Today’s solocast topic is: Stay Your Healthiest in Winter
Beauty, now is the time of year to get warm and cozy, and break out your favorite sweaters and scarves. But it’s also the time when you’re probably more cautious about getting sick, as cold and flu season hits (not to mention the global pandemic we’re experiencing, too)!
Today’s podcast is all about staying your very healthiest this winter. I firmly believe that our internal state of health is the reason some of us get sick and some of us don’t. For instance, eating a proper diet for the season, consistently getting enough sleep, and nurturing our mental health are all ways we can help to fortify our internal immunity and combat sickness.
We can’t control the outside environment, but we can, to a large extent, control our inner ecosystem and balance. I have a lot of good tips for you in this episode, Beauty, so you won’t want to miss out!
Topics Covered In Stay Your Healthiest in Winter
#1. Specific foods and eating practices for keeping your body healthiest during the winter months
#2. How researched-backed Ayurvedic rituals and movement can promote a healthier body and mind
#3. Ways to keep your mental and emotional-wellbeing strong during the coldest and darkest season
#4. How meditation and community connection can be powerful ways to stay healthy in the winter
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Kimberly: 00:00 Hi Beauties, and welcome back to our Monday Solocast Podcast, where our topic today is Staying Your Healthiest in Winter. And I know so many of you guys are going through an intense winter right now with snow and cold and wind and all sorts of things. And it’s been a long winter. So I want to give you some tips today based around our four cornerstones: food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. We’ve got a ton of research in today’s show that we’re going to link to in the show notes, and really evidence-based ways that you can really support yourself, your wellbeing, your vitality, your health, your energy right now. Hang in there. It’s a couple more weeks to get to spring. But in the meantime, of course, you want to feel the best, to feel really good in your body. So I’m excited about today’s show and all the practical tips we’re going to talk about.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly: 00:52 But before we get there, I just want to give a shout out to our fan of the week. Her name is MichelleDHBoston, and she writes, “Powerful and inspiring. Kimberly is such a true gem. Her focus on inner beauty and energy is so rare in this hyper-focused outward beauty world that we now live in. Thank you for continuing to show up for your listeners. I appreciate you and your team. Much love, Michelle.” Well, Michelle, thank you so much for being our fan of the week and for your beautiful, beautiful review. I give you a big hug out there in Boston, where I presume you are, and I know it can get very chilly there. So thank you for being part of our community. I appreciate you so much. And hopefully one day we will be able to meet, or meet again if we have already in the past. I’ve done a couple different book signings in Boston over the years. So anyways, thank you again so much, my love. And a huge appreciation.
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Kimberly: 01:53 And love for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week. Please just take a moment or so out of your day, leave us a review over on iTunes, which is free and easy, and just it’s a great way to support the show. And while you’re over there, please be sure to subscribe to our show and that way you get this influx of positivity and wellness information and inspiration to keep you anchored. We all need our anchors as we get through the days and the weeks. So hopefully this can be a really positive anchor for you. So you could hit that subscribe button over on, again, iTunes or wherever you listen to our podcast.
Solocast Topic: Stay Your Healthiest in Winter
Kimberly: 02:31 Okay, all that being said, let’s get right into our show. There’s a lot to get through. So I want to start up right here, right now, staying your healthiest in winter.
Stay Your Healthiest in Winter with #1 Cornerstone: Food and Detoxing
Kimberly: 02:31 Let’s start with our food cornerstone, which is usually the one that we start with first. So it’s not that these cornerstones are necessarily in a hierarchy because they’re all important, but it’s natural for me to start with food because I’ve been talking about food and working with food for so many years. It’s also tangible. We can pick it up. You eat food every day. So it’s very physical. And then it usually goes, I usually talk about it in the same order. It’s food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth.
