With all the nutritional advice available right now it can be easy to become overwhelmed and confused. We hear things like "Eat more protein and go paleo like our cavemen ancestors!" Which is quickly followed by "go vegan and avoid animal proteins!" etc. etc. etc.
My favourite dietary tip that fits any diet and any body:
Eat the opposite temperature to the weather outdoors.
This is a common concept in Chinese medicine, based on our body's response to our environment.
In the winter months our body goes into hibernation mode, trying to conserve our energy reserves. We can replenish this in many ways including managing stress, sleeping, restorative exercises (such as Yin Yoga) and eating a wholesome diet.
One of the simplest ways to replenish and protect our energy stores is to eat the opposite temperature to outdoors. If our foods in the winter are served warm, well-cooked and full of warming flavours, we draw less on our body's reserve to warm up and digest the foods. For example: if we eat a raw carrot directly from the fridge, we need to expend lots of energy chewing it, we secrete lots of digestive enzymes to break it down and use lots of energy to digest this food. A cooked carrot requires significantly less energy to chew and digest because it is already partially broken down in the cooking process.
It may seem simple when put in this perspective, but if our diet is full of raw salads or cold foods, we are constantly expending and depleting energy.
This concept is particularly important for anyone who needs to protect and recover energy such as pregnant women, post-partum, women undergoing fertility treatments, those experiencing illness, chronic stress or poor sleep.
In all of these scenarios, our body is drawing our resources and needs more support.
Ways to incorporate this into your daily meals:
- Serve foods warm temperature
- Cook foods well
- Using warming spices (think ginger, cinnamon, paprika, etc.)
- Limit raw foods
- Avoiding "cold" foods (the obvious ones being frozen foods like icecream, but even foods that are cool in nature such as cucumbers)
My favourites: soups, stews, chilis and lots of roasted vegetables like the recipe below!