Winter is approaching and the beginning of this season presents a unique opportunity for cleansing various systems in the body and grounding the mind. According to Ayurvedic principles, the beginning of winter is heavily influenced by vata energy because of its cold and windy nature, while the latter part of the season is influenced by kapha energy – cold, damp, and slow. By tuning in to those frequencies, individuals can optimize their health and performance in all aspects – mind, body, and soul.
Here are a few simple ways to cleanse and ground the body during winter with small changes to eating habits and daily practices.
- Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. In Ayurvedic healing, food is viewed as medicine carrying energy that will naturally detox and energize systems within the body. This is why it’s considered especially important to consume seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
Winter Veggies: Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Winter Squash, Potatoes – preferably red, sweet, or purple, Onions, Beets, Carrots, Parsnips, Turnips, Rutabagas, Broccoli, Kale, Leafy Greens, and other Root Vegetables.
Winter Fruits: Apples, Pomegranate, Grapes, Kiwi, Lemons, Pears, Kumquat, Persimmons.
- Eat lots of soup. Winter vegetables scream soup! Consider making a fresh batch of vegetable and legume soup every few days. Switch it up often and let soups be the center of your winter menu.
Tips: Add miso paste for an added nutritional and digestive bonus. Serve soups over a bit of quinoa for more filling meals.
- Ditch the irritants. This is a great time to cut back on or cut out dairy, processed sugar, alcohol, red meat, grains, and meat in general. Digestions tends to slow during winter months and eliminating these common digestive irritants will make bowel movements more frequent.
- Move different. Winter is considered a time to hibernate and slow down and often leads to weight gain or a feeling of heaviness when it’s not kept in balance. This is not necessarily the best time to begin a high-intensity workout regimen or take on the go hard or go home workout mentality, but it is a great time to practice movements that balance and center. Consider yoga, pilates, tai chi, hiking, or walking – anything that connects bodily movements to breathing.
- Go within. Ever notice the desire to curl up next to a fire and read a book during winter? That’s our natural instinct telling us to slow down and go within. Set the intention to meditate and take time for introspection daily to energize from within. Strive for 10-30 minutes every day.
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