Healthy Winter Habits

Small adjustments to daily routines can have a profound impact on the resilience of the immune system.  Protecting ourselves from cold weather from the inside out will make the cold more tolerable and illnesses less frequent.  

Wear a scarf- Keeping the cold off of your neck will keep your body heat in and protect a vulnerable place on the body.  Exposure to cold temperatures, wind, and wet snow can but unnecessary burden on the body.  Even a little chill from sitting in a room that is too cold can create problems- they don't call it "catching a cold" for no reason!
Rest- Our bio-rhythms slow down in winter and often our bodies requre more rest.  Energy used to stay warm, fight germs, and keep up with daily life can easily make us feel more tired at the end of the day.  Go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier than usual and try not to push through to the point of exhaustion.  Keep a good active lifestyle in tact, but allow for more rest as you recover from the harsher conditions.
Hydrate with Tea- Water is the best for hydration, but the cold weather can make it seem less appealing to drink so much water.  Dry lips, cracked skin, and dry hair are all signs of the dryness in the air and in our bodies.  To stay well hydrated, get into a habit of drinking more tea to replace some of the water that may be lacking in the daily routine.  You may also choose herbal tea blends that have properties that soothe seasonal symptoms, which will add another level of nourishment to your body. 
No Cold Food- Cold food is very difficult to digest in the winter.  Raw vegetables, fruit, cold beverages, ice cream, yogurt, etc. all add an element of cold to the digestive system. To keep that digestive fire strong, drink ginger or green tea with meals or transition into more warm foods.  Soups are paired with salads, tea is paired with fruits and yogurt, and ice cream should be avoided all together in the winter months.  Get into the habit of making stews, soups, warm salads, and roasted veggies.  Morning oats, eggs, congee, soups and stews are best in the morning to warm up the body and provide easily absorbed nutrition at the beginning of the day.
Low Sugar- Sugar cravings may increase in the winter as the body is feeling lower energy.  Sugar ultimately weakens the immune system and leads to more sugar cravings. When these cravings hit, try a cup of warm lemon water or sliced apples warmed with raw honey and a dash of cinnamon.