It can be so easy to blame it on the holidays, claim that you just got “too busy” to make healthy decisions a priority, or convince yourself that “everyone puts on extra weight in the winter time” – that “everyone is sitting around at home because were on a global lockdown”.
Whatever the excuse, it happened… you slipped back into an old pattern, you were maybe even unaware of it for a few days, or a few weeks. It happens to all of us eventually, the important thing is to be thankful for your awareness now. This is an opportunity to get crystal clear about when / why you slipped, so you can move forward with new wisdom.
Now its time to renew your motivation! Going off your track with your health goals is a signal that your motivation has veered off track. Sit down and do the work: When you were eating whole foods, how GREAT did you feel? What was motivating you EAT RIGHT? When your active in your body, how much POSITIVE ENERGY do you cultivate? Recreating those feelings can help you get back into your healthy flow.
Here are some additional tips to help you Get Back on Track & Optimize Your Health This Winter:
- Dry Skin: is a common problem that occurs mostly in winter. Dry skin makes you uncomfortable because it changes from the plump cells to shriveled ones, that leads to unpleasant wrinkles and lines on your skin. My solution; banana / avocado facemasks, castor oil for scalp, hair and face. coconut oil for body and teeth, olive oil for your hands and nails. Also, I make large batches of DIY lip balm with friends – we enjoy giving out and sharing natural alternatives.
- Depression: There is research linking vitamin D deficiency to over 200 diseases, as well as SAD’s (Seasonal Depression Disorder). SAD can surface in late fall or early winter, fading by spring or early summer. Winter’s dullness, the lack of sun and shorter days can wear on even the strongest psyche. Our body gets vitamin D in two ways – sunlight and food. There are a small number of foods, such as fish, eggs, and mushrooms that provide vitamin D. Another option is to incorporate a Vitamin D supplement or purchase a light that emits 10,000 lux. All this aside, just thirty 30 minutes of light exposure per day (ideally in the morning) is enough to lift your mood.
- Weight Gain: Developing a healthy relationship with food is a top priority, bring your family into the kitchen… some music… reiki, love and good vibrations! If you eat the standard American diet (SAD), your kitchen cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer contain foods that are terrible for your health and your weight. Get rid of all the foods that sabotage your health. Focus on filling the space with the healthy foods you already enjoy and some new stuff you have been interested to try.
- Addiction to Coffee / Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages and coffee have no season. People want them in the summer to cool off and in the colder months to warm up. Both have too many other negative effects that outweigh the benefits. Here’s what I tell my clients; “swap alcohol for kombucha”, “allow yourself one coffee before 2pm” and “drink pure water before and after you do either of those things”.
- Sugar / Carb Cravings: The primary reason people crave carbs is because they lack carbs. Carbohydrates are a valuable source of fuel, if you don’t have enough fuel, your body craves sweets, fats and carbs because your body needs fuel. It’s easy to become deficient in carbs and sugar due to fad’s like: Gluten free, Keto, Low carb… Health trends like fashion change with the season and usually come from the $72 billion-dollar, diet, wellness & weight loss industry. Their products fail but the consumer blames themself and buys another differently packaged weight loss product. The real solution is to eat real, whole foods. Whole grains and root vegetables are sweet alternatives that can crusade your cravings as you retrain your brain to ask for the nutritionally dense food your body really desires.
- Bored Tastebuds: TRY SOME NEW RECIPES… We all get into a food rut sometimes and trying new recipes is a great way to liven up your tastebuds. When you get bored of something freeze it – meals, fruits, greens, herbs. Fermentation and dehydration are two alternative ways to preserve your food while maintaining peak nutrition.
- Anxious Mind / Body: You don’t have to go to the gym and kill it for over an hour, I am a firm believer that a small workout can have an impact – HIIT, dancing to a few of your favorite songs back-to-back, playing birdy or zombie with your kid over-and-over, running with your dog… anything that works up a sweat will clear your minds and body of any anxiety. Research shows that exercising outdoors comes with a variety of health advantages over working out inside including improved energy levels and decreased stress and anger. Another study found that being outdoors has an overall positive effect on vitality – your sense of enthusiasm, aliveness, and energy.
- Negative Mindset: It is important to clear your head from negativity, you may want to change something in your life, but constantly saying negative things about yourself is not going to help. Take some time to write out all your negative thoughts – get it all out – the big, the dark, the scary. Like an emotional colonic allow the negativity to leave your body and be written on paper… allow negative energy to release through your toes or out the bottom of your spine… allow any energy not serving you, to release back to mother nature, who knows what to do with it. Now, fill this space with gratitude. Like pixie dust your going to want to sprinkle gratitude on everything as you go about your day.
- Sleep (Oversleeping / Lack of Sleep): Winter in particular can send your REM cycle spiraling. Lack of sunlight means more melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep-wake cycle. You body may ask you to sleep in later in the winter or nap in the afternoon but I encourage you, instead set an earlier bed time. We close the kitchen by 8pm and everyone is in bed by 10pm or earlier. We use the dark winter mornings to relax and prepare ourselves mentally for all the beautiful spring blessings coming closer and closer each morning, as it gets brighter earlier and earlier. In the winter, the air becomes almost entirely devoid of moisture, this lack of humidity can make staying asleep difficult. If you are one of those people, try using a humidifier.
- Weakened Immunity: Each winter, a group of symptoms (Colds, Viruses, Fever, Chills, Head Congestion, Postnasal Drip, Cough — and sometimes Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea) brings patients to their family physician or nearest hospital. This winter were also asked to “stay home” due to Co-Vid 19. Respiratory and flu-like illnesses are the most common acute winter illnesses. Some herbs that I use regularly in the winter include; marshmallow, thyme, cayenne, and plantain. I also enjoy working with probiotic beverages, raw honey and mushrooms like Chaga. My suggested natural alternatives are great for boosting the immunity naturally but you should visit the doctor if you’ve been sick for more than 10 days OR you can’t function well due to persistent shortness of breath, high fever, etc.
Working out and “clean eating” doesn’t have to be your whole life but set yourself 1-3 realistic goals, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure from the very beginning. The saying goes, fail to plan and you plan to fail.
Keep it simple too… forget fad diets, crazy detoxes or anything that promises miracle cures. Focus instead on eating more whole food and moving your body each day.
My final tip is to REMIND YOURSELF HOW YOU FEEL when you are off track. These feelings can be BIG motivators. When you hit rock bottom, when you feel like s***, when you consume to much junk or skip to many workouts… these are all past expierences backed by some strong emotional power. Power which can be channeled in a positive way, and even help you optimize your health this winter.
As always I am sending you much love & positivity on your Elemental Growth journey.
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