It’s obvious that winter is a time for hibernation. Less daylight hours, plants and trees are dormant and even animals are less frequently seen. But what we don’t often talk about is how to change our diets and lifestyles to suit the cold, dark, often damp conditions.

This three part content series will cover some tips and thinking on how to support your body through the chilli change of weather based on Ayurvedic principals.

Ayurveda, yoga’s sister healing science helps us to understand how to support our bodies to maintain vitality through the changing of each season.  According to it’s principles, winter resonates the strongest with the dosha (bio-elemental energy) of kaph. Kaph’s qualities are of cold, heavy, moist, grounded, and slow. When in balance, kapha is a source of strength, vitality, and stability to our bodies and minds. In winter kapha is prone to imbalance leading to excess mucus (cold and flu season) and excess body weight as well as a feeling of sluggishness and sometimes even a little depressive.

Tweaking our diets can help to keep the energy of kapha balanced and strong throughout winter. Over this content series you will get a simple tip and recipe per week.

  • Tip one: Keep warm internally

Our digestive fires go into a little hibernation during winter too. Eating foods with cold, wet and heavy properties, (raw veggies, frozen foods, sweets, and oily or fried foods) —weakens our digestive fires. To strengthen, drink hot or warm water (instead of cold or iced) and drink warming teas like fresh ginger or chai (these have warming spices in them as well as being warm).

Focus on eating warm, slow-cooked, slightly oily, and well-spiced foods. And you can add these spices to teas or meals to boost your digestive fire: black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, fennel seeds, licorice, cardamom, and ginger root.

Nic’s Warming Pumpkin soup

  • Roast half a pumpkin (I use butternut or jap)
  • While this is in the oven, sauté some onions or leek (or both for extra richness) as well as a fennel bulb. Fennel gives the soup an extra creamy quality. I use coconut oil to sauté.
  • When the veggies have soften, grate some fresh ginger and garlic into the pot (I use at least four cloves and about half an inch of grated ginger but please adjust according to taste). Sauté for another 2-3 mins until their flavours mellow.
  • Then add half to a full teaspoon or fennel seeds, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ to a full teaspoon of turmeric – grate some black pepper on top. Enjoy the fragrance as they stew.
  • Add about 1.5L of water to the pot and some salt (you can add stock if you wish for more flavor).
  • Add your roasted pumpkin. You can also add some cut carrot for extra thickness and sweetness. Allow everything to come to the boil and simmer for at least 15 mins. As long as your pumpkin is roasted and carrot, if you’re using, are soft then its ready!
  • Blend and enjoy.

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