Winter has arrived and now as we enter the coldest part of the year we can expect to see a large increase in traditional winter ailments. Colds, flu, winter blues – many of the issues we suffer from during this time of the year can be drastically reduced if we create some wonderfully healthy daily habits and routines. Let me share with you my 7 Winter Wellness Tips that are sure to transform the way you feel this winter and beyond. Make sure you get your loved ones following these simple tips so you can create a healthy environment that everyone can thrive in during the forthcoming months.
I know, it’s a lot harder to get to the gym or go for a run when the temperature drops and the temptation of staying at home becomes too hard to resist. The best thing you can do to avoid falling into the “I will exercise tomorrow” trap is to add consistency into your exercise routine. Prepare an exercise plan and make sure you write it in your calendar weekly. Another idea is to exercise at the same time every day since this will create a habit which will be harder to break. Rope in an exercise buddy to hold each other accountable and keep you both motivated. In these colder months of the year it is even more important than ever to shower immediately after a good sweat.
Get out there
Sunlight is essential to wellbeing. There are a plethora of studies on this subject and you have to make an effort to get outside and enjoy the few rays of sun we still get in these colder months. Vitamin D deficiency can be a direct result of lack of sunlight. You can also add Vitamin D when you order your next personalized Wondermins vitamin pack.
Air your living areas
Nobody likes to be cold but unless you incorporate fresh air throughout your home and workplace areas bacteria and viruses will find a way to affect you. Just a few minutes of fresh air through your living areas every day can work wonders. I also like to get my essential oil diffuser oil going throughout the day with essential oil blends such as On-Guard (Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils), which is a powerful proprietary blend that supports a healthy immune function and contains cleansing properties. Diffusing uplifting blends such as Citrus Bliss (Wild Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Grapefruit Peel, Mandarin Peel, Bergamot Peel, Tangerine Peel, Clementine Peel essential oils and Vanilla Bean Absolute) holds energizing and refreshing properties that can support mood and manage stress.
Don’t overdo ‘comfort’ foods
It’s easy to fall into the trap of eating unhealthy comfort foods over winter. Create a healthy meal plan that is going to make sure you get all the right nutrients into your diet so you can remain productive and happy. During winter it is even more important to ensure you are including lots of nutrient dense foods in your daily meals such as fruits, vegetables (include lots of dark leafy greens, yellow and red vegetables), organic lean protein (plant based also such as legumes, organic tofu and tempeh), organic whole grains, nuts and seeds. These foods are high in antioxidants, zinc, iron, omegas and vitamin C; vitamins and nutrients that are essential over winter to support energy levels and a strong and healthy immune system. If you struggle finding healthy recipes, make sure you visit my webpage www.revealyourself.co.nz for lots of healthy recipe inspiration.
An example of my daily meal plan over winter:
Breakfast: Immune Boosting Green Smoothie Bowl or organic porridge with almond milk, sliced banana, chia seeds and a drizzle of flaxseed oil.
Lunch: Chickpea and kumara patties with a raw energy salad (recipe for my chickpea and kumara patties: http://www.revealyourself.co.nz/chickpea-kumera-patties-with-bunless-burger/)
Dinner: Homemade vegetable soup (top with a few nuts, and add a healthy protein or whole grain toast if hungry)
Snacks: Homemade detox hummus with sliced red and yellow capsicums, sliced carrot and celery or homemade cacao nutty bliss balls.
Immune Boosting Green Smoothie Bowl:
1 small frozen banana
1 tbsp. flaxseed oil
1 large handful of spinach leaves
1 large handful of kale leaves
1 stalk of celery
Juice of one lemon
1 small chopped apple
1 orange, peeled and chopped
1 scoop of super greens (optional)
1 cup coconut water
Add to blender and blend until smooth and thick
Pour into a bowl and top with homemade granola, bee pollen and chopped fresh fruit.
Ensure you’re getting ample Vitamin C
Vitamin C is well known to fight winter ailments. As a water soluble vitamin your body will excrete any excess vitamin C so make sure you step it up at this time of the year. Add a lot more fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C to your diet such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red pepper and citrus fruits into your meals. I also like to make a Vitamin C Immune Boosting natural juice over winter (carrot, orange, lemon, fresh ginger and turmeric).
Take your daily vitamins
Over winter it’s important to take vitamins and supplements, especially when we may not be getting all our essentials from diet and lifestyle alone. To support my immunity I take Vitamin C, Zinc and Reishi.
I also add Ashwagandha (to support healthy mood and energy levels) and Vitamin B (to support healthy nervous system function, healthy mood and energy levels). I order all my vitamins and supplements through Wondermins who create personalised daily vitamin packs specific to your needs.
Take care of your head
Start or increase the amount of yoga or mediation that you currently do. Taking time every day to nourish your mind and body will do wonders to be more positive and productive. Take up a new hobby over winter such as learning an instrument or take an art class. It’s important to nourish the mind over this time. Taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical wellbeing.
I do believe that daily habits create healthy and happy lifestyles. I hope that these tips put you on the right track to creating your own set of daily habits which will keep you healthy, energized and happy over winter and essentially for the rest of the year.
Christina Leon from Reveal Yourself, Food Columnist for Good Health Choices Magazine New Zealand & Australia. Whole Food & Wellness Blogger. Whole Food Recipe Creator for Huckleberry & Wahiki Coconut Ice Cream Ltd. Presenter & Healthy Food Workshop Facilitator. Product Brand Ambassador. Creator of Reveal Yourself Whole Food Products.
Always read the label and use as directed. Vitamins and minerals are supplementary to and not a replacement for a balanced diet. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Wondermins, Auckland.