WINTER CHEAT SHEET

By Rhian
PHOTO: JEFF WASSERMAN/STOCKSY

The seasons have once again shifted, so it’s time for our Winter Cheat Sheet. Full of tips and advice to help you to thrive during the winter months. The winter is a time to rest and nourish our bodies. There are no distractions - nature appears frozen and bleak, the weather keeps us inside, and it’s the perfect time to reconnect to who we really are and replenish both our body and mind.

In Chinese Medicine, the winter is governed by the element of water and the organ system related to the kidneys and adrenal glands. When in balance, the water element and kidneys are associated with courage, wisdom, clarity, observations, resilience and integrity. The kidneys are the primary source of vitality, energy, and heat. They govern our vital energy and as they are relied on continually when the body is under stressed, they need time to be nourished, replenished and well rested. When they are strong we are said to be powerful, resilience, and determined. On the flip side, when out of balance they can manifest fear, absentmindedness, frantic energy, depression, lack of immunity, foggy thinking and apathy within us.

This doesn’t mean that winter is a time for negative emotions - quite the contrary. It’s the perfect time to reflect and nourish yourself. To refocus on your beliefs, intentions and integrity. It’s a time to slow down in order to set the foundation for how you want to live your life and enjoy the present.

The cold weather affects our digestion, immunity and the darkness can toy with our emotions, so supporting the adrenals, eating warm, healthy meals and keeping exercise consistent will help counterbalance this. Sugar is our biggest enemy in the winter when we are naturally trying to slow down and conserve. Because of the darkness we can often feel down or depressed, sugar will only exacerbate those mood swings and anxieties within us. Many of the foods that are supportive in the autumn carry over to the winter and soups, stews and casseroles are great foods to comfort and nourish. Continue to keep raw foods to a minimum. Focus on nutrient dense choices during these months so that you can replenish and be ready for the spring ahead!

THE BODY NEEDS

  • Rest
  • Nourishment
  • Warmth
  • Reflection
  • Acceptance
  • Wisdom
  • Courage
  • Resilience
  • Sleep
  • Time for yourself
  • Detoxification & replenishment
  • Mindfulness and attention to the presence

THINGS TO DECREASE

  • Fear
  • Avoidance
  • Anxiety
  • Holding on to negative patterns
  • Alcohol, hangovers
  • Cold food
  • Late nights
  • Sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Caffeine

THINGS TO EMBRACE

  • Your inner strength
  • Time for things you love
  • Planning your future
  • Slow Sundays
  • Awareness
  • Savoury breakfasts
  • Aromatic spices
  • Stews, soups and casseroles
  • Rebounding, skin brushing and other practices to move the lymph
  • Hot water bottles
  • Meditation
  • Learning
  • Investing in fewer, more meaningful personal relationships

EAT MORE

  • Aromatic & stimulating herbs/foods like ginger, onion, garlic, cinnamon, cardamon, cayenne and chilli
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Beetroot
  • Celeriac
  • Kidney beans & black beans
  • Stewed apples
  • Fibre rich whole grains, especially in soups (barely soup, brown rice etc)
  • Leeks, broccoli, asparagus, celery, chard, mustard greens
  • Seaweed
  • Walnuts
  • Organic turkey
  • Greens
  • Squash, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, turnip, parsnip
  • Chicory
  • Artichoke

WINTER TONICS

  • Meditation to calm the mind
  • Cardiovascular exercise to boost your mood
  • Herbs that support the kidneys like Siberian Ginseng, Rhodiola, Astragalus, Shatavari, Wild Yam and Licorice
  • Congee & slow cooked broths
  • Probiotics
  • Chaga tea
  • Chaga & medicinal mushrooms
  • Cayenne
  • Supplements that support adrenal function like Vitamin C, Magnesium, B complex with extra B5, Trace minerals, EFA’s
  • Supplements that support mood
  • Caster oil packs
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
+
READ

True Hunger Vs Hormonal Hunger: 4 Signs You're Out of Balance

By Rhian
+
READ

3 Ways To Stay Balanced, Healthy and Energised

By Instructors Seema, Joe and Kristin
+
READ

7 Healthy Eateries for Spring

By Saphia
+
READ

Is Your Gut Crying Out For Help?

by Rhian
+
READ

Get Your Bum Beach Ready

Rod's Top 5 Barre Bum Exercises
+
READ

5 Airplane Yoga Poses To Keep You Energised

By Instructor Zoe Green