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Winter Nutrition Tips

It is pretty much a given in our culture that at this time of year we tend to overindulge in types of foods and liquids that may add a few unwanted pounds. To augment that tendency, many of us are more inactive due to the season, the colder temperatures, and the overall attitude that goes along with the winter seasonal quality of a more inward, introspective time. If we were more in touch with the aspect of introspection and truly took it to heart, it may actually help us to align and stay on a course that honors our own best interests. All too often though, with the hype of Christmas and all of its social activities we tend to add more distraction, which in the end pulls us even farther off center and our natural inclination to be still for a time.

It is important I feel, to allow for a little quiet time, especially during a season which we need to conserve our reserves. If you observe nature she is always letting herself rest and renew at this time, often to the extent of complete dormancy or hibernation. Nature can teach us everything really, and at a time when we live lives quite detached from Nature, especially our own nature, we could perhaps take some advice. I am going to suggest that you will more than likely fall off a little on your exercise regimes and to allow for that, without any guilt. This is ok – the most damaging thing to come from that tendency would be to feel guilty. Guilt will just develop into more of the same, which will lead to self-sabotage. So cut yourself some slack – but not too much, and relax a little. We need to be careful when we cut ourselves slack because if we don’t do it consciously and with intention we often feel we have to steal time for ourselves and end up feeling guilty, perhaps because we did not set it up properly or we broke an agreement because we said “yes” when we really meant “no”. We will do this to ourselves with food as well. Because we don’t allow ourselves to indulge and enjoy, with ease and discretion we tend to go way off in opposite directions – complete denial of pleasure or dangerous overindulgence. Find the middle road of balance and you will save yourself a lot of wasted energy.

Here are some diet tips if you feel a little heavier and wish to lighten up a bit in the New Year.

Begin with total acceptance of yourself as you are. From there make a realistic request to attract the ideal weight. Think of it like this: If you say to yourself I am too fat…bla bla bla…, you are affirming that, and the subconscious will continue to make that a reality because that is its job. Instead, imagine your ideal weight and how that would feel and go from there. You could say to yourself: “I am so thrilled to feel light, energetic and healthy in my body. I enjoy being my ideal weight (say your weight) and I love my body!

Make one choice to exercise. Let it be as simple as a walk, but make that choice and do it. If you don’t get to it, go to the mirror and say I chose not to walk today because…(“…….”) and really own that choice, not the guilt or the negative attitude that you may find yourself giving into. You will be amazed when you are conscious about the choices you are making; you will be more honorable about them. Remember exercise if good for you and important, your body loves to move!

Think quality when you are eating. At a time when many of our traditions are filled with starches, fats and sugars – the three deadly sins – you need to be diligent about the quality and type of food you put into your body. Ask not what the food doesn’t have, but what it DOES have that will serve you.

Feed and water every 3-4 hours. This is a concept that I will be addressing more in inserts to come, (The Seven Fit For Life Habits) for now however, simply to eliminate the huge meals and move more towards more frequent small meals. Your metabolism is like a fire. To keep it burning, throw a log on every 3-4 hours by eating healthy meals and snacks. Remember a “fired” metabolism burns fat 35% more efficiently than a sluggish one.

Drink plenty of water. Think of drinking water every time you go to eat, and drink at least eight ounces. That way you will be sure to stay hydrated, especially during a season when it’s easy to forget to drink as much. The body doesn’t have a natural mechanism for thirst, so often when we think we are hungry we are really thirsty. Aim for 2 full liters a day.

Get enough protein. To assist in eating fewer refined starches, include a 3-4 oz. serving of protein, plant or animal (fish is best), in all three of your daily meals. Remember the body will burn stores of fat faster, with minimal carbs present.

Eat lots of vegetables. Make at least half of your plate veggies for all of your meals. These provide all the nutrients and micronutrients. Your body won’t digest and process the food you eat efficiently without vitamins and minerals. You may need to consider supplements to get things working really well.

Be grateful for your ability to eat well, for your amazing body and its wisdom to efficiently carry out all of its processes and functions to assist in your experience here. Think of nurturing yourself, body, mind and spirit and eating will take on a whole new joy.

Published by Mary-Jo

I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, sustainability and community. Having raised my children in a small B.C. town as a single parent, I relied on the community, my resourcefulness and the land to sustain us. We developed a market farm,built a cafe and catering business that utilized the produce, local farmers and families to thrive. As a Waldorf school parent I became experienced in biodiversity, edible landscapes and community engagement. I gained substantial skills in leadership, facilitation, project management, communication through teaching yoga and running various business's. My role as a facilitator and trainer to individuals seeking to become a yoga teacher- whom never thought that they could stand in front of a room and speak in public, gave me insight into human nature and coaching. In addition to designing and building businesses - cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, I am a student of Social Development & Social Psychology and understand the complexity and importance of social engagement. I can handle with grace most any situation, having encountered a disability later in life. Consequent to becoming disabled and through advocacy and providing peer support I have trained and acquired extensive exposure and understanding of UN principles on disability, The Human Rights objectives, theories and principles of Universal Design and the various challenges and obstacles for those affected and the relationship to various stakeholders. After 30 years of teaching yoga, my spinal cord injury and subsequent sabbatical has allowed for the integration of my yoga and more in-depth study of the Healing Arts. I have had the fortune of working with some of the best in the field of rehabilitation, Somatic Experiencing and manual therapy including Emilie Conrad, Mark Finch, Judy Russel, Rod Stryker, Carolyn Myss, Ana Forest, & Tim Miller, Susan Harper, Mariah Moser, Herta Buller and Nature.