It's basically the arctic in Chicago via freezing temps. What are peeps in the city feeling? Cabin fever, flu bugs, more lethargic, antsy, bored and blah.
Let's work in wellness with the following FIVE health tips from yours truly!
1. Greens, greens & more greens! Eat your greens people! Organic spinach - kale -chard - hooray. I know, greens aren't that exciting to 'some of us (my hand is raised) but, sometimes our palettes just need some time to adjust and fall in love. Work greens into your smoothies - make a salad - add greens to your sandwich wrap for lunch - steam them - add them to everything! Figure out a way to get organic greens into your body! My favorite reference for 'everything green' is Kris Carr. So, to get to the 'why' greens are so good for you, check her out. And if she doesn't convince you? Well, maybe Dr. Mercola can here.
P.S. I am personally SHOCKED at how easily I get the flu & worn down when I eat processed foods from SAD (Standard American Diet). When I switch to healthy-organic-plant based whole foods? The flu is a thing of the past, my sleep cycle is better, I feel more energized & my mood is on 'happy'. Be your own experiment & try it for a week. You will feel drastically different when you change your diet.
2. Increase your level of Vitamin C! Let's quickly tackle 'Why' & 'How'!
Why: A recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years revealed a growing list of benefits of vitamin C.
"Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health," says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. "The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer."
"But," Moyad notes, "the ideal dosage may be higher than the recommended dietary allowance."
How: Eat your best sources of Vitamin C which are chili peppers, red bell peppers (more vitamin c then oranges), green bell peppers, kale - kale - we love kale, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, pineapple, kiwi, mango & any additional supplementation recommended to you from your Naturopath or Integrative Physician!
3. MOVE YOUR BODY OUTDOORS to INCREASE Vitamin D! Go for a brisk walk - YES... in that cold air! Sun exposure triggers vitamin D production in the skin, and bones need the “sunshine vitamin” to make the body absorb bone-strengthening calcium properly. Not getting outside during winter months slows down production and decreases the body’s store of vitamin D.
What I really like to do is bundle up & walk to Starbucks which is about 8 blocks away. I treat myself to a hot chocolate & take the long route home. Is it really pleasurable in this cold of weather? No but I want to take care of my body. Is it much of a 'workout'? Nada... but 'a little' is better then 'not moving at all'. So MOVE MOVE MOVE!
*If you have the money to join a gym....join a gym and get your cardio on.
*If you have a smaller budget but money to spare, head over to Groupon because they have amazing deals via yoga, pilates, short-term gym memberships!
*A budget that does not allow for anything extra? Find out which gyms & yoga studios in your neighborhood offer free classes & go take them! You can get up to two weeks worth & you trial various exercise routines! Otherwise, put together a workout routine in your own home. There are a lot of exercise videos on YouTube! Finally, you can make up your own routine as well. Where to go for ideas? Google. We live in the world of no excuses.
*And when all else fails????? My friend.....dance it out like Parov Stelar!
4. ACTIVITIES! There are tons of winter activities to do that range beyond your bed, blankets & remote control! If you want to know what is going on in the city of Chicago daily, the absolute BEST app is 'Sosh' - you need Sosh on your phone! Honestly, you need to go no further than Sosh to fill your winter calendar with fun activities & events. Some of my own ideas? Museums, movies, cooking classes, meeting friends & family for hot chocolate, brunch/lunch somewhere nearby, ice skating (you skate, I'll watch...from indoor a nearby cafe - cheesy grin) & you can always go to Meetup.com to find fun events to attend involving basically any hobby known to mankind.
5. GIVE GIVE GIVE - BE OF SERVICE! This winter, get your mind off of yourself and how frigid it is outside and help people!!!! If you live in Chicago, go to this agency food depository locator and find a place to feed those that are just grateful to have a warm meal! Volunteer at a nursing home and put smiles on the elderly faces!
We know what is NOT working and that is complaining - isolating yourself - laying around - eating sugary processed crap - waiting 'until Spring' to do any or all of the above. You are better than that & so am I.
So, let's appreciate the season & stay healthy!!!
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.