The winter season is all about slowing down and bundling up. With decreased sunlight during waking hours, cooler temperatures, and extravagant temptations, it's difficult to keep on track with our wellness goals. Today, we remain cozy, inside with heat and festivities, satiating the winter woes with energy-dense foods.
The winter season is all about slowing down and bundling up. With decreased sunlight during waking hours, cooler temperatures, and extravagant temptations, it's difficult to keep on track with our wellness goals. Historically, the cooler seasons were associated with hibernation and survival marked by changes in our metabolic rates - food was scarce and energy was conserved for the most essential activities, like shivering to generate heat. In the past, humans were once required to slow down and rest throughout fall and winter. However, with the luxuries afforded by modern technology, calorie scarcity, and cold stress no longer affects our metabolism. Today, we remain cozy, inside with heat and festivities, satiating the winter woes with energy-dense foods. Our winters are noted with trends toward less sleep and decreased exposure to natural light, compounded by holiday delights, all of which leave our bodies burdened and susceptible to illness. Here are a few ways to support winter immunity during the season of stressors!
While no food is completely off-limits, it is best to treat a treat like a treat, being strategic in the incorporation of festive foods. Like an advent calendar, if you ate all that chocolate in one go, you wouldn’t feel your best; instead, spread the cheer throughout the season. Allow yourself a small portion of your favorite holiday dip or confection daily, pairing an indulgence with a healthy portion of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, crushing hunger in its steps. By “pre-gaming” your treats with a well-balanced plate, you are less likely to over-consume the sweet or salty snacks lurking around every festive occasion. Savoring a protein-packed cup of our Pasture-raised Chicken Bone Broth is an effective way to conquer cravings and remain resilient in the face of temptation.
Hosting can be an especially tricky occasion as you want to accommodate your guests! To avoid the overflow of leftovers that sneak on your post-event plates, buy to-go containers in anticipation of your big night, allowing guests to bring home whatever hasn’t been eaten. Whether you're throwing a party or attending one, remember, processed foods are more taxing on your body’s digestive system and direct resources away from your immune system in order to metabolize foods you don’t normally consume. As a substitute, opt for recipes that are composed of, or complement, whole foods. This could look like dunking vegetables into dips instead of chips and crackers or reaching for a warm apple crumble instead of boxed cake or cookies. We want to limit holiday indulgences and avoid unnecessary simple carbohydrates, refined sugars, and exposure to holiday libations, especially late in the day.
Thinking about that glass of cabernet at the end of the day? Try a bone broth instead for a collagen boost and fewer calories, a savory sipper that leaves you feeling as good as it tastes. Our Pasture-raised Chicken Bone Broth is the perfect end-of-the-night sipper delivering 14 grams of protein and 8 grams of collagen in every delicious serving!
Sleep is another key factor in winter immunity. As days grow shorter, we have less exposure to sunlight and our circadian rhythms become unregulated. To receive the quality of sleep and hours of rest necessary to thwart bugs, it is vital that we impose morning routines that prioritize sunlight exposure, and nighttime routines that elicit relaxation. Create a wind-down routine as part of your sleep hygiene; because it is winter and the earth is quiet and in restoration, it's a good time to begin thinking about practices of self-care that may allow for better sleep. A warm cup of bone broth in lieu of your nightcap with your relaxation and gut health. Alcohol does contribute to sleep disruption, so while it may help you fall asleep at first, it may interrupt sleep at night. This is not so with Azuluna Foods Pasture-Raised Chicken Bone Broth, plus the collagen found in our bone broth helps support your overnight gut re-building.
Lastly, movement is foundational to bolstering winter immunity, but the key to optimizing cold-weather wellness is the ways in which you are active. Generally speaking, it is best to participate in restorative exercises, choosing yoga, indoor water aerobics, or gentle walks over rigorous interval workouts or a long run. Reducing the duration and intensity of your workouts while increasing hydration is key to retaining the energy necessary to recover and combat colds. While we may not be sweating as much as in warmer months, we must be mindful of the dryness in the air during the heating season! To avoid textured and tired skin, be sure you’re drinking enough liquids to keep your body’s natural barrier healthy. Azuluna Pasture-Raised Chicken Bone Broth is a great solution for skin hydration, elasticity, and moisture. The Type 2 collagen found in our broth is helpful in maintaining radiant skin during harsh weather!