Winter has a habit of increasing the puff factor. Both in terms of unwieldy coats and under-eye regions. For as much as there’s a romantic side to the holiday season, not everything seems so peace-on-earth these days (is it me?). At least in my own life, basically everyone is constantly freezing, frenetic with holiday shopping/budgeting, and wishing for the hibernating life… so why not expedite energizing our best snowbunny selves? Some everyday habits can help bring joy back to your wintry personal world.
1. Vegetables and spices. Cooking with these guys always wins health points, but I tend to definitely amp the leafy greens and hot reds this time of year, as per the Christmas color palette. No joke: I put spinach and kale in everything I get my hands on. Breakfast smoothies, mid-day munchies, salads, omlettes… They replenish tons of energy to the body in a super tangible way! Additionally, I’m pretty heavy-handed with the cayenne pepper. Everything from my tea, to faux bloody mary’s which we can safely call tomato juice with pizzazz, to (surprise!) omlettes again are on the receiving end of my hot pepper wrath. And do you know what’s so fantastico? Mexican hot chocolate. Similarly, if your sweet tooth wants a piece of the action, cinnamon is a great garnish for those egg nog indulgences. These spices warm you from the inside out and keep your metabolism humming. Keep it green and leafy, red and spicy.
2. Hot tea. Was this a ‘duh?’ Don’t know, but it’s on here. Actually I find some teas to be minimally helpful, and even rather dehydrating if overly caffeinated, so I’m picky about flavors that I choose (I usually err on the side of green). I’ma be honest and just say that the old hot water/lemon/honey trick does it for me. A slice of ginger, Ms. Jackson, if you’re fancy, or- you guessed it- cayenne! The combo’s already well known for being a cleanser, but I’m a fan of the fact you can feel it working. It just feels so simple and wholly satisfying, like an ancient ritual pre-dating GMO’s and additives and Splenda. Nectar of the gypsies def.
3. Yoga. I advocate for yoga year-round but it gets NECESSARY to stretch in the dozy woes of winter. Some people will interpret this as hot yoga if that’s your thing (and do it!!!!!) but I’m not necessarily advocating one over the other. There are plenty of benefits to a sweat session in any style. Once you’ve officially sworn off the outdoors, aches and cricks and general unpleasantness tend to settle in. We become seasonally affected with a social mentality of sewer rats. So by this logic, yoga is fab two-fold: 1) Get outta that cozy bear cave and socialize! 2) Work those limbs like you’re Frosty come alive! –And if you’d still rather not socialize, yoga’s mostly about internal focus anyhow, so small talk need not really occur 😉
4. Oils. Did you really think I could get through a wintry basics list without the oh-so trendy stuff? Argan oil for your hair is queen regent right now, but definitely worth the hype. I’m desperate to dodge that dreaded static, frizzy hair in all my layers, and even a dab of it seems to hold pesky flyaways. Just comb it through for a touch up- or might I suggest your hands? Any form of brushing seems to exacerbate frizzhead status. Ugh, why. Also, use oil liberally on your face and body. Literally better than any store-bought moisturizer you can find. Coconut and jojoba oils are my faves.
5. Oil pulling for your teeth! (Have you heard of this? Probably, but maybe not). I was curious at first toward this oil-as-mouthwash method, but committed to a few months worth of trial and error, and let me say I’m seeing results. I try to give my teeth special love these days, probably as compensation for having braces all throughout college (that’s another blog post entirely). Swishing with sesame oil, a little bit each day before brushing, literally leaves em feeling squeaky clean. And white as snow. Plus, it pulls out toxins from your bloodstream!
6. Add a touch of color. If you still wish to stave off winter ick on the surface, let’s consider an organic lipstick/lip tint! I was pretty disappointed to read the super cool ILIA brand – particularly the moisturizer/lip tint combo- still contains inorganic ingredients, but fear not. These rms beauty pots are pricey, but definitely fill the niche of super-stylin and 100% organic. Plus they come in so many chic colors, the urge to splurge is real. (A personal fave is the Beauty Living Luminizer).
7. Exfoliate to keep skin happy. Either dry brushing, or a homemade scrub of yummy kitchen stuff like brown sugar and olive oil, lend themselves to user-friendly luxury, as well as making room for skin to regenerate through the rough winter months.
8. All this healthy living too much to handle? Might I suggest a nap? It seems obvious, but REM sleep is maybe most integral to maintaining healthy energy levels. I recommend short naps, often- just not so you begin neglecting your responsibilities, for example, of keeping tame hair and eatin’ veggies! Understanding your body’s natural sleep schedule, or inclination to snooze, is key. Once you’ve established your more than likely snoozy spots, get those alarms ready and set.
And hey, I realize you may still be the type who’d rather consider Tahitian real estate, trading in your icy drive for a paradise lost. I applaud this notion. (Go for it! Invite me!) For those remaining in a harsher climate, here’s hoping these healthy habits might just do the trick 🙂 Sorry baby, it’s cold outside!