Kimberly: 03:13 So we go from the most dense, physical cornerstone to the most light in a way and nonphysical. And we talk about connecting with our inner spirit, with our essence, with our soul. Then that’s where we get into the spirituality part. And the reason I talk about the cornerstones now so much is because I’ve just seen it to be really the best results when we treat ourselves and we approach wellness in a holistic way. We are multidimensional beings. We are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, and it’s so important to take care of ourselves on all levels to really feel our best and to get the best results.
Kimberly: 03:55 So that being said, food, there is a lot that you can do to support your body and yourself right now, food wise. So first of all, this is a study I want to call out first published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. And it found that people can consume more food and have stronger cravings during the winter than other seasons. Now, this may seem obvious, but it’s interesting that there’s actual research behind it. So you’re not going crazy. It’s not just because of COVID and quarantine, but naturally in winter we were inside more. We’re not getting as much natural nourishment from the fresh air and sunlight. So it makes sense that we turn to food to get some energy or to help alleviate some discomfort, emotional discomfort, our moods or whatever it is.
Kimberly: 04:47 So this is why it’s really important to seek out satiating and healthy foods that are grounding, filling, warming that will help to keep you from overeating or turning to unhealthy junk and giving into your cravings. So it’s a really important time right now to just fill up with liquids, hot liquids that will nourish your body. [Arya Vaidya 00:05:09] talks a lot about heat, [auganyi 00:05:11] being this transformative element that can actually help to drive nutrients into your body deeper. And here, we love cooked foods. We talk about raw foods as well. We eat both in our Solluna Beauty Detox community.
Kimberly: 05:25 But I talk about liquids a lot because soup is such an important food, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve used it with many clients to help them slim down and lose weight because the liquid is filling, tends to be calorically less dense without focusing on it and fixating on it. But it’s also just so nutritious and satisfying, and it is very comforting. So go over to mysolluna.com and check out so many recipes we have for soups and stews and one-pot meals and things that are easy on your efforts, because otherwise I wouldn’t put them in there. These days, I am making very simple meals, ones that I can cook while I’m taking care of the babies and doing other things. So soup, this is the time of year you want to add more fat, so you could do some coconut milk as well. You could try some curries in the mix, which are really delicious and also much healthier of course, than other choices that could feel fatty, like a munch of pizza or something, but ultimately will leave you bloated.
Kimberly: 06:27 Now, we’re talking about health here. We’re not talking about just necessarily feeling like we have a flat belly or losing weight. So the next study I’ll bring up is from a 2014 study published in the Integrative Medicine Journal. And it talks about toxins specifically as being the root of illness and gut flora imbalance. Toxins build up on the intestinal walls and they keep the rest of our bodies impacted. It affects our health. It affects our energy levels. Now, again, I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but this came out in 2014, the Beauty Detox Solution came out in 2011. And there were other research studies that I cited in that book. But I’ve been talking about this idea of toxins and gut health for 10 years now, guys.
Kimberly: 07:26 So I just point this out to remind you that it’s really important to keep your gut in balance. This includes from a food perspective, even though it’s winter, even though you want heavier foods, lay off the processed sugar, lay off the gluten, lay off the dairy and do make sure you’re taking your SBO probiotics and your Detoxy to cleanse your system and to really strengthen the resilience of your gut health. If you’re interested, go check it out over at mysolluna.com. I really don’t promote a lot of products. I don’t create a lot of products, but the ones I do, I do from my heart, because I know they will help you the way they have helped me. So I only take a few things really, and the things that I take I manufacture and offer to you guys. So SBO Probiotics, Detoxy huge right now, especially.
Kimberly: 08:19 So let’s see, we talked a little bit about coconut milk. Let’s talk about coconut oil for a minute. There was a study published in the Journal of Bacteriology, Bacteriology, very long word. And it found that lauric acid in coconut oil was effective in treating bacteria and conditions like candida, staph infections, and there’s also evidence that shows that it can boost heart health and brain function. So when you’re cooking this winter, I do switch into a bit of a heavier way of cooking in the winter. So instead of using veggie broth or just trying to steam or use less oil, I do use much more coconut oil in the winter. And, as I mentioned, this is the time I’m bringing the coconut milk and the curries. So you want to keep a nice organic coconut oil and really cook with that. I bake with it. Here at our house, we bake a lot of squash and sweet potatoes. So these are all good things to have around in your house.
