Healthy Eating in Mid Winter

So have you started on a healthy diet with lots of salads and raw vegetables to get healthy again, after the Christmas excess?  Maybe you have been feeling under the weather for quite a few months and decide that this is the time to make changes.

“A new year, a new you” as they say.  Well there is nothing wrong with looking after yourself and getting healthier.  However, you might be struggling a bit by now, if you started just after New Year.  Are you feeling the cold, feeling sluggish, craving a nice juicy burger or piece of cake?  Maybe you have managed to stay on your healthy eating regime but can’t work out why you are feeling more bloated not less?

There are good reasons why a going on a new diet doesn’t always work in January, and that is at least partly due to the weather and that it is cold!  In Chinese medicine the advice is to eat lots of cooked food at this time of year, including lots of root crops like swede, turnip, carrots, beetroots, celeriac and parsnips.  This is because when it is cold and wet outside, our inner Digestive Fire is rather low so we don’t cope well with a diet of salad and raw green leaves.  Digestive Fire refers to our stomach and the ability to ‘burn’ food to break it down so we can absorb it.  Raw foods take a lot of digesting and too much can put out our ‘fire’ leading to bloating, flatulence and feeling cold and sluggish, which is not helpful.  

What is helpful is a nice big bowl of thick parsnip soup followed by roast root veg and your protein of choice.  Sound more appealing? Then give your body what it needs in the depths of winter, stoke up the fire with cooked food and enjoy it!  The time for salads and green leaves will be here in two or three months.


About Helen Cranston

Helen's primary work takes her to Sinai, Egypt as Project Manager for the Makhad Trust. She continues to work as a Nutritonal Therapist on an occasional basis and has over 20 years experience.
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