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winter is a beautiful time of year that's perfect for rejuvenating ourselves quietly while we prepare for the spring season. Winter can also be a perfect time to get sick, mainly because most of us resist changing our routine to accommodate the season's demands like slowing down and getting more rest. Here are some tips to survive the winter months and enjoy its magic:

Winter foods

In winter we need to eat foods to create warmth and support the Kidneys. Energetically warm foods include anchovies, bay leaves, chestnuts, chicken, coriander, fennel, leek, mussels, mutton, nutmeg, pine nuts, rosemary, spring onions, sweet potatoes and walnuts. Preparation of food can also add to the warming nature like stewing and slow cooking.

Helping herbs : In winter, warm pungent herbs such as rosemary, shallots, garlic, onions, cinnamon cloves, black pepper, ginger, fennel, anise, dill and horseradish all help to remove cold.

When you feel like you are getting a common cold, try fresh ginger boiled in water with the white ends of two spring onion stalks. Boil for ten minutes to make a warming broth to give you energy and dispel the cold and wind.

Rub your ears for five minutes every day :because the ears are the sensory organ connected to the Kidney, stimulating and warming them can greatly enhance your Kidney and overall health.

March in place : using flat, heavy feet, slowly stomp as if walking slowly in place for 4-5 minutes to stimulate the Kidney meridians, which begin in the soles of your feet.

Take a break! The best thing you can do is follow nature at this time by resting—keep emotional and physical activities to a minimum. Do restorative yoga, with qi gong.

So stay warm and ensure your neck is always covered, keep hydrated and nourished and try to give yourself the extra time and space to slow down, rest and meditate in this profound season of stillness.

Five Food Rules

Here are some tips on eating wisely:

1) Chew your food very well. This makes it easier for your enzymes to break food down into the energy needed to keep the body going.

2) When eating, stop when you are seven tenths full emphases the importance of moderation. Stop eating before you are completely full. This enhances the digestion and won't overload the liver and kidneys' ability to process waste products.

3) Eat in a quiet, non-stressful environment. Make the dinner hour a special time with no television, phone calls or other loud distractions. Sit down to eat and make a rule to discuss only pleasant topics.

4) Finish your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime. This prevents stress on the liver along with digestive problems like heartburn and acid reflux.

5) Eat a diet of primarily lightly cooked foods, especially if you have weak digestion. Cooking allows easier assimilation of nutrients.

Exercise

Summer is the best time to do vigorous exercise if the weather is not too hot, avoiding the peak hours of the summer heat 10am to 2pm (so best done in the early morning) — at least 1 hour a day to include 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise that promotes sweating (eg running, swimming, tennis, cycling), 15 minutes of mild exercise (walking,) and 15 minutes of stretching.

Also, while doing daily activities, such as working outdoors or exercising, take breaks in the shade every hour to cool down your body.


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