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How to Transition from Summer to Winter

How to Transition from Summer to Winter

Are you struggling with the “winter blues”? Are you finding it hard to transition from summer to winter?  Do you yearn for the warmth and the longer days? If you are, then you are not alone.

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We go from blue skies and loving being outside, to cold and grey and wanting to be indoors.  You can experience a physical and emotional slump, a little like jet lag. The natural rhythm of nature is to start moving inwards. Trees lose their leaves and bears hibernate.  But if we follow the ebb and flow of life, we too can respond so we are living in harmony.

So how can we use autumn and winter to our advantage?

Use it to restore yourself.  We can use these seasons to give our bodies a chance to recover from all the activity of spring and summer. The later nights, the outdoor activities, the holidays, the making the most of the warm weather.

These are some ideas that might help you.

Try warming exercise, something like yoga in a heated room. Include saunas in your gym routine. Put gloves and a scarf on and go for a brisk walk or a run.

Put away the salads and cold temperature foods and start cooking nutritious warming soups and slow-cooks. Root vegetables are also wonderful - sweet potato, pumpkin, Jerusalem artichokes. Soups with ginger are a great way to stay warm. In our house we have a favourite, called Khichadi. It’s made with lentils, ginger, turmeric as it keeps us nourished and warm for hours at a time.  (See recipe below.)

Start drinking herbal teas with ginger, cinnamon and cloves to improve blood circulation rather than just cold water. And at night heat up some fresh chestnuts. Chestnuts have a warming effect on the body and can help improve the joints.

Another option is to seek out a Chinese Medicine doctor who can help your body adjust.  Acupuncture can help recalibrate the body on many levels. Chinese herbs can help shift stubborn patterns. Make winter special and greet it like a once-a-year ritual. Once your body is in tune, your mind will follow.

I hope this helps you to shake of the “winter blues” and learn to enjoy the colder months.

Khichadi Soup Recipe

The following is the recipe I used for the Khichadi:

Ingredients

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•    ½ cup basmati rice
•    ¼ cup split mung beans
•    3-4 cups water
•    2-3 teaspoons ghee or olive oil
•    ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
•    ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
•    ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
•    1 pinch of red chilli or cayenne pepper
•    1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
•    ¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder (also known as Hing)
•    ¼ teaspoon turmeric
•    Salt to taste (½ to ¼ teaspoon)
•    2 cups chopped vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, leeks
•    4-5 stems cilantro, washed and chopped
•    ½ cup spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped
•    1-2 teaspoons dry shredded coconut
•    1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preparation

1.    Sort through the mung beans and remove any debris, such as rocks or sticks.

2.    Rinse the mung beans and rice in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

3.    In a pot, heat the ghee or oil on medium heat and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, red chilli, and ginger in this order and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

4.    Add the mung beans, basmati rice, and vegetables, then add water and salt.

5.    Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat to low.

6.    Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes or until mung beans are soft and thoroughly cooked.

7.    Top with cilantro leaves, coconut, and spinach, add fresh lemon juice at the end and stir nicely.

Possible changes

1.    Can remove Hing from recipe (or buy from Asian grocery)

2.     If soup is too thick, add less rice and more water.

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Sandie Griffiths is an experienced doctor of Chinese Medicine. She treats the presenting issue but looks for the underlying cause. She believes firmly in the body’s innate ability to heal, given a chance.

Sandie uses herbal medicine and an advanced method of acupuncture to help heal the body. Her goal is to give people more energy, make them feel great, and live a long and healthy life. 

If you are experiencing any of the above, please contact Sandie at Natural Wellness Albert Park- Healing.

Read Sandie's fabulous article "How To Deal With Perimenopause, Naturally" here.

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Please leave comments below or email Carolyn@cazinc.com.au.

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