Vancouver’s chill is starting to creep in, and with that we have the opportunity to integrate warming rituals to keep our bodies feeling cozy and functioning optimally. Winter is a beautiful backdrop for meditation, journalling, cozy movie nights, candlelit dinner parties and trips to the sauna or spa. Below are some tools to help stoke your inner fire.
Ditch the iced drinks
If you’re an ice water, iced coffee or smoothie lover, consider swapping them for more warming drinks like teas, hot coffees or lattes, and warm water with lemon. The body naturally has to work a little harder to stay warm during the next few months, so drinks that are on the warmer side help honour this process. If smoothies are your go-to for breakfast, consider a warming smoothie of banana, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, warm almond or coconut milk, and then blend in protein powder last and enjoy. At TurF, our winter go-tos are the golden latte with turmeric, the brain train with reishi, or a classic home-made almond milk latte. Order delivery to warm up right now.
Warm your toes
If you find you have cold feet most of the time, and especially when you get into bed, fill up your tub or a small bucket with hot water and soak your feet for 5-10 minutes before sleep, or first thing if you wake up chilled. You can also add essential oils to the mix like sandalwood, cedar or lavender for sleep. This simple ritual helps draw heat up through the body. Finish off with some creamy moisturizer and thick wooly socks.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is grounded in living with the seasons. Fall and winter introduce more warming foods and lifestyle tools. Acupuncture is a beautiful way to help build heat, or yang, in the body. For example, I went to my regular acupuncture appointment and noted my tendency towards cold feet, and my acupuncturist placed needles around my feet in such a way to draw heat up. When menstruating folks have irregularities or are experiencing unpleasant symptoms, it’s often said its due to a “cold uterus”, and various practices will be suggested to help warm the uterus and improve the menstrual cycle.
Opt for warming scents and herbs
In the summer, we tend to gravitate towards floral and cooling herbs like peppermint, mint, lemongrass, rose and lavender with our perfume and body products. As the weather transitions to colder temperatures, opt for grounding and warming scents and herbs like vanilla, amber, cinnamon, honey, pine, nutmeg, sandalwood, pepper, clove and ginger. We're obsessed with our new One Wednesday candles. We love burning incense or palo santo year round, but winter can be a particularly potent time to integrate upon rising and making your morning coffee, meditating or journalling, or while you put on a quickie movement practice at home.
Keep your head, hands and feet cozy with wool layers. Opt for a thick, warming body and face oil like jojoba to keep skin moisturized, especially when you’ve got your heat on which can be quite drying. Keep a nourishing hand cream on the go. Embrace the sweatsuit as your leisure uniform. Enjoy a face mask with manuka honey & chamomile tea mixed and layered on to hydrate a few days a week. Layer up in style with our new Colorful Standard x TurF sweats, Colorful Standard Socks + Beanies.
Spice up your life
Stoke your inner fire with spices in curries and stews and veggie bowl sauces. Think paprika, turmeric, lots of garlic, ginger, pepper, and cumin. Opt for creamy coconut milk as a base for curries and soups. Play with tamari, chilli oil, miso and hot peppers. If you’re a fan of oats, top with honey, cacao nibs and cardamom, or mix things up and try making a congee for any meal of the day. Bone or mushroom broth is always a good idea, either as a cup to sip midday or as a base for a soup or stew. And, there’s always the new TurF Stew-per Bowl, Warm Oat of Control Bowl or Daily Soups which will warm you right up.
Breath of fire
A pranayama technique designed to build internal heat. Sit on the floor kneeling, or in a cross-legged position. Begin by inhaling deeply and exhaling completely. Repeat two more times, and then take a comfortable breath in to about three-quarters of your capacity. Rest your hands on your knees, with your palms up and your thumbs and index fingers touching. Or, for a more challenging pose, raise your arms in a V above your head with your palms facing up. Begin sharp, fast, forceful and conscious exhales. The focus is on the exhale, and the inhale will happen naturally. With each rapid exhale, pull your abdomen in and up. Repeat for 100 breaths or set a timer and go for a minute. When complete, take a deep inhalation, hold the breath, lift up through the pelvic floor, exhale and repeat. Take note of how you feel before and after this practice. This can be done for 1-3 minutes for a profound effect of invigoration and heat building.
Stay warm, friends!