A great regimen this time of year is to nourish the mind and body by getting more rest and eating well, especially during the upcoming holidays. Fall and Winter are the seasons when nature is ready to nurture us. In Ayurveda, one reason that winter is a good season for building immunity is that the digestion is stronger in cold weather. Just as your home’s heating system works harder in cold weather, so does your inner digestive fire. Some believe this season is bad for immunity because as appetite increases, people start eating more junk food and heavy, hard to digest foods, and thus weaken their immunity. However, it’s important to understand that we are creating this weak immunity if we eat poor quality food; nature is not the culprit. For this reason, it’s more important that people eat immunity-boosting foods in winter, and that they follow an Ayurvedic daily routine.
Here are some helpful tips to guide you through this holiday season. Just as you set an intention for your yoga practice, it’s a great idea to set an intention for the upcoming holidays. Gratitude is a great intention for Thanksgiving. With abundance comes temptation, so create a plan to eat healthy before the holidays begin. Make food a part of the festivities, but not the sole purpose for them. Eat the food you love but in smaller amounts. Make your initial helping last by eating slowly. Wait at least 10 minutes before going back for seconds as it takes time for your brain to realize that your stomach in satisfied.
Due to the digestive level being higher in colder months, people tend to feel hungrier. Food can be digested better in winter, thus nourishing the body more. Immunity-boosting foods include those that are fresh, easy to digest, pure and wholesome. These include fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and Ghee (clarified butter). Foods that are hard to digest should be avoided if you want to increase your immunity. Commercially processed foods, as well as canned, frozen, and packaged foods are old and difficult to digest, so they weaken the immune system. It’s important to remember that Ayurveda is not merely a system of medicine but a way of life, a science that offers us a means to live our lives to the fullest.
Santa Cruz Ayurveda