How we’re preparing for winter – a seasonal defence guide

It’s official – Autumn is here! Gorgeous reds and oranges, fresh crisp mornings and an excuse to get into my pjs earlier each evening…all reasons to celebrate!

Yet trepidation of what this winter will bring is widespread. This year we’ve had more questions stemming from winter worry than ever before. And it’s only September.

Many of our fears of winter ailments come from misguided ideas that we can’t ‘do’ anything – that the common winter coughs and colds are inevitable. But winter doesn’t need to mean sickness.

The reality of our society: we spend a lot of time on cures and very little on prevention. We are more familiar, and in some ways comfortable, in acting on sickness and reacting to symptoms, rather than maintaining wellness or building immunity. Cold or cough? We’ll head to the medicine cabinet! But what about beforehand? Stick the heating on and wait. 

I personally didn’t even know how tough winter could be on my body and that my lifestyle habits were so important to a strong immune system. The colder weather would spur me on to do one thing – worry. 

When it comes to building immunity, many of us don’t know where to start. But there are ways we can help ourselves and our families to build strength and support our bodies to prepare for seasonal change.  

Behaviour and lifestyle

When the season changes, we need to change. And in many ways we do. We put jumpers on when it gets cold. We might stay in more. Eat more soup. These are ways we are letting our bodies respond to the seasons, be it unconsciously. But many of us don’t make changes in more crucial ways – to help the body adjust from the inside. 

What if we noticed the change in the weather and armed ourselves with immunity strengthening rituals and habits? What if the autumn sunshine signalled the start of a winter wellness regime for ourselves, our homes and our families? 

It’s about time we ALL felt empowered rather than anxious. 

To that end, here are our easy, practical tips for preparing for seasonal change and increasing our body’s defences.

On Guard in EVERYTHING

The amazing thing about the body is that it is drawn to what it needs. I love the idea that I have this intuition to unlock that will help me decipher it. In the winter months, I am attracted to cinnamon, Frankincense and orange. These plants are especially nourishing and supporting for the cold season and they’re calling to me to let me know! On Guard is my oil right now. I’m adding On Guard to EVERYTHING – my hand wash, the kids’ porridge, I’m washing with it and cleaning the surfaces. And adding to baking (On Guard cookies are amazing!). To me, it smells like winter. Which means it’s got the right things in. 

Harness the restorative effects of the colder, darker months. 

‘I am so different in winter and I try to embrace it! I eat differently, I have less energy, I sleep at different times. I want comfort in all ways – food, books, films. I’ll watch a film I’ve seen a thousand times and eat more heavy, carby food. I snack and chat less! I don’t feel like socialising as much and I want to get into bed earlier. I meditate more and I somehow feel more thoughtful, reflective. It’s like I’m gathering myself and wrapping up. 

Winter asks me to slow down and rest. I wonder if we struggle so much in this season because we’re fighting against our lack of energy and powering through as if nothing’s changed.

So, this one’s less of a tip, more of a reminder – winter is the hibernation season for a reason!’

 

Soup is King!

Spiced Sweet Potato, Coconut & Orange Soup

Ingredients

  • 500 g Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Medium Onions
  • 4 Celery Sticks
  • 2 Medium/Large Oranges
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Tamari
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Star Anise
  • Pinch of Chili Flake or Glug of Chili Sauce
  • 500 ml Veggie Stock
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Garnish

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • dōTERRA Lime Oil
  • dōTERRA Pink Pepper Oil
  • Fresh Corriander Leaves

Instructions

  • Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes & onions;
  • Roughly chop the celery & garlic;
  • Zest & juice the oranges;
  • Heat a little oil in a heavy bottomed pan and soften the onion, celery & garlic;
  • Add the sweet potato and stir until slightly softened;
  • Pour in the stock and add the orange zest and juice, sugar, tamari, cinnamon stick, star anise, chilli and a little salt and pepper;
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for around 15 minutes or until the veggies are tender;
  • Fish out the cinnamon stick and star anise and add the coconut milk;
  • Blend the soup until smooth and adjust the seasoning to taste;
  • Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil flavoured with a couple of drops each of dōTERRA Lime and Pink Pepper oils (or other dōTERRA oil of your choice) and roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves

Berry Tea

Forage now while the blackberries are endless, apples are falling and the elderberries are fat, rosehips soon to come. All great berries for making immune boosting tea. I suggest dehydrating them to make up your own tea mix to use over the next few months.

