Join us at the Gale Center on Friday January 28th, from 4:00-5:00, with your loved ones for some winter fun!
How can we get ahead in the winter when we feel lazy, tired, and maybe even a little depressed? You want to get active and do more exercise, but it’s too cold and too dark....a great way around this is to set a small goal.
One of the most popular ways of exercising throughout the day is counting your steps. I hear it all day long from patients: “I bought a fitbit because I want to count my steps”…or … “I’m in a challenge with my co-workers to see who gets the most steps in throughout a day.”
I used to chuckle because I thought it was just another distraction, until I realized, I too was finding it more and more difficult to fit in exercise and activity in the winter months. I bought a smart watch and low and behold, I found myself counting my steps and monitoring my daily progress, too!
I strive for 12,000 steps a day, this can translate anywhere from 8-10km. Thats a lot of mileage when you think about it...but its even better that we can do it without thinking about it. In my readings, I discovered a sedentary person is performing less than 7000 steps a day. This is my goal, to never be sedentary. Granted I have a physical occupation, but there are times when I have to do more to reach my goal.
Goals can be small and goals can be lofty, but I think the most important thing, whether it’s a goal, a deadline or reward....make it attainable, because failing shouldn’t be an option.
When it comes to health tips, it’s most practical to pick and choose the ones that you feel are practical. Health is a work in progress…so 1, 2, pick a few… and keep up the great work in evolving your health.
Here’s my top 10 Seasonal Health Tips for the Fall…
10) Steam, Sauna or Mineral Salt Baths. Keep your body temperature up by enjoying time in a steam room or a sauna if you belong to a gym that has these facilities or if you have a sauna at home. If you don’t, soaking in a mineral salt bath (e.g. epsom salt, Himalayan or Celtic bath salts) can warm the body while also having therapeutic benefit.
9) Keep Eating Well. Get ready… here come all the holidays! Every 4-8 weeks, there’s something to celebrate this time of year! I’m all for keeping it real and maintaining flexibility. Eat nutritiously between the celebratory occasions so you can enjoy some fun festive foods when those special occasions arrive.
8) Moisturize! Many people feel dry this time of year. Keep your skin happy by moisturizing. There are so many natural body lotions out there, like Kiss My Face (Tropical Coconut Lotion is pure heaven).
7) Get Spicy. Use warming spices like cinnamon, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and black pepper to your dishes. These spices do help to increase circulation and help us feel warmer. If you’re not a fan of spices, you can always go the route of warming teas.
6) Cozy Up. This is the snug time of year! Make the most of it by cuddling up with a loved one, friend or pet. Power down the tech, and power up some real life quality time together.
5) Still Get Outside! I know it’s cold out there…even 10-15 minutes will do to get some fresh air. Even better… find an outdoor fall or winter activity that you really love.
4) Write Away. A) There can be lots going on… make yourself lists… on paper, in your phone… your brain will thank you. B) Consider getting introspective during this time of year. Journalling can be a great way to work through our emotions.
3) Fresh squeezed lemon or lime in hot water every morning. To help get a real food shot of extra Vitamin C.
2) Keep Moving. Continue your efforts to exercise even when you don’t feel like it during the colder months. Remember… Mood follows Action! You may not want to at first, but once you do, you’ll feel great and be so glad you did. Plus, exercise in the fall and winter will help support your best energy and mood.
And my Number One Tips is….
1) Get 7-8 hours of sleep! The change in daylight hours, colder temperatures and grey days can leave us feeling Tired, with a capital T! Get to bed before midnight and ensure a solid 7-8 hours of sleep.
If you’d like more health support this season, visit with me and I’d be happy to help.
With the fall season fast approaching one of my favourite things to do is continue to meal prep for my work week. The flavours change from cool foods such as salads to warmer treats such as soups. This has been one of my absolute favourite soups. I came across Angela Liddon from the Oh She Glows website a few years ago and this is one of her recipes. This soup is creamy, vegan, full of vitamin A and leaves you wanting more. Hope you enjoy as much as I do!
Creamy Thai Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
Recipe yields about 8 cups soup (4 servings).
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cups chopped yellow (sweet) onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons red curry paste
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, plus more if needed
1/4 cup raw almond butter or peanut butter
3 cups diced peeled carrots
3 cups diced peeled sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Up to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, if you like spice)
Minced fresh cilantro
Fresh lime juice
Roasted tamari almonds (optional, see below)
1/2 cup raw almonds, finely chopped
tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari or coconut aminos
1. To make the soup: In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
2. Stir in the curry paste. In a small bowl, whisk together some of the broth with the almond butter until smooth. Add the mixture to the pot, along with the carrots, sweet potatoes, salt, and remaining vegetable broth. Stir until combined.
3. Bring the soup to a low boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.
4. Ladle the soup carefully into a blender. You will likely have to do this in a couple of batches, depending on the size of your blender. With the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, blend on low and slowly increase the speed until the soup is completely smooth. (Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and blend the soup directly in the pot.)
5. Taste, and season with salt and black pepper. If you’d like more spice, add a pinch or full 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and blend again. Transfer the soup back to the pot and reheat if necessary. If desired, you can thin the soup out with a bit more broth if it’s too thick for your preference.
6. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with minced cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and optional tamari almonds (see below). This soup will keep in the fridge for up to a week, and freezes well for 1 to 2 months.
7. To make the roasted tamari almonds: Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
8. In a medium bowl, toss the almonds with tamari until the almond pieces are fully coated. Spread the almonds over the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.