The darkest night of the year was December 21st- Winter Solstice- a time of moving from darkness to light.
Winter can bring on the ‘blahs” because of this lack of sunlight.
How can we bring light to our lives during this season?
1. Practically speaking, full spectrum bulbs or “reveal” bulbs give us natural light inside our homes/offices. The Light Research Institute reports that full-spectrum lighting improves mood, productivity, mental awareness, and Vitamin D synthesis. However real sunlight is key for our circadian rhythms which is morning light between 10 am -12pm. If you aren’t a good sleeper consider adding morning light to your routine and of course, shutting off media by 9pm.
2. Essential oils, through their aroma travel quickly to the limbic part of the brain which regulates hormones. emotions, and stimulates the immune system. A cool mist diffuser can be used at home or in the office. Some essential winter oils are wintergreen, peppermint, eucalyptus, and ginger- all bringing clarity of mind and easeful breathing.
Tips on how to use essential oils and where to purchase them are all in my book on Amazon. ” Enough Drugs! I am a Woman and Can Heal Naturally- a practical guide to feeling your best.”
3. Stay warm and hydrated with soups and stews. This isn’t an ideal time for cold drinks, smoothies, or raw food in Ayurveda.
An Ayurvedic smoothie in winter can be room-temperature almond milk with a soaked Medjool date, a banana and a bit of honey, and a scoop of either whey protein or plant protein.
This smoothie brings about strength and vitality,
3. Although you may feel like sleeping extra late ( which is OK)
or eating more carbohydrates to stay warm, a brisk walk, dancing, or jumping on a trampoline ( rebounder) could be just the thing to get some energy moving.
I admit it takes more effort in the winter but I hardly miss my daily walks. I just don’t feel the same without them.
Lastly a personal note. Since I consult about nutrition I often hear women telling me ” I eat healthy”. I’ve just been wondering exactly what that means. It’s different for each of us. For some, it’s eating more salad, intermittent fasting, fasting on liquids, cutting calories, keto, paleo, no carbs, or eating a bar for lunch. So I challenged myself as I thought I was eating healthy myself. What I discovered is that I was not eating enough calories nor was I eating enough protein. This has certainly been reflected in my consultations with women as well. So what I did and am doing is tracking my food on the app cronometer aiming for 30 percent protein, 40 percent carbs, and 30 percent fat. For me eating more protein even up to 100 grams per day has changed my life, my brain, and my moods, and am losing weight even on increased calories. Go figure. For so many years I was afraid to eat more as many of us feel. Fear of not being thin enough, fear of gaining weight, fear, fear, fear. Don’t get me wrong I always enjoyed self-care and nourishment but I wasn’t getting enough.
Well, that’s all over I can say for myself.
I highly recommend tracking your food intake to see just how healthy You are eating.
The 30-40-30 ratio is based on Dr. Lyon’s protocol from New York on how to plan a balanced meal.
Enjoy the holidays and aim to bring your special light to your family, community, and beyond.
with fierce love,