3 ways to stay healthy and trim this winter

I hope your new year is off to a great start! This past weekend, I attended my first yoga retreat led by my dear friends Holli and Chaz. It was truly a fantastic experience. Aside from the beautiful venue (nestled in the hills of Topanga Canyon), the heart-opening yoga and the transformational breath work…I LOVED the food! Chef Meredith prepared a delicious vegan meal which included a North African Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew, Quinoa with Edamame and Toasted Sunflower Seeds and an Arugula, Radish, and Blood Orange Salad topped with Homemade Hempseed Dressing. Each dish was created with the Ayurvedic tradition in mind. Ayurveda is an ancient medical system of India that offers one of the fastest paths to health. The Ayurveda eating system highlights seasonal foods while also incorporating all six tastes, including sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent.

Eating this way lends itself to create more balance, flow and satiety in the body and mind. Meredith reminded us that the food we were eating was especially made to support our bodies during the winter season. In Ayurveda, the winter season is also known as Kapha. Kapha is the time of year when we tend to become sluggish and tired, which can result in having less energy and putting on excess body fat.

The Ayurvedic way of eating is very much in alignment with my complete nutritional lifestyle. It has been one of the key factors in supporting my overall health, wellness and weight. The Ayurvedic way of life supports nourishment, immunity and healing. For many this happens innately. You may have noticed that although you usually love smoothies and salads you are now craving more stews and soups. This is your body’s way of letting you know what it needs.

Below are 3 simple things you can do to keep your metabolism burning & your health thriving this winter!

1. Get Rooted! Think roasted sweet potatoes, yams, carrots & beets. All of these are considered root vegetables. Root vegetables are naturally sweet, “grounding” and contain an abundance of energy from the earth. This energy, along with the extra vitamin A, can support you in staying strong and healthy during the cold, dark winter months.

2. Add warming spices to your shakes and meals: When cooking and preparing foods this winter consider using more cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ginger. I also love turmeric! These spices will tantalize your taste buds AND rev up your metabolism. A few of my favorite ways to use warming spices are to add some pumpkin spice blend to my morning smoothie, top apple slices with nut butter and a dash of  cinnamon or add a bit of cardamon and nutmeg to one of my favorite butternut squash soups. (see recipe below)

3. Change up your breakfast: Has your morning smoothie become less appealing? Are you looking for some new breakfast ideas? During winter your body may be craving new foods to warm up in the am. Here’s a few things to try on: Steel cut oats with almond butter, blueberries & cinnamon. Gluten-free toast topped with smashed avocado, sea salt and a dash of cayenne pepper. Veggie scramble with turmeric and a side of salsa or smoked salmon.

Here’s to warming days and “spicy” moments!

With lots of love,

xo Marlyn

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