By Janet Zimborski
Here we go again. Winter is upon us. It feels like we are being submerged into a very deep place within us. It is much colder, much darker, and therefore it feels we are much more isolated or alone. Many people will likely suggest they suffer from Seasonal Affect Distress. Depression is usually higher during these months. So I have to ask, Why On Earth do we live in the Northern States?
I, like you, love Spring, Summer, and Fall. Who doesn’t love the sun rays? It warms the soul. We watch our cats and dogs follow or chase the sun around to the different rooms in the house. Then winter arrives, days get short (grrr), clothes get heavy (grrr), bills increase (grrr), food gets sugary, and travel is s-l-o-w!
We are here, in the Northern climates because it’s really not so bad! As a Holistic Practitioner and nutritionist, I saw how Winter affected my own and others minds/spirits, and bodies/souls. So I set out to find the cause and change it! Why suffer? What I found was the very way in which we approach this season is crazy. So it makes us crazy trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
Winter is when all of nature slows right down. However, we have been told this is the time to ramp up our energy (when energy is waning). Buy, buy, and buy, at a time when we will naturally be incurring more heating and wellness expenses. Eat, eat, eat all kinds of foods high in sugar, white refined flours, and chemicals from processed foods, which all aid in dropping our immune systems, and storing toxins in our fat cells, and wreak havoc on our brain. Depression, diabetes, infections, bowel diseases, behavior problems, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia, to name a few, are the results of many a holiday celebration out of balance. More accidents on the roads, because we don’t take a day off of work when the snow outside is three feet deep. Do you catch my drift? Let’s quit blaming winter, and change how we have let it get out of control.
Let’s honor Winter for what it is. It’s a great time of year to work on reflecting (on what was), planning (changes for what you desire), sharing our time and talents with others, and caring about the welfare of others (even if it is only to open a door or give a nod of acknowledgement).
Think quality not quantity, especially when it comes to food. I will never forget December 1990. I was going to be graduating from college in Dietetics soon and yet I knew I wanted to work in the nontraditional setting. So I made an appointment with a Naturopathic Practitioner. I started a dietary program that was very eye opening! I learned about whole foods vs processed foods. I had the understanding that all foods in a grocery store had to be approved by this wonderful group “FDA”. Ah! The first time going to the store after that and reading the ingredients, left me very angry! I couldn’t believe the junk we were eating. What’s worse over time, I found out, foods were often made to be addicting and destructive to our health.
I thought about the multitudes of people like myself who just didn’t know any better. My anger turned to passion. Go to the zoo and look around. You will find strict signs requesting you not to feed the animals. Why then do we eat all the chemical cuisine that we have readily available to us?
Be true to yourself in all that you think, say and do. This is the best service anyone can gift to others or themselves. Oh, and for your information, the hardest time of the year to start eating healthy is December! Of course, for some reason, it motivated me to reach for my goal. Today it is 25 years later and I am still passionately working towards what feeds us.