Winter is Coming… Get Health and Wellness Tips for Winter from Nourish Cafe!

With the arrival of the solstice, some of us are already counting the days to spring, with fingers crossed that the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow come February. Others are impatiently waiting for the first “real” snow of winter 2018-2019, ready to strap on our cross country skis and snow shoes for rosy-cheeked outdoor adventures. And still others are content to observe the gradual lengthening of daylight hours with each passing day. Whether you find yourself in the moment, or not, this season, enjoy it all to the fullest with these health and wellness tips for winter!

Our passion for wellness inspired us to open our organic, plant-based cafe in Downtown Northampton, where we serve food and drink to nourish you year-round.

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Health and Wellness Tips for Winter: Balance the Qualities of the Season

A number of ancient healing traditions emphasize the need for us to balance out the qualities of the seasons in order to stay well. Have you noticed that many people tend to catch colds and flus, or experience depression, during times of seasonal change? According to systems such as Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, harmonizing our eating and lifestyle habits with the seasons helps our bodies and minds adjust better to the shifts in external conditions.

Our Favorite Health and Wellness Tips for Winter to Balance Winter’s Qualities

Health and Wellness Tips for Winter – #1: Eat Warm, Well-Spiced, Cooked Foods.

According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of health, digestive fire is strongest in winter. This is one reason people tend to crave rich foods at this time of year. Heavy, processed, extra-sweet and salty foods can be difficult to digest, and too many treats can lead to imbalance in the body. But treats can be hard to avoid during the holiday season–and, of course, they are part of what makes this a fun time of year!

Enjoy treats and indulgence in moderation, and boost your immunity and digestive strength by choosing lighter, savory and lightly sweetened foods at other times. Warm, soft, cooked foods made from fresh, organic ingredients are easiest to digest. Try a bowl of Miso Tahini Broth, our house-made Soup of the Day, or our Winter Warmer Bowl (grains, greens and ferments ladled with Miso Tahini Broth). They all pair beautifully with an order of the Ghee Me: sourdough toast from our neighbors at Tart Baking Co., spread with ghee from Full Moon Ghee, based in Greenfield!

Health and Wellness Tips for Winter – #2: Drink Warm Drinks.

Winter is a great time of year to enjoy warm drinks, with a bit of extra fat and a little sweetener, if you like. We’ve got lots to choose from on our menu, which you can get unsweetened, sweetened, or lightly sweetened with local maple syrup (thank you, North Hadley Sugar Shack!). For important fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and a more substantial afternoon pick-me-up, we like to add a small amount of ghee and/or coconut oil to our warm drinks!

Warm Drinks to Try This Winter:

  • Organic, Fair Trade Coffee from Local Producer Dean’s Beans – try in our Mayan Mocha or Vanilla Latte!
  • Dandy Blend, a caffeine-free, gluten-free drink similar to coffee, made from extracts of roasted chicory, dandelion, barley, rye, and beet roots
  • Fresh Lemon and Ginger Tea – a wonderful choice for warming the belly and stimulating digestion!

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Health and Wellness Tips for Winter – #3: Stay Warm!

It may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to balance the qualities of winter is to prioritize keeping your body warm. This goes beyond having appropriate outerwear. Winter is the perfect time of year to indulge regularly in warm baths, hot tubs, and saunas. Ayurveda also recommends regular (even daily!) self massage with warm oil, such as sesame or almond oil. Heat your oil by placing its container in hot water. Apply a small palmful of oil at a time, rubbing in long strokes along the length of your bones, and making small circular movements at your joints.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these health and wellness tips for winter. When you’re out and about in Northampton this winter season, stop into Nourish in Downtown Northampton to warm up!

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Photo by Jonathan Knepper on Unsplash

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