Hello darling Flow friends,
For those of us living is the Southern Hemisphere, winter is well and truly here, the temperatures have plummeted, and our mountain ranges have had a beautiful dusting of snow.
We all tend to have certain times or year where we feel most vibrant and in flow, I personally really enjoy winter and find my energy levels much higher than through the stifling Aussie summers.
Regardless of our preferences, when we we understand that everything is nature operates in cycles, and we as humans getting on with our busy little lives, are not separate from these cycles.
After the vitality of summer the energy starts to contract, then autumn works her moody magic, and it’s not long before we slip into the hibernation of winter, once we have stored our energy and we are renewed, our vitality starts to increase again for the magnificence of spring, and then vibrant summer, and so on and so forth for eternity.
When we tune into these cycles we see the wisdom of living within the harmony of nature.
Enjoy our top tips for thriving through winter.
Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, everything can be broken down into Yang and Yin. Consider Yang as Light Yin as Darkness Yang as ‘Hot’ Yin as ‘Cold’
According to Traditional Chinesse Medicine, Winter is time of Kindney Energy
According to TCM, the Kidneys are the powerhouse of the body, supplying vital energy to any organ running low on life force energy. Its partner organ is the Bladder.
The season associated with the Kidney is the winter so it’s especially important to slow down and conserve energy by getting more rest. Try not to feel guilty that you are less social through the cooler months, our body is calling for the opportunity to rechange, as its readying itself for the fun ahead, and the energetic demands of the warmer months.
Number 1 rule in Winter - Stay warm!
Stay warm! especially your feet, as on the sole of your foot is an acupressure point called K1, this point is very sensitive to cold and can aggravate your kidney energy.
Wear a scarf, or at least a jumper that covers the back of your neck, this is believed to be a point where the wind and cold enters the body.
Say good bye crop tops through winter, unless you are in a nice warm, draft free room. Keeping the navel and lower back warm is also super important for your vitality and immune health according to TCM.
And last but not least cover up the back of the knees, again another acupressure point where the cold can enter and cause disharmony in your body.
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
So often its much easier to stay hydrated through summer, when we naturally feel the need to constantly quench our thirst. But winter equally important, according to TCM its much better for our digestion to avoid our usual icy water, instead swopping to sipping warm herbal teas or room temperature water.
Below is a super quick and easy ginger tea.
Making this is tea couldn't be easier, simply chop a 5cm knob from a fresh piece ginger then slice into small pieces, pop in a tea pot, tip boiling water over the ginger, then allow your tea to steep for a few minutes or until it’s cool enough to drink.
This simple tea packs a punch and will give your circulation a boost, stimulates your digestion and help clear your sinus's.
To make your tea extra delicious, add a dollop of honey or a pinch of cinnamon.
Now this is the key, think of winter as a time to load up dense nutrient's, by enjoying slow cooked meals, loaded with lots of seasonal root vegetable, think soups and stews and baked dishes.
According to Shine Health Acupuncture, in Melbourne, here are the winter dietary recommendations.
- Your diet should be warming and substantial so that it creates internal heat.
- Eat complex carbohydrates and proteins together.
- Eat more whole grains, less fruit, lots of steamed or baked vegetables, more dairy (unless you have a dairy sensitivity) and some meats.
- Fruit ideally should be citrus fruits like lemons, limes, mandarins and oranges. They are in abundance in winter and are a great source of vitamin C.
- Apples and pears are also in season. Try making a warm apple, plum, pear compote with cinnamon, cloves and honey!
- Eat seasonal vegetables like Carrots, Turnips, Onions, Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin, Parsnip, Rhubarb, Kohlrabi, Beetroot, Spinach, Leek, Fennel, Spring Onion, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower.
- Make meals with plenty of these Herbs and Spices: Garlic, Ginger, Cayenne, Paprika, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Fennel, Anise, Bay leaf, Capers, Coriander, Dill, Horseradish.
- Eat Soups and casseroles.
- Eat nuts and seeds, include Walnuts, Pine Nuts and Black Sesame Seeds.
- Eat fermented and preserved foods.
- Eat seaweeds as they contain iodine which is necessary for healthy thyroid function.
- For meat eaters
- Fish and seafood, and occasional red meat and chicken. Red meat can stimulate and brighten the blood, heart and complexion. It is a great building food but limit consumption as too much can be problematic for the heart, kidneys and blood vessels.
- Consider oysters, sardines, clams, crab, anchovies.
- Have Soybeans and Soy foods like – Tofu, Tempeh, Miso, Tamari. Soy foods can be cold so warm them up by frying them or adding spices with them.
- Have salty and bitter foods. Use a good mineral salt and add it to cooking.
- Eat cooked whole grains like millet, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, barley, oats.
- Eat Beans – Red Aduki beans, Kidney beans, Mung beans, Black beans, Lentils, Chickpeas.
And I hear you ask?? Red wine?? Yes, but in moderation, rich in amino acids, Pinot Noir is the best choice to compliment your favourite, slow cooked winter warmer.
Last but not least, Move your beautiful body
It's oh so easy to skip the early morning work outs through winter, you might find your have more energy a little latter than usual, make sure to time create time to go for a nice long walk, weather permitting of course, head to a nice toasty yoga studio and move your beautiful body, or what every exercise fills up your cup. Its so important to get the circulation pumping and tap into all the benefits of the happy hormone's we release though exercise.
So as we enjoy this time of going slow and having a much needed rest, before we know it summer will be warming our spirits again.
Much love and blessings till next we meet.