How to nourish yourself and your family during winter

by Hanneke Peeters

It’s winter time, with spring almost around the corner 😉 In Ayurveda this season corresponds with the energy of Vata and Kapha. At the moment, I can really feel Kapha, being the heavier energy: it’s more difficult to come out of bed in the morning and I have less energy at the beginning of the day. Vata energy is high as well: my feet are cold and my skin is dry. Maybe you can see your children coping with similar symptoms too. An overload of earwax or nasal discharge are indicating a Kapha imbalance. Walking on tip toes, having dry lips or trouble sleeping can be signs of a Vata imbalance.

Family proof remedies

I would like to share some family proof remedies for at home, to calm down Vata and Kapha dosha and restore the balance in body and mind.

  • Use Mandarin Essential oil to lift up the energy in your home. This citrus fruit makes you and especially your baby and children happy. You can burn some oil via a diffuser or simply fill a cup with some hot water, pour a few drops of oil in it and put the cup on the heating system.
  • Avoid bananas. Sorry, but so effective. Bananas have a cooling quality, not good for Kapha sensitive children during wintertime, it will dim their digestive fire (agni in Ayurveda) and this can cause ama (the Ayurvedic word for waste). Ama causes imbalance in the body, for example a cold. Make warm apples with cinnamon instead. Simply slice an apple into pieces and heat it in a frying pan with some ghee. Cinnamon has a warming quality.
  • Avoid cold drinks. Cold drinks are not good for the digestive system either. Try to serve all of the kids their drinks at room temperature. I let my oldest son start the day with some hot water and sometimes he gets a sip of my ginger tea. Especially when he did have something cold like banana/ yoghurt or ice cubs, I try to balance this with something more heating food and drinks.
  • Make the breath of fire your new best friend and do this as often as you can. If you want more energy or suspect you have digestion issues do this exercise first thing in the morning and before each meal. The breath of fire stimulates agni so you can reduce and/or burn ama. Less ama means more energy.
  • Drink hot water with a teaspoon of dried turmeric on an empty stomach. Turmeric has a heating quality and gives your immune system a boost.
  • Add the colour orange into your home, office and wardrobe. This colour brings warmth and positivity. Feeling stuck or a little bit depressed? Try to meditate with orange crystals to lift up your vibes. Orange correlates with your second chakra, the water element, which is related to Kapha. Orange stimulates the energy of the second chakra and brings movement in here.
  • Winter is the time to stay at home with your loved ones, to share loving energy, have meaningful conversations and to write in your journal to connect with yourself.
  • Dry brush your skin to boost your lymph system.
  • Drink a lot of ginger tea to heat yourself from the inside out. Choose fresh ginger when you think you have a Vata imbalance and dried ginger when Kapha is high.
  • Go outside! Use Sundays to have a family walk in nature. Sunlight and fresh air are magic for happiness.
  • Treat your children with a massage just before bedtime. This will help them to unwind and relax before sleep. Besides that it is perfect to reconnect with each other. This is an intimate time for you and your child in attentive presence, it will make them feel loved.
Have fun!

Don’t forget to have fun. Winter energy can be heavy, try to lighten things up by having fun! Focus on complete nourishment: sleep, meditate, eat healthy food, read books and watch movies which will inspire you. Load your battery for the summer season!