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Nutrition & Natural Health - Olds

Great ways to get ready for Winter... the healthy way

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Four Ways Get Ready For Winter

Muddy boots, scattered leaves, school books, turkeys, sweaters and pumpkin spiced everything… these are just a few signs that summer has slipped away and the crisp fall season has crept up on us. Fall is a transition season that is reflected beyond the colourful bouquet of leaves. Balancing our own body with nature helps with adjusting to seasonal changes and alleviates any shock to the system as the winds pick up, temperatures drop(snow starts to fall!), weather patterns change and the air begins to dry. When we make appropriate preparations for the winter we can simply embrace the season instead of resisting it...and getting all stressed out about it!

Fall is a great time to make changes!

Altering the way we eat gives the body a chance to prepare for the impending demands of our upcoming winter weather. Summer is a season of high energy, light and expansion, while autumn helps us move into the winter retreat of grounding and contraction energy. Our food options that mother nature offers us will drastically change from light summer salads and citrus fruits to warming and grounding root vegetables, grains, seeds, ferments and fall harvested fruits.

Here are a few ways to help ease this transition and embrace this season of colour!

Nourish: Fall is about nourishing warmth and focusing on the core. In order to stay warm, the body will bring blood away from the extremities and start to focus on protecting the vital organs. Hearty and substantial meals will help bring this warmth back to the core. As our bodies are naturally aligned with nature, look for foods that reflect the colours of the season – orange, yellow, red and brown. Ingredients such as pumpkin and squash, root vegetables (beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes), spices (turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin), and oils (pure extra virgin olive, avocado, coconut), will satiate the taste buds and the body’s natural desire for warmth.

Cleanse : Given that our body’s energy seasonally and naturally transfers to the core, this can often translate into weight gain if the tissues of the body are carrying a high toxic load, therefore a gentle cleanse at the start of Fall is always a healthy practice. Mother nature gives us the ability to do this with herbs such as burdock, dandelion, slippery elm, blessed thistle and sheep sorrel, which happen to be abundant in late summer and early fall. Improving digestive functions by using probiotics and digestive enzymes can help those vital core organs operate more effectively and support both nutrient absorption and metabolism. This is the best way to ensure you don’t gain unnecessary weight over winter. What about medications? Have you revisited how many medications you are on? Have you considered getting off of them? What a great time to reduce your reliance on medications as your body naturally changes with the seasons!

Grounding: As we begin to ground ourselves through our diet, it is also an opportunity to ground ourselves in our daily routine. We are moving away from the outdoor social season of summer, and retreating more indoors back to our homes. During this time empower yourself by bringing awareness to your environment. Observe how change is happening around you, with relationships, your body, and nature. When things begin to get hectic and you feel overwhelmed, bring your attention back to your surroundings – everything you need is right in front of you.

Embrace: Although these transitional steps are moving us through the season, take time to find a balance that works for you by embracing the adjustments. Embrace the flow of Fall and its fluctuations in weather. So, get outside! Get some exercise! On those colder rainy days, bring your activities inwards. Cozy up with a cup of tea and read a book. Spend more time cooking in preparation for the winter months so when the extreme cold creeps in, you are equipped with wholesome, earthy meals. Focus on yourself so you are ready for the heavy weight that winter can create. Fall can be a fickle season throwing us from one thing to another with family activities, school and sports, but if you don’t take the time to embrace it and prepare to be healthy – then it can be stressful and difficult. Be healthy, find fun in the season and make your health a priority. 

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