We may be stuck indoors during the winter months, but we can still do our best to stay nice and toasty. A bath and a blanket are always a great place to start, but what if we could warm ourselves from the inside? A number of foods and liquids have incredible abilities to kick start our immune system, take care of our digestion and help us beat the winter blues!
Ancient Chinese Principles
Ancient Chinese medicine divides common foods into two groups: cool and warm. It's no surprise that in winter, we should be stocking up on the warmer options. Some delicious options on that list include cherries, pine nuts, mangoes and lamb!
A hearty soup is always a solid choice, with some serious versatility and nutritional benefits. Load up on vegetables and some lean meats and give yourself extra points if you add chilli to aid cardio health and even burn a little fat!
An evening cure
If you've had a long day, there's nothing better than curling up on the couch with a cup of tea and some reading material or a great show. If you make the traditional Chinese Oolong tea, you're going to be treating yourself to a drink jam-packed with antioxidants and less caffeine than a regular black tea! There's nothing wrong with needing a little milk too - make it goats milk if you can, it's gentler on your stomach and has more healthy fatty acids than cow’s milk.
Not a tea drinker? Not a problem! Apple cider vinegar has been called the 'miracle drink' because it has so many healing properties. Another great digestion aid, it also works to detox inside and out and has been known to clear up some nasty skin problems. All you need to do is add a few teaspoons to a glass of warm water, add a slice of apple as a tasty visual aid, choose a great book and you're set!
There's no denying we all get a little blue in winter and we can't help it - the warmer months just seem so far away. Our serotonin levels are known to drop a little with the absence of Vitamin D but there's a fun way to get them back on track and use our largest organ (our skin!) to our advantage with a sneaky hug here and there, or just a cheeky bit of hand holding. It's a well-known fact that like exercise, physical contact releases endorphins in our brains to help reduce stress, boost our immune system and put the roses back in our cheeks with better circulation.
Turn off the heater
We all do our best to keep our skin soft and supple, but what many people don't know is that our skin can dry out overnight if we leave the heater on. The hot air steals all the moisture from our skin, so a better idea is to grab a hot water bottle or an extra blanket and be kind to the environment, too! If you can't sleep without a heater, the trick is to leave a bowl of water in the room to equalise the air and water balance - leaving your skin to rest in peace.
The best changes begin on the inside, so don’t be afraid to get cosy or brave the outdoors this winter without a backwards glance!