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It's snowing!!! I have a strong feeling, tomorrow will be a snow day for the area schools, at least if it continues to snow like they have predicted. I have been at the office all day, and honestly haven't even peaked my head out see what it looks like at this point.
Knowing it was going to be a cold day, I tried to pack M1 a warming lunch. I made a large batch of homemade Elk meatballs over the weekend. and those seemed like the perfect leftover lunch. I tell you, I use this little thermos more than any container in my arsenal.
I am honestly at a bit of a loss as to what to talk about today. I am playing catch up at the office, and prepping in advance to the possibility of a snow day tomorrow. In which case, I will be bringing the kiddos to work with me.
Tips for Winter Health
Winter, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a time to slow down and a time to nourish. Many of the foods we naturally crave and consume during the winter are hearty, thick, warming, and full of winter vegetables who natural store their energy; potatoes, onions, winter squash, apples, etc... The winter has it's own set of health guidelines.
Look to nature, what do the animals do? They move slower, they eat less, and they often sleep large portions of the day. Not that we all can live that sedentary, nor is that necessarily healthy, but we should all look at slowing our role a bit and relaxing more during the winter months.
Avoid Too Much Raw or Cold Foods
The weather is cold, so it becomes important to nourish warmth in our bodies. If you consume too much cold or raw foods during the winter, it can create too much cold in the body as well. This can in turn create congealed fluids, and symptoms like digestive upset, stuffy noses, lingering phlegmy coughs, or internal cold conditions. Avoid Salads and Iced drinks especially.
Instead, eat a variety of cooked foods, like stews, soups, and casseroles, focusing on winter foods such as potatoes, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, winter squash, etc...
Okay, not really....I am sure there are some mornings where that sounds really nice. The nature of winter is to slow down. This is not the time of year to push our limits. It is a natural time to get cozy, relax, meditate, and not do hard physical exertion.
Make your winter exercise regimen more focused on lite actives like walking, yoga, meditation, QiGong, Taichi, etc.. Avoid strenuous running.
We usually think of hydration on hot days, but it is just as important in the winter. I am sure many of you have noticed that your skin and lips get dryer quicker in the winter, right? Well, in TCM winter corresponds to Yin and the winter is a time where the Yin (fluid and coolness) of our body needs to managed. Part of that is keeping the yin fluids of our body nourished. Increasing teas, and warming drinks, and fats during the winter help to keep us from dehydrating.
Get Your Vitamin D
It can be as simple as a walk on a sunny day, but more over during the winter, it's making sure you are getting enough dietary vitamin D…mmmmm butter!
We have all heard of seasonal depression, well mostly that is because of the lack of sunlight during the winter months and what that does to your emotions. Part of that is a lack of Vitamin D, which plays a role in our happy chemicals.
Eat with the Season
Most of the foods that are rich in the foods that you need during the winter, are foods that are traditionally stored for the winter. Not things like watermelon, that are summer foods.
I pretty much already mentioned this up top…oops.
Winter foods in TCM are:
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