I am having a love affair with Hawthorn who carries such heart-opening medicine!

The common hawthorn has been used for thousands of years to heal a “broken” heart. In folk medicine, the flowers, leaves and fruit are used to help reduce blood pressure, anxiety and inflammation. In Chinese medicine, to improve digestion and cardiovascular function. Modern medicine is now using hawthorn to help treat chronic heart failure, elevated cholesterol and coronary heart disease. It is seen as a tonic for strengthening heart contractions, thereby decreasing fatigue and shortness of breath, all of which helps to improve endurance.

Hawthorn comes gifting the message of hope and healing for our heart in both the physical and emotional realm. This could signal new beginnings.. As we open our hearts and minds Hawthorn reminds us we are not alone on our journey. Hawthorn cleanses the heart of negativity and replenishes the body through nourishment. Hawthorn helps us to feel renewed and refreshed as we venture forward on our life journey.

I like to collect the magical deep red berries (known as the haw) and dry them. I add them to dried leaves and blossoms from the spring time to make a Hawthorn tea ✨✨✨

Eat for the soul

I’m a big believer in the Ayurvedic approach to eating, SOUL (seasonal, organic, unprocessed and local). And particularly in winter – nature is literally telling you what your body needs. Here are some seasonal fruits and vegetables that you can be eating right now:

    • Carrots
    • Chard
    • Mushrooms
    • Spinach
    • Garlic
    • Potatoes
    • Salad Leaves
    • Marrow
    • Sweetcorn
    • Leeks
    • Pumpkin
    • Swede
    • Cauliflower
    • Tomatoes
    • Radish
    • Broccoli
    • Courgettes
    • Beet
    • Peas
    • Parsnips
    • Peppers
    • Cabbage
    • Beans (runner, Broad, French)
    • Watercress
    • Plums
    • Raspberries
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Apples
    • Gooseberries
    • Blackberries
    • Apricots

‘Heal yourself with the light of the sun and the rays of the moon. With the sound of the river and the waterfall. With the swaying of the sea and the fluttering of birds. Heal yourself with mint, neem, and eucalyptus. Sweeten with lavender, rosemary, and chamomile. Hug yourself with the cocoa bean and a hint of cinnamon. Put love in tea instead of sugar and drink it looking at the stars. Heal yourself with the kisses that the wind gives you and the hugs of the rain. Stand strong with your bare feet on the ground and with everything that comes from it. Be smarter every day by listening to your intuition, looking at the world with your forehead. Jump, dance, sing, so that you live happier. Heal yourself, with beautiful love, and always remember…you are the medicine’

María Sabina, Mexican healer and poet

Connect with the season

The turn of the season is a wonderful opportunity to remember our deep connection to nature and that this is where healing lies. For me, that means taking a moment to honour the winter gifts, connecting in whatever way means the most to us. 

Are you a keen cold water swimmer? This certainly connects me to the season change more than anything. Feeling and seeing the force of the river and sea over the winter months is powerful. Two minute cold immersion everyday is proven to help with keeping a strong immunity.

‘I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.’ —John Burroughs

The power of nature: essential oils and winter threats

If you’re using essential oils, now is the time to get habitual! It’s the everyday consistency that helps us most with defending against winter threats. Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Lemon or another citrus oil in water (Tip: tonic water is another great combo for you ‘immunity boost cocktail’
  • Add On Gaurd to surface cleaner
  • Gargle with peppermint to clear the throat in the morning
  • Add a drop of frankincense to face cream to help with winter dryness

Join us for a winter defence essential oils class and dive deeper into the many many ways DoTerra’s oils and blends can support us at this time. We will be teaching you around how to create your own FLOOM (defence rollerball) which you can use whenever you face an immune challenge as your first line of defence. 

Who We Are

 

Blooming Together is a Devon based collective bringing you events to inspire and support an all-natural wellbeing and health journey. 

Four friends + varying levels of ‘natural health’ (from mere aspiration to 100% natural family home) but a shared inspiration – the power of nature. And a shared goal – to learn and share a more natural approach to all of life.

We co-run events focused on dōTERRA essential oils, offering introductions, workshops for deepening your connection to nature and immersive experiences with other local practitioners. 

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