At the start of a New Year, we often feel that we must get our body into shape, and therefore nosedive straight into a diet/detox. If you live in the western part of the world, mid-winter, however, is not a good time to do this. Naturopathic Nutrition is a blend of nutrition and naturopathy, which I like to think of as commonsense ways of looking after ourselves. Naturopathy is “nature’s cure” and believes the body has an inherent ability to heal itself given the right natural support. We are part of nature (which we so often try to ignore) and if we tune into her rhythms, we can tap into her energy to promote or restore vibrant good health.
The rhythm of winter is stillness. Plants lie dormant, animals hibernate, but what do we humans do? We drive ourselves to “carry on” regardless, and even take steps, come the first of January, to make life just that little bit harder on ourselves!! Overwhelmed or just spent from our efforts, we soon give up and fall back to old habits. In the lead-up to Christmas we have likely stretched our resources, with a string of late nights, over-indulging, not forgetting a generous helping of stress! Afterwards, quite understandably, we can feel flat both emotionally and energetically. For me, the essence of naturopathy is to nurture ourselves, mind, body, and soul. Just as we nurture our children, pets, plants, even businesses, we must learn to nurture ourselves, but this doesn’t come easily, especially to women! I suggest visualising one of your cells as a tiny creature needing your love and attention. By nurturing it, we in turn look after ourselves. It’s wise to leave detoxing until springtime when nature’s energy is more uplifting, but during winter we can still take preparatory steps to make the transition into spring more effortless. Winter’s energy is introspective and cold. Spending some much needed me-time at home, with lots of sleep, is a good way to support ourselves. So too is heating ourselves from the inside out by eating nourishing, warming foods. Just a few nutritional tips to nurture yourself this winter ……..
- Think homemade vegetable soups and stews, lovingly made and simmered for a good hour or so over a gentle heat.
- Every single cell in our bodies needs water to function optimally, so drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a must at any time of year. During winter, warm water is a good idea, perhaps with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Coffee is a strong diuretic, so use this time to wean yourself off, and explore teas made with wonderful warming spices such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves etc.
- Try to up your quota of fruit and vegetables, another all-round staple – ideally at least 8 different portions – but remember that a little raw goes a long way at this time of year (everyone is different so listen to your body). Steaming is always a good choice.
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