Here it comes! The cooler weather, scarves, leaves falling off the trees and the body changes. We go through seasonal changes but for me, like many, summer to fall is especially difficult. It’s a huge shock to the system. My skin breaks out, and gets dry patches, but my hair gets much more tame and manageable, although my scalp can get dry. So I’ve got some goodies for you here; my tips for using natural remedies during the colder months.
As we go from warm to cool, we need to rev up our routine, to help keep us healthy and full of energy.
My tips are some things I’ve been doing for more than 20 years, and many of those years I was on a budget. These are time proven remedies that don’t break the bank.
Apple Cider Vinegar Syrup –
What you do:
Take any old jar, with lid and wash it out well. Fill half the jar with raw honey. Add 2 tbs of water and fill the rest off the way with Apple cider vinegar. Add 2 slices of fresh lemon, 2 slices of fresh ginger and 1 clove of raw garlic. Mix well and place in the refrigerator. Stays for up to 6 months. Take 1 tbs daily for optimal health.
What this does:
Honey is a natural antibiotic, so is apple cider vinegar, which also helps boost immune system and metabolism. Ginger, great for stomach issues, and circulation. Lemon is a wonderful detoxifying agent for the body. Garlic, is to ward off vampires. No seriously, raw garlic regulates blood pressure and blood sugar.
Chicken Stock – Vegetable Stock
What this is:
~my famous homemade recipe~
So here’s how I do it. Obviously omit the chicken for my vegetarian and vegan friends.
1 organic full chicken
1 small onion
1 leek stalk
1 large or 3 small carrots
2 large celery stalks
1 -2 stalks of fresh parsley and dill
1/4 cup Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
2 – 3 tbs Kosher salt to taste (try to keep added salt on the low side)
Put whole chicken in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add 2 tbs kosher salt and 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar. Let simmer for 2 hours on medium heat. Remove chicken and cut into pieces, cutting through bone; releasing bone marrow (this is where the healing benefits of the chicken stock come to life, the bone broth).
Simmer for an additional hour. Add veggies, and let simmer for an additional hour. Leave on medium-low heat for 2 1/2 more hours, add parsley and dill at the end for a sweet top note of herbs. . Pasta, rice, beans or any other ingredients may cooked separately.
Here’s the big important part. Get a separate pot and a strainer, scoop out the chicken, and place in the strainer, the pot underneath will catch any broth, the strainer will catch the fat. Let chicken cool slightly, and pick meat away from bones, cartilage and fat (toss that stuff! It adds to the flavor, but yuck!) Place chicken and any veggies you may have scooped out, back in the pot. In as big of a bowl as you want, add pasta, and other ingredients, then pour soup over the top. This always tastes great with some grated Parmaggiano Reggiano cheese. Tastes just like my mothers soup I grew up loving.
Add a nice glass of red wine and your dinner is set! Plus 1 glass of red wine burns the equivalent of one hour of calories at the gym, depending on your workouts.
What this does:
Chicken stock slows white blood cells from gathering in the lungs, and therefore slows down coughing, sneezing and stuffiness. The veggie stock will do the same, but not to the same extent as the chicken stock which really helps to break up mucus. Either way, you are doing something incredible for your body by giving it nurturing homemade food.
Oregano – antibacterial
Thyme – antiseptic
Eucalyptus – antiseptic
Lemon – disinfectant
Lime – anti-viral
Ginger – digestion
Tea Tree – disinfectant
Bergamot – anti anxiety/depression
Clove – anti inflammatory
Body & Skin Care:
~Hair conditioner – yes, seriously, hair conditioner. This is a year round thing, but especially in winter, ladies, of you are like me you don’t shave your legs as much as you do in the summer. Get a great hair conditioner and let it sit for a few minutes on the legs before shaving. I love V05, for around a dollar (NY price) it makes a great shaving cream.
~Witch Hazel – for skin and hair – refine pores, balance out pH, with Witch Hazel. Straight from the bottle on a cotton pad to clean the face at any time of day. It cleans dirt and oils without stripping the skin. Add it to shampoo to naturally fight flakes. Add it to your body lotion for an invigorating treatment to seal in moisture.
~Epsom Salt – winter workouts can make you extra sore, just from sweating then going into the cold air. Soak in an Epsom Salt bath to relieve tired muscles. Again, this is a year round fix, but especially helpful in colder months.
~Arnica – my go-to for sore muscles and achy joints. A natural topical pain reliever.
~Vitamin D – in pill or liquid form (liquids absorb into the body quicker). With less sunlight in winter vitamin D deficiencies run high. Be sure to get this in to help fight the winter blues. But remember, vitamin D can only be absorbed completely if your vitamin C is high and that can only be absorbed properly if your vitamin K is high. So, pretty much, add all of these vitamins in your daily routine.
~Aquaphor – the best relief for dry cracked skin on your face, hands and cuticles. It’s a great protectant if you are walking out on a very cold snowy day. A light layer on the skin and lips will help you from getting chapped. Great for dry cracked hands, heels and elbows too.
~Coconut oil – as a hair conditioner is incredibly effective in winter months. Keeps the hair strong and breakage free. Great as a night time cuticle, hand and foot lotion with socks and gloves.
Mind & Spirit:
~Weighted Blanket – for anxiety. If your are an insomniac like me, a little weight added over the body at night will help you fall asleep and stay asleep much deeper than you are used to. And we all need our beauty rest, for mind and body.
~Himilayan Salt Lamp – charge the air in your home with a Himilayan Salt Lamp which gives off negative ions for better sleep quality. Alleviate asthma and allergies, and freshen the air in your home.
~Scented Rooms – may sound silly, but a scent you like can have positive and healing effects on the mind and body. Try an essential oil diffuser or a great essential oil room spray for some in home bliss.
I love tea. It’s comforting, warm and goes great while sitting under a blanket. Tea come in so many flavors, that there is always something for everyone. Here are some of the benefits of drinking tea:
~Tea contains antioxidants.
~Tea has less caffeine than Coffee
~Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke
~Tea may help with weight loss
~Tea may help protect your bones
~Tea may keep your smile bright
~Tea may boost the immune system
~Tea contains antioxidants
~Tea may help battle cancer
Every life form has circadian rhythms. These are the rhythms in the body which help us wake up and sleep. This is your 24 hour cycle. When winter months approach and we have less sunlight, these rhythms can be thrown off. Be sure to get the right amount of sleep during these months to avoid feeling sluggish.