Winter is upon us and 'tis the season for rest and replenishment. I didn't realize how much the weather affects my mental state and my body until a few years ago I started tuning into how often I was having headaches, seasonal depression, and how my body was often crying out for help this time of year. Its no secret that we are naturally lacking vitamin D with less sunlight hours, but other vitaims like C, D, E, B12, zinc, and iron are also crucial to our body's normal function during the winter season. These nutrients not only support our immune system but also help boost our mood, transport oxygen throughout the body, support collagen production, energy and so much more! Sometimes it's the littlest changes that can make the biggest difference and if we pay attention to what our body is needing through what it's telling us, then I believe it's up to us to give it what it needs and care for our temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). For me personally I tend to get really dry skin that cracks, I am prone to headaches, low blood sugar, bloating, inflammation, common colds & flu, and lastly, depresseion and stress if I stay inside for too long. Now that I have three little ones to care for, I consider it even more essential that I care for myself as I care for them. Here is what I'll be using this winter to keep myself healthy inside and out...
1. Thieves Essential Oil
I love using this during Christmas time especially due to its scent, but thieves oil is an extremely powerful blend of clove, lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and rosemary. All these herbs are powerful on their own if you have even one of those essential oils, but when blended together, they can effectively soothe any cold symptom, boost your immune system, and help fight off germs and other infections. As soon as I feel a cold or sore throat coming on, I immediately diffuse this in my oil diffuser, and then I put some on a roller to apply directly on my chest and even the palms of my hands and the bottom of my feet as they are the quickest at absorbing the oil molecules. You can also use thieves oil to make a natural multi-purpose cleaner by adding drops to a half water and half vinegar solution... it will make your home smell amazing!
2. Grass Fed Beef Tallow Balm
I totally underestimated this tallow balm when I first bought it. I mistakened its first seemingly thick and pastyness as oily and difficult to spread, but when my hands began to crack in the winter, I quickly realized that my dry and cracked hands began to heal and feel smooth and replenished in just a day! It was so affective that I didn’t need to reapply for a week! After trying regular lotions, even ones with the best ingredients, I still had to reapply daily as it only provided relief for a couple hours. This balm can also be used for dry lips, eczema, gardeners hands, acne, redness, diaper rash and more! Benefits include antibacterial and antiflammatory properties, helps regulate your skin oil production and supports skin barrier function! It also provides vitamins such as A, D, E, K, and B12, that can bring both healing and replenishment to your skin, helping it absorb and retain moisture as well as looking healthy.
3. Grass Fed Beef Liver Capsules
I just ordered these grass fed beef liver capsules in place of my normal multi-vitamin and I have heard amazing things at the increase of energy levels and immune support! There are so many bodily functions that can benefit from consuming beef liver such as supporting cognitive functionality, immunity, digestion, sleep, skin, and also helps prevent chronic diseases! Beef liver is proven to be high in minerals and vitamins such as A, D, E, and iron, zinc, and copper and will help support your body in providing the energy and replenishment it needs during the months. In addition to my regular stretching, I will be taking these to take care of my body, immune system and evergy in times of lower physical activity. Though it is a great supplement, I would encourage you to talk to your physician first about taking these in case of any reactions to higher levels of iron, or other parts you may be sensitive to. It is also important to stay away from buying bulk to only ingest it while it's fresh, and to buy from a reputable source that is grass fed.
4. Homemade Sourdough
I have been making sourdough regularly from a sourdough starter for its health benefits and also as a hobby, and my family has been eating some form of sourdough almost daily! Fermented foods are the best thing you can eat for your gut health and sourdough in particular provides many nutrients, healthy carbs, protein, fiber, iron, is lower in gluten, is easier to digest and has a lower glycemic index. With that said, sourdough is great for your overall immune system. Since I've been eating sourdough, I have noticed such an improvement in my overall digestion, I feel better, and I don't bloat like I do with normal bread. You can easily add sourdough starter to just about any of your baked goods that will instantly increase your nutritional intake. You can buy sourdough starter local from other starters like I did, or you can easily make your own with just some flour and water, letting it sit in a slightly warmer room temperature until it begins to bubble and double in size.
5. Oak Essentials Facial Care
If you're looking for a good quality product for your facial skincare routine, I cannot recommend this enough! Our face often takes the brunt of harsh exposures like sun and harsh winds and I believe it is one of the first things to really need our attention and care. I used to have acne in high school that led to scarring and redness on my face, and in the winter months especially, I can get very dry and flaky skin on my face which can be painful and itchy at times. I really try to stay away from parabens or other artificial preservatives and these Oak Essentials have really helped improve my skin by their clean and natural properties. Ever since I have been using Oak Essentials, I have gotten so many compliments on my skin and the flakiness and itchiness has completely left, even in the winter months. I like to use their Daily Vitamin C Serum, and their Routine Bundle: The Balancing Mist, Restorative Mask, Moisture Rich Balm, Ritual Oil, and Cleansing Balm. The vitamin C serum stimulates collagen, decreasing wrinkles, and brightens the skin while the others provide vitamins and minerals that is essential to having healthy skin. They are currently having a promotion that contains all the above minus the Vitamin C Serum, and you won't want to miss this seasonal deal!
That's it! I like to keep it simple so that maintaining good health feels doable and fun! If you have any products you like to use in the winter time, please share in the comments, I'd love to hear what works for you! Wishing you a healthy winter season, a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!