Winter Wellness

As we surrender to the cooler months and let go of the longer warmer, summer days, we are gracefully carried into winter. A season of shorter, colder days, more time
indoors and wholesome slow living. It is important to flow with the rhythm of nature and embrace this season for all of its beauty. May we live with intention and balance, remaining connected and grounded, making the most of the many positives and simple joys this season can bring.

Wellness can often seem a challenge through the cooler months, particularly if we are living and working indoors in smaller spaces, close to others. The immune system is posed with a range of challenges compared to the warmer months when we spend more time outdoors in nature, or indoors with windows open and more fresh air circulating. When the immune system is in contact with more people, for longer periods of time, with less circulating fresh air, it is under greater pressure to protect the body from a broad range of microorganisms.

Going within
We don’t always have a choice through the cooler months, as we keep our spaces heated and remain indoors for longer periods of time, so it is important to do what we can to strengthen our immune system and set it up to flourish, through these more challenging conditions. There are many simple changes we can make to ensure optimum health throughout this season. Although we often think of summer as the season for great health and wellbeing, winter offers a wonderful opportunity to address our diet and take a look at patterns we may have formed, sometimes unknowingly. It provides the space for reflection, a slower pace of living and the opportunity to assess what is actually best for our health.

This is an opportune time to go within, to nurture and nourish ourselves, to help strengthen our immune system.

Adjusting our diet
We can do this quite simply by adjusting diet and lifestyle factors, like bringing more wholesome, slow cooked vegetables and whole grains into our diet, introducing more
invigorating, wholesome spices to our diet, and by ensuring we look to food as an opportunity to bring more important nutrients into our diet. There are many nutrients that are essential to immune health including Zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, and Selenium. While we often look to supplements to bring more of these nutrients in, by choosing to focus on foods as the source of these nutrients, rather than supplements, we are able to consume these nutrients in their natural state, alongside other important co-nutrients, unrefined and unprocessed. I personally believe there is a real holistic beauty in consuming the whole plant rather than a select single nutrient from the plant.

Be aware of our sleep
Sleep is hugely important for good health, as it allows the body a period of time to rest and repair and recover from all that it has faced that day. Not enough rest can lead to fatigue which will contribute to poor immune health. Make the most of the longer hours spent indoors, by getting adequate rest and early nights, giving back to your body while you have more time.

Gut health
Gut health is vital to good immune health, yet it is often not given the attention or the  care that it needs. I like to think of the gut as a garden and the microbiome (gut flora,) as the soil. We need to ensure the soil remains nourished and healthy, so as life can flourish and plants can thrive. The gut is the foundation to immune health and by supporting our microbiome, we can enhance our overall immune function.

So how do we ensure a healthy microbiome?
We can support our gut health through foods, such as wholesome fermented foods. Some examples of these foods include tofu, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and miso. By bringing a range of these foods into our diet, we can support our microbiome through the foods we eat.

Diversity of food has also been found to contribute to healthy gut flora. This means that it is important to change up the foods we eat and avoid eating the same foods all the time.

Introduce new spices
Spices are essential to optimising our vital force and offer a multitude of benefits throughout the cooler months. We need to look for herbs which have traditionally been used to increase circulation and strengthen the immune system. Ginger supports circulation and encourages the flow of nutrients, keeping your vital force strong, and circulation flowing, as we shift into a season that can often lead to less activity and risk stagnation and poor circulation.

Spices can be added to our meals or infused as tea. Some of the more invigorating and nutritious spices and herbs include cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, pepper and turmeric. These have all traditionally been used to support a range of holistic health benefits, including immune health, digestive health and to support our vital force.

Warming Tea
Turmeric Tea offers a holistic combination of wholesome spices including Turmeric, Ginger and Black Pepper, offering a multitude of health benefits. Our Chai tea is also such a comforting and warming way to warm up through the cooler months and often a welcomed change from coffee. Our Immunity tea has been designed to help support healthy immune function and is perfect at this time of year. Herbs specifically selected for this blend including echinacea root, ginger and rose hip, have traditionally been used to support and modulate immune function and support circulation.

Be mindful of what your body really needs this winter, enjoy the slower pace and the down time to reassess your individual state of health and embrace this time of slow living.

With Love,