Winter time is here.
It is cold out there.
And in a weather like today where it is -20°C one tends to eat a lot of caloric dense food to stay warm and energetic.
STOP what you are doing.
GIVE me few minutes.
READ this article.
CHECK and see if you are doing any of these 3 mistakes.
IMPROVE your diet.
Mistake #1: Reducing your water intake
During the cold months of winter people usually do not feel the urge to drink water (Yup, I am guilty of that too). It is important to ensure adequate intake of water all year round, winter months included. Water nourishes the body, allows healing, helps getting rid of toxic substances in the body, and is essential for life and achieving optimum health.
So how much water you need to drink?
This depends on many factors including: weight, diet, climate, activity level, and how much fluid you lose through sweat. It is recommended that you drink half of your weight (in pounds) water.
For example: If you weigh 160 lbs, then you need to drink 80 ounces of clean water. That is the equivalent of 10 cups a day (1 cup = 8 ounces).
The above is a general guideline and that is where diet, climate, and activity level comes into play. If you are inactive and live in a cold weather you may need less than that, while if you are an active athlete training in hot weather you will need much more. Use your own judgement and how you feel as a guide and do not allow thirst to be your guide. When you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated.
Whatever you do, make sure you drink enough water during the day. It is much easier to drink the required amount at several intervals throughout the day. I personally do not like to drink water but I find it a lot easier to achieve my daily intake if I put a slice of lemon, a piece of cucumber (my favorite), berries, or mint in my water. Besides helping me get my daily intake, it makes my water delicious and aids in flushing the digestive system (e.g. lemon in water).
Beauty tip: drinking enough water and staying hydrated will keep your skin healthy and glowing and flush toxins out of the body.
Mistake #2: Eating more junk and refined food
In the winter time, we tend to eat more heavy, fat laden, caloric dense food as a quick source of energy. In addition, these foods are usually comfort foods where they make us feel good about ourselves when we are feeling down. These foods are usually high in calories, depleted in nutrients, and contain unhealthy fats that can cause many health problems. Furthermore, these foods contribute to weight gain that leads to a vicious cycle of feeling guilty and undesirable weight gain that will in the long run affect self-esteem and confidence.
What is a better option?
Eat seasonally. Mother earth provides for us each season foods that suits our needs for that time of the year. Winter diet is the richest, warmest, and heaviest of the seasonal diets. It includes more cooked, warming foods to support the body’s need for heat and protection from the cold climate. So, during winter eat dense, heart warming meals such as soups and stews that are composed of root vegetables, grains, and a small portion of a healthy source of protein. Cruciferous and leafy vegetables are also good choices for this time of the year.
The following is a list of some winter foods:
Seeds, grains, and beans
Energy Tip: Eat the above foods and feel great and full of energy. The dense energy packed in these foods will make you feel warm and have high sustainable energy that will last you the whole day.
Mistake #3: Not moving enough
You feel the cold weather and you do not feel like going to the gym or walking.
The body was created to move. Stillness can cause stagnation and, hence, illness. According to Chinese Medicine, the free flow of life force energy or Qi (chee) in the body is pivotal for being healthy and any blockage of its movement can cause illness. Exercise and walking can move this energy and ensure its free flow to nourish the body and its organs and lubricate the joints.
Stay active during the winter months. Go for a walk in the mall before the stores open to the public, attend a gym, go swimming, or even stop what you are doing every two hours and do gentle stretches that will help move the energy in the spine and the limbs.
The following is one of my favorite Qigong (pronounced chi gong) healing exercises which will help energize the body, relax muscle tension, and stretch the whole back especially if you have been sitting in front of your computer for a while:
Support the Sky
- Stand tall with the whole body relaxed and feet parallel to each other (you can also do this exercise sitting but my goal here is to get you to stand up and get moving).
- Place the backs of your hands on top of your head with you palms facing the skies and the fingertips of your hands pointing towards each other.
- Inhale and stretch your arms above your head while raising your heels of the ground so you stand on the balls of your feet and stretch your legs.
- Elongate the whole body and feel you are growing tall while keeping your head facing forward.
- Exhale and bring your arms and hands back to the starting position while coming back down on your feet.
- Inhale, raise your arms while raising your feet. Stretch and elongate your entire body.
- Exhale and lower arms and come back down on your feet.
- Repeat several times, ideally 9 times will work best if you can
Now that you know what these 3 mistakes are, go ahead and take one simple step towards a healthy living this winter.
You are worth it. You deserve it. Live your life to its fullest potential.
From my heart to yours,
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