Kimberly: 09:23 Now, another study from the Pharmaceutical Journal showed that adaptogenic herbs like holy basil, ginseng and astragalus protect the immune system and help to reduce stress. So adaptogens are a great thing to introduce. We have a whole series of articles on adaptogens and how to use them specifically over on the website, which you can check out. I will mention that holy basil is really another word for tulsi. So I drink tulsi tea fairly regularly in the evenings. It’s also great for your kidneys. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful plant again, to help you reduce stress. So I’ll just say off the bat, that’s a really easy way to get tulsi into your life. And also ginseng, you can drink ginseng tea.
Kimberly: 10:10 Now, zinc, let’s talk about zinc for a minute, which again, going back to health, this isn’t a mineral, a specific nutrient that can really help your immune system. So we know that it can shorten the length of an illness, or it can even help you to prevent getting the illness in the first place. So there’s some research here, the Molecular Medicine Journal, which I will also link to. So this has been actually formally studied. So some foods that I want to shout out to you, that would be really good, really high in zinc right now, especially are lentils. So get in there, make some kedgeree or some lentil soup. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and my personal favorite, dark chocolate. So if you ever need another excuse to eat chocolate, you could say, hey, I need some for my immunity. You don’t need to go overboard of course, but a few squares are going to really do your body some good.
Kimberly: 11:09 Okay. So let’s talk about a another nutrient that I love called carotenoids. And this is a type of pigment in plants that act as antioxidants. They help to reduce oxidative stress, which we know causes premature and accelerated aging. We know that they protect us against disease and sickness. I remember when I was reading, I believe it was Beauty Detox Foods as an audiobook, and there’s this editor in the next room and they listened to what I’m reading and give back feedback or look up words. And I remember, I always thought, because sometimes you read and you write these words, but don’t say them out loud all the time. And I used to say, carotenoids or something. And then the editor came over and said, “Kimberly, it’s carotenoids. Carotenoids.” So whenever I see this word, right, and I say, “Oh, there’s my friend, this word I remember having to say many times reading an audiobook.” Carotenoids. Yeah.
Kimberly: 12:16 Oxidative stress, disease, sickness, don’t want any of that. So load up on the carotenoids. Here’s a little list I made for you. Dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach. So drink your GGS. Brightly colored orange veggies, like carrots, sweet potatoes and squash. I did a little glow tip. I do a weekly glow tip over on Instagram. And my tip last week was actually about carotenoids and orange foods specifically because it does… The orange foods have so many wonderful properties and it converts to vitamin A in your body. And of course is wonderful for your eyesight and your skin and your hair. So load up on these wonderful veggies, especially.
Kimberly: 12:59 I feel like I’ve been going boom, boom, boom. Big list here. So you might have to check out the show notes if you want to go back to some of these facts. But the last study I want to talk about here in our food section comes from the Journal of Translational Medicine. And this was back in 2018, not too long ago. And it found that spices such as turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and red pepper help to reduce inflammation and therefore help to reduce the risk of different diseases and illnesses. We know that inflammation really is a precursor to many, if not all illness.
Kimberly: 13:34 So if we’re working to stay healthy this winter, keep these spices around as well. It’s easy to throw turmeric and combo black pepper, ginger, into a soup. I do this weekly. Cinnamon I sprinkle on sweet potatoes. So you could bake the sweet potatoes with coconut oil and cinnamon. Bobby loves that. You could also play with cinnamon in savory ways. So cinnamon for instance, goes in my dahl when I’m making lentils. My secret ingredient is often cinnamon sticks. So check out all these different spices. They add flavor to your food. They add excitement, and they also have protective health qualities, which adds another bonus. Wonderful.
