Thursday, 16 January 2014

Surviving Winter


If you are like me and find that when 1st of January hits and the Christmas festivities have gone, sunny spring days somehow seem like light years away (despite this january being surprisingly sunny and nice). Then you might find some of the winter survival skills, I have picked up during the years, helpful.
I have actually come to enjoy winter now, through a lot of testing what works for me, so this is what I have found helps for me and maybe you will find some tips that works for you too.

First one is get active, it is very easy to just curl up on the sofa with a nice movie when it is miserable weather outside, but going for a brisk walk is probably the best way to fill up your body with energy. As a danish saying goes "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad choice of clothes". So I have invested in some good rain proof gear, to go out and conger the weather in, as no one will die from getting a bit of rain on their face, as long as you don't get soaked and cold on your body.

Second one is candles, I stock up on them to make sure I have enough at all times. This is definitely a very scandinavian thing to do to survive winter blues, as you will find candles burning in most scandinavian homes during winter, the reason being to bring light to your home in the dark winter days. It can be so depressing when your home starts to go dark at 4.pm and strong electric light doesn't make it better, so light up those candles for a cosy soothing light.
And there is nothing like curling up on the sofa with a nice movie, AFTER you have been for a walk, and have the room bathe in candlelight, to make you all warm and cosy on the inside and forget about the dark and cold weather outside.

Third is NOT to start a diet in january. Your body has been spoiled doing winter, getting lots of fat and calories, so no wonder if is a shock to the system, to all of a sudden be getting far less calories and fat than it needs to keep the body warm during the cold winter months. I find the best way is to get the calories you need, but by eating healthy, which in turn will give you more energy and help support your body's immunesystem to fight off the cold and flue bugs. And you can always start the diet in the spring time, when the weather starts to get a bit warmer.
Read my Healthy January post Here.

Fourth is to make sure that you're getting the vitamins you need. Did you know that a lot of people that suffer from a winter depression is caused by vitamin D3 deficiency? I was quite shocked to read that myself in Mark Hyman's book, The UltraMind Solution, a very good read by the way. It is so easy to get a vitamin D deficiency, as we are constantly being told to be careful of the sun, which makes us almost avoid it all together, but it is the biggest source for our bodies to get vitamin D. 
Finding this out has been so helpful to me, as I was definitely suffering from vitamin D and C deficiency. So I now make sure to sit in the sun for 10-15 minutes whenever there is any. Eating a more vitamin enriched diet and taking supplements in the right dose for my body. 

Fifth is antioxidants. Green and black tea (and even coffee), has antioxidants in them, just make sure to let your tea bag steep for the right amount of time when brewing it, as a teabag need to steep at least 3 minutes to the right amount of antioxidants from it, but depending on the tea if it needs longer. 
But another great way to get antioxidants are berries, and because fresh berries might be more expensive during winter and in some cases might have travelled a long way to get to your grocery store. The alternative can be frozen berries, as they are plucked when they are ripe and then frozen immediately after, optimising nutrition content. So why not start your day with a berry smoothie or ending your evening with a sorbet, just by blending up frozen berry and banana.

And last, six is probiotics. The add saying "keep your tummy happy for better health" is actually right, as the right bacteria in your stomach is part of a good immune system. 
For a long time I thought that I was doing my body good by eating probiotic yoghurt every day, turns out I was actually upsetting my atomic more than I was doing good, as I was lactose intolerant. 
When talking to people about probiotics, most people think it is something that is naturally in yoghurt, but it is actually something that is added to yoghurt when they are advertised as probiotic yoghurt. So that means you can just as easily get probiotic in capsule form. Obviously if you don't have a problem with dairy and find the best way to get you probiotic is eating yoghurt, that is a good way too.


Hope you found some of the tips useful and if you have a tip, then please leave me a comment telling me what you find useful to surviving winter.

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