Winter… I have a love-hate relationship with it.
Usually in December, I look forward to the first snowflake. I conjure up images of sipping hot vegan cocoa in front of the fireplace, all cuddled up with a cozy blanket and warm fuzzy socks.
But by the end of February, fuhgeddaboudit. I’m done.
There’s the other side of winter, the ugly, isolating, marrow-eating bluster of awful dark days.
Either way, there are many lessons taught to us by the coldest winter day because the extreme conditions cause us to learn about ourselves, to find stillness, to reorient our view of the world. Most of all we appreciate what we often find ourselves fighting against. Balance.
Being forced to slow down with our lives is actually a blessing. Going inward and resting is natural and necessary during winter.
Winter can be the best time to develop a healthy relationship with your food, not to merely pass through meals on the way from one activity to another, shoveling it in mindlessly, waiting too long until you are starving.
But like any relationship, your interaction with food needs to be attentive, nurturing and whole.
Take time during the winter season to chew your food, to look at it closely, to smell it, and savor it. Turn off the TV. Gather your family around. Eat without distractions from your phone and be present with your food. Take a deep breath, say a “thank you” or simply be still over your food before eating. Create the rituals that make food special to building community and connectedness. You’ll discover different flavors, textures, and possibly cook more at home.
Winter, although for me has conflicting messages with feeling blue and feeling connected, allows you to fully take a step back and get closer to yourself.
One of my favorite nourishing winter recipes is Spicy Winter Soup.
Let’s make it, shall we?
Spicy Winter Soup
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part chopped (1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
½ onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
½ cup broccoli florets
2 cups vegetable broth
¼ tsp. cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, and onion and cook for 5 minutes.
Add squash, carrot, broccoli and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cumin.
Puree soup in food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Do you have a special ritual when it comes to eating your meals? Share with me in the comments below.
PS. In a rut? Don’t know what to eat? Winter Renewal 10 Day Detox is an excellent winter pick-me-up!
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