In our endeavour to support and facilitate health and healing we often neglect the the most powerful prescription available to us, NATURE. As an advocate of seasonal lifestyle, I have personally experienced the ease with which vitality and health can be achieved and maintained simply by synchronising our eating & exercise choices with the seasonal flow rather than working against it, which often leads to stress, disharmony and discord. In our attempt to reconnect we only need turn our attention to the natural rhythms and seasonal cycles.
In these series of seasonal blogs I aim to share my experience of achieving wellbeing through the seasons, by simplifying health. Success and satisfaction is attained when we get the timing right.
WINTER is a good season to:
- Keep your back covered! In traditional Chinese medicine, it’s important to keep your kidneys warm in winter.
- Eat warming foods such as hearty soups, whole grains and roasted nuts, or steaming cups of ginger or cinnamon tea
- Practice fluid exercises like Tai Chi, qigong or yoga
- Pay attention to your dreams. Winter is associated with introspection and receptivity.
- Rest and sleep
In Nature, WINTER BEGINS from 21st December – the shortest day of the year, when nature dims her light. This is Natures invitation to REST. DREAM. NOURISH. RENEW.
Take comfort in this silent space – Even the LIGHT of the Universe is dimmed as it dreams to re-adjust it’s Flow. It’s only when the Sun reaches its lowest point in the Sky can it begin to rise again.
Equinoxes and solstices are pivotal transformation points in nature. It’s this invisible exchange of energy or chi force in the form of light that acts as a catalyst for change, which is reflected in the environment and behaviour seen in the plant and animal kingdom.
This Winter solstice took shape between the December New Moon in Sagittarius fire sign and January Cancer Full moon creating a push / pull with our emotions, in particular the Heart & Mind, which may create heightened sensitivity over the festive season. Knowing this wisdom teaches us to step back and avoid reacting to circumstances, instead introspection.
According to Traditional Chinese Astrology, the energy of the Rooster departs which has influenced circumstances this year, and the earthy Dog prepares to takes it’s position on the cosmic throne from the First New Moon of 2018. What does this metaphor mean? The Dog is considered a man’s best friend (unless you are a Cat owner!) – Friendship, loyalty, discipline, order, balance, love, family, security are just some of the area’s we can expect to be influenced this year. Pay particular attention to the digestive system this year, over consumption, dehydration and unassimilated thoughts and emotions.
In winter, it’s natural process for living things slow down to save energy, through hibernation and slower pace, so we can conserve energy and build strength as a prelude to spring.
Here’s how you can reap healthy rewards this year by trying these simple seasonal lifestyle habits:
According to oriental and ayurvedic teachings, Winter is a time of inward reflection, rest and restoration. It is associated with water, the element of pooling, tranquility and flow. In the body, the water element is connected with circulation, the bladder and kidney (adrenals), bones and ears…
To maintain adrenal health, keep the kidney area (lower back) warm. Avoid exposing the lower back / kidney area.
Food Energetics: In winter your body will appreciate warming foods like hearty soups, whole grains and roasted nuts, or steaming cups of ginger or cinnamon tea. To further fortify the kidney and adrenals eat black beans, kidney beans or red adzuki beans along with seaweed and steamed greens. Fish and shellfish are a good source of protein and omega 3 nourishment at this time of year. A simple way to feel more connected to the water element is to use seaweed salt instead of table salt on your food. A moderate amount of salty food can help nourish the kidneys, but excessive salt damages them.
Stay Hydrated: by drinking warm caffeine- free beverages such as ginger tea, linseed tea, miso, cinnamon and aniseed- avoid ice water, which can be too cooling at this time of year. Warm broths and soups are ideal. Include supplements of Vitamin D3 400-800IU daily, and EPA 1000mg.
Discover practical cookery and exercise tips on how to achieve and maintain winter health by booking by clicking HERE.
Keep Moving in Winter: Although Winter is a time to conserve energy, movement is necessary to keep the chi flowing, Like the element of water that moves downhill, learn to find the path of least resistance. Tai chi, qigong, yoga, Makka Ho, swimming and dance are all examples of fluid movements that nourish rather than deplete.
Reflect, Dream … and take time to Sleep Well!
Associated with introspection, receptivity and night time, Winter is a time for resting and sleeping well, paying attention to your dreams. Take up a hobby which enables expression of creativity. Check out sleep expert, Mag Secretario’s top tips at http://goodlifesleep.com/.
By adopting healthier lifestyle choices this winter serves the water element, the optimal time to refuel our resources in time for Spring, when we naturally feel the vitality to step into action.
“I felt like I had received a personal consultation and eaten nourishing food at the Autumn Seasonal Kitchen(s) session. Each of us in attendance came away with advice for continued treatments specifically related to our needs, and a note book full of recipes to use and natural remedies to look into. It felt empowering to be given the tools to support your own health care and well being, and back up, if needed at a later stage. Gee has a wealth of knowledge and dips into all areas relating to health care from a wide range of disciples both East and West, when looking at your personal profile. What she brings to the table is a whole body and mind health approach and how to development your own well being strategy in a language that you can understand.” – Joe
“I recently attended the Autumn Seasonal Kitchen workshop which focused on what foods are best for the Autumn season and what to avoid. I learned so much more than I expected. I tried ingredients and spices best for Autumn that I have never cooked with and was amazed by the flavours and the beautiful smells blending in the air as I was allowed to prepare some of the dishes. I liked that I was catered specifically to my needs and enjoy the delicious food. I have learned what my body needs to feel happy and nourished during the Autumn season and cannot wait to do the Winter session.” – Vessy
“I definitely recommend the Gee’s Healthy Living Kitchen to colleagues, family & friends.“ – Lucy Marin
“I loved hosting the Gee’s Healthy Living Kitchen workshop, from start to finish it was easy to arrange. Gee made the workshop fun, interesting and tailored for the guests. She made everyone feel really welcome, comfortable and heard. Everyone was encouraged to participate in cooking. Gee explained the healing properties of the ingredients clearly and it’s use in the body. Everyone came away with a new love of food and have asked me to organise another workshop for Winter – definitely will! Highly recommended.” – Jen