Now that we have transitioned from fall into winter and are feeling more of the consistent cold weather, wind and rain, we must shift our diet to balance out the elements in play now. We can do this through diet and lifestyle practices to maintain health optimization.
Take these suggestions to find your ideal balancing seasonal routine. Keep in mind your predominant dosha.
Vata~ go for extra warming, heavy & moistening
Pitta~ go mildly warming, heavy & moistening
Kapha~ go for warming & in moderation heavy & moistening
Cooked, cooked, cooked! Now is the time for heavier foods such as soups, stews, grains, root vegetables, beets, carrots, squash & okra. Now is also a great time to add in seeds and nuts as well as a little extra oil. If you eat meat, winter is the season to do so, because of the heating and heavy qualities of meat that are perfect for balancing out the winter qualities. Sweet, sour and heavy fruits are best during this time such as oranges, avocados, cherries, peaches and plums.
Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove, black pepper, fennel, salt, & mustard seeds are all heating so are great for warming the body and balancing the cold.
Now is also a great time to get your abhyanga on. This is so beneficial for not only moisturizing the skin & tissues, but it helps create a protective layer all around your body so that the elements, such as the cold & wind, do not hit you as intensely. Abhyanga also soothes the nervous system, calms the mind, tones the skin, prevents wrinkles and helps to detoxify the skin & lymph. Don’t forget to take a warm bath or shower about 15 minutes after. You can do this at home with sesame or almond oil or schedule an abhyanga or abhyanga and shirodhara treatment ~ an even more soothing, detoxifying & nurturing treatment.
It can be hard to motivate when the body is feeling stiff and cold, yet doing so will help to move stagnation in your body, warm you up and help keep your organ systems in balance. Try several sun salutations, a brisk walk or whichever exercise you enjoy to get your prana (life-force) moving.