the holiday gatherings
· Do some yoga and stretching
· Take warm baths with Epsom salts
· Use some essential oils that you are drawn to – infuse them into your home, wear them, or drop them into your bath
· Drink lots of tea
· Sip on broths
· Take your Vitamin D, minerals and essential fatty acids
· Play outside – build a snowman, ski, sled, skate, make a snow angel, have a winter walk, have a snowball fight
· Be grateful
· Enjoy winter’s beauty – snowflakes, snow covered trees, frosty branches, chinooks, snow-capped mountains, the stillness, the quiet
· Stay home more – read, write, play music, play with your kids, sit by the fireplace, knit, color, cook and just simply be.
Embrace winter. It is here to stay for its rightful time. So instead of wishing it were summer, acknowledge, practice and settle in to what this season is offering. Don’t miss out on this important time of year to take care of yourself. If we don’t recharge and nurture ourselves properly now, we will be sure to burn out once Spring arrives, when our energy is meant to be high again. So for now, choose the way of Winter and do whatever it is that make you feel most nurtured.
Thank you to all of my clients who I was blessed to work with this year. I hope you have experienced a greater state of health and well-being and a deeper and more connected relationship to food, your body and yourself.
Thank you to all of you who continue to read my monthly nutrition tips. I have been writing monthly tips for 10 years, so I hope they continue to inspire, educate and interest you.
Thank you to those who opened doors and provided me opportunities to do what I love.
I look forward to more nourishment in 2016. More to come…
Yours in health,