Winter Solstice has come and passed in the northern hemisphere, and each day we are seeing a little more light. Yet, we still have more days of winter to come. There are some strategies that can be adopted to ensure that we cherish the experience of winter to the fullest! Today we will look at ways to keep ourselves feeling healthy, cozy, and beautiful through the winter season.
Eating with the Seasons
Over the past 50 years, the availability and diversity of foods available to us at grocery stores have changed dramatically. With food now being imported from every possible corner of the globe, many have fallen out of touch with the fact that certain foods can only be grown in certain climates, are only available seasonally, etc. If grapes were to be purchased in California during the month of March, the informed shopper would be aware that they were not grown locally. This brings us to a key point: eating food in season, and grown as close to home as possible, will bring your body the greatest health benefits.
Mother nature knows best, always! She offers us apples in the fall and dandelion greens in the spring with good reason. Nourishing roots grown deep in the ground provide us with tailored nutrients that our bodies crave and thrive on during the fall and winter, and as the weather warms up, we are attracted to the lighter side of things, flourishing on vividly colored foods with higher water contents.
The method of your food preparation might also shift in the wintertime. Some find that they are more balanced by adding in more cooked foods, depending on their own body and geographic location. Soups made with lovingly prepared broths, plenty of veggies, and warming spices might be just what you need to warm up on a chilly day. Healthy fats will help keep you in balance, inside and out (assisting in keeping the skin soft and moisturized). Hot teas made with immune-supporting herbs are also an excellent ally to prepare and consume daily in the winter.
Everyone has different supplemental needs, but there are a few common threads that we can all benefit from during this time of year. Be sure to get plenty of good fats in your diet, such as the super important omega oils (in their proper ratios). Also, with less sunlight, consider getting your vitamin D level checked. This is a common deficiency, even if you spend a lot of time in the sun. When supplementing, look for this vitamin in the form of D3 (as Cholecalciferol) for the greatest support. Include plenty of supportive herbs in the form of extracts and teas. Look into herbs such as medicinal mushrooms (including Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps and Argaricus Blazei), Siberian Ginseng, Ashwaganda, and Astragalus to support and balance your body and spirit.
Benefits of Exercise
Its easy to go into hibernation mode when its cold outside, but we can still find ways to move our bodies and break a sweat. Movement and sweating are really great for us, and most definitely support our body's immune system and natural cleansing processes.
Find ways to get your body in motion...whatever feels good and works for you. This might include activities such as stretching, walking, jogging, dancing...or get bouncing on your rebounder if you've got one!
Far Infrared Sauna
Breaking a sweat is also a wonderful way to support your physical body. A vigorous run will do it, but there are also other options, like enjoying a sauna regularly. Check out Far Infrared (FIR) Saunas if you've never done so before...they are an amazing way to induce sweating and encourage deep cleansing. Following the sauna with a cold plunge or cold rinse in the shower (hot/cold therapy) provides incredible benefits to your entire being, with special emphasis on lymphatic drainage, circulation, detoxification, and immunity.
This sort of circulation stimulation can also be achieved through a hydrotherapy shower. You simply rotate between hot and cold water while in the shower, making sure to reach every part of your body. If there is an area that is particularly sensitive or congested (such as swollen lymph nodes, stuffy sinuses, or sensitive kidneys, for example), be sure to pay special attention to that part of the body. Ideally you want to be in a hydrotherapy shower for about 15 minutes, so moving through seven rotations of hot/cold (keep the hot water on for 1 minute, then completely cold for 1 minute, repeat) works out perfectly. You will feel absolutely invigorated and refreshed once you have finished!
Most everyone spends more time indoors during the winter. What a perfect opportunity to practice self-care and spend some quality time with oneself! How about turning the bathroom into your own spa, where you can encourage and inspire your spirit with an ever-evolving self-care ritual. . .
Homemade Bath Soak
Baths are always my go-to number one choice if I'm in need of relaxation, nourishment, or detox. Before you get into the water, try a little dry skin brushing to stimulate the lymphatic flow in your body. Using a body scrub, like Elaa's Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub will also stimulate circulation, drainage, with the added benefit of exfoliating your skin and leaving it silky soft. You might also add some special essential oils to the tub, such as Elaa's WINTER REJUVENATION BLEND as a method to nourish your skin and calm your spirit. I also always include things like Epsom Salts, Mineral Salts, Clays, and Baking Soda for detoxification. Follow the bath with your choice of nourishing, Skin Restoring Body Oils or Body Butters.
If you aren't in the mood to fully submerge, a foot bath is a brilliant option. This gives you the chance to direct some special attention to your precious feet. The feet are a major path of elimination for the body - toxins can be drawn out through the feet quite easily. Consider a moisturizing essential oil blend, clay for detoxification, or Epsom Salts (rich in magnesium) for relaxation and immune support. Follow your foot bath with a rich body butter to deeply restore and seal in extra moisture. Elaa's delectable Skin Restoring, Age Defying Body Butters are the perfect treatments for feet and hand beauty and softness.
At Home Facial
Loving Home Facials are something that I highly support and encourage! They are a great way to tune into your body's needs and create a luminous glow, while taking time to cherish yourself. For amazing customizable home facial options, check out Elaa's CLEANSERS, EXFOLIANTS, and MASKS. Finish these fun and gorgeous treatments with TONER, SERUM, TREATMENT, and MOISTURIZER of your choice. I also invite and encourage you to read over past blog articles, where common skin complaints are addressed, along with many tips for facials!
Skin Care Routine
Winter is the perfect time to really dial in your overall skin care routine, and discover what works best for you in terms of optimized choices. Make sure to use products created with integrity, and only those made with truly healthy, skin-loving ingredients. If you are interested in trying out some of Elaa's product offerings for the first time, a good way to go is the SAMPLE PACK, where you can select from a variety of different options suited to your own skin and desires. And as always, I welcome your questions and would love to assist you in finding the perfect skin care products for your needs!