As Christmas Eve is here, and we just passed the winter solstice, winter has truly arrived. Use these tips to help keep yourself happy, healthy and sane through the holidays and beyond!
1. Unplug – We live in a high-tech world. It’s important to take time out to reconnect with others, to reconnect with yourself. Pick one day a week (or more) and shut off the TV (cover it up with nice fabric to hide it from temptation), turn off the iPhone (or ringer, if you still have one of those kind of phones), and close down the internet. See what it feels like to tune into Nature’s vibrations and let yours re-harmonize.
2. Get Internationally Inspired – Create dishes inspired by India, Mexico, Thailand or the Orient, for a healthier meal. Forego the pasta and rice and serve over fresh greens and vegetables. Add spices like turmeric, curry, ginger, garlic, ceylon cinnamon, cayenne, and cumin for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits.
3. Sneak in Superfoods – Breakfast can be a challenge with our fast-paced lifestyles, try adding spinach, kale or other greens to your morning smoothie or scrambled eggs. Ground chia seeds and pastured egg make a great addition for added protein and nutrients. A little coconut oil or avocado will provide healthy fats.
4. Stave Off Cravings and Overindulgence – Drink adequate water throughout the day. It is best to drink between meals (>30 minutes before you begin to eat) as drinking with meals hampers digestion by diluting stomach acid. Eat slowly to give your stomach time to register that it is full; this takes 20 minutes. Load up on your vegetables first. Support your digestion with natural methods such as digestive enzymes, apple cider vinegar, and L-glutamine.
5. Choose Local, Eat Seasonal – More and more we are hearing about the dangers of GMOs and the overuse of pesticides and herbicides. Support your health and your community by choosing locally grown foods; join a CSA or grow your own. The winter season provides those foods we need to support our health throughout these cold months – know the foods that are in season, in your area.
6. Eliminate Plastic – Plastic is laced with cancer-causing toxins; made even worse when we microwave or store hot foods in them. Start storing your leftovers in glass or stainless steel containers (not recommended for highly acidic foods). Mason jars are my favorite, and they are quite affordable. Use bamboo or wooden cutting boards. Check out LifeFactory’s line of glass water bottles.
7. Sweat It Out – Exercise does more than just build muscle, it boosts mood, stimulates the immune system and much more. Find a winter sport you enjoy, perhaps ice skating, cross-country or downhill skiing, sledding, and/or snow-shoeing… and your lungs will love the fresh air!
8. Share The LOVE – Did you know that healthy touch can decrease stress, and increase well-being? That’s right! So head on out there and give out some free hugs. Enjoy some quality time with your significant other. Get regular massage – it boosts blood and lymph circulation, reduces stress, and lowers cortisol.
9. Boost Immunity – It’s cold and flu season. Try some of these natural remedies to stave off infection: NAC (N-acetylcysteine), vitamin C, selenium, colostrum, Astragalus, elderberry, and zinc… In addition, focus on REAL food and take a good quality fermented cod liver oil (provides optimal levels of Vitamin A and D), EPA/DHA in the form of fish oil (and consume oily, fatty fish two times a week), and a quality probiotic. Also try lacto-fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.) and homemade bone broth.
10. Lighten The Load – Congestion happens on a number of levels. Assist your body in keeping your nasal passages clear by using a neti pot with warm salt water. Periodically dry brush to slough off dead skin cells and stimulate your lymphatic system. Head to the sauna and sweat it out!
11. Relax Mind and Body – Throw on some good music, grab a glass of red wine (for the resveratrol), toss in a little lavender or chamomile (for relaxation) and epsom salts (calming to nervous system) in a bath and relax for 20 minutes.
12. Find Your Breathe – Breathing, while automatic, is even more health-promoting when done with intention. Even in the more hurried moments, we can find that place of instant calm – simply inhale slowly to the count of 7, hold for 3, and exhale for 7. These ‘moments’ of awareness, overtime, bring great peace!
13. Express Gratitude – Every night, make a list of 10 things in your life that you are grateful for. At the end of the week, read through the entries.
Merry Christmas to you all! THANK YOU so much for sharing our journey with us! We appreciate each and every one of you. AND – we have a wonderful Christmas present coming for all of you… look for the announcement in a couple days!