Five Things I am Loving This Winter June 14 2013 by Simone Denny

I have to admit - I'm not a lover of winter by nature. I'm one of these people who could live in a tropical climate all year round and not miss the changing seasons, the winter wardrobe or hearty winter meals. I would be happy with endless sunshine, tropical fruits and and minimal clothing! However, this year I've decided to embrace winter and find an abundance of things to love about this season. 

Five Things I Am Loving This Winter 

1. Immunity Boosting Fermented Foods 

Fermented Foods is one thing I'm loving this winter! I discovered this jar of goodness on a recent trip to Byron Bay and wished I had bought more! Fermented foods support the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract hence improving digestion and ultimately improving immunity. A great food for people who suffer from IBS, bloating or any digestive/gut issues. 

I first heard about fermented foods through Donna Gates and her 'Body Ecology' talks. Donna re-introducted fermented foods to the world and coined the phrase “inner ecosystem” to describe the network of microbes that help maintain our basic physiological processes--from digestion to immunity.

Recently in Bondi I watched Edwina Blush give a demo on making fermented foods, I was suprised at how simple it was. She used 4 ingredients which she placed in airtight jars to ferment - cucumbers, fresh dill, good quality salt and water - then stores them away until they are ready for use. Obviously there are a range of vegetables one can experiment with that are great for fermenting. 

Check out our Digestion and Gut Health section on the Nourishing Hub. My personal fave that I've been taking the last few months is the Nattrition Organic 2012 blend - fermented probiotics. I was introduced to them by a wonderful vibrant 65 year old man called Don Chisholn, a real inspiration. Don has written a wonderful book called Have You Got the Guts to Be Healthy - which is a fascinating read for anyone intrested in health, particuarly digestive and gut health.

2. Hearty Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup

To kick off winter this year I've been blessed with many friends and family sitting around our dining table, so have had plenty of opportunities for good hearty warming foods. This is a delcious recipe and I love the combination of mint, sumac and lemon with the red lentils - yum yum.

Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup Recipe - Click Here 

3. Natural Cough Medicine and Immunity Boosters for Toddlers and Kids

Tis the season for runny noses and chesty coughs, especially for our little ones that are in daycare or school. I am loving the Kiwiherb range of natural products for kids. This range was recommended to me by a naturopath and I have never looked back. I have been using the the Kiwiherb Chest and Cough Syrup - made of all natural ingredients - suprsingly my daughter loves the taste! I'm also a fan of the Kiwiherb Echicnature - which is great for immunity for babies and children from 0 - 12 years.

Lastly, a friend asked me about sourcing some natural alternatives to Vicks Vaporub (i.e. something without petroleum jelly). I found a lovely product made with beautiful natural ingredients by Absolute Essentials called Absolute Essentials Chest Care Cream - Chest Care Cream is designed to help clear mucus congestion and support healthy respiration and natural immunity. It offers a safe and effective alternative to petroleum-based cough and congestion rubs - designed for delicate babies and children's skin. 

4. Taking Time to Breathe

There's something about winter where it just feels like there's more space to breathe. The crowds have disappeared from the beaches, the air is fresher and things just seem to move at a slower pace. I was running around the coastal path a few weeks ago and I spotted a woman mediating by the sea. I was immediately struck by the sense of calmness I felt just by watching her.

It made me think how our own sense of calmness and peace has a knock on effect to others in our lives (and the same can be said for feelings of stress and anxiety) - what we feel can be felt directly by others. For this reason (and many more) it is so important to take the time to breathe each day, to have some time to reconnect with yourself, which in turn will help you to reconnect to others in your life. Even just 10 minutes a mindful breathing (or mediation, yoga, pranayama) can make a significant difference to our daily lives. 

5. Inspiration From Pinterest

When it's cold outside there is a natural tendency towards hibernating inside and for better or worse graviating towards to the computer. I am loving the inspiring words, recipes and health tips I find on pinterest shared by other pinners out there. Feel free to follow the Nourishing Hub on Pinterest