The groundhog has predicted another 6 weeks of winter. Read on to find out your answers about how to stay warm and in good health for the rest of the season.
Q: How can I naturally keep myself warm?
A: In the winter, traditional Chinese medicine recommends that you avoid eating raw vegetables, cold salads, and icy cold foods and beverages. Instead, you should eat warming foods and drink warm beverages.
For a warming tea from head to toe, make cinnamon and clove tea by putting 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 teaspoon of cloves in 3 cups of water and boil for 15 minutes. Strain and drink 3 cups each day. Drink one cup in the evenings to warm your insides, which encourages a good night’s sleep.
You may also try specially blended Winter Tea, which uses herbs that expel cold while warming and tonifying your kidneys.
Q: Do you have any dietary advice for keeping your immune system strong?
A: Warming, hearty soups are a good way to stay healthy all winter long. When you slowly simmer foods over low heat, you gently leach out the energetic and therapeutic properties of the foods, preserving the nutritional value of the foods and giving your immune system the minerals it needs to function properly. Keep in mind that boiling can destroy half of the vitamins found in vegetables, so cook soup over a low heat.
• Immune-Boosting Soup Simmer these ingredients for 30 minutes: cabbage, carrots, fresh ginger, onion, oregano, shiitake mushrooms (if dried, they must be soaked first), the seaweed of your choice, and any type of squash in chicken or vegetable stock. Cabbage can increase your body’s ability to fight infection, ginger supports healthy digestion, and seaweed cleanses the body. Shiitake mushrooms contain coumarin, polysaccharides, and sterols, as well as vitamins and minerals that increase your immune function, and the remaining ingredients promote general health and well-being. Eat this soup every other day to build a strong and healthy immune system. For more healing soup tips, take a look at my recent blog: Soup Therapy: Detoxify, Lose Weight, and Boost Immunity.
Q: My skin is taking a beating from the long dry winter and all the indoor heat.