Winter Survival Tips and a Workshop Invitation

So many exciting things are happening this month, I don’t even have time to get into any kind of winter induced funk!  Well, that and as this is my third winter (is this really winter?) back in the Berkshires, I’ve gotten pretty good at combating the things that usually drag me down.  Here are some things I’ve found useful in avoiding seasonal depression, weight gain and generally funkiness (not the good kind!)….

Winter running can be fun and funny looking!

1. Get outside and get your heart rate up!  Exercise is so important but especially during the cold winter months when we really need the mood and immune boost we get from exercising.  We also need time in the sun shine, everyday.  Some kind of vigorous exercise (even if it’s just you, dancing like crazy to your favorite music!) will warm you up and keep your metabolisim going strong.  The best way to get all these health benifits at once is to go out daily for a brisk walk, a run, snow shoe or x country ski, you know, on all that snow we have.  Daily outdoor exercise is a mjor ingredient in winter health.

2. Get up earlier and go to bed earlier for maximum daylight.  With the sun coming up early in the day it can be helpful to keep your shades open so you can wake up with the sun, your all natural source of much needed vitamin d!  We are past the shortest day of the year, the hours of daylight will only get longer from here.

3. Use supplements for extra support. If you work inside most of the day and get your exercise inside at a gym, you may need to supplement with Vitamin D, here’s a link to healthy foods that offer lots of this all important winter vitamin.  If you feel yourself getting depressed there are some  herbal and natural supplements you can try like St John’s Wort, SAMe and 5-HTP.

4. Eat plenty of immune boosting foods.  Everything from raw garlic to broths made from healthy animal bones will help you stay strong against cold weather and whatever is going around.  You can also drink your daily dose or two of Fire Cider.  Fire Cider has been helping me avoid my usual winter colds and flu and is now available in 16 oz bottles at some of our fine retail locations because more is more!

5. Socialize and stay connected.  It can be hard to leave the warmth and comfort of your home, especially when it’s dark so early but staying connected (and away from your computer!) by making time for social activities can help you to stay positive during the winter.

If you want to meet new people and learn more about your own health and what you need to live your life in balance, please joing me for my free workshops on Primary Foods.  This is a new concept in holistic health nutrition that looks at the whole human being, mind, body and soul and sees that everything is food. During this workshop you will have the chance to examine various areas of your life; relationships, career, creative outlets and discover how primary food can truly nourish you and make your life extraordinary! Participants will be asked to do writing exercises and share their insights and observations. When primary food is balanced and satiating your life feeds you!

This Sunday from 2-3:30 pm at Radiance Yoga on North St. all are welcome to attend this free Primary Food’s workshop, part of an on going seva series at Radience!

On Tuesday January 10th at 6:30 pm I will be presenting Primary Foods as a free introduction to my 12 week Women’s Wellness Series.  A great way to stay healthy and keep working on your goals is to become part of a supportive community that fosters personal growth and development.  I hope you will join me!

To get all the details and to sign up for my 12 week series, please visit my Events page!

Shire City Herbals’ Tips For A Healthy Winter Season

Winter Survival Kit: Echinacea with Osha, Fire Cider and Winter Sunshine Tea

Last winter was my first Berkshire County winter in almost ten years and it was tough.  I was cold and sick frequently, almost every month it seemed I spent a few days totally out of commission.  Last winter I learned a lot about how to stay healthy during the colder months and this winter, I am happy to say I’m much better prepared for the low temperatures and all those opportunistic germs.  In preparation  for the coming winter my husband and I started making our own stay healthy herbal tinctures and remedies and just recently launched ‘Shire City Herbals’ so we can share our health building herbal formulas with all of you.   Here are my tips, including herbal formulas, for having a healthy and happy winter season.

  1. We call them colds because it’s easy for our bodies to become susceptible to pathogens when we are too cold for too long.  Our body must spend its resources keeping our temperature stable and can’t always fight off every germ that comes our way.   So, your first line of defense is to dress warmly.  I know this seems obvious but when I switched from cotton to wool clothing, wow, what a huge difference.  Wear a hat, a scarf, wool socks and a thin wool layer under your regular clothes and you’ll be toasty warm and healthy too.
  2. Eat warm foods.  Soups, hot tea and anything spicy will help keep you warm from the inside out. Hot peppers are great at warding off viruses and germs and flushing out your sinuses.  Garlic, ginger and horseradish are also great foods to eat regularly so look for ways to incorporate them into your diet.

    Me playing with the organic ginger we juiced and then froze in small batches.

  3. Exercise daily.  Whatever it is that you like to do that gets you hot and sweaty (yes, sex counts as exercise!) make sure to keep it up as often as possible throughout the winter.  Exercise warms you up and strengthens your immune system.  It’s also a great mood booster.  If you are like me and the lack of sunlight gets you down, you’ve got to exercise!  I love to run and this year I’ve ordered insulated carbide studded running shoes so I can keep up my daily run even when the roads are icy and snow covered.

    Echinacea with Osha: awesome immune boosting powers!

  4. Take immune boosting supplements like Echinacea with Osha, a Shire City Herbals specialty, and lots of Vitamin C at the onset of a cold or flu or take a low maintenance dose on a daily basis to insure your immune system is strong and healthy.

    An 8 oz bottle of Fire Cider

  5. Take your Fire Cider! ‘Fire Cider’ is based on the traditional New England cure-all of apple cider vinegar and honey, our Shire City Herbals Fire Cider tonic is spiced up with a synergistic blend of immune-boosting, health-enhancing, pathogen-fighting roots and fruits.  Fire Cider can be taken daily as a preventive and also at the onset of colds or flu. As an expectorant it breaks up congestion and helps to ward off respiratory ailments and sinusitis.  Fire Cider is also an excellent digestive aid for such common problems as heartburn, gas and bloating as well as sluggish digestion and Candida overgrowth.  Fire Cider increases circulation and warms the body, and thus is valuable in cold winter temperatures and for those who frequently experience cold extremities.

These simple and easy suggestions will help you make it through the coldest months and maybe even have you enjoying the winter!

All our Shire City Herbals creations will be for sale at the Handmade Holiday Festival this coming weekend, December 4th and 5th, click the link to view the official invite.  We will be giving out samples of our amazing Fire Cider and are looking forward to meeting you!

I am also launching my new website soon, same address, better site, and you’ll be able to read about and purchase all our Shire City Herbals through the new site or you can email with any questions or special requests: