Melbourne’s temperatures ranging from one to thirteen degrees max, shorter days, icicles on the car windows, yes winter is definitely here! The motivate to get up and moving is so hard when it’s so cosy under the warm doona, let alone do a F45 class at 5.30am. Winter can also affect our clean eating habits opting for comfort food more often on these cooler days making us feel sluggish, zip of energy and susceptible to colds and flus. So, here are some winter booster idea and tips to keep you moving and happy throughout the winter months:

Keeping on track with exercise
. The mind SHIFT. This one is probably the hardest and take a lot of practice, but when it clicks exercise does not become a chore but more of a lifestyle. What drives you could be physical health (immune system boost), mental health (think happy endorphins) or the thought of simply feeling comfortable in your own skin. Routine is essential for me so I know what days and times I am going to dedicate to excising and locking it into my diary. Lastly active wear and a workout buddies; Investing in good quality active wear makes you feel and look the part and the compression tights can assist with muscle recovery- thinking that’s a good excuse if any to purchase a new pair. Lastly, finding someone to exercise with is a great way to keep you committed, consistent and accountable each week and it is a great way to catch up with friends.

Use food as your medicine this winter
. Incorporate every colour of the rainbow in regards to seasonal fruit and vegetables, as this will increase your nutrients and antioxidant content. Warm meals are great for digestion in winter as it requires less of the body’s energy to process and to convert to ‘fuel’. To add interest to your meals add herbs and spices to your broths, stews, casseroles and curries. Our Nutritionist, Emma’s Winter Bolognese- style meat sources with zoodles is a great meal choice as is jam packed of nutrients, light and delicious. Therapeutically. garlic relieves symptoms of coughs, colds, flu and bronchitis, especially nasal congestion- so add more garlic to your meals or in Emma’s sauce if you need an extra immune boost. Vitamin C found in fresh fruit and vegetables such as oranges, lemons, tomatoes, broccoli and green leafy vegetables are important for a healthy immune system as they may help reduce the severity and duration of the common winter cold. By simply tweaking and adding more veggies, herbs and spices to your recipes, this will help give your immune a good boost and keep you in good stead to fight those winter bugs.

Now for my favourite topic, Herbs Medicine.
They are so successful and effective when treating the winter lurgies and boosting your immune system. Some of my winter loves are Andrographis, Echinacea, Yarrow, Elderflower and Peppermint. These herbs will support and help shorten the duration of colds and reduce the severity of symptoms like sore throat, fever and cough. The herbs that Naturopaths use come in liquid form and capsule. The bonus of liquid herbs is that we can make up an herbal mix of between 3-5 herbs that will help treat your individual symptom picture. If you were presenting with an upper respiratory infection I would most likely add Andrographis to your herbal mix as this has been traditionally used and indicated to relieve this symptom. As well as treating the current issue at hand, it will boost your immune system to help reduce re-infection.

Lastly, Flu Tea.
Sometimes you can do everything right but you still get a cold, make sure you rest and stay hydrated. This tea will are sooth the throat and help break up congestion and lessen your symptoms.
Bring 1 litre of water to the boil and add: 1-teaspoon honey. 2 tsp grated ginger, 1 slice lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, ½ tsp cinnamon powder, 6 cloves, 1 clove garlic and ¼ tsp fresh chopped chilli. Continue to boil for 1 minute, then cool and drink the warm tea throughout the day.



With gratitude,
Clare (Naturopath)