Compared to every other season of the year, winter is a time for being inside, and especially around the savory smells of a kitchen in full use. Yes, it is colder outside, and we may need extra calories to stay warm. The reason is: warming up! Nothing is more satisfying on a brisk wintry day than a hearty hot bowl of soup. Our bodies require certain things from us during the cooler months. According to Chinese medicine, winter is a time of full â€˜Yinâ€™, meaning more quiet, inward activities are required. Itâ€™s also Kidney time, which means that by abiding by what your body needs during the winter months, you can restore your adrenals â€“ your vital energy.
Here are some ways that you can give your body what it needs this winter.
1. Eat warming foods: Warm yourself up from the inside out by including foods like vegetable soups, lentil curries and bean stews. Include warming spices like cayenne pepper, chilli, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel and anise.
2. Eat more cooked than raw: Winter is the month when raw food diets can become tricky. Our bodies naturally crave warm food during winter, and itâ€™s important that we give it to them. Itâ€™s still important to have some raw in your diet so that your body is receiving fresh, live enzymes â€“ but you can decrease the ratio of salads and increase the ratio of cooked food.
3. Eat grounding foods: Your body will feel more supported if you feed it heavier meals that include legumes and beans and grounding foods like root vegetables. Itâ€™s no mistake that these are the veggies that are in season during autumn and winter: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, celery root, pumpkin, beetroot.
4. Eat immune-boosting foods: Add garlic to your meals wherever possible, eat plenty of leafy greens, eat heaps of fresh foods, and load up your diet with foods that are high in vitamin c (citrus, kiwi fruits, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, papaya etc.) and zinc (nuts, seeds, leafy greens).
5. Have warm drinks: Start your day off with lemon juice in warm water rather than a cold juice or smoothie so that you donâ€™t shock your system first up. Itâ€™s also good to drink your juices and smoothies at room temperature rather than icy cold. Plus, get stuck into plenty of herbal teas and warm nut milk drinks.