Vaughn’s Top 5: Ways to Stay Warm this Winter with Nutrition
Hot water, teas & herbal infusions.
Drinking hot or warm water is actually best for our body and overall health. Heat warms and relaxes the body, opens up detoxification pathways and does not shock the nervous system or stomach. Heat is relaxing, while cold is constricting. Starting your morning with hot herbal drinks is much better for us than coffee, which can be over-stimulating and dehydrating. Warm water hydrates the body better, assists with normal bowel movements and warms our core. Try my dad's famous Chaga Hot Drink Powder which has medicinal mushrooms for the immune system (chaga and reishi), cacao (natural chocolate with a hint of caffeine) and shilajit (dense mineral substance) to start your morning warm, alert and energized! My favorite before bed herbal infusion would be Holy Basil.
Crank up the digestive fire!
Most people I see are cold all the time, have weak digestion, food seems to sit in their stomach and not digest well and may experience gas, bloating, diarrhea or a number of other digestive issues. If this describes you, crank up the heat. In Chinese medicine they say that the stomach should be like a "bubbling cauldron." It’s a funny visual, but it’s true! Hot teas, warm soups and steamed veggies can help, but for best results add heating spices. This includes cayenne pepper, oregano, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, cinnamon, black pepper, etc. Eat curry to make it easy. A few products we use to assist this are called Turmerol by North American Herb and Spice and Vata Digest by Banyan. Simply take one with each meal towards a warmer body and better digestion!
Sea salt in water & adrenal fatigue.
If you are always cold, have low blood pressure, low blood sugars, feel dizzy when standing, are easily fatigued in the afternoons, or need coffee or sugar as a stimulant to keep you going, than very likely you have adrenal fatigue. The adrenals run on water and salt. Adding salt to your food (not table salt or iodized salt = man-made poison) and salt to your water can give you a huge boost. Hint: If you crave chips and pretzels, it's the salt you crave! I have been recommending the SOLE (so-lay) method with himalayan pink salt for years and it is a great way to start your morning hydrated with increased alertness, increased energy and warmth.Making your SOLE water is simple. Fill a mason jar with 1 cup of quality sea salt. Cover with a plastic lid (important for keeping the salt from reacting with metal) and shake well. Let it sit on your counter for 24 hrs and check to see if there is still salt at the bottom of the jar. This is ideal and means the solution is saturated. If all the salt has dissolved then add more salt until it cannot continue to dissolve. In the morning add 1 teaspoon of your SOLE solution to a glass of water and drink it upon rising. You can use any quality sea salt, but himalayan is my favorite. For best results, get the Natural Health Crystal Stones for SOLE by NHI.
Healthy fats can warm you up.
If you're an Eskimo, you would probably eat and need more fats. If you lived in Hawaii, you would probably eat more fresh raw fruits and vegetables. Make sense? When cold, fats give you substance that makes people feel warm and satisfied. Although, a good chicken soup is good for the soul, I definitely prefer plant fats such as avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds and olives. Udo's oil is a great blend of flax, coconut, evening primrose and other fats. Cultures in cold weather would often eat fish and fish oils traditionally to stay warm (think shivering in an igloo for a few months). Cod Liver Oil by Green Pastures is the brand we trust, having helped thousands of people get quality nutrients, like Vitamins A and D, that are crucial for pregnancy and overall health. It is one of the rare food sources of quality vitamin D. North American Herb and Spice has a good salmon oil called Polar Power as well, from wild-caught fresh Alaskan salmon.
We love soups. Soups are so warm, comforting and cozy. Who can't imagine cuddling up to a wood fire with a warm bowl of soup? Add some of the heating spices mentioned above for a real warm treat. Here are some of our favorite soup recipes for the fall and winter from our website: