It’s very dry where I live and especially during the winter season! Through discussions with my coworkers I’m not the only one who’s suffering from sinus congestion, hangnails, dry skin, dry mouth, chapped lips and bloody noses. Every winter I notice more people with static cling, and an increased need for lip balm and thick moisturizer. Skin gets itchy when it’s dry and lips crack up.
Why does this happen?
Well, it’s winter where I live and that means that the air around my environment is stripped from moisture. The cold has frozen any puddles, rain turns to snow and leaves on trees are gone. Also, there is no transpiration at night. Usually green grass, leaves, vegetation in general gives off moisture at night, we see this during the summer with morning dew and higher humidity levels.
During the winter, the grass dies and lies under, dormant, a thick layer of ice or snow. So this is why our poor nasal passages, fingers, skin and hair suffers.
I’m actually going to invest in a humidifier this week, but in the meantime, here are my top tips for increasing humidity in your home without a humidifier:
1. Add a houseplant
Plants breathe at night and purify the air by releasing oxygen and using the carbon dioxide we exhale. They also create moisture and release it into the air. When the plant is watered, it releases moisture through its roots to the leaves pores, which will consequently release moisture to the room.
2. Dry clothes indoors
As your clothes evaporate, the moisture will release into the surroundings. Also, drying your clothes on a hanger, clothes line or door knob in your laundry room will reduce wear and tear on your delicates, making them last longer.
3. Use the shower
When you take a shower, if you allow your door to open immediately after, the steam will escape the bathroom and moisture levels in nearby areas will increase considerably.
4. Boil water
Boil a couple of liters of water with eucalyptus essential oil or tea tree for a pleasant humidifying moisture boost. The oils will also help to guard against colds and is helpful in killing airborne germs.
5. Place water near heat source
A radiator heat in your room can also be used to improve the moisture content in your room. Place a pot or water container near the source of your radiator heat for the water to evaporate; this becomes humidity and effectively moistens the air. Alternatively, try placing a pan containing water on the radiator. Note that you do not have to place the dish of water directly on the heat for the evaporation to occur.
Do you have problems with a dry environment where you live?
Just a reminder about what intermittent fasting is: you aren’t cutting calories. You’ve already calculated your BMI and BMI so you know how many calories you need to eat every day to achieve your goal of either losing weight, maintaining it or gaining weight.
You don’t cut calories when you are doing intermittent fasting! You are simply eating your daily calories within an 8-hour window of time.
For example, if you start eating at 12 noon, you stop eating at 7 p.m. You don’t eat after 7 p.m. and when I started this was my personal schedule. I would work out at about 11 a.m., eat at noon or one and stop eating (begin my “fast”) between 7 or 8 p.m.
So for those of you who are used to late night snaking this poses a problem! What if you get WAY too hungry at night to stick to the intermittent fasting eating window and fasting times?
Here are some of my personal tips and hints to curb the appetite late at night:
Now I know some of you will scoff at this. But try this first. Hunger is often disguised as thirst and remember, you are allowed to drink water, in fact encouraged to drink water during intermittent fasting periods.
These are foods that pack a nutritional punch and fill you up. They are foods like vegetables, oatmeal, whole grains, fruit. Vegetables and fruit have skin which contains vitamins and fibre that keep the body healthy and full. Same with fruit. Whole grains contain the husk, which contains vitamins and also more fibre. This will help curb your appetite at night.
I talk about nutrient dense foods a lot. These are foods that are high in nutrients, usually high in fiber (so they fill you up) but are they yucky? Well no. They’re only “yucky” if you aren’t used to feeding your body natural plant-based foods high in vitamins and nutrition.
Here’s a chart:
I love pizza, burgers, soda, cheese and my favourite, I’m not ashamed to admit, is poutine. If you don’t know what that is, don’t look it up. Don’t ask. Just run away. You’re better off. It’s too delicious for me to resist, and eating it isn’t exactly good for my health. Well, in small amounts, it’s perfect. It makes me happy. So it’s totally worth it.
But it’s also totally worth it to have a good working healthy body. Good sleep. Happiness. Assurance you’ll be around for those who love you. So guys – remember nutrient dense foods. The vegetables. Try and eat more. That’s all.
What are your favourite vegetables? How many vegetables do you eat in a day?
Have a great one and may the force be with you (now you know what I’ve been watching.)
I love a good face mask, especially done at home.
Facials over makeup for me, any day of the week! But even when I’m wearing makeup, a good base of healthy skin makes everything work smoother, more beautiful, more vibrant.
Here are a few homemade do-it-yourself face masks. Try the one that calms what ails you!
Would you ever try these at home? Have you ever tried a recipe like this?
This warm winter soup recipe is great for so many reasons: health-wise it’s high in protein and low in fat. It’s even got vitamins, minerals and fiber. It’s very easy to make, if you don’t mind letting a soup simmer on the stove for a few hours while you do other things, stirring ever hour or so. It’s also so delicious. You have a great mingling of spices, spinach, butternut squash, chicken, onions and of course the star of the dish – what gives it the thick wonderful consistency of a stew – yellow split peas.
Yellow split peas are low in fat and high in fibre & protein.
Here are some basic nutritional facts for yellow split peas:
Here’s a great winter recipe that I learned from my cousin’s wife. She uses chicken on the bone. To keep mine lowfat I use rotisserie chicken breast.
450 grams yellow split peas (half the bag)
2 cups diced butternut squash
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic purée
1 teaspoon ginger purée
2 cup spinach or 1/2 package frozen spinach
2 pieces rotisserie chicken breast, diced
Salt, pepper, 2 teaspoons dal spice mix (tumeric, Red chili, black pepper, cumin, coriander, brown Cardiman, green cardamom, dehydrated dill, citric acid)
Fry diced onions in olive oil with salt, pepper and dried spice mix. Cook under medium heat for about 6-8 minutes and you can smell the aroma.
Add rinsed yellow split peas, garlic and ginger. Stir to mix.
Add butternut squash and spinach. Stir.
Add stock and cooked chicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer for four hours, stirring once an hour, until squash and lentils almost dissolve.
It was very delicious by the way! Plus nutrient dense so a great weight loss dish.
Have you ever cooked with yellow split peas? Do you enjoy lentils?