Stay Your Healthiest in Winter with #2 Cornerstone: Body: Yoga, Dry Brushing and Tongue Scraping
Kimberly: 14:17 Okay. So let’s go into our body cornerstone. Here, I want to talk about some really interesting research on practices that I have been sharing with you for some time, but maybe you do them. Maybe you don’t. Maybe it’s time to get into them. First, I want to talk about the lymphatic system. So we have different circulation systems in our body. Our cardiovascular system, of course, is pumped by our heart and it has this internal pump. Whereas our lymphatic system helps to drain toxins out of our system, but it doesn’t have a pump. It doesn’t have this mechanism inside of us. So our lymphatic system is supported with movement like walking and exercise and breathing. And it also is really helped with dry brushing.
Kimberly: 15:09 There’s actually a study on this. So I’ve been talking about dry brushing for years. I have to admit I don’t do it all the time. I know I should. I have my dry brush out. I used to do it more regularly, but I try to do it weekly. If you could do it daily, that’s wonderful, or a couple of times a week. But there was actually a study published in the Lymphatic Research and Biology Journal that found that dry brushing is beneficial for increasing circulation in your lymphatic system. And yes, boosting immunity. So get that dry brush, get it out, get a new one if you lost yours. They’re like 10 bucks, maybe 15 bucks online. Or if you’re able to get to a wellness store and support your local store, that’s always the best bet. So get that, get into that dry brushing. I have a video on YouTube. There’s some dry brushing articles also on our site that I highly recommend that you check out.
Kimberly: 16:01 Now, a 2005 clinical trial, this is really cool that researchers actually found that a tongue scraper, which is an Ayurvedic practice, used twice a day for seven days, reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth and even reduce the risk of disease. So I love that these ancient practices, especially the ones from Ayurveda, which is very close to my heart, the sister science of yoga are being studied formally now. So tongue brushing is something that I learned about in my Dinacharya class with [Dr. J. 00:16:30], [Vaidya J. 00:16:30]. Vaidya, Sanskrit word for doctor. And I remember there’s this whole part about morning routine, oral morning routine part. And it was so long, it was tongue scraping and oil pulling and using neem and all these different elements.
Kimberly: 16:45 So the part that really stuck for me, again, being completely honest here, we don’t have time to do every single thing. So the whole oil pulling thing I do occasionally, I do not do every day. But tongue scraping takes a couple of seconds and you get a stainless steel tongue scraper and you scrape your tongue. It’s enormously satisfying to get that gunk out. And again, according to this study, it can help really boost your health. [R.U. Vaidya 00:17:10] also believes that it stimulates different parts of your tongue, which correspond to different organs in your body, not dissimilarly to reflexology by the way. So by virtue of giving your tongue a little love, a little bit of attention, a little bit of touch, you’re actually benefiting your entire body. So that’s really wonderful and practical because you can be done in under 10 seconds or so.
Kimberly: 17:33 So let’s see another study from India found that yoga lowers risk factors for coronary heart disease, like blood pressure, along with decreasing anxiety and depression. So this is really, in some ways it’s wonderful that it’s studied, in some ways it’s obvious. Yes, we’ve heard a million times yoga is great for stress, but I wanted to bring this up because we can’t get outside all the time in winter, I know for a lot of us. When it’s cold, when it’s icy, when it’s snowy, it’s just unpleasant. So yoga is a wonderful indoor activity right now. Just roll out your yoga mat, get into it, do a freeform practice. Or if you’re interested in a series, we have our Beauty Detox Power Yoga Series. There’s a beginner and intermediate one that you can download. So check that out on the website, such a wonderful, wonderful activity to bring in right now.
Stay Your Healthiest in Winter with #3 Cornerstone: Emotional Wellbeing and Social Support, Media and Health
Kimberly: 18:26 So let us go into emotional wellbeing. This is our third cornerstone, and this is a huge one. Sometimes we focus so much on, oh, let me just take the Echinacea or pop the vitamin C pill. We don’t think about the impact of our mental health and our emotional wellbeing, but because we know the body and the mind are one unit and one intrinsically affects the other, there is no getting around that. We really want to take care of our emotional health, if we want to get the best results, which we all do, which is why we’re talking about this right now.
Kimberly: 19:07 So a couple of things that I want to say here, first of all, this is a study published in the Psychiatry Journal. Found that social support is essential for maintaining physical and psychological health. Social interaction and community connection helped to increase the body’s resilience to physical and… Oh my gosh, I’m getting tongue-tied right now. Physical and mental stress. Thank you. So we are tribal people. We are meant to be in community. And when we are isolated, which happens not just from COVID, but also from winter, from being inside more, it’s really important that we maintain our tribes the way that we can. So FaceTime group calls, I’ve had some family events that were on Zoom, which were nice to feel the tribe of the family too. Like, we did a baby shower, we did a first year birthday party. We did a Thanksgiving thing. So that’s really nice.
Kimberly: 20:13 Also, I want to mention that we have our Solluna Circle Program, which has been awesome. We kicked it off two months ago. It’s part of our app. So the app is free. So check that out, there’s a community part there, but to get really in-depth and to do our Zoom circle every month to get our daily tips, to really live in the tribe. Check out our circle I just love it. It’s one of my favorite things that I do besides this podcast. So we connect, we talk about things, we have a monthly theme, we get real. And there is opportunity for everybody to participate on the calls. It’s been amazing. So check that out.
Kimberly: 20:55 And I’ll also mention a 2020, very recent study published by the American Sociological Association, which found that this new cycle that we’re in related to the COVID-19 pandemic found that greater amounts of media consumptions resulted in high physiological distress and greater perceived threats to health and wellbeing. So they’re actually studying how much the news affects our health. And let me tell you, it’s not good. So we need to know what’s going on to an extent. You can check in with the news. You can, like me, I skim the headlines. But it’s not a healthy practice to have the news on in the background all the time on your TV. And I just say that directly, because I really believe that it may impact you.
Kimberly: 21:49 So if you want to watch the news, sometimes watch it and then turn it off. Put on some happy music maybe, or some yoga mantras, or whatever you like to listen to, or maybe just silence. And again, you can check in, you can be informed, but it’s this constancy with the news that wears us down and creates just this negative vibe in our house, around us. And especially when it’s things that we can’t control, like how long the pandemic’s going to last, decisions that are being made by government leaders day to day in relation to the pandemic, for instance. Just a lot of things are out of our control. So just hearing about it over and over again, doesn’t really do any good. It can really do harm. So I encourage you to be very discerning with the media that’s coming into your space, into your life, into your phone, into your home right now, and just be mindful of that.
Stay Your Healthiest in Winter with #4 Cornerstone: Spiritual growth, Meditation and Your Immunity
Kimberly: 22:46 So finally, let’s talk about our fourth cornerstone, spiritual growth. And this is an amazing time to grow right now. In winter, we’re inward, we’re naturally going to be inside more. And so it is the time that is conducive to going inside the inner world. The inner world is very powerful. The inner world, when you close your eyes and you meditate and you recenter yourself. This is a space where from that, from your meditation, besides feeling amazing and light and having access to amazing ideas and creativity and accessing the confidence inside of you, your uniqueness, your beauty, it also helps to reset your hormones and to quell inflammation and to help your endocrine system and your immune system and your sleep cycle. Everything starts to become more normalized.
Kimberly: 23:46 Why is that? Because let’s face it, we live erratic lives. We’re in fluorescent lights. We have this artificial ability to stay up at night and to watch TV until 02:00 in the morning if we want to. We can go to the store, we can get a bunch of processed chemicals. We can be inside for months and never go outside. There’s so many ways that we have moved away from nature and away from our true, true balance. So when we meditate, we shut out the outside world for a time, we bring our senses from being focused on the outside to tuning inward, and we start to reset and we really start to center ourselves. And so it’s just so powerful.
Kimberly: 24:34 There’s some studies here I want to call out, one from 2016. This is scientists conducted randomized controlled trials and found that meditation was able to strengthen the immune system by positively impacting genes involved with the infectious cycle. Amazing. So now they’re seeing the effect on genes, and this is something Deepak Chopra has been talking about for a while with Chopra Study. Did a research study some years ago, I heard Deepak speak about it when I was at the Chopra Center about a gene marker that they found from meditators. So it was actually something that they found. It sounds like this study is also showing that our bodies change when we meditate. Our physicality is changed by the energy of meditation.
Kimberly: 25:22 Again, this just shows how powerful everything is, how powerful it is everything works together. This just shows again, if we just focus on food, we’ll get far, but we won’t get as far as we can when we incorporate everything. And same thing with meditation, we will get very far. It is, in my opinion, the most important thing to focus on, but we still need to eat in a way to support our meditation. If we’re gassy and bloated and feel horrible, then it is a distraction from our meditation. So we can see how things all start to play into each other.
Kimberly: 25:54 Another study I want to point out is conducted by psychologists, linked to it in the show notes, and it found that meditation can actually turn you into an optimist by boosting positive feelings and displacing negativity, thereby detoxing stress. Wonderful. So you can actually change your perspective. Again, this goes back to resetting because if you get pulled into a cycle again, the negative news cycle, or maybe being around some negative people are starting to get into your head. Circular thought patterns, oh, this sucks. My job sucks. Oh, so cold. Oh, pandemic sucks. We get into these patterns and it really starts to weigh us down. And that is energy and energy affects everything else, including our health and our energy.
Kimberly: 26:38 So when we meditate, again, we pull back from those cycles. It’s a chance to reset. It’s a chance to focus on your breath. And just again, literally pull yourself out. It’s like going on a mini trip, a mini retreat. When you tune in, you’re going into a different dimension, you’re going into a different space. And it does take time to get used to meditation. It’s a practice. So quieting the mind, going through all the steps, it does take some effort, but it’s well worth it. And we have guided meditations for you free over on the app as well in the free section. So you can click on the meditations. And there’s so many in there you can check out for free.
Kimberly: 27:23 And I will also say, if you join our Solluna Circle, we have a meditation every month, a new meditation based on the theme. So this month it is on self care. And our meditation this month, we check in with our left ovary and our right ovary, first of all, as we start the meditation, just to tune into the vibrance in our body. A very deep part of our body, physically and energetically in the left is the feminine, the yin sides. We check in, am I relaxing enough? Am I giving myself enough rest and restoration? And then the right side is the more yang, the outward, the doing. So we could see, am I overdoing or am I lacking inspiration right now? Am I pretty slothful? So self care, for me, is really about checking in first and seeing the steps, the practices, what we need to pull and how we modify the cornerstones every day to create that balance with our energy.
Kimberly: 28:23 All right. A lot of information in today’s Solocast, my loves. Don’t worry if you didn’t catch it all. If a couple of things stood out to you, those are probably the ones that intuitively your intuition caught those things like a little net. You want to check those out further, but if you’re like, “Oh, what was that she said?” Go over to the show notes, mysolluna.com, and there’s links, the notes, the transcription. There’s a lot there. So you can check it all out.
Kimberly: 28:51 All right, my loves. I am so excited about the year ahead. I know that it’s winter, but remember this is a deep, deep time to go inside, to connect with yourself, to journal, to meditate, to just lay out some introspection, some plans for the upcoming year. This is the time, it’s like the seeds underneath the ground right now. It’s all germinating. It’s all coming together.
So take advantage and I will see you back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast. Till then, sending you a huge, huge, huge, warm, very warm virtual hug. I will see you in a few days. Till then, check us out on the site, on Instagram, on the app. Lots of love and take great care of yourself.