Written by John Immel,
Your Body in WinterEarly winter starts in late November and lasts through mid January. As the days grow shorter, they grow colder as well. As your body prepares for the drop in temperatures, you find yourself craving heavier foods to build an insulating layer of fat. Frigid temperatures cause tense muscles and runny noses. Your limbs stay chilled as your body prioritizes keeping your core warm, shunting blood flow to extremities and skin. Because of this concentration of warmth, your digestion is strong enabling you to process the richer foods you crave.
Rich foods, shallow breathing and lack of fluid circulation can cause buildup of toxins. Chilled to the bone, Vata types might become too deficient and vulnerable to disease and flu. Kapha types might overshoot their need to build protective layers of fat, creating ripe conditions for thick mucus and feeling sleepy. Early December is peak season for the stomach flu, nausea and Kapha type acid reflux.
As winter solstice approaches, the days grow short - inviting winter hibernation. But for many, the holiday bustle prevents any such reprieve. Cold weather and dark days coupled with snow and rain make you feel sluggish and wanting to stay cuddled up in bed. Enjoy your inclination to lay low, but avoid complete isolation. Gather those you hold dear together for more intimate connection through game nights, crafting, potlucks and playing music together.
After the new year is an ideal time of year to create new habits.
Spices for Keeping Warm
Spices for Destroying Mucus, Sore Throat, and Runny Nose
Herb Formulas for Colds
Month to Month ArticlesFor month by month guidelines on how to thrive through the winter, refer to these articles:
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.