By Sophie Pattihis
1. Incorporate thermogenic foods.
Cinnamon. Turmeric. Ginger. Chilies. Garlic. Thermogenic foods help to raise your body temperature and burn fat by increasing circulation and metabolism. They are great for those who are feeling at a low ebb or feel they need an 'inner power' boost. These are warming for the body and we should all be having good amounts in our everyday meals. Try adding ginger to your morning smoothie or juice. Include chilies in your dehydrated nut burgers or even salads. Add some cinnamon to desserts or crush some garlic into salad dressings.
Make a thermogenic soup. For a warming vegetable soup, cut 1 whole swede, 2 whole butternut squash, 2 red onions, and a clove or two of garlic. Whizz in your high speed blender with the juice of 3 carrots, 2 courgettes, 2 apples and 1 lemon. warm 2 tspns of cumin, dried chili, coriander seed on the stove to bring their flavour to life. Add 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt and turmeric with these whole spices. Whizz up again for one minute until the mixture is fully blended. You can either warm this in your dehydrator (takes forever) or very gently on a low heat over the stove. Add some grated ginger and a pinch of cinnamon and fresh coriander on top, and a fresh grind of warming black pepper.
2. Eat cake
Raw cakes and desserts are filling, nourishing, grounding, whilst remaining indulgent and super tasty! It’s a perfect opportunity to be mind full about your snacking and goes great with a cup of warming herbal cinnamon or liquorice tea. My favourite combination is a raw cacao cheesecake with a sweet chili tea from 'Yogi' teas. Try incorporating some super foods into your 'baking' lacuma, maca, cacao to name but a few!
3. Incorporate good fats into your diet.
Essential, healthy fats give us energy, make our skin soft and radiant, keeping your immune system strong and elevate our moods. Avocados, nut butters, coconut oil, durian, flax seed and olives are some of the best healthy fats out there and really easy to add to your everyday diet. Mash a whole avocado and banana together with some maca, cacao, cacai butter and mint the make a Delicious pudding. substituting your everyday cooking oil with coconut oil is always a good idea. Cut up some crunchy celery and courgette sticks to dip in or spread on some nut and seed crackers for even more warming fat.You can also make raw nut butter balls (see recipe pages) for a high energy, warming snack to take with you whilst your on the move.
4. Eat green
Start your day off with a big green juice every morning. The power of green veg is enough to keep you warm, phyto nutrients generate super energy in the body, improving chi movement, lymphatic drainage and movement, thus maintaining the flow of toxins out of the system so your body can concentrate on keeping you energised and warm.
Juice 2 apples, 1 stick of celery, a cucumber, 1 beetroot, 1 carrot, and a big handful of kale and spinach and warming watercress, rocket and ginger. Instead of adding ice, try drinking it at room temperature. Your taste buds might need some adjusting but it will stop the shivers after each mouthful. If you can’t manage drinking it without ice, throw in a handful of frozen berries instead for an extra nutrient hit and to bring the temperature down of your smoothie or juice without adding extra water. Serve greens with every meal, too, a big salad or plate of veg on the side .
5. Eat chocolate
Raw chocolate that is! Cacao has a vast range of essential minerals and nutrients. I eat cacao everyday and its made a huge difference to my overall health. One of the main reasons people start to feel ill when the weather is so miserable is through lack of sunlight and light energy. A lack of stimulating energy that the body needs to keep the inner 'life force' or 'chi' alive and strong. Cacao has the nutritional power to elevate this inner chi, enabling us to assimilate any other nutrients we are obtaining from our diets even better, keeping our immunity strong and our energy alive!
6. Drink warmth
Other than tea, the obvious winter warmer for most is hot chocolate! so why not try warming chocolate smoothie teas! Use thick nut and seed milks as a base and add the herbal tea of your choice. Then add super foods, 1 tsp cacao powder, carob, lucuma, … add any super foods you like to your milky teas. Best enjoyed whilst snuggled under a blanket by the fire!
7. Eat burgers
This is a great excuse to whip out the dehydrator! Soak 1 cup pumpkin seeds and 1 cup almonds in water for a couple of hours. Rinse and discard the water. Pop in a food processor with 2 sundried tomatoes, 1 fresh tomato, fresh basil and oregano, half a red onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 carrots and 1 stick celery. Add the juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of pink salt. Process and then shape into small round patties. Put in the dehydrator overnight or for 24 hours if you want them to be crunchier and last longer. Serve with a raw salsa of freshly chopped tomatoes, chives, red onion, olive oil, agave, garlic and cloves and a fresh green salad with parsley, dill, cucumber, bok choy and spring onion.
8. Make room for the mushroom
The medicinal power of mushrooms is amazing! You can get so many varieties of mushrooms these days that are meaty, filling and packed full of antiviral, fungal, microbial and immune-boosting properties. The best, in my opinion that pack a real health-maintaining, medicinal punch are the shiitake, reishi, chaga, maitake, lion’s mane enoki.
Shiitake and enoki are great in salads and soups, or marinated in some olive oil and garlic!
To use the other mushrooms, add some of these as powder to soups, smoothies, pâtés and salad dressings. Add some chili, ginger and asian spices for true authentic taste.You can also make tea with them for even more warmth!
9. Hot lemons
Boil your kettle. Pour the water into a cup. Add 2 slices of lemon, 3 thin slices of ginger, a bit of a cinnamon stick and infuse. Drink several times a day but try to drink warm rather than piping hot because drinking/ eating hot substances causes an added and unnecessary immune response, demanding precious energy that your body needs to carry out other processes. Lemons are extremely good cleansers and keep you feeling 'cleaned' from the inside out! They help support immunity and healthy liver and blood function. Their colour reminds us that the sun is always shining even if it’s behind the clouds. Do this every day, even if it’s just lemon and warm water… and it’s a great way to end the day too. Just simple water, and lemon. Keep it warm. Keep it lovely.
10. Look after your liver
The liver is the master organ, and is the dominant organ for this time of year. Spring brings with it the colour green, the colour green, when considering nutrition is all about cleansing and detox, which is what the livers primary function is. So looking after your liver ensures that precious energy that would be better served elsewhere in the body isn't being misdirected to the liver for any excess clearing or detox it may be burdened with. So the best foods for the liver also happen to be warming too. Power spices, turmeric, ginger, dark bitter leafy veg, lemons, limes and grapefruit, cruciferous veg like cauliflower and brocolii, green tea, Olive oil, garlic, seeds, milk thistle, onions, spring onion and shallots, brazil nuts and globe artichoke. all easy to incorporate into your diets and all very tasty!
Placing a warm compress or hot water bottle on the lower back (kidney area) is very comforting and extremely warming. Another reason for ill health and fatigue is adrenal fatigue. Heating the area gently, is sure fire way to generate some inner heat too and keep you feeling comforted and secure.