The art of nourishing life is about looking out into the natural world and following the principles we see in nature. It makes sense on a fundamental level. However with the busy-ness of our lives we often are blinded by what is going on around us. We are busy running to the next appointment, getting ready for work, stressing about whether we have enough money to pay the bills, or even for our retirement.
Rarely do we take time out. To just sit and watch the world around us. To take in the sounds and the smells of nature. However in the last year the world did come to a stand still, which gave us a chance to stop and contemplate the way we live our lives. Many of us took a new view on how we want to live our lives. A reset so to speak. This is like the nature of winter.
In Australia we are now in winter. It is a time of bringing energy in and storing. It is a time of nourishing to enable the birth of new life in the spring. It is a time to look inner, about ensuring we have the energy to live in the next year.
If we look at the seasons and the energy of the seasons we can understand why the hibernation of winter is about nourishing life. It is building the foundations of our health. Like laying the foundations of a home, if they are not strong, the home is shaky and doesn’t have the strength to withstand the elements. Winter is the end of a seasonal cycle. Spring is birth, Summer is maturation, autumn is harvest and winter is storage and preparing for rebirth. The rebirth in spring. And this is why winter is a time for nourishing and warmth, so we have strong foundations for the coming year. We will have the strength to withstand the cool winds of spring, the warm days of summer and the drying winds of autumn.
What you can do to nourish life in winter:
- The first step is staying warm. Are you dressed appropriately for the season? Do you have enough clothes on to keep you warm?
- Weight gain – while this a bane to many of us, weight gain in winter is a natural. We store energy for the cold season to keep us warm.
- Stay active – inactivity will cause stiffness and pain in the joints. You remain young while your spine and joints are flexible.
- Eat easily digestable foods including warm hearty soups and stews. Slow cooked meals. Stay away from cold foods and foods straight form the fridge.
- Salty and bitter foods are consumed in winter as they promote a downwards inner movement that is needed for storage. This allows the surface of our body to cool, while promoting inner warmth. Warming the core so to speak.
- Take care with consuming too much salt. As with everything it is about balance. Too much of anything will cause problems. Moderation is always the key in nourishing life.
- Go to bed early and wake up late. It is dark early and the sun rises later in winter. Follow the natural order of nature and spend more time in bed! Rest and rejuvenate. Replenish and store your energy.
Salty: Miso, soy sauce, seaweeds, sea salt
Bitter foods: cabbage, celery, lettuce, watercress, oats