Late Winter Nourishment
If you're like me during winter, you've been craving grounding foods and eating plenty of them. Even when everyone seems to be on a new year, new you cleanse, I can't help but listen to what my body is craving---nourishment. Winter can be a confusing time for many of us. Our bodies want to reflect our environment by hibernating, conserving our energy and dreaming up all the new beginnings of spring.
In traditional practices like Ayurveda + Chinese medicines, cleansing is most effective and in tune with our nature during the spring + fall. Making sure we're taking the winter months to stay hydrated, nourished and rested is the prep we need before any cleansing occurs in the coming months.
So, how can we nourish ourselves during this cold + wet late winter Kapha season? Its all about nourishing flow! In order to find balance in the seasons, we need to use the opposite energy. Same idea as yin + yang balancing each other. Since its cold and our bodies are more susceptible to feeling cold---poor circulation, slow digestion, low energy, feelings of anxiety and worry---we need to balance with foods, herbs and practices that are warming. So put down that chlorella smoothie and jot down these tips for fending off cold.
TIPS for Warming
COOKED FOODS | Enjoy grounding and hydrating foods to help with warming the body and promoting better circulation. Think comforting soups, stews and broths. Not only are they great this time of year, but you can make a big batch to get you through part of the week.
FLAVORS | Each flavor or taste has its own enzymatic action in the body. To help remedy cold, seek whole foods with flavors that are sour, pungent and sweet. Sour helps to liquify our food for easier digestion and absorption. Pungent is all about action and follow through by stimulating our digestive fire. Sweet actually helps to moisten food for easier digestion and encourages healthy immunity in our gut. If you're in need of cleansing, moving stuck energy or congestion in the digestive system or respiratory system, seek herbs + foods that are aromatic like sage, rosemary + thyme. They are expectorating which means they help move excess 'wet' out of the body.
EAT REGULARLY | Part of what encourages cold in the body is lack of energy from food. When we create consistent meal times, that helps our bodies to not spin out for fear of when its next meal will be. Try eating three meals a day for one week and see how your body responds.
Here's an easy snack that satisfies our need for something warm and grounding. It's got all the right flavors, creamy butternut squash that, sour + activating sprinkle of sumac and we've added a dose of Maca powder for to make it even more medicinal. Maca, Lepidium meyeni, is a nutty tasting adaptogen that we use when needing grounded energy. It is an ancestral food of the people living in the High Andes in Peru and has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. Traditionally, the cooked root is used a staple food, providing Andeans with minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins and amino acids - just to name some of its constituents.
Butternut Squash + Tahini Dip with Sumac
1 butternut squash,
2-3 Tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, smashed
juice of 1 lemon
sprinkle of smoked paprika
1/2 Tablespoon organic Maca powder
Glug of good olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the butternut squash in half length-wise and place flesh side down on the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let look before removing skin + seeds carefully with a spoon. In a food processor, add the cooked squash with all ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust salt or lemon to taste and serve with a good drizzle of olive oil, flake salt + sumac powder.