As mammals we are designed to retreat and slow as the temperatures dips. We crave warmth, richer foods and more rest. When I am work with clients one of the things I council them on is how to gently navigate our new cravings and needs during Winter. Women worry about how much more they seem to be eating and how their clothes seems to fit a little differently.
I assure them that all is well, I believe that as animals (advanced as we are) have “seasonal bodies”. It’s normal to put on an extra 5-10 pounds. When the Spring thaw comes those extra pounds will melt just as easily. The key is to figure out what is causing those extra pounds.
Is it from sugar and empty carbohydrates or is it because you are craving a bit more deeply nourishing foods on your plate? Are you still moving that body of yours or are you hunkering down on couch with a wool blanket every night?
There is no need to rush out and start an extreme gym routine. You can start by simply doing some slow stretches indoors and then bundling up and going for a stroll somewhere beautiful. Spend time quietly noticing the change in the landscape and the habits of the animals. Smell the crisp air and the dampness of earth.
Some other simple ways to support you, mind & body during this time:
• Warm up with a simple Turmeric tea (detoxifying/anti-inflammatory/antioxidant). 1 tsp ground turmeric to 4 cups of water. Bring water to a boil, add turmeric and then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy with a bit of raw honey and lemon.
• Make sure you are getting plenty of hardy winter greens, you might be bored of Kale & Broccoli. Switch things up with Tat Soi, Swiss Chard or Turnip Greens. Try sauteing them and then mixing into your mashed potatoes.
• Sink into a hot bath filled with a large handful of Epsom salt and a muslin pouch stuffed with fresh grated ginger.
• During your walks outside, choose a beautiful stone or branch to bring back with you. Display it somewhere prominent in your home. This simple act connects us to our present and acts as a daily reminder to get out and connect with nature.
Caramelized Fennel Salmon
Wintertime is when we most need a little bit of extra protection. Salmon provides us with healthy, essential fats.
Fennel is rich with Vitamin C and onions are a fantastic immune booster. When the onions and fennel caramelize and blend together, you get this earthy sweetness that is so delicious with the fish. Serve with a side of your favorite grain.
1 medium sweet onion
1 medium bulb of fennel
2 TB olive oil
½-1 cup veggie stock
salt and pepper
4 (5 oz) skinless wild salmon fillets
1 medium shallot, sliced
1TB chopped fresh dill or ½ tsp dried
Lemon to garnish
~ Cut onion and fennel in half and slice into ¼ inch thick slices.
~ On medium low heat , add 1 TB oil in pan and saute onions and fennel for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium high and cook veg for 10 more minutes, caramelizing them. Deglaze pan with ½ cup veggie stock if it’s getting too sticky, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
~ In a baking dish, add 1 tsp oil and grease dish, add fish and season with S&P pour ½ cup veggie stock over fish and scatter shallots in liquid, sprinkle ½ the dill and drizzle with last 2 tsp of oil.
~ Place under broiler for 9-12 minutes.
~ When finished serve over onions and fennel and sprinkle with remaining dill and a squeeze of lemon.
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