As nights start drawing in and the central heating is switched on, we consciously start to prepare for the colder months. We put extra blankets on the bed and stock up on antifreeze and de-icer for the car but do we consciously make changes to our diets, exercise and skin care routines that will help counter the effects of the colder, harsher months.
In this piece, I want to draw on the experience and knowledge of two of my friends and fellow contributors to my blogs, Daniel Hatton and Michelle Wilkie. Together, we will share some of our top tips and ingredients that will help us embrace Winter, stay fit and maintain our healthy glow and radiance right through till spring.
We all agree on the need to continue to make plant-based recipes. I will be the first to admit that eating salads in summer is easier, but there are so many interesting and tasty winter vegetables which look and taste fantastic. On my blog 13/10/17, Daniel Hatton, Michelin Star-winning chef and owner of Hattons of Royal Tunbridge Wells, shares his favourite quick and yummy recipe for the winter months ahead: roasted butternut squash with wild rice, hazelnuts and rocket. I am excited to say that more recipes from Daniel will be posted over the next few months.
Chia seeds. These tiny black and white seeds of pure omega 3 goodness, pack the protein punch bag of the nutrition world, which come from a flowering plant in the mint family native to Central and South America, are rich in protein, magnesium and iron. They are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fibre. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the positive health benefits include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion and lowering cholesterol. They are so easy to add into your diet. I sprinkle them on top of salads, mill them and add to smoothies, include them in overnight oats, soak them for two hours, or even overnight, and make a ‘chia pudding’, dry-roast and toast them and eat them with my breakfast cereals. They really are a superfood.
Harness the power of essential oils to maintain a healthy glow to our skin. My fabulous friend Michelle Wilkie is a Wellbeing Coach and Organic Skincare formulator and founder of Clear Skin Holistically. She believes that if we are feeding our skin from the inside out by eating well and drinking plenty of water, it makes sense to spend the same care and attention to what we are putting onto our skin by using natural chemical-free products. She offers so much advice and is a continued source of inspiration to me.
Take an extra layer of clothing along to your yoga practice, such as my Ronda long sleeve cover-up, which has a fleck texture made from natural breathable cotton fibres and feels so soft and comfy. An ideal piece to wear during relaxation. I would also like to introduce Budda, a fabulous 90% cotton funnel neck sweater in grey, which is a one-off Christmas special. The cosy dense fabric offers you that vital warm hug you and your body needs to keep the circulation pumping for the perfect Winter day.
As you are eating wonderful food, using fresh ingredients, perhaps experimenting with new flavours (I have recently been loving turmeric lattes) and using natural products on your skin, now is the time to focus on loving yourself. Stop criticising and stop judging. Instead, do what you enjoy doing without guilt; cuddle up in front of a warm fire, lose yourself in your favourite book, enjoy long winter walks and pub meals, discover new meditation practices. As Michelle says “Balance your mind, body and spirit through positive thinking and practices”.