The lack of natural light is triggering our circadian rhythms (our biological ‘body clock’) to enter a state of semi-hibernation, and we tend to feel a little scrambled and off our normal routine. It’s important to note that the ‘winter blues’ can affect both young and old.
Here are my top 5 tips for happy, nourished winter bodies.
One of the best ways to set yourself up for success this winter season is to ensure you are filling your plate with an abundance of colourful plant-based foods. Look for a balance of complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. Ancient whole grains, naturally gluten-free grains, organic fruits and vegetables, lentils and legumes, lean poultry, grass-fed beef, wild fish, organic eggs, raw nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil and nut butters.
Remember when you were a child and your parents would literally have to drag you in the house when the sun went down? Your hands would be freezing, your snow pants and boots soaked from playing in the snow and your cheeks red as a tomato? That was being a kid! Nowadays children are watching way too much tv or glued to their tech. gadgets. Every ones body thrives on activity and fresh air but their young bodies even more so. Create time for them to play outside or make a family event out of it!
Get Some Supplement Support
Not everyone wants to take supplements (or needs to for that matter) but in our cold dark Canadian winters there are just certain things our bodies need more of and really can’t get naturally (no matter how much of a certain food you eat!). Here are the top four supplements that my family takes through the winter months:
- Vitamin D. Probably the most underrated superstar of our daily health routine. Supporting many functions and synergistic actions in our body, I recommend a liquid form versus a tablet to ensure high absorption (and kids find it easier to take).
- Probiotic. More than two-thirds of your immune system lives in your gut and more than half of the neurotransmitter hormones (your free anti-anxiety hormones) are produced in your gut too. Taking a daily supplement of probiotics is my FIRST foundational piece of support to offer anybody at any age (yes. Kids too).
- Fish Oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are also critical for proper brain development and mood support. I find a liquid is best for children as you can sneak it into a smoothie.
- Mood Balancers. In the darker months even the best of us can get a little down and sometimes experience fatigue and irritability. My secret to keeping a balanced mood throughout the long winter season is a herbal remedy called Neurapas Balance. It’s a unique combination of St. John’s Wort, Passionflower and Valerian from Pascoe that I recommend to almost all my clients who are feeling blue in the winter months.
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is to building and maintaining a strong immune system. For school-aged children they should be getting at least 10-12 hours of sleep, and for Mom and Dad we should be getting at least 7-9 hours each night.
My final and most important tip yet is also the one that usually feels the most challenging: decrease your level of stress. We overschedule our kids with events, ourselves with too many commitments, working late, staying up to search Facebook or watch the latest Netflix program’¦it’s a big problem and must stop. Take a breath, slow your pace, find your chill zone and visit it often! Perhaps it’s a walk with the family or a friend, maybe it’s game night or date night, maybe yoga, meditating, journaling, colouring or a cup of herbal tea.