Before we jump in, I’d like to remind you that these Fundamental Winer Practices are specifically designed for the winter season. They are intended to repair, nourish and keep you vital for the rest of the winter season and seasons ahead. They are also meant to be simple!
Click here to read my post and watch my video about the first Winter Self Care Practice.
Alright, Let’s Get Started!
The second winter practice is to avoid cold and raw foods. Did you smile in agreement or are you ready to run for the hills? Either way, hear me out!
Products of our Environment
We are literally products of our environment. This means that we are meant to live in balance with the seasons. By living in balance with each season, we provide our body with the opportunity to function optimally. How does this relate to cold and raw foods?
Let’s use the peak of summer as an example. During this time, the sun is shining bright and the temperatures are high, usually in the 80s and 90s. Our physical and mental body’s are absorbing the summer heat. You likely find yourself out in the direct sun more or absorbing the warmth in the shade. You’re probably more physically active, feeling happier, and perhaps staying up later, and rising earlier. You’re embodying the warmth of the summer sun. Can you feel it?
Our digestive and circulatory systems, also benefit from the summer warmth. Our digestive system, in particular, is a lot like a roaring fire in the summertime. The external seasonal warmth and internally generated heat keep the digestive fire fueled and roaring. When the digestive fire is strong, it is easier to incinerate or digest warm and cold foods, and drinks.
Let’s flip to present time. Into the Winter season.
Why it’s Beneficial to Avoid Cold and Raw Foods During the Winter Season
During the winter months, you’re likely feeling cold, less motivated to move and maybe even a little gloomy. You’re probably going to bed earlier and rising later too. Your digestive system is affected by the winter chill as well. It can no longer rely on the summer warmth to fuel its fire. That once roaring digestive fire has lessened and is now more like a small fire.
When you eat cold and raw foods during the winter, it’s like throwing cold water on your already small fire. That small fire does not have the heat nor the energy to digests cold raw foods. This is why after eating cold and raw foods, you may feel bloated, tired, sluggish and even cold.
During the winter months, your internal and external systems are relying on you to generate warmth!
When we eat warm cooked foods, we are doing a great deal of the work for our digestive system. The cooking process breaks down and soften the food. This process makes it easier for our body’s to digest and absorb nutrients. Since the digestive fire is burning at a low level during winter, help it out by giving it warm cooked foods!
How to Generate Internal Warmth
One of the best ways to generate warmth internally is to eat warm foods that have been cooked for a longer period time. Three excellent ways to cook foods during the winter months are with a crockpot, baking and on the stovetop. Focus on eating hearty soups, whole grains, nuts and moderate amounts of land animals.
For more information on winter food, sign up below to receive my FREE two page Winter Food Guide.
Another excellent way to generate warmth during the winter months is to exercise. This includes yoga, hiking, dancing, short burst exercises like HIIT workouts, abdominal strengthening exercises, and even brisk walks in the cold.
Warmth is movement and movement is health!
Before we end, let me remind you that these are practices! If you choose to go hard and fast, and avoid all cold and raw foods during this season, bravo. If you choose to offer yourself cold and raw foods sparingly, go on and do it!
Do I have a bitter green salad in the winter? Yes!
Do I drink cold beverages in the winter? Sometimes.
The purpose of this practice is to bring awareness around your consumption of cold and raw foods and how it effects your body during the winter season. I want to encourage you to consume mostly warm and hearty meals this winter. After all, it will keep you vital and healthy throughout the winter and for seasons to come!
Cold and Raw Foods to Avoid this Winter
- Ice cream
- Iced drinks
- Raw veggies
- Food consumed straight from the refrigerator
- Juice Cleanses
- Tuna or chicken salads
Winter Drinks and Recipes I Enjoy During Winter
- Ginger, cinnamon stick, honey, lemon tea. Steep for 10 minutes!
- Fennel tea
- Chocolate Nut Milk
- Brothy Chicken with Ginger & Bok Choy
- Shepherds Pie
- Cuban Black Beans & Rice
- Indian Butter Chicken
Click Below to Watch the Second Fundamental Winter Practice